Tuesday, September 1, 2015
What The Cat Dragged In
Tuesday 5:57 PM
Me: How's your day going?
Daniel: Not bad. You?
Me: I'm at gymnastics with Maddie.
Me: James just called for the first time since I allowed him to babysit Hannah, so I was nervous when "home" popped up on the phone screen (visions of burning house firmly in mind).
Me: He said, "Mommy?!"; panic lacing his voice
Me: "WHAT?!" I said, standing and preparing to run to the car
Me: "I have... Well... In my... um... in my...
Me: At this point I'm breaking into a cold sweat as I make a mad dash out the gym doors.
Me: He finally spits it out, "...In my hand right now I have the SMALLEST bunny I've ever seen...and he's ALIVE!"
Me: I proceeded to defuse the situation. Parenting win.
Me: I had assumed it was a rat the cat dragged in this morning, but maybe it was this rabbit. Awfully big coincidence, otherwise.
Me: Thinking back, it WAS super loud for a rat...
I pull into our driveway after gymnastics and prepare myself for what I know I'm sure to find (having decided there's about a 2.5% chance James released the rabbit as I instructed). I walk into the living room to find James on the floor next to a square Tupperware container sitting on a heating pad. In the Tupperware container is a paper towel, random fruits and vegetables pulled from the fridge, and a baby rabbit about the size of a hamster. I open my mouth to explain why he can't keep this wild animal. Anticipating my demand to set the bunny free, James scrambles to present internet evidence that we'll essentially be signing the animal's death warrant if we set him free without knowing where his nest is. Defense lawyers around the world would covet his level of enthusiastic persuasion.
Maddie backs James up, and I am drilled with the intensity of two sets of professional-grade puppy-dog eyes. I begrudgingly agree to keep the bunny in the house until we can get him to the vet the next day for advice on a plan of action.
Wednesday 5:23 AM
James bounds into our bedroom to announce excitedly that "Fluffy" is still alive.
I load James, Maddie, and Fluffy into the car and head to the vet's office.
We get stuck in road construction traffic. I try to decide what I can afford to cross off my "to-do list" for the day, since I clearly won't have the time I anticipated to get my daily chores done.
We arrive at the vet's office.
I load James, Maddie, and Fluffy back into the car to head to some rabbit rescue center we apparently have in the area. With a shake of my head and a sigh, I mentally rip up my to-do list, giving up on any hope that I'll get anything accomplished for the day.
I get tongue-lashed by a militant rabbit rescue "expert" for apparently doing everything wrong. She sells me some specialized formula for $4.95 and offers instruction for feeding, then informs me that even if I had done everything right the rabbit would have had - at best - a 30% chance of survival. She wishes us luck.
I transfer the bunny to the ICU (a.k.a the guest room) and rush to get a heating pad under him, as his body temperature has dropped too low (according to Militant Rabbit Lady).
I attempt a feeding with one of Hannah's 1cc syringes. Fluffy appears uninterested.
James begs me to attempt another feeding so he can see that Fluffy is okay.
We enter the ICU for another feeding attempt. Fluffy is pronounced dead.
A hastily-prepared funeral service commences. The kids share their fondest memories of Fluffy.
Fluffy is laid to rest in the garden where the chives we planted last spring didn't grow. We all walk back to the house with heads bowed in solemn silence.
James and Maddie soothe their deeply-mourning souls with a cleansing game of Minecraft.
What I was up against: