Saturday, March 5, 2005

Bunny tales

So as if a toddler, T-t job, and the dissertation that would not die were not enough, now we seem to have acquired a rabbit. Near our house, there's a large park where sick and evil people (aka former pet owners) have in the past and continue to this day to dump their pet rabbits, once they realize that rabbits are not necessarily easy and self-reliant pets [i.e., they require food and occasional fresh water, can't drive to the store to purchase their own supplies, and have to have their cage cleaned every so often]. There are now several substantial colonies of free-range bunnies living there. Despite the fact that the park is bisected by a major thoroughfare and that former pet rabbits do notoriously poorly when released, there are enough of them hopping around, looking cute, to convince the wildly ignorant or irresponsible that it would be a kindness to poor unloved pet Bun, this setting him free.

Yesterday, en route to the local big-box store (something I swore off until, as the mothers in the audience will recognize, I became a mother. It's one trip every six weeks for massive pallets of diapers, wipes, paper towels, etc., or some 450 smaller trips to buy such items in boutique sizes), I passed a rabbit huddled on the sidewalk alongside the busy drive. This is not, sadly, unusual; one sees the occasional wayward Bun scurrying along the sidewalk, hemmed in by traffic on one side and a fence (that does permit passage back to the grassy areas, but then, I've noticed that rabbits are not especially good at slowing down to think things through). And all too often, one sees the bunny frisbee--all that remains of one who took a notion to see what was across the street (or one who ill-advisedly fled a passing dog). This rabbit was unusual for its distance from any grassy areas and for its wretched stillness. But I've learned the hard way not to corner frightened animals when the alternative is busy traffic, so I hoped the poor thing would stay still or maybe even survive a dash back across the road.

But then, on the way home, some 2 hours later, it was still there, huddled and completely still. I knew this could only end in catastrophe, but I also couldn't go by again and leave it there, possibly injured or ill. Fortunately, I was with my mother. She's not only crazy enough to be game for rabbit rescues, she wrote the book on rescuing injured animals. So we double-parked the car and headed back toward the bunny, armed with a recently emptied box that once contained motor oil, two towels, and a canvas grocery bag.

We approached the rabbit from the rear, careful as big-game hunters, and helpfully concealed by the rush of the traffic. We paused. We dallied. We knew that a sudden move toward the bunny would send it into traffic--at best, one dead bunny. At worst, a dying bunny, and a major pile-up on a two-way road, news headlines, and a lifetime of notoriety. Then, salvation, in the form of Animal Control. I assumed of course that my husband (whom I had already called twice with pleas to get us some sort of animal rescue out for back-up before we killed someone) had summoned this civil service godsend, but no, he was just passing through. Still, he stopped his truck, put the towel over the bunny without incident, and handed it to my mother.

After a stop at the veterinarian's (to make sure the bunny wasn't rabid or injured) and a desperate round of local second-hand stores in search of something sturdier than a cardboard box, she's wedged in a box inside her small cage while I type this. She's had three carrots, refused pellets, and seems surprisingly gentle. We've christened her Maud Bunne. Seems there are far more bunnies in search of homes than there are homes in search of bunnies—especially undernourished bunnies who smell distinctly of life on the streets. Now if those Craig's List folks with the hutch for sale will just return our calls...

9 Comments:

At 5:15 PM , Blogger ABDmom said...

Good to know I'm not the only tender heart when it comes to animals. Both Senor Fuckhead and PsychoKiller were strays; when I see an animal in need, I just can't turn them away. Good for you for rescuing the bunny!

 
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At 6:27 PM , Anonymous New Kid on the Hallway said...

Oh, I'm so glad you rescued the bunny! (Our cats were all rescues too.) I hear that rabbits are wonderful pets with great personalities. I hope she does well!

 
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