Seven years ago tonight I was returning from..somewhere (I honestly don’t remember) when I saw a little brown and white bunny in the middle of the street. It was snowing, it was obviously hurt, lost and not in the slightest bit wild. Against my better judgement (I had recently lost my previous rabbit), I managed to pick up this rabbit and bring him into my home. He’s been with me ever since. For a bunny I was told probably wouldn’t make it to six due to an exceptionally lethal form of cancer (less than 10% survival rate in any species), Mr. Chewie Biteums is not only cancer-free, but he’s made it to seven. I love that little rabbit.
I actually went back through my LJ Archive and found the post I made the night I found him at 10pm 11/7/2004.
That’s what is currently sleeping in my bathroom right now. It’s a chocolate bunny rabbit. Laura and I found him today. He was hopping right outside my apartment digging in the leaves looking for food. He was scared and lost and yet not afraid of humans. I didn’t see him at first. Laura pointed him out. And then I noticed something was wrong. This was not a wild bunny. You can tell by the feet and the ears and the muzzle. This was a domesticated rabbit. A house bunny. I told Laura and she laughed, thinking I was full of shit. So I went up to it. And it didn’t move or run. It hopped two steps when I came close, then sat there. And it let me pet it. Another sign it was not a wild bunny. Someone walked by and said they saw that bunny earlier that day sitting in the middle of the street and was glad it hadn’t been run over. Then she asked how much the apartments were in my complex. Laura was freaking out at me touching the bunny, afraid I’d get lice or mites or something. But I knew, I KNEW, this was a domesticated rabbit. I read all those books and talked with all those bunny owners and I spoiled Zuel rotten to the point where I knew every noise, every twitch, every thought in my poor Zuel’s head. I KNEW this bunny was not supposed to be in the wild.
Laura went on inside, but couldn’t get in without my key. The bunny let me continue to pet it and finally I decided to do something rash. I went to pick it up. It squirmed the first two times and tried to get away. The third time when I scooped him up, he snuggled into me and wasn’t breathing heavy at all. he was content and calm. Laura’s eyes bugged out when she saw me coming in with the rabbit. “You’re not going to keep that are you? It’s wild!” I said, “If it’s wild, why is it letting me hold it?” I brought it upstairs and it started to freak again from the steps. But the second I put it down in my flat, it was perfectly calm and happy again. I got some old white FISH! T shirts and a towel and made a makeshift bed for it. It happily sat on the blankets and looked around at its new surroundings while I went into my criper. Laura started saying “OMG, you’re going to keep him aren’t you? Don’t think about keeping him.” The little bugger finished out 15 baby carrots. He was starving. And he drank some water. He let me pet him and I checked him for ticks, lice, mites, tumours, burrs, the works. He’s in amazingly healthy shape except for a bunch of nicks around his neck which I put neosporin on. I checked and he’s an boy that hasn’t been neutered, but he’s very docile, friendly and wants love. The second you pet him he melts. At this point Laura started saying, “You should keep him. You need a pet. You should keep him.” He’s sleeping on some old shirts now (and peed on one) and if very comfortable and happy.
I don’t know how long he was outside or if he was abandonded or got outside somehow and got lost or if there was a hole in an outside wire mesh pen and he wriggled out of the hole (Which would explain the neck marks he has as they aren’t bites or the like.) He doesn’t have whiskers though. They’ve been cut or singed or something down to tiny nubs. Again, I’d like to think this doesn’t have anything to do with him being abandoned, but maybe an accident with him sniffing a ciggarette butt or the like. But he’s in very good shape and isn’t scrawny at all, so this a recent trip into the wild he’s made. A few days at the very most. Tomorrow I am taking him to the vet next to where I work to have a full checkup. I took a picture of him with my camera phone and Spike emailed it to me (For some reason it’s B&W here, but colour on my phone) which I will have blown up and I’ll make some, “Did you lose this bunny?” posters at work as well. Part of me doesn’t want to give it back because hey, they’re not good pet owners if this happened. Part of me wants to keep him. Part of me wants a friend to take him (Matt or Danielle) because I’m still not over losing Zuel and that was a while ago. And because I don’t think i coukld take getting attached to another animal and having it die on me again. But I think most of all it’s I’m leaving for Australia for two weeks and I don’t know anyone that could take care of it. And then I’m off to Tampa 3 weeks after I get back from Australia. Laura has a dog and cat and other people I know can’t take him. So I don’t know what to do.
He’s very sweet though and you can tell he’s so happy to be safe and out of the cold MN late fall/early winter. He ate our of my hand and comes to me already when I put out my hand. But I don’t want to get attached. I don’t I don’t I don’t. I feel like I’m making up to Zuel somehow for how she died thanks to my father. But part of me feels so guilty for even considering another bunny. Even if it’s only for the night. I know, I know. all this over a bunny right? What’s odd is all day I’ve been talking about bunnies with people. I showed Karma the web site where I always used to buy Zuel’s toys and treats and she thought it was the cutest site ever. And at dinner tonight, Laura and I talked about bad bunny owners and how at Easter People get bunnies for little kids thinking they will be cute and then abandon them when they realize Bunnies need lots of care and love. And then here I find a bunny right outside my house. A tame bunny who needs love and shelter and someone who understands how to take care of one explicitly. As Laura said, “What are the odds?” And it is true. What are the odds of all this happening on the way it did. To me. I’m just glad I found him. I’d hate to think what would have happened to him if we had gone to a movie like we originally planned, but for some reason we came back here to watch a DVD and I was going to bake cookies. Instead, I have a roommate. I was thinking about (if I keep him) naming him Sniffles or Gozer the Gozerian. But then Dave reminded me this is all too much how like a certain story written by Deborah and James Howe started off. A family, on their way to see a movie, encountered an obvious tame and lost bunny rabbit that they ended up keeping for themselves. A bunny that they ended up naming…Bunnicula. It’s fitting considering everything that’s happened I think. Right now I don’t know what to think. Laura’s gone home for the night, but I’m currently confused about everythng and I’m pretty emotional. I just don’t know why or what the emotion is. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see in the morning what happens.
Obvious he didn’t end up getting ANY of those names (thank god). I’d learn the next day from the vet I took him too that he had been burned/hurt by jerkie people and that he was a year old. That makes Chewie eight now, which is an extremely long time for a bunny. Zuel only made a it a few days past her eighth anniversary with me. His name was decided by a hilarious vote that satired the 2004 election. It’s also interesting to see how different he was that first night with how he is now. When we first met, he let me hold him, he wanted to play, he slept on the bed and was extremely grateful for the love and attention I gave him. Now he’s very anti-social and seems to have nothing but disdain for all other lifeforms.
We’ve been through so much. Three different homes. He’s travelled through twelve different states together, battled (and beaten) cancer and put up with five cats and three other rabbits in his lifetime. Here’s hoping he’s enjoyed the past seven years with me. I know I have with him.