Sunday, April 16, 2006


In Which I Break a Promise...

As I've mentioned perhaps a time or two, I am really not a morning person. Never have been, likely never will be. Studies have shown people who are generally slow to wake and groggy in the morning are actually in a semi-conscious state until their brains catch up with their bodies. In short: They are not as smart as they are even an hour or two later in the day. That's me. My brain's a bit like my old laptop, perhaps, which was always slow to spin up when it was put on standby. Only where a computer is measured in terms of CPU speed or memory size, my intelligence, of course, is measured in IQ points.

Thus, I can only assume that I wake up with the IQ-meter at dead zero. By the time I take my first sip of coffee, I'm maybe up to 25 or 30. By the time I'm dressed and in the car, I'm maybe a point above Forrest Gump. Which explains why one afternoon long ago I made a promise to myself that I would never make any big decisions or follow through on any stupid ideas that came to me before 9 AM.

Mostly, but not always, I've kept that promise.


I said "mostly."

Which brings us to the morning last weekend when I saw Blaze with what appeared to be a white rabbit in his kennel. Her Lovely Self claims not to have a great memory, but during a signal event such as the one that occurred last night--I'm talking about Blaze getting free of his leash and coming home on his own--surely when she let him in she would have noticed him carrying a large flopping white rabbit in his mouth. If he had one in his mouth. Which I'm thinking he didn't. Anyway, she would have remembered it and told me. Wouldn't she?

That was about as far as I got on a cognitive level when the Brownie entered the room and yelled, "Hey, Blazey! I want Mister Bumper back NOW!" And walked sternly to the cage and dragged the dead rabbit out by the leg.

But it wasn't a dead rabbit. It was Mister Bumper, the name the Brownie had given to the stuffed white rabbit my parents sent her as an Easter gift earlier in the week.

After I had mopped up my spilled coffee (and broken cup) I spent a few minutes with the Brownie and got a closer look at Mr. Bumper. By this point, I was probably operating at an IQ level somewhere in the 40s, which explains why I briefly--and seriously--considered the idea of putting Mr. Bumper in the cage at my neighbors' house, thinking that perhaps they might mistake it for the missing Uggs. Well, not really mistake it, but at least be distracted by it, long enough to buy me time to find the real Uggs. Or find me time to buy a new one. But I couldn't get past the fact that in order for me to make a convincing decoy, I'd have to open a seam in Mr. Bumper and stuff in the biggest pillow I could find, and I just didn't think Mr. Bumper had the structural integrity to withstand this.

By the time I had a replacement cup of coffee in hand, I was already smart enough to realize this plan wouldn't work (how stupid of Morning Me! And how smart of Afternoon Me to make that promise all those years ago). Still, something about the dog and the rabbit kept bouncing around in my mind, which was probably revved up to a dizzying 65 IQ points by now.

I got dressed and took Blaze on his morning walk (this time cinching up his loose collar one notch to make sure he wouldn't squirm out of it again). As before, we finished our walk at my neighbors' house and I lashed him to the porch. He gave me a look that seemed to say This again? but laid down on the plush mat easily enough.

I let myself in and dashed to the kitchen, hoping to discover that Uggs had found his way back to his home. No such luck (although I did startle That Goddamn Bird and The Other One, because they chattered at me louder than ever). The metallic hutch was empty. After I performed the exceedingly nasty job of feeding and watering the birds again, I made a quick circuit of the house and garage once more (after the garage search, I congratulated myself on having the presence of mind to block the opening of the pet door with two telephone directories), this time including the upstairs in my search. No Uggs.

In a short while, I was back in the kitchen, swearing to myself and pacing the floor. As I did, I stepped over the trail of spinach leaves I'd left from the basement door to the cage last night. The leaves were all curly and singularly unmunched. But I had this feeling that Uggs was down there. If only my stupid neighbors hadn't been so untrusting and left the damn basement door locked! I jammed my hands into my pockets and was prepared to do some serious pacing now, when I felt something in my hand. I took it out and stared at it. It was the house key our neighbors had left.

My brain must have been operating somewhere in the Gump range, because I finally said to myself, Self, you don't suppose this key also opens the basement door, do you?

And of course, it did.

Never mind what I said earlier about my neighbors.

I opened the door and turned on the light. No enormously fat rabbit in the stairwell. I went down into the cool of the basement, turning on lights as I did. The basement was huge, of course, and completely finished and furnished. I looked in my neighbors' home office. I looked under and around the sofa and the loveseat. I looked into the works of the recliner. I searched under the pool table. I looked behind the bar.

And as I was bent over, looking behind the bar, I had a sense of something moving behind me.

I slid back off the bar and looked around quickly. Nothing seemed out of place, except...was that...? I ran across the basement to a spot on the carpet by the stairs: a single rabbit turd. I was fairly certain it wasn't there when I came down. I looked up the stairwell for more, er, clues, but saw nothing except the open basement door above. But I could hear the birds chittering, as they had the night before when Uggs had first oozed out of one of his metal stovepipes. I took the steps two at a time, expecting to see the fat bastard squidging his way into the open hatch of the cage. I reached the top, looked around the corner--

--and the frigging hutch was still empty.

"Dammit!" I cried. I closed the basement door and locked it. I looked around for something to block the pet-door opening in the basement door, and ended up using Uggs' own startlingly heavy bag of Devil-Bunny Chow. Still, I wasn't happy. This could go on all day. He could be wedged under something in the living room or upstairs now, or--

I heard a familiar but muffled woofing.

I went to the front door and there was Blaze looking through one of the glass panels on either side of the doorway. He was either trying to get my attention or something inside had got his attention and he was still barking at it. I opened the door to shush him--it was still fairly early in the morning, for a Saturday. As soon as I did, he stopped barking and began straining against his leash, snuffling around the doorway.

And then the thing about the dog and the rabbit that had been bouncing around in my mind earlier finally revealed itself: Blaze was part hound. He was especially good at sniffing after rabbits. Many's the morning he would follow some circuitous route around the yard, nose down and whimpering excitedly to himself, before finally coming up to an unlikely shrub or plant, whereupon a rabbit would explode out of it and pelt off to the next hiding place, often with Blaze (and his leash and my severed right arm) trailing along behind.

At that moment, an idea came to me. To some it might sound stupid, but at that hour of the morning (a little after 8, in case you were wondering) it sounded like the perfect solution to me.

"Get in here, Blazey," I said, unwinding his leash from the porch post. "Forget Mr. Bumper, you're going to find me a real bunny..."

Oh lordy, lordy, lordy.

That Mr. Bumpers/pillow thing is begin to look like a *good* idea...

I think this will fall under the "It-seemed-like-a-good-idea-at-the-time" category of ideas. I can't wait to see what happens to the house and the UggsBunny.

Flip's sister
Ths suspense is killing me! Blaze is going to think Mr. Bumpers was incarnated. Lunch, mmm....
And you know what I'm waiting to find out.

Whether or not you cleaned up the poo.

Yes. That, above all else, is what is going to drive me crazy.
I think it's either an amazing coincidence or brilliant planning that you're posting this story about chasing a bunny around Eastertime. Either way, love the story..
Wow a stuffed bunny looks incredibly real on a laptop. :)

Can't wait to see what happens next.

Still think you should have told HLS though. :)
oh goodness. Thank you, thank you, that Mr. Uggs wasn't in Blaze's cage. :) Now, here's where the fun begind. I cannot wait until what comes next...

Blaze is going to have fun on those floors. Oh, and the birds are going to LOVE him :)
See, I knew there was no way Blaze would allow a giant rabbit in his cage. I'm also not sure that not telling HLS is such a great idea...when my husband tries to fix some error that could possibly reflect badly on me..and fails to tell me, going on the assumption that what I don't know won't hurt me....well, that way of thinking never really works out for him. How's it working out for you? :-)
Uggs eats carrots. Uggs loves apples. If he doesn't, he's no bunny rabbit. His hay, pellets, and spinach? Probably doesn't like them quite so much. But I would bet he is underneath a piece of furniture, chomping away.

Bunnies like to chew. They especially like cables and wires, which can be a fatal food choice. So, if you're still on the lookout for Uggs, furniture and wire would be prime locations for him to forage.

The chances of dog-eats-bunny are much greater than the reverse, since bunnies are vegetarians. You may have noticed Uggs doesn't make sounds -- he has no vocal chords. When he is upset, he will thump. His paws are his expressions and weapons of choice.

If he has chomped down and swallowed too much indigestable quasi-foodstuffs, you're screwed -- he can't throw up, and he doesn't spit things out.

If he's anything like the off-White Rabbit, he will be Sir Poops-a-lot. One rabbit pellet? Ha --assuming you catch him, he can live without leaving his condo again while he is under your care. Let him thump. My bunny-sitter, incidentally, charges $30 a day, for feeding and cage changing. Keep that in mind if you are asked to Uggs sit again.
Nothing like a little bunny story to get me ready for Easter. (:

Looking forward to the outcome.
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Dropped in by chance today and instantly became captivated by your bunny chasing story.

I too am NOT a morning person and recently learned not to make decisions first thing in the A.M.
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