Thursday, June 23, 2011

Life in New York, Part I

Hello, there! It’s been a few months since I took a blogging break, and I figured today was a good day to update.  Walter and I are officially New Yorkers, though right now we’re camped out in the ‘burbs at my brother’s house.  This means that, since the house is not exactly rabbit-proofed, Walter has been relegated to the basement.  Of course he hates this.

When I first set up shop in my temporary home, Walter had a prime second floor location. But, as it’s summertime and the house has no air conditioning, the upstairs got way too warm for a rabbit.  So, down to the basement he went.  It’s much cooler, but it’s also darker and Walter hates that no one ever comes by to visit him.

He’s escaped the confines of his cage four times so far.  The first time, he was still upstairs.  I came home and found him hip-hopping around his bedroom, and figured I would just sit with him while he enjoyed a little bit of freedom.  This bedroom, however, has a set of stairs that leads directly to the attic.  I didn’t think much of it because I’ve never seen Walter try to climb stairs, but within a matter of minutes, Walter had hopped up the entire flight and started roaming around the finished attic.  Getting him back downstairs was a definite struggle, but not nearly as much of a challenge as getting him to accept his home within the rabbit jail.

The second time he escaped his jail, I was still in bed upstairs and heard some rustling down in the living room.  Assuming it was my sister-in-law walking around the house, I ignored it and continued sleeping in. (Unemployed people have no reason not to sleep until noon, right?) When I finally dragged myself out of bed and made it downstairs, I found Walter poking his silly rabbit nose out from behind the couch.  When I went to bed the night before, he was secured in the basement!  How did he get up there, and for how long had he been hopping around?!  I let him explore for a little bit and then took him back to the basement.

This was short-lived, however.  When my brother came home from work, I heard him shout up from the basement: “Uh, your rabbit is missing!”  Crap.  Walter had wedged himself under a large and unmovable cabinet.  Double crap.  I had to use a skinny flagpole to thwack him out of his hiding spot.  Neither of us were pleased.

The final time, I was not home, but my brother found him lurking around the basement, and I’m not entirely sure how he was able to get Walter back into his playpen/cage set-up.  After this time, I found some shoelaces and tied the playpen a lot more securely to the cage, and Walter hasn’t been able to escape since.

After these escape attempts and after having been kept in this rabbit jail for three weeks, I decided Walter needed some serious time to stretch his legs. I brought him out to the patio, which is enclosed save for a small entrance, which I blocked off with the playpen.  Walter loved it! He spent the next few hours running, jumping, eating leaves, and relaxing in the big concrete space.  At some point, I decided he should go out onto the lawn. This was a mistake.

After being startled by the neighbor’s dog, Walter darted from one end of the playpen to the other, breaking through the enclosure seam and out onto the open lawn.  Realizing that he now was a free rabbit, he froze.  I think he knew he didn’t want to run away anymore than I wanted to try to chase down a renegade rabbit.  In an unusual moment, Walter let me pick him up and place him back onto the patio, as I promised never to make him go out and enjoy nature ever again.

I guess I do have an urban bunny!

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