Reason Number 237 Why I Haven't Written Thank You Notes Yet
A quiet morning with the siren song of "me time" gets canceled.
Photo courtesy of Lauren Bell Isaacs
As we turned the corner of our lane I said to my six-month-old in the back seat, "Well, your sister is at day camp for the next couple hours. Should we tackle those long overdue thank you notes for your gifts?" I pulled into the driveway and saw my neighbor's two young cats lounging in our courtyard. "Well, hello there, ladies!" I said enthusiastically, as I got got out of the car feeling energized at the prospect of finally being able to cross something off my list. Schedules were finally falling into place and I felt like we were out of the woods having just recovered from a family-wide, 20-day bout of the Summer Crud.
My voice sank as I saw another little brown creature also lying on her side that I had not originally accounted for. Squirrel? Not fluffy enough. Chipmunk? Too large. It dawned on me in that moment that the mystery hole in our courtyard garden belong to a rabbit and there she was — alive but attacked — unable to move either by injury or situation. I thought, "There go the thank you notes," knowing full well how this morning would pan out.
I got the baby out of the car, thanked my stars that my toddler had not seen this "circle of life" carnage, shooed the cats away and headed inside where I began to Google "injured wildlife." My own house cat came in off the screened-in porch, seemingly oblivious to the scuffle that had surely occurred within his eyesight. A couple phone calls later I was on with a rehabber named Mary who recommended that I call Animal Emergency Hospital and Urgent Care in Raleigh who would see the bunny — and at no charge. Tired baby on hip, phone lodged between cheek and shoulder and with pencil in hand I wrote the number down. Mary signed off with, "Thank you for caring." It shocked me. I'm still not able to put into words why.
I got the emergency hospital on the line and headed back outside with Maggie softly whining on my hip. One of the cats was still circling the bunny like a land shark. I was fielding directions on how to get the bunny to the hospital and trying to shoo her at the same time. Armed with a plan, I headed inside and put Maggie down in her bouncer with the promise of a nap soon.
I raided my toddler's toy doctor kit. I'm not going to lie. The Doc McStuffins theme song subconsciously started playing in my mind, but there was a method behind my madness. I pulled out some rubber gloves that my dentist had gifted her at my appointment last week. Of course, one snapped in half as I tried to pull it on my hand. Too much blowing this thing up like a balloon, I chalked it up to. I grabbed its mate and did my best to pull it over my clammy hand. How do doctors do this?
I ran around the house looking for a box as instructed by the vet. (Not the running part.) I checked the recycling pile. Drat, no Amazon deliveries recently. I found salvation in the pantry. Bingo: An empty applesauce pouch box from Costco. I ripped the top off, but I still needed a lid in case this bunny still had any jumping power. I ran upstairs and found a shoebox lid and headed back downstairs. I put a cushion of paper towels in the box and headed outside.
She was still in the same spot and the young cat was back and looking at her, "Why is this toy not moving?" The bunny, no larger than my hand, squealed when I picked her up and kicked her back legs as I placed her in the box. Thank goodness she still had some fight in her. She had several patches of fur missing and a questionable injury on her back leg. I brought the box up to my steps and placed it on the doormat with the promise of expert care soon. I headed back inside to gather my things and the baby. Of course, it was almost time for a bottle so I needed to gather those supplies as well. I apologized to the bunny, "Nothing goes quickly for a mother trying to get out the door. Especially this mother," and I asked for her to hang in there.
We took the 15-minute drive to the animal hospital and I peeked into the box at every stoplight. She was still with me. We pulled into the empty lot. I parked the car, rang the doorbell and a woman in scrubs joined me outside to collect the bunny as I filled out just a few lines of paperwork. As I wrote my number down I said, "Please call me either way and let me know how she does." Her face melted a bit and with a sympathetic tone she explained that she couldn't update me on the bunny's status because she's wildlife. I didn't question the policy beyond my initial thought, "What the #$*@?" She explained that I did the right thing and that the rabbit would be fixed up and rehabilitated with a volunteer or would be euthanized humanely if she was too far gone. I signed my name, and I started to cry. My instinct was to give the woman in scrubs a hug, but instead I said goodbye and got back in the car. I cried more before taking off and thought of the veterinary staff who was looking after the bunny pro bono, and I crossed my fingers that she would make it into the hands of a rehabilitation.
We headed back home and I said a little prayer as I walked over the place where I had picked the bunny up. Miraculously, we were home in time for Maggie's bottle. Afterward, I put Maggie back down in her crib and I also laid down. "Sleep when the baby sleeps," I thought. "The thank you notes can wait, yet, another day."
Update: Shortly after hitting the "save" button on this blog post, my toddler awoke from her nap by throwing up twice. And so there you have it. If you put it out into the universe that you have free time, Mom's Murphy's Law will take effect: Any free time that you have, will be filled with unexpected wildlife rescue. Anyone know if there's a stomach bug going around?
This post was not sponsored. All opinions and selections are my own.