My husband and I were strapping my son in his car seat this morning, as we do, Chris (the devoted husband) was getting ready to leave for work. We were tired and bitchy and hadn’t had enough coffee yet, all was normal.
And then the screaming started. No, not my toddler, as is to be expected at 6 AM on a weekday, when he’d rather be asleep too (on the weekend he wakes up around 5 AM out of spite). My cat, Todd, tra-la-las onto the porch with the screaming thing dangling from his mouth. It takes us a minute to recognize what it is. Chris, confused and coffee deprived, calls out a few things he thinks it is
“It’s a rat! NO! Is that a squirrel!?” and then, “It’s a bunny!”
No, ladies and gentlemen, it wasn’t just a bunny. It was a tiny, helpless, screaming, baby bunny. An Eastern Cottontail to be exact. And we couldn’t let it become a tiny, helpless, dead baby bunny (that’s a day ruiner, and it wasn’t noon yet), so my frantic rescue attempt was on.
Because I am a superior, higher life form, after some flailing and chaos, I bested the cat and caught the then tiny, helpless, heavily breathing baby bunny and Chris and I preceded to exclaim that neither of us knew what to do with our new itty-bitty charge.
For an hour, I had a new baby, sort of.
So of course, after Chris leaves for work, I video chat my all-knowing mother, who turns to the internet. We research. I cuddle. Eventually I email the local wildlife rescue center. As it turns out, it’s illegal in the state of WA to keep wildlife as a pet, wild rabbits can carry diseases, and trying to care for a wild baby bunny almost certainly spells certain death (for the itty-bitty, this isn’t Monty Python, he was harmless).
Brilliant though I may be, I released the baby before receiving a reply, and then took a nap. I woke up to an email saying that my cat could have caused the bunny internal damage, and after feeling terrible for another hour, I went to check where I’d released him. Low and behold, he hasn’t moved. But then he bolted under the garage. JOY!
After some back and forward with the wildlife center lady, I went back outside, found the baby under the garage (he’d done a terrible job hiding, probably why Todd got him in the first place) and caught him again.
At this point, the rabbit has been captured out of the wild twice in one day. Let’s face it, people, he needed me.
So, I put him in a box with a comfy sheet we didn’t need anymore. I had a box of baby bunny to deal with at this point.
Now, the story has a happy-ish almost ending. I took the little darling to the local wildlife center. He’s being seen by veterinarians to assess how bad his little heart was damaged by his harrowing ordeal (as well as if he’s bleeding out internally).
I’ll check back tomorrow for the results, and to see if all my rescue attempts were for naught. If/when he’s good to be released, I will pick him up and let him go in the woods behind the house.
At which point I will be forced to cope with the fact that, even though I saved the damn thing, he will probably be eaten by the Giant Ass Owl that lives back there.
And that’s the story of how I fucked up the circle of life.