Where I blab about bunnies and encourage your bunny (and other animal) stories.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Snoopy Dance

When you're grumpy or it's rainy out or your boss just "shat on your desk," go watch The Snoopy Dance, not to be confused with The Hamster Dance, which is also wildly entertaining. There used to be adorable music with both dances, but they've moved around so much on the Web I guess it got lost in the shuffle.

Okay, to bring this back to bunnies....Oh! Dancing! Amber used to love dancing with me. I'd pick him up and turn on some tunes (usually Sinatra or something romantic and slow) and we'd dance. The first few times, he didn't know what was with all the moving and swaying, but he caught on. Hops has to be in the mood to dance; when he's not, he gets all squirmy and wants down. Pea will fall asleep in a good sway; our nightly cuddle sessions sometimes include a Pea nap in Mommy's arms. It's wicked cute when she turns into a big ball of Pea mush (which always happens the second I pick her up) and her nose stops twitching and her eyes get droopy. After a good few minutes, per usual bunny naps on Mommy, the kid suddenly wakes up and gets it in her head that her salad's waiting for her -- which it always is after our nighttime cuddles -- and she needs to either eat it or perish. Thank god she's not a biter -- I had to teach Hops to squirm and not bite when he wanted to get down after a few very ill-placed nibbles (the eyelid nip comes to mind).

Alas, I diverge. I was going to talk about how cute binkies are, the bunny's form of dancing (calves and fawns also do this in fields, but stop when they grow up; bunnies never stop binkying, as long as they're healthy). But if you're a bunny person, you know that the greatest compliment a bunny can give you is a binky. Pure happiness and freedom and safety and contentment. Ariel got her name (from arial, actually) because inside an hour after I brought her home, she was binkying. This from a girl who was left (with her twin, Kayla) in the dead of winter in a cardboard box next to a dumpster in Jamaica Plain a few short months before I met them. So, the compliment counted exponentially that day (May 12, 2001). I think they knew they were home.

(If you're not a bunny person, a binky is the action a bunny performs when it runs at full tilt and then suddenly springs up in the air and kicks its feet out and twists its body around. A good binky can confuse a bunny who lands in the opposite direction she was running, which is even funnier to watch.)

Monday, October 17, 2005

Original ideas

Whoever said there are no more original ideas have clearly never seen a liger.

This animal looks amazing... and large. Large like 900 lbs. and 11 feet from nose to tail. Large like 100 lbs. of meat at one meal (holy maintenance cost, Batman!). Large like, "I've never seen a tiger that big before. No, wait, that's not a tiger." How they breed the enormous size into it would be my main question... I mean, we can splice genes and things, but whose gene gives it the gargantuousness?

"But how's their temperament?!" you ask. Well, I guess at least some of them are gentle enough to trust to sit next to a baby.

Word has it these cats are fertile and breed, too, which begs the question: "If they're ever released into the wild, how many groups of smaller animals (by "groups" I mean herds and by "smaller animals" I mean hippos ;-}) will perish because one liger gets peckish?

Does the creation of a hybrid animal mean that we make up for an animal that we've forced into extinction from errant logging of the rainforests or the development of a city and the complete annihilation of a species of frog, for example? If so, then let's hit those labs, biologists! Let's get creative... I'm thinking of South Park's Dr. Alphonse Mephesto.

Meet Tai Shan

We need more stories like this one in our news. At 100 days, apparently, giant panda cubs can walk, have started growing teeth and start to want to play.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


The ants are back. Little itty bitty ones aimlessly wandering around my floor looking for any hint of food. This year it seems to be confined to the bathroom floor, but early last fall it was pretty much everywhere -- living room, bedroom. So, I got sick of the one-by-one method (there are probably more ants than I care to think about under the floor or wherever they're coming from). Wimpy ants. Moving inside because it's a bit chilly at night. Well, this is my house, Swarm! Now git!

The problem with this approach, however, is that ants rarely listen when you order them around. So, to Walmart I went to buy the latest and greatest ant traps. The kind with the clear liquid inside that the ants think is food and take back to the colony. You're actually supposed to let the ants go if you see them traipsing around your home after you put these traps out. That is a very difficult thing for me to do, but I tried.

So there was a trap last autumn behind the TV stand, behind my desk, behind the bathroom door. Pea, mind you, was about 7 months old at the time. I got her in May. One night, I headed to the bathroom and noticed the door is shut a little more than it should be. I walked in and noticed that the ant trap is upside down in the middle of my hyacinth-colored bathroom rug. "Oh, SHIT!" I think. And that was before I noticed that a corner of the trap was chewed away. Pea was the only one out in the living room (and subsequently the bathroom) that night. I knew she had come in the bathroom, found a new toy, and chewed it while tossing it around. Surprisingly, she had not eaten all the gunk inside the trap (which was roughly the consistency of olive oil). But I found my baby girl, scooped her up, cooed and petted her until she got sick of that ("Momma, why are you mauling me?"). I watched her like a hawk that night, most of the time from the floor. She didn't act strangely, but every time she lay down, I had to go over and figure out if she was laying down because she didn't feel well or if she just felt like laying down.

I hit the Net. Nothing like the Internet to discover the toxicity of ant traps to a 5-pound bunny. Turns out the chemical in those traps is basically Borax. Soap. And after a few very scary hours (for me, not for Pea), I calmed the hell down. Next day, again, I watched her like a hawk, all the time she was wondering why I wouldn't leave her alone. She was completely fine from her encounter with the wicked ant trap.

I got so scared about this because I never found out why Amber died, but I'm pretty sure it was some sort of poisoning. Was it some funky substance on the hotel floor from the farmers' convention in the same hotel? Was it the leaves he was chowing on a few days before? Was it something I tracked into the apartment the night before on my shoes (starting my policy of no shoes in my apt)? Was it the way I used to hypnotize him and hold him on my legs on his back that finally had some permanent effect to his brain, causing it to shut down his nervous system backward from how any lagamorph vet has ever seen? I don't know. And I never will. I couldn't bear the thought of an autopsy, which probably wouldn't have pointed at anything anyway. The paralysis started with his back legs and traveled up his body, not down as is apparently normal with paralysis. Only 22 hours after I found him falling because his back legs couldn't support him (I came home from work and found him that way), the illness had so severely affected his brain and vital organs that he died in my arms. That is the short version of a very long story. And the reason why I got completely panic-stricken when SweetPea ate soap.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

When it rains

My apt is about six steps under ground level, so the bottoms of my windows are about where the ground is. I'm in my living room right now and to my right is a big slidey window. Right outside my window is the ground, which is covered with stones, the gray types often found in landscaping. Above this window is the balcony of my upstairs neighbor. When it rains, I hear a constant dripping of water on the stones. The water has traveled from the roof or the balcony above or straight from the cloud, which is a seven-minute journey, I once learned. It's nearly the most relaxing, soothing sound I've ever heard. Drops travel seven minutes from their formation in a cloud to land outside my window.

When it rains and I'm in bed, I listen to the water hitting the rocks outside my open window and every muscle in my body feels like it melts. It's better than a bubble bath. It's almost better than the calm after an intense yoga session. It's complete warmth and peace and natural harmony.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Long-lost German friends

I got a comment today on one of my blog posts from a friend I had when I was 15. At least, I'm guessing that's who it was. Stephan Frese was a member of an exchange student program my high school had with a school in Germany. I knew him for a few weeks 13 years ago. Now he comments on my blog, mentions a trip to D.C. we took (all the German students and all the students in my HS class who were taking German) and I just know it's him. Plus, I have very cool tracking software so I basically know where everyone is who sees my blog. Germany popped up today. And I think that's just cool. Stephan, if it was you, can you comment next time as something other than "Anonymous"? ;-) I'd like to talk to you again, catch up, see how your life is... I Googled Stephan today and (may have) found out that he's a soccer coach in Deutschland. Unless that's the wrong Stephan Frese. Anyway, the commenter did a Yahoo search on my full name, so I know his comment about knowing someone who looked a lot like me was a bit tongue in cheek.

Speaking of friends of mine from Germany whom I haven't talked to in a long time, Nina Meents. A quick Google search of her brought up a few medical research papers... I am not at all surprised. This girl was smart and sweet and pretty and fun. Nina, if I ever find your email address, your inbox will be full. Of all the friends who have come and gone in my life, you're one person I really regret losing touch with.

It's really amazing how many people's lives each of us touches. Someone like Nina, who truly enriched my life by letting me know her, leaves people who still love her all over the world.

So, Nina, Stephan: Write me already!


When people ask me how the bunnies are, I say "cute." Am I wrong?