Tuesday, July 3, 2007

dead baby bunnies

So yesterday I didn’t get a job I had wanted, which was fine (fucked-up, insecure, neurotic and emotional for Italian Job fans everywhere).

Honestly, it was fine…I won’t go into here how I had asked 5 months ago if this was a job I could do from Seattle, and then it turns out they want someone in California, which they let me know, of course, yesterday…but I was onto 8 more by the early afternoon. But really, writing cover letters for 8 different jobs is obnoxious. So I was happy to take a break when Siri yelled, “Sweet Pea has a rat in the kitchen!”

Of course I ran down to the kitchen where Sweet Pea, the 16-year-old-cat-who-is-missing-half-an-ear-and-whose-tail-is-permanently-crooked-from-the-time-Dad-accidentally-ran-over-her-a-while-ago, is hiding under the kitchen table with her prize, which from what we can see, looks like a large furry creature one would not like to run into in the dark. The dogs are barking at her, and she’s guarding the damn thing like she’s stationed at Fort Knox, and I am hovering in the doorway while Siri just points at the thing and yells, “Sweet Pea, go outside!!”

This was not an effective tactic.

So we hovered for a minute and I opened the front door in hopes that Sweet Pea would take her treasure outside. No go. I said, “Fuck. Sweet Pea, go outside.” It didn’t work. I guess when you’re a 16-year-old-cat-who-is-missing-half-an-ear-and-whose-tail-is-permanently-crooked-from-the-time-Dad-accidentally-ran-over-her-a-while-ago, you don’t get freaked out by someone cursing at you. So I called my dad on his cell phone at work, because really, what else does a 27 year old do when faced with a rat in the kitchen? And he said he was working late, to get a box to cover it up, weigh the box done, and when he got done with work, he’d come get it. Brilliant. Okay, now we had a plan: Dad to the rat rescue.

Then the furry thing moved. And I shrieked, and Siri shrieked, and the cat picked it up in her mouth and ran out the front door as quick as you please.

I Lysoled the floor and then went outside. No Sweet Pea to be found anywhere. Back to cover letters.

The dogs come into my room about 20 minutes later, Bramble looking at me with her huge black eyes, tail thumping energetically, and Saffron’s collar jangling while she sits sporadically, then moves toward the door, then back towards me again, and then drunkenly back to the door. Time to go out.

So we go out the front door and Bramble crosses the driveway and picks something up in her mouth…thinking it was the rat, I yelled at her to drop it, and out of her mouth tumbles this 6 inch long baby rabbit, breathing heavily, not moving otherwise.

I know rabbits are annoying to gardeners. I know there are places in the world that happily eat them, and I know there are places in the world where they are so obnoxious that people shoot them for sport. (I think for example, near Greenlake/Woodland Park Zoo, they’re overrunning the place and people are arguing about what to do). I recognize all this. But I looked at that little rabbit hyperventilating and all of a sudden had this urge to drop on the ground and bawl my eyes out.

I didn’t, of course. I yelled for Siri. She came out the front door and we debated what to do:

Me: “It’s dying!!!”

Siri: “It’s probably got internal injuries.”

Me: “It’s dying!”

Siri: “It’s still breathing.”

Me: “It’s dying!!!”

Siri: “We should put it out of its misery.”

Greta: “It’s dying!”

Siri: “What would you like to do?”

Me: “Call dad!!!”

We put the baby rabbit in a box, and watched it breathe heavily and hoped it wouldn’t die. I googled “how to save baby rabbits”. Apparently rabbits stress out easily and usually die after a pet attack. I called dad to advise him of the change of status in the rat rescue operation. Dad answered the phone and immediately starts telling me about the motorcycle accident he’d just witnessed and how he helped the injured guy….while he’s going on and on, Siri says, “It’s dead. It’s not breathing.” So I told Dad about the dead rabbit, and he told me about all the important steps you should take when disposing of dead rabbits. Apparently you have to wrap them up well. He said that burying it in the backyard was probably not a good idea.

We did not wrap it well. We closed the box, put it in a huge black trash bag, and then went to get the garbage can from the curb to throw the baby rabbit in. Siri held the lid up and I threw the bag in. Goodbye, baby rabbit.

Sigh. I wish I was the sort of person who would have no problem throwing away dead baby rabbits –I didn’t cry, but I wanted to. This of course, might have been more about the job and less about the rabbit.

In Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal Dreams, Codi’s talking about a nasty person, and she says, “You can’t let your heart go bad like that, like sour milk. There’s always the chance you’ll want to use it later.”

I don’t want my heart to go bad. So I’ll be sad for the dead baby rabbits and curse at the cat for killing them.

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