Saturday, 1 October 2016

The Bunny Chronicles, Part one - How I got lumbered with two adorable rabbits.

It's three years since I last wrote a blog here, apart from the poem at the begining of this year.
I have been very busy, and exhausted most of that time due to the fact that I felt morally obliged to take in two pet rabbits from a neighbour who was unable to clean them out.
The story starts in Muswell Hill, London where a wealthy young lady was living in a flat and decided to get two adorable baby bunnies for pets, presumably to be Flat bunnies. This lady gets pregnant and takes the initiative to prepare for her baby's arrival by deciding to have her baby bunnies euthanased because she will not be able to look after them once the bump arrives. Her friend is the daughter of my neighbour, and my neighbour's daughter has a boyfriend who decides that he will give their friend's bunnies to his girl friend, my neighbour's daughter, so they can be saved from execution.
This all happens before they are much older than three months, as that is when I was first introduced to them.
My neigbour is an elderly lady, who had recently lost her husband and needed a lot of support, mainly emotional,  one day I went round to see her and she showed me the new contents of her spare bedroom - on the bed was a small plastic indoor rabbit cage with its door open, and on the bed nearby were two fluffy tiny bunnies happily eating and pooing their way through the bed covers and mattress below. There was shredded material and matress foam everywhere!
I cood at them and said how adorable they looked, and that was that.
Three months later, my neighbour's daughter announced her pregnancy and her mother told me how much she hated the daughter's boyfriend.

Two months later, and the daughter was living at Muswell Hill with the hated boyfriend and the elderly mother was struggling to keep the two now much bigger rabbits clean and cared for in a utility room off her kitchen. The main reason she was struggling was that she had fallen badly in the local hospital and broken her shoulder, and the shoulder was destined to never heal properly, despite surgery.
So I made the fatal error of offering to help, this was a mistake because the next time I saw them it was to put the rabbits in a new outdoor hutch, I who knew nothing at all about rabbits was expected to catch them and insert them into this hutch, which I managed without much drama.

One day, the neighbour asked me to help her clean them out, ofcourse its difficult to bend into a hutch and sweep out litter if your shoulder is permenantly broken, so I did most of the work despite my own health problems meaning that bending down is difficult for me too.
Gradually over the summer months as the daughter with the debateable boyfriend got larger, I got asked to clean the bunnies out more often, and because I had witnessed their previous rabbit's demise, I continued to help and struggle myself to clean their rabbits out.
The months of summer melted away, and October saw the birth of an adorable, utterly gorgeous baby boy to the neighbour's daughter, the debateable boyfriend was banned from the mother's house, and so her daughter started her pilgrimaging lifestyle of driving her and babe to Muswell Hill to placate the debateable one and escape the mother who, to me, appeared to be suffering post natal deppression more than her daughter was.
I was asked to clean out the rabbits more often, for which I was paid occassionally and had a long cup of tea while listening to our neighbour's woes about the boyfriend and erring daughter.
The hutch seemed to age rapidly as the winter took hold.
One day the neighbour's daughter phoned me and asked if I could help her brush the angora rabbit, while she was at her Mother's, it was then that I realised how bad things had got, the rabbit had a thick felt cocoon of fur and at her rear end was a very hard, obstinate brick of poo and hay stuck to her fur.
It was revolting, the smell was terrible, but eventually the daughter managed to pull the poo brick off her, and I was left to brush what I could of the rabbit while she went to get disposable nappies for her baby, while her mother baby sat. Mother and baby were home briefly to be there for the health visitor check on baby next day.
It began to dawn on me that things were worse for those rabbits than I had realised, I began to read up on rabbit care and angora rabbits. Much to our neighbour's amusement.
By February of 2013 I had become weary of being asked to clean them out at times inconvenient to my own health, so one rainy windswept day I foolishly offered to take them off my neighbours hands, and at least foster them temporarily until the daughter got her act together. The daughter cried down her mobile phone when her mother asked her permission, "will I ever see them again" she wailed; I said she could visit any time, in the hope that she would help with costs and cleaning when needed.
Having carried the hen coup/rabbit hutch with the help of my husband and another male neighbour, down our road and landed it on our patio, I realised how flimsy it was, and later how the roof could be pushed down easily because it was made of wet very thin plywood, the roof leaked and consequently the angora rabbit's fur had become completely matted, the other rabbit is a lion head with a long mane which was also matted. They were in quite a pickle.

In March having replaced the hutch and located it in our conservatory, the buns had their annual vaccines and check up at our vets, the vet said after looking them over, "they are very lucky rabbits, they have landed on their feet with you" My husband and I exchanged glances, and I knew then that I was well and truly lumbered.