Thursday, July 6, 2017

Mud-Caked Slippers And Mushy Home Fries

This year, there has been an abundance of wild bunnies hopping through the neighborhood. They're in our backyard. Front yard. The side yard. I honestly can't remember a day when we haven't seen a wild bunny or two over the past 6 months. Each time I see a bunny, without fail, I think about the domestic bunny rescue that happened in late November of 2014.

Our neighbor friend's domestic bunny had been missing for a week and a half. It was a rather large bunny. Friendly. On occasion, for the past couple of years, we had brought over carrots, cabbage and other bunny friendly veggies. When we heard the bunny had gotten out of its cage, we were worried.

With the temperature dropping outside and the amount hungry wildlife around us...well, you know.

During the week it was missing, we had spotted the bunny from far away. Our other neighbor assisted with efforts in attempts to trap the bunny. They tried everything to lure it back into its cage. However, bunnies are quick and frighten easily. Despite many attempts, the bunny always got away.

Until that morning in late November of 2014...

Let me take a moment to set the stage for you. It was about 6:30 in the morning. Lisa and I had just gotten up. We were getting ready to have company over for breakfast before venturing off on a flea market excursion. I was gulping down coffee and getting into my morning rhythm. I was dressed in a short sleeved t-shirt and fleece jammy bottoms. No bra. Plush slipper socks. Hair in sloppy bun. The temperature outside read 19 degrees. A thick coating of frost covered the ground.

Then it happened...

I stepped out onto the front porch to grab a pumpkin. That's when I heard tiny, crunchy footsteps. There it was. The bunny. It was only a few feet away. I ran into the house, grabbed some carrots and went back outside. The bunny was at the bottom of the front steps. I chewed up some carrots and threw them on the ground. I slowly moved closer. The bunny started hopping away.

I followed the bunny to the neighbors yard. My focus was catching the bunny. This was it. Now or never. All I could think of was the upcoming polar vortex. Temperatures were going to drop even more. Maybe snow. More hungry wildlife in search of food. I could feel my adrenaline kick in. And, I didn't give a shit that I was outside in slippers and a short sleeved t-shirt.

Or that my home fries were overcooking in the skillet.

Lisa came outside to see what I was up to. I got a lecture about having no jacket on. It went in one ear and out the other.

Our neighbor, Bob, saw us outside. By this time, the bunny had come back to our porch and went underneath. Bob is a genius and immediately grabbed a roll of chicken wire fencing to circle around our porch. While that was happening, I ran inside to shut the stove and skillet off.

By this time, my slippers were wet and caked with mud and grass. I tracked it through the kitchen and living room.

I did take a few seconds to throw on a bra. 

For the next hour, the 3 of us worked at trying to catch the bunny. Our upstairs neighbor, at the time, peeked over his railing and asked what we were doing. Within minutes he came downstairs to assist. Both him and Lisa crawled under the porch to lure the bunny within my net's range. The neighbor who owns the bunny took notice to what we were doing and came over as well. I can't even imagine how the scene appeared to onlookers. I was still in my jammies, slippers and now, covered in dirt.

Finally, after almost 2 hours from the moment I had spotted the bunny, we caught it. The upstairs neighbor was all the way under the porch. He scooted the bunny over to Lisa who was on the other side of the chicken wire fence. She wrapped it in a blanket and slowly handed the bunny over to me. I gently scruffed the bunny while holding it in my arms. I expected a struggle however, the bunny was exhausted and frightened. I followed our neighbor across the street and lawn to the bunny's cage and got him settled in.

Towards the end of our bunny rescue, while all of this was still happening, our company showed up. They were friends of ours and fully prepared to assist as well.

Once the bunny was back home, we rolled the fence back up and put the trap and nets back in their rightful places. We all went inside where it was warm.

And here's where another thing happened...

Once back in the kitchen, I noticed the mud and grass on the floor that we had tracked in earlier. The quiche was slightly overdone and home fries were mushy. Breakfast preparation had come to a screeching halt during our bunny rescue and the coffee wasn't brewed. I started apologizing. Our friends replied with, "Do you see us stressing over it? No. Relax."

At that moment I exhaled. We were in the company of like-minded people. Animal lovers. Rescuers. An ACO. People who embrace muddy paw prints, dog hair covered clothing, juicy kisses and all things animals. They get it. They're like us.

I exhaled again.

The morning went on. We enjoyed a fabulous breakfast, despite the mushy home fries, and afterwards, a few hours of searching for treasures.

And...the bunny was safe and sound.

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