Confessions, chapter 2: Finding a bunny friend.
I emailed Marcy about a month ago with some mixed news.
The good part was that I was moving into my own apartment and I could finally adopt my first bunny!
And the bad news? The apartment was in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Of course I could keep writing the SaveABunny blog even if I moved to sub-Saharan Africa thanks to my trusty hp pavilion zv5000 widescreen laptop (you’re welcome, hp. Donations are appreciated) and I don’t really do anything for SaveABunny except write the blog anyway. So the bad news wasn’t really that bad.
And the good news was kind of awesome. I was finally getting my fist bunny!
So which bunny? I thought for awhile that it might be better to adopt a rabbit from an Albuquerque shelter, since there is no SaveABunny out there to help make sure the rabbits don’t get euthanized. But after looking at the local shelters there, I realized none of them had any rabbits. They only accept cats and dogs. I found one shelter in a neighboring town that had two or three rabbits, but I had no way of knowing if they were healthy, spayed or neutered, or if anyone at that shelter knew anything about rabbits. I guess I could have just called and asked, but after thinking about it, I decided I’d rather adopt from SaveABunny and free up a space for a needy Bay Area rabbit.
I wanted one that wasn’t likely to get adopted – but not a special needs rabbit. I’ve never had a rabbit before and I don’t (yet!) have unlimited income for vet bills. Especially considering my moving costs.
Since the hardest rabbits for SaveABunny to adopt out are the white ones with pink eyes, I went up for a grooming party and spent some time with four white/pink-eyed cuties. Mr. Pinkerton, Chewy, Lionel Barrymore, and Moonlight. I also spent some time grooming Noir, who as you might guess, is a black bunny, with non-pink eyes. I brushed enough fur out of her coat to put Bebe out of business.
Moonlight is a beautiful white rabbit. After grooming him for five minutes and starting to really like him, I found out that he has a spine defect and is a special needs rabbit. If he’s picked up and held wrong he could easily break his back. Having only picked up about three rabbits ever, I figured he was not for me.
Lionel Barrymore is another gorgeous white rabbit. He has a pretty white face and a cute little white nose, and is just a little bit traumatized but still very sweet. After being on my lap for awhile he started to get curious and sniff me out, and I became slowly enamored with him. Marcy told some lingering volunteers later that night that he lets out a bone-chilling scream every time the vacuum cleaners come on. He went to a foster home that night.
Chewy is laid-back white bunny with dark gray-brown Siamese markings on his nose, ears, tail and paws. And of course, big pink and blue eyes. He has these extra eyelashes on the corners of his eyes that make him look either kind of sad, or kind of high. He reminded me of my first pet, Ivory, who was a terribly inbred Siamese cat who my mom gave me for my sixth birthday. I absolutely adored him. I didn’t spend a lot of time with Chewy, though, because it was the end of the night and I was already trying to decide between Lionel Barrymore and Mr. Pinkerton.
Mr. Pinkerton is an awesome bunny. In the short amount of time I spent with him I saw more personality than in any of the other bunnies. He was fearless and outgoing and absolutely presidential. (Think Bill Clinton meets Roger Rabbit.) Marcy didn’t want to adopt him out yet, but since I am a writer and everything, she hoped I would pick up the Mr. Pinkerton blog if I adopted him. Which I thought would be fun. But – and this is the horrible and honest truth – I was afraid that if anything happened to him, I would feel doubly bad because he is such an important bunny to the organization. Not that I expected myself to be an irresponsible or less-than-caring bunny owner, I just have a bad habit of always thinking of the absolute worst-case scenario for any situation. I’m not a pessimist –I just have a vivid imagination. It’s good for working in advertising – but bad for coming across as sane.
I went home undecided. For the next week I dreamed of what it would be like to live with each of these bunnies. I saw myself taking them to the park, to my new office, watching them run around the house and eat hay, and of course in the car on the long trip to Albuquerque. I thought the most about Mr. Pinkerton and Chewy.
The night before I hit the road, I still hadn’t decided. At 5:30 I bought a last-minute van for the move, and I immediately drove it up to SaveABunny. Priorities!
This time I had to make a decision. I sat in the middle of an X-pen with Chewy for a few minutes. He sat there ignoring me. I gave him a little pet on the head. He put his little chin to the floor – which in cat language definitely does not mean “pet me more,” so I thought he didn’t like me. But as it turns out that’s exactly what it means in bunny language. He was saying, “Here, I have a nice soft head for you to pet. Go on, pet away.” How sweet.
Then I spent some one-on-time with Mr. Pinkerton, which was really one-on-one-on-everything-else-in-the-room time. He was extremely friendly and curious about all of the other people in the room, and the x-pen wire, and the floor, and oh-look-at-that-over there, and hey-what’s-that and who knows what else. He was delightful.
I was torn. Chewy was sweet and vaguely familiar and very cute. Mr. Pinkerton had a personality I could impress my friends and coworkers with. But it was getting late and I had to go home and pack. It came down – and here is another example of how I am a shallow, lazy human being – to litterbox manners. Chewy had an impeccable cage. Mr. Pinkerton was kind of all over the place. Plus, I knew Mr. Pinkerton would find someone who just wouldn’t be able to resist his charm. His very own Monica Lewinsky, if you will. It was almost me. Sigh.
I packed up Chewy in the van and a few short hours later, we began our adventure together.