Things That I Deal With

My house.

It's where all the cute, innocent baby bunnies of the world come to die. 

Like it's not enough that I've been relegated to teach 9th grade health class. Or that I single handedly provide a breeding ground for every pestilence known to man, or that I adopted a dog who claims the world record in more hair shed than retained in a 24 hour period... but must the bunnies all die here as well?

And it's not like I provide them with peaceful, humane exits from this world of suffering. No. Nope - Violent, horrific deaths full of terror and predatory nightmares.

The first three were tiny newborns that The Cat (Crookshanks) delivered to me in the kitchen: live, squealing trophies of his hunting prowess that I quickly confiscated and tried to resuscitate, to no avail. And then a few months later, The Cat brought me segments of what was probably one of the surviving siblings of the earlier victims of his serial murders. Segments. Cleanly separated, freshly dead, segments. Served to me somewhat reluctantly from Crookshank's favorite eating spot, under my bed. My own, serene, once unviolated bed. First it was the back half. Waking up to the smacking, tearing, pleased with himself growl of a contented feline, I groped under the bed until I found the carnage. The crime scene was relocated outside, only to be recreated later when The Cat returned with the front half of the dead rabbit. You know, all ears and cute little nose, with dead glassy eyes, perfectly chopped off just behind the front legs. Once again I did a gruesome recovery operation, and tossed the entire quivering package, cat and rabbit front end altogether, outside.

You'd think that was enough, you know? Like really? Aren't you over it now, Crookshanks? The rite of passage has been accomplished! Not really, I guess, since I woke up the next morning to just the decapitated head of the poor beast. In my living room. On the floor. Still dead.

For these reasons, the long-operating dog door was put out of commission and we began the new adventure of trying to potty train a stubborn dachshund who had always had open reign between house and yard. As if.

I guess after a few months Crookshanks got the hint that I wasn't impressed with his love offerings, and I guess he was unimpressed with the 140 lb bloodhound that moved in and loved nothing more than to chase him around the house. Anyway, The Cat quit brining dead things in, which I appreciate. To his credit, he also trained the bloodhound to quit chasing him by stopping dead in his run and turning to rub all over Frank's legs, which confounded the giant hound to no end. Frank had to go outside to run off some of his anxiety from being fondled by a cat.

A few days ago, a new baby bunny appeared, hopping around Nattie's rabbit barn, reaping all of the sloppy benefits of tame, show-quality bunnies arrogantly flipping the food out of their cages. I would assume that the new grey bunny was somehow related to the murdered litter from earlier this year, all offspring of the rabbits that our Beloved Neighbors across the way turned loose when they got tired of feeding them. But it was cute. And maybe even a survivable age - and more importantly, Crookshanks didn't seem too interested in working that hard for a few slices of fricassee. So the grey bunny frolicked merrily around the rabbit shed for several days, nibbling grass and taunting the dogs who were much too slow.

And then one night, through my open window, I heard the screams. All too familiar with rabbit screams, I got up three different times in the after-midnight darkness to try to find him, but no luck. I thought maybe Frank finally got stealthy enough, or Crookshanks got motivated for a minute... but something was going terribly wrong for the little grey bunny. I couldn't find him, or Frank, or Crookshanks. The screaming finally stopped and I fell asleep to dreams of gore-encrusted bloodhound lips and rabbit heads on my pillow. But the next morning there was no sign of foul play, and no sign of the rabbit.

Today I went out to fill up the water in the back yard and I found him. He had tried to squeeze through the wire fence and gotten stuck by his hips. He was intact, seemed unharmed. Probably died of fright. Just hung up in my stupid fence. There wasn't a scratch on him, just terror stricken, dead rabbit eyes. I had to tug him free and relocate him to a more appropriate decomposing place. Moving dead furry things ranks right up there with my least favorite activities ever, BTW. Isn't that what boys are for? Oh yeah, right.

So, here I am, in the rabbit house of horror. And it's not like I've ever gotten a good stew or a furry pair of slippers out of the deal. Makes me mad. There's just no justice in the world.

one of Nattie's (don't worry, no bunnies were harmed in the making of this photo)

Note: all of Nattie's baby bunnies are safe and snug in their hutches. Although she announced to me a couple days ago that she has two with "special needs". Good thing we have experience there... 

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