Sunday, July 22, 2007

The Good and Bad

After lunch yesterday, I hit a wall so I crawled into bed and was out almost immediately. Three hours later, I awoke - not knowing where I was or even what time or day it was. (I hate that disoriented feeling!) I remembered dreaming about road blocks or obstacles of some sort, but these things only slowed my companion(s) and me down - we continued our journey. Anxiety dream or warning? Either way, the dream seemed to say that shit will happen but all will be okay.

I haven't mentioned the yard babies in some time. Remember the little white lion head? That one has a sibling, a brown non-lion head that I have dubbed Bobo. They are Bambi's kits. Bobo developed some sort of wound on his left eye two weeks ago which at first I thought was just a bunny fight bite. It got worse over time but I was never able to get close enough to really see it. Neither Bambi nor her kits let me get close.

Then there is Ramsey, the girl who was slated to be python food. Ramsey is sweet and tame - she will let me scratch her head most days.

She had Stubby's babies underneath the apartment building next door. The first I knew of it was seeing four little guys (two black, one white and one brown) frisking on the concrete stoop over there. Of course, I put out pellets and water for them all.

A little over a week ago, I saw a white object on the hill by the apartments and sure enough, it was the white baby, still alive but hurting. He had developed wry neck and although I knew it was hopeless, I brought him home and made him comfortable. He's still with us but is not improving. Shortly after that, I was seeing only one black fella along with the brown one. I don't know what happened to the second black guy.

So, there were four baby bunnies on the loose and one of them, Bobo, needed attention. I set the live trap out back, baited with pellets - no dice. They weren't falling for it.

And then, I was able to capture the Apartment Brown. I was putting out pellets for them one morning and Brown came right up near me and began to nibble. Snatch! and into protective custody he went. He is just like his mom in temperament - sweet, calm and gentle. He had two bot fly larvae on his back, but otherwise seemed fine.

So. Yesterday. After I woke up from my sudden slumber and had gathered my wit, I went outside because it was so pleasant. (We had a cold front blow through Thursday night and the sky was clear and the temps were below normal for July, in the low 80s with a nice breeze.) I piddled around, checking on the critters. Ramsey and Lion Head were posturing, not exactly playing. I tried to get close but they always moved just out of reach. Then Ramsey sat on top of the Lion Head, completely covering him and I made my move. Snatch! and into protective custody he went.

A little later, I took some pellets up to the apartments and saw that the black one had ventured farther away than normal from its hidey hole. I approached him from the front. He didn't just bolt like he's done in the past, but he still wasn't letting me get too near. I gently chased him for about five minutes until he fell for the "Look at the left hand while the right hand grabs you" ploy. Snatch! and a squeal and into protective custody he went.

Only one left.

Sweetie quietly pointed out Bobo to me; he was by the back door with his mother. I thought, "Well, let's go for it." I tried to stay on his blind side but he was wary and I honestly didn't think I had a chance. He finally ran behind the day lilies by the house and under the redneck insulation where he was trapped. Snatch! and into the examination room he went. Instead of a huge festering wound with an infected eyeball that I expected, I found a ginormous bot fly larva just to the rear of his eye. The hole it left could have held a marble! Once the wound was cleansed, I could see that his eye was fine, really. There was no other injury - it had been the bot fly larva all along.

Can I say this? I feel pretty damn proud of myself! I captured, bare-handed, three bunnies in just over an hour. Four altogether. I was particularly happy to have the Lion Head in a cage because she is so unusual and being albino, she would not have lasted too terribly long in the wild. In addition to her "mane," she has long tufts of fur on her haunches and her hips. (Those look like saddle bags.) I'm also glad to have Bobo fixed up.

So. That's all good news. Now the bad. Anna Nicole's little baby is dying, in the same manner as her previous litter. Remember my feeling, my hunch? He has been less active. His fur isn't right somehow. This morning, I found him cool and still, huddled in a ball. He is too weak and uncoordinated to move. His eyes are dark.


Anonymous said...

Time to be philosophical, I reckon. Some you win; some you lose. On the whole, though, I'd say you'd had a pretty good day out of it! Probably a good idea, though, not to open yourself to further grief by breeding Anna Nicole again; she just doesn't have what it takes to do it. The short-hairs are surprising cute, though.
Nancy Neverswept

Valerie said...

Ah, poor little fragile darlings. What tiny little metabolisms. You are a strong person to persist through the ups and downs of their lives and still be so affectionate to them (not hold yourself at arm's length emotionally, though possibly you do have to pull a little back, I don't know); I wouldn't have it in me. Glad you got the yard babies rounded up and that they seem okay!