Today I was asked on twitter if I had ever had to make the ultimate choice for a pet. The answer is yes. I cant express in 140 characters the gut wrenching that that decision evokes. I realize that I have eluded to it but never explained the story of Mister. And I think the reason that I have never told the story is because a part of me has doubt about the decision that I made.
In May 2008 I noticed that Mister seemed to be having trouble with one of his hind paws. I had made the mistake of bringing him up onto the couch to snuggle with me, in spite of being aware of the "snuggles on the floor" bunny rule. Mister promptly hopped down and I thought that was when and where the issue began. I gave it some time, in all ways he was my normal Mister. Demanding love from me and Lily, eating with vigor. Except for a little limp nothing was awry. But remembering the hop from the couch and having every bun Mums fear of dislocation living in the back of my imagination I decided to make an appt with the vet.
When I explained to the nearby vet that I was concerned about joints or dislocation they admitted that they did not feel comfortable treating him and recommended that I seek out a clinic with more experience with rabbits, and provided a few contact. I did a bit of research and decided that the High Park animal Hospital. although it was on the other side of town they had extensive rabbit knowledge and the facilities to run tests on site.
I relinquished Mister to the Dr. for x-rays and waited patiently, expecting to be told that I was an overprotective bunny Mummy and that would be $$$ Please. I think the vet was expecting to say exactly the same thing. He came back with Mister under one arm and the x-rays in another. He popped the x-rays on the screen and began examining, explaining to me what he was reviewing. when he looked at the white area of the leg in question he assured me that there was no break or dislocation but admitted that the discolouration looked like bone cancer. he apologised for not having looked at the x-rays as my knees gave out and I started sobbing.
Follow up tests confirmed this diagnosis. i pulled myself together and faced what had to be done. The cancer would spread unless the leg was amputated. all of the stories that I found of bunnies living with 3 legs were positive. I set a date for the surgery and began preparing myself to help Mister with his transition. I read all that I could find on tri-pod bunnies.
The surgery was a success. the surgeon did his job. the transition for Mister was a total failure. day after day, week after week Morning Noon and Night. Mister was totally lethargic. I force fed him, Lily cleaned the critical care from his whiskers. He appreciated her care, and mine, but aside from that he had no interest in living or learning to hop on 3 legs. My attempts to encourage him felt like torture.
Perhaps if I had of left him to live out his life I would have had more time with him. And his end would have been less stressful. I am grateful that when I took him back to the hospital for the last time, they let me stay with him till he fell into his final sleep.
I will always question my decisions, both to proceed with the surgery and to put him to sleep. but the doubts are small born from a desire to have had him in my world longer.
I built a bridge to the rainbow bridge and when I arrive there Mister will be the first of my rainbow loves to greet me.
The brother of kitty, the same Mom as Remington and Dude...the last of the family of Feral is a grey tabby, Instead of stripes he has a spiral marking on his coat.
In the middle of January, during a cold snap, I managed to lure him inside. Unlike all the other lured in kitties, he was not calm when he realized that he was locked inside. For weeks he stayed in the basement coming upstairs only to eat. But after the first night he no longer pined to get out. He quickly came to appreciate the shelter from the cold, and the food, and as always Remington and Dude made him welcome and Sooty treated him with disdain.
Little by little he has been improving, he loves to chase the feather on a stick toy that I call the kitty fishing pole. I sit on one end of the sofa and he chases the feather at the other end. Remmy and Dude like to play sometimes too. He still spent most of his time hanging out in the basement but spends more and more time socializing with the boys and acknowledging my existence. By late February most mornings I would wake up with Sooty, Remington, Dude AND Spiral up on the bed snoozing in the crook of my knee, and there he would snuggle with me (with a layer of blankets between us) until he realized I was awake.
In the past couple of weeks I have been petting him, body at one end of the couch kitty and hand at the other. Good news but the process has been incredibly slow. I have not been in a rush to get him into a neuter clinic being as he is indoors and even if he ever got out all of the outdoor kitties are fixed now. I will wait until I can peacefully coax him into a carrier before getting him snipped. Then the next step should be to finding him a forever home. Lets face it 4 cats if boarder line "crazy cat lady" territory. Not a land that I want to end up retiring to.
I have been letting Remington and Dude have their outdoor adventures, they always stick pretty close to home. But I feared that if Spy were to ever get out he would not come back inside. A few days ago I was tending to the flower beds in the front of the house and had accidentally left the patio door partly open. It was not until Remmy came up to me looking to be petted that I realized what I had done. I tried not to panic as I went to the backyard and sure enough Spy had escaped and was enthralled with a Dandelion that had turned to fluff.
I'm thrilled to say that this is not the end of Spy's story. After conquering the Dandelion, eating some grass. climbing the tree, he needed to answer a call of nature and skipped back inside, down to the basement and the civilized privacy of his litter box.
I begin to wonder if perhaps Spy is just not the snugly cuddly type. He seems quited contented with his current situation, but I would never be able to find a home for him. If you ever wondered how "Crazy Cat Ladies" ever got that way, I think I am beginning to understand. It is quite likely that Spy will be joining Remmy and Dude in making Sooty and my home his own forever home.
Most people who know me know that one of the most amusing chains to yank is my Mayor chain. It takes a great deal of concentrated effort for me not to go off on a rant at any mention of our oversised, loudmouthed, moronic Mayor. It bothers me to the core of my being that this man is actually our elected leader.
I know a guy who thinks the sun shines out of Fords proverbial rear end, nothing I say about the guy not doing his job, making unrealistic promises, or just being a foot in the mouth idiot is ever going to change this guys opinion. But I have to be honest and admit that nothing he says is going to change my opinion...so maybe its a subject that we should avoid when we get together for social occasions.
I met up with this guy on Tuesday. He had some news and was pretty darn excited to tell me. Seems there was a problem with the plumbing setup in his house and he ended up getting a water bill for over $1000.00. He called City Hall, who verified that the water had been used and that it was not a clerical error, long story short his 3 toilets were constantly flowing. (not quite flushing) so it was not an error on his bill, but a legitimate charge that was an accident on his part. Not happy but agreeing that it was his error my friend carried on his merry old way (at least this is the way he told the story to me....although I have my doubts).
A while later (not sure if this is days or weeks) his phone rings....he answers, Its the Mayor. He figures its a joke (like if somebody called my house and said it was Jon BonJovi). Finally he realized that his beloved idol is truly on the other end of the line to tell him that he heard about his issue and was sorry about it and wanted to know what he could do to make it right. After much fawning by my friend and "awe shucksing" my the mayor a credit to my friends account it offered.
I don't have an issue with a credit being given to my friend. I got a similar credit from my phone carrier the first time I got data charges for uploading a boatload of pictures when I didn't have a data plan. Its good decent business. My issue is that it was the Mayor who took time from doing whatever it is that a mayor is supposed to be doing to perform a task that somebody at 311 is getting paid to do.
From all accounts Mayor Ford was congenial and polite during the conversation....which makes me wonder if working in a call center is not a better utilization of his talents.
Maybe if I call 311, I will actually receive a call from him and have the opportunity to let him know that I like above ground transportation. Hate scurrying around underground like a termite. I have sent him e-mails but he does not seem to get them "everybody" that he hears from loves his ideas.
This morning, like every morning, I left home later than I should have if I wanted to be to work on time. I got to the end of my street and a large company X, cube van was parked too close to the corner for me to see around to assess oncoming traffic.
I cursed in my head...inched forward....then a bit more.....finally feeling like nothing was coming...I pulled out and continued my commute.
A quick glance sideways and I noticed a guy slumped over the steering wheel of the company cube van.
I drove on, still a little pissed off that buddy's nap had interfered in my race to get to work on time. It was not until I was in the lineup to merge onto the dvp that I realized that perhaps buddy was slumped over the steering wheel for a reason other than a nap.
By the time I got to work it was 15-20 minutes later, I called Toronto Police,who put me through to ambulance services, they dispatched a unit to check things out.
I will never know what the situation was....chances are that if is was a medical situation, any intervention from work was too late....perhaps if I had of stopped instead of cursing it would not have been.
But then again I may have brought undue grief upon a guy who was just catching some zzzzzs
I have a feeling this is one of those things that is going to haunt me.
I know it will sound a bit naive to say that Kitty is an unexpected house guest, being as I set food out and provide kitty shelters for Kitty and his kin; but there you have it....I have a unexpected house guest, who for lack of a better name I am calling Kitty.
In spite of the fact that Wednesday was one of the coldest days we have had so far, when I opened the back door to put out food for the feral cats, Dude and Remington slipped out and decided they wanted an outdoor adventure. Remington was quickly lured back indoors with the laser light but Dude was determined to be tough and endure the cold. I shivered with the door open, laser light attempting to lure the little bugger inside...kitty was intrigued by the light and ended up following it into the kitchen and once realizing where he was hesitantly continued to track it to the other side of the room. Once I was closer to the door that kitty was I slammed the door shut....there was about 30 seconds of panic...then quiet time under the kitchen table. Dude was allowed to continue his outdoor adventure while Remington and Kitty played with the laser light.
Somewhat subdued Kitty had something to eat, when Dude came back inside (as he always does) everybody got a treat of wet cat food. All the cat toys came out and Remington and Dude played and chased each other while Kitty looked on and little by little joined in. Remington and Dude were an earlier litter of kittens to the same mother that had Kitty and his sibling. Remy and Dude were born in April and the later two about July. They are close in age and all still love to play. Eventually Kitty went down to the basement to spend the night behind some paint cans, Remy, Dude, Sooty and I went upstairs to bed.
When I woke up on Thursday morning Dude and Sooty were in bed with me and Remington and Kitty were sleeping on the furry mat outside the bathroom door.
Kitty has settled into indoor living quiet well. He hides most of the time in the basement but comes up for meals and a good play romp in the evening. His sibling came to the door this morning but I could not manage to lure it in too....Kitty either didn't notice it or did not care.
There is a Neuter clinic on Wednesday and I was hopeful that I would be able to cart Kitty off to be fixed but so far he is still skittish of being handled and I don't see any reason to push it. He is indoors and safe from the elements and there is no chance of him expanding the population as long as he is here. I am hopeful to get him socialized and adoptable. When he eventually is fixed he will be able to go to a forever home instead of being released back to his colony. He is coming around little by little.
This evening he came close enough, long enough for me to stroke him, then he casually walked away. Even without being petted he purrs loud enough to hear him from several feet away, and rolls over to show his belly. He eventually going to to be quite the cuddlier I am sure.
Although there is no bunny in my home right now, there have been very special bunnies who have lived with me and who will live forever in my heart.
I speak of course of my beloved Mister, Lily and Stu, who wait for me with my tub of love kitty Cleopatra at the rainbow bridge.
What most people don't know is that there was another bunny many many years ago. When I was young my interests were more about going out with my friends and dancing than caring for a bunny. But with that said I have always been an animal lover and anybody who has ever know me will tell you that this is true. It was with this in mind that a friend of mine gifted me with Flopsy.
Initially he was the delight of my life, but when caring for him started interfering with my fun time, when his diet requirements meant that I had to travel to special shops that were inconvenient to get to, and when I could not afford the vet bills that come with owning a bunny; the affection began to wane.
Furthermore I felt terrible, because I knew that Flopsy deserved more time and attention than I was giving him. And I knew that he was going to eventually have to be fixed. At that time that Vet bill would have been a serious dent in my budget.
Eventually I went back to my friend and asked them to return him to the bunny farm. Flopsy went back to the bunny farm where I'm sure he was adopted to someone else. I am glad that I did not have to take him to a shelter which is where many animals in similar circumstances end up.
Although I claim the lifestyle and budget of a 20something girl living on her own as my excuse, still 20 plus years later I feel ashamed that I was not a good BunnyMummy to Flopsy. In spite of my shame I truly hope that people will read this and realize that a bunny, or any pet for that matter, should never be thrust upon an owner as a gift. It is unfair to the person and more importantly it is unfair to the animal.
One of my favorite Holiday traditions is the Dr. Suess tale of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. As a child the day was determined in advance via a thorough reading of little magazine TV guide. For 30 minutes, Mom would know Peace on Earth while 5 kids ceased their arguing over what to watch.
When I got older and lived on my own I developed a degree of cynicism and wondered about the similarity in the eyes of Cindyloo Who and the Grinch and surmised that she was his illegitimate daughter...but my 20 something cynicism would evaporate when the Grinch's heart grew 3 times.
Thankfully I, like most young people got over that awful stage embraced the sweetness of the Whos and Max the dog.
As the 2011 season begins unfolding I have been receiving messages reminding me that Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus (although it not celebrated in July when historians suspect Christ was actually born but near the time when non-Christians used to celebrate the winter solstice) and that I should not wish people Happy Holidays, or Seasons Greeting but I MUST as a christian, albeit extremely lapsed catholic christian, NOT conform to political correctness. Yadda yadda yadda, this Christ in Christmas thing has been going on for a few years now. I go to church for weddings and funerals these days....not even the holy holidays of Christmas and Easter are enough to lure me away from a barbecue or 10 course meal. In honesty I call myself christian because none of the other boxes apply.
On top of the responsibility of keeping Christ in Christmas I am now being reminded that due to the economic problems I must fuel the economy and forgo any issues that I might have about the commercialism of Christmas and Shop Shop Shop. But I must shop with a patriotic conscience. No products made in China and I must not leave the country and go (actually sneak) across the border looking for bargains in Buffalo.
Tomorrow the Santa Clause parade will run through downtown and Santa will set up in the Eaton Centre, what most people consider to be the kickoff to the Christmas season. This year when I watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas I have a feeling I will be looking at that cave at the top of Mount Crumpet far away from all of the silliness of telling people how to keep the holiday, excuse me "Christmas" with envy.
Whether the celebration is of a holiday, a season, or of Christmas I just wish that it could be a time for everybody to have time with loved ones and indulge in whatever brings them joy.