Wednesday, October 14, 2009
The Tale of Two Bunnies
I have been reluctant to write this blog. Every time I begin, disaster strikes and I find myself dealing with desolate sobbing children, rabbit bones, back-flipping bunnies and batteries in a toilet full of poo.
So I am wondering what will happen next?
Will Addie succumb to her natural and not so well concealed desire to eat one of the rabbits? Will Lucky, our huge orange cat, succeed in his attempts to catch a squirrel and this time actually manage to get one into the house? Will Billy go from bad to worse? (though how this refuse-rummaging, leftover-lunging, boom-bass-barking dog could get any worse I do not know.)
I will start to type. But I may have to leave it half way through to deal with some tragic malady which seems to accompany the Harris family and our ever growing zoo.
Jessica got two rabbits for her birthday. Two cute fluffy balls of fur with bright eyes and floppy ears. She named them Salt and Pepper, and they soon grew accustomed to being prodded, squeezed and generally loved to within an inch of their lives.
They resided in a large blue cage in the carport, and were fed hay and rabbit pellets and the occasional dandelion leaf which, when poked into their faces, disappeared like paper in a shredder. They didn't seem that interested in radishes or lettuce, but otherwise we were living in a Beatrix Potter wonderland of cottontails and twitchy whiskers.
Little did we know that we would soon be leaving the enchanted world of Potter and entering the manic crazed nightmare of Poe.
It all happened the day after Andy left for two weeks in England. I was alone with 4 girls 2 dogs, two baby rabbits a huge orange cat and a hamster called George.
On that fateful Monday morning I saw two girls off to school, fed two dogs and went outside to feed the bunnies. But there was only one bunny there. The cage floor was tilted and had slid half out. Salt was quivering in the corner. No sign of little Pepper.
I had to tell Jessica, who was obviously and understandably utterly heartbroken.
Later, as I cleared away the hay which had fallen out of the cage, I found several splatters of fresh bunny blood, and, rather scarily, the only remains of Pepper. A very small cheek and jaw bone, complete with intact tiny teeth.
I did some research and came to the conclusion that a raccoon had, with all the cunning and dexterity they possess, fiddled with the catch and broken into the cage, slid out the floor and grabbed the bunny.
So from then on, every night when darkness fell, Salt was brought through the house and onto the back deck. And, just in case the raccoon was even more cunning than I could give him credit for, once the dogs were securely in their crates we would bring the cage into the kitchen. The nighttime routine was a long and laborious one, but somehow I felt better knowing that the leftover bunny was safe.
All was well once more. We cursed the food chain. We prayed for Peppers little bunny soul and we cuddled Salt to make up for the loss of his playmate. Life goes on
But then, on Friday evening:
"Salt's got a nose bleed"
I groaned in disbelief and dashed outside to find a traumatized bundle of fluff blowing blood bubbles and wheezing pathetically. On closer examination it was discovered that he was bleeding form a nasty gash to his lip. Upon interrogation of the 6 year old child in the family, it was ascertained that she was investigating if rabbits could do back flips. Apparently they can't.
We spent that Friday evening at the vet where we were charged an inordinate amount of money for being reassured that no treatment was necessary. We took a wrong turn coming home and wondered, haphazardly, into Maryland before I called someone less directionally challenged than myself to guide me home.
Some days later I drove back out to the bunny lady and bought another rabbit for Jessica. Pepper # 2 is doing remarkably well and, at the time of writing, has no visible signs of injury.
And if you are wondering about the batteries in the toilet ..? You don't want to know.
- I have been married to Andy since 1991, we have 4 daughters, 2 dogs, 2 cat, 4 rabbits (and various baby rabbits) and a hamster (not dead). We have lived in the U.S.A since 2000, and are citizens of the U.K. I miss many things about the U.K.(pubs, old buildings, red post boxes, church bells,narrow roads, a good joint of roast lamb with mint sauce, to name but a few) but I have grown to love the U.S.