The unfortunate fact is that when one is separated from one’s rabbits by some 5000 miles, it is hard to keep up to date about their doings.
My mother did mention that she was surprised that Calypso Spots had not shown much of an interest in the small Christmas tree, but it sounded as though the tree was on a table above the Spotted Wonder’s head. Ms. Spots does take an interest in many things that are above her head, including quite a few things that are put on tables ostensibly out of her reach (candles, books, floral arrangements), but the lack of carpeting in my parents’ living room inhibits her from jumping up onto the furniture much, as she is a plumpish 7-pounder and doesn’t enjoy sliding on the floor when she had planned to leap onto a chair or table. She also probably has a notion that my mother would be less indulgent about any thefts or damages, not that I am exactly lackadaisical about these. (Well, I suppose I am about thefts of chocolate and baked goods, which I find more amusing than serious.)
I have not heard much at all about George, beyond that his majesty continues to enjoy being bathed and brushed, and continues to have seizures from time to time. Presumably this means that George is not becoming noticeably more disabled (when I left in September he was still able to flop around in random directions), and is having the time of his life being so well cared for by multiple humans. George is easy to please and has learned to enjoy being held in just about any position imaginable, so long as it is by someone he likes. (I don’t know of anyone he doesn’t like, it is true.)
There was, however, a curious adventure recently in that a Stray Rabbit mysteriously appeared in the back yard.
I am really not sure how a Stray Rabbit could have gotten into the back yard in any normal fashion, as it is rabbit-proofed to keep frolicking creatures inside.
My mother describes the Stray Rabbit as a friendly young creature who resembled our long-ago companion Elfie (which is to say light brown with a white underside). The Stray Rabbit was apparently all in favor of being picked up and put in a disused cage for safekeeping.
Unfortunately, Ms. Spots, who is normally a very mellow and gentle creature, found it disturbing to have another doe (I guess) in the house. Does are usually highly territorial, and while we have not really seen this side of Ms. Spots before, apparently she made her displeasure known. The Stray Rabbit had to be moved into an inaccessible room. Meanwhile, my parents were trying to find out whose rabbit she was and return her to her rightful home.
Just because does are territorial does not mean, of course, that they cannot be persuaded to like a stranger. Calypso Spots took an immediate interest in George and was madly in love with him within about two days. Of course, it is true that they met on neutral turf at the Humane Society and she really needed a friend at the time (as did he, since he had just lost his irascible but devoted Penelope). But I expect that Ms. Spots could have learned to like a little brown rabbit too, given time and encouragement.
There is not, however, a great deal of space in my parents’ house. Having two house rabbits on a long-term visit is really their limit, especially when one requires bathing and the other is lively and sometimes mischievous. Furthermore, I would not be in a position to have a third rabbit, as it is hard enough to travel with two. (Unless I moved back to the Bay Area.) Thus, it was essential to find the Stray Rabbit’s home.
No one, however, claimed her. The House Rabbit Society only takes rabbits from overcrowded shelters, not individuals, so my parents ended up taking her to a shelter in Pinole whose staff and facilities impressed them. We hope that she will soon find the perfect human to adopt her, whether from the shelter or eventually from the House Rabbit Society. George and Ms. Spots, and our departed Penelope, all had the good fortune to get a second chance after people had given up on them. Many rabbits don’t.
I still don’t know how the Stray Rabbit found her way into one of the only back yards in the neighborhood where there is a great devotion to rabbits and their happiness. She must have smelled George and Ms. Spots (who spend a certain amount of time there having supervised fresh air) and willed herself to materialize there. After all, if there is one thing that George and Ms. Spots smell like, it is good care and overall happiness.