Love

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Many months ago, Blueberry and Monkey went to live with our friend Dionne, and her bunny Jasper came to live with us. Jasper is a lovely girl who had lost her bonded partner, Harrison. Jasper and Harrison were deeply in love, and when he died, she was all at sea. Dionne and I thought that she might be a good match with Custard, who was also alone after the untimely demise of Grasshopper. Since Grasshopper died after Custard attacked him, I was understandably reticent about leaving these two alone together prematurely, and all of our early bonding attempts ended in growling, lunging, and eventually biting. We took things very slowly – perhaps too slowly.

But for a few weeks now, they have been living in domestic bliss. Jasper adores her new man, and sometimes he even deigns to groom her for a second or two.

Rabbits are social creatures, and really thrive in the company of their own species. A human companion is well and good, but there is nothing like bunny love.

A Tribute

Duke & Desiah left us recently, and I offered to put up a tribute page so that their mum, Erin, had somewhere on the web to memorialise her babies.

So here you go Erin, I hope you like it.

Love, Lara

PS. In Lara news, I managed to do this while rocking the baby in the pram with one foot. If I get good at that, I might be able to catch up on email, and blogs soon – and maybe even put up a progress post about us. In the meantime, we visited the baby health centre today, Inigo is 3.36kg – which means he has put on 280 grams in one week. Three weeks old today!

Domesticity

My three day experiment going drug free is a failure.  I was ok for two days, but this morning it came back to bite me in the arse.  I woke early, before Mark’s alarm, and by the time he was ready to leave for work, I was ready to drive him to the station.  All good, until I got home, and barely made it to the bathroom to lose my morning coffee.

I couldn’t keep anything down till about 11am when, still queasy, I ate some salted pretzels (food I thought I was well and truly over – thank goodness I still had some in the house!).  The rest of the day has been spent limping about feeling sorry for myself, and guilty for not getting more done.

I did finally block my major project for the last few months.  If your name is Christine, stop reading now, and please don’t look past the first two pictures.

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Here is Custard, having a nap.  He is not dead, honest.  There is something about loppy eared bunnies, when fully relaxed, they tend to look like roadkill.  Extremely cute, but slightly disturbing nonetheless.

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Here is the gorgeous cockatoo.  Sometimes known as “Cockalicious”, which if it weren’t so pornographic sounding, might be her permanent moniker.

She has decided that Mark is her “Special Friend”, and was following him around the house on the weekend, rubbing her head against his calves in a rather too affectionate manner.  The bird whisperer has decreed that I should henceforth be the bearer of treats (instead of Mark all the time), so that she shares her affections.  Here she is with her afternoon corn cob.  Just prior to this shot she was holding it in one foot and going nuts, but she is a little camera shy, and dropped the treat.

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And here is the big project (iPod included for scale).  It is the first two charts of the Swallowtail Shawl (that has become a bit of a favourite with me), doubled, with a wide moss stitch border.  I did a provisional cast on in the round, and used two “centre” stitches instead of one so that I could knit it on two circs.

The yarn is Patons Jet, a bulky wool/alpaca mix, in a mixture of reds, purples, and a little but of a rusty colour. Pattern modifications are my own, and yes, I do feel a bit clever.

This is to be a blankie for my new neicephew, who is due on the 13th of December, to Mark’s sister Christine, and her husband Matt.  I hope they like it, it was made with much love, and great hopes for a very wanted child.

A sad but beautiful story

For a while now, I’ve been reading a blog called “Path to Freedom“, the journal of a family that lives almost 100% sustainably on a normal suburban block in the US. Today I read a post that made me cry (because let’s face it, everything makes me cry at the moment), and it might just enlighten one or two people that think that humans are superior to animals because animals “don’t feel emotions”.

Read the story of Leda and Lola here.

More news

I took Custard to the vet this morning for his post surgery checkup. THe antibiotics seem to be disturbing his tummy a little, so he has a shaved butt to avoid getting his rear wet. Not a very dignified look, and he isn’t happy. Matthew the wonder vet is pretty happy with the results of the surgery, but his other (right) eye has been a bit weepy, so we may have another issue to deal with. I am to continue the injections and keep a close eye on him. If he gets any worse we’ll put him on another antibiotic as well. Poor baby.

Hornsby Hospital rang at about 11.30am to cancel my appointment for 4pm this afternoon. The appointment I booked about six fucking weeks ago. No apologies for the language, I am really pissed off. The next available appointment was for tomorrow morning, which I can’t do as I am helping Adam and Sarah move house (and I’m not about to add to their stress levels by cancelling on them!), so I have rescheduled for the 22nd, tomorrow week. It’s not really a big deal, and I am probably just being a drama queen, but I was really looking forward to starting to get to know the midwives, and forming a connection with the team that is going to be there when I give birth. Humph.

I woke up a bit snotty this morning (blamed it on the cheese I’ve had in the last week), but now I have also developed lung oysters. I think a cold may be coming to stay.

In happy news, I found a tiny weed growing out of my car this morning. No pictures, as it is now raining (yay! just what NSW needs, NOT!), but I will attempt a pic if it clears up a little. (No, this isn’t really happy news, and I will kill it as soon as possible, and yet it did make me smile).

And in even happier news, last week Mum and Dad also offered to help us with a significant chunk of cash. So we’re meeting with the guy from the credit union next Wednesday and will be putting in an application form. We’ve also found a house that we like enough to have a builder look at, so the next few weeks look like being exciting ones!

Mr Stinky Bargain

Almost seven years ago, Simone, Kate and I went to a plant auction at Narellan. We wandered in to a different hall, and saw the small animal auction. It was awful – I won’t go on about it. But the crux of the matter is that someone bid on a lot, won it, but found he had bid on the wrong lot – he thought he was bidding on quails, but instead found himself with a guinea pig, and a tiny, filth covered baby dwarf bunny.

A woman standing near us took the guinea pig, the box was passed under our noses and Simone and I looked into the box, saw the tiny pathetic bundle, and we both knew we’d have to do something. Our eyes met, and we went to the guinea pig woman to talk. She was taking the piggie to be a friend for a recently bereaved pet, but couldn’t take the rabbit. We made a commitment that we would care for him.

Way back then, we each had one rabbit (we didn’t know that rabbits are social animals, and need to live with friends). I had Fuzz Bucket, the bunny of Doom (female), and she had Dennis Hopper (male). The little one turned out to be a boy, so we determined that she would take him.

At first we called him Stinky, but decided it needed dignifying, so we added the “Mr”. Then we added the “Bargain”, for reasons I can’t explain beyond the obvious. Stinky wasn’t right. He wouldn’t eat, and his poop consisted of jelly like mucous. We looked this up on the net (it was a sunday night) and found that the condition is common in rabbits that are weaned too young. It’s called Mucoid Enteropathy, and was invariably fatal.

Simone mixed up some sports drink and water to get some fluids into him until we could get him to a vet, and mushed up some rabbit pellets with mashed pumpkin to try to get him to eat. He survived through the night, and the next day the vet was amazed at what he had been through. She gave us some meds, but warned us that he wasn’t out of the woods, and it was still very likely that he wouldn’t make it.

But he did. The Stinker had a slew of medical problems, he was probably a backyard breeder reject – he had a wonky penis, and peed on his leg every time he had to wee. He had bad teeth that needed to be clipped regularly so he could eat, and he had infection after infection – including facial abscesses like the one Custard is dealing with now.

And he just kept on fighting. A little bunny who was never too large to sit on the palm of my hand, he continually amazed us with his fighting spirit and tenacity.

So I am sure you will understand how sad I am that Stinky gave up the fight last night, while cradled in his mum’s arms.

Rest in Peace, to the bravest little bunny I have ever known.

PS. Harrison, the bunny rightly named after one of the silver screens great leading men, also passed away yesterday. My heart goes out to his mum Dionne, and I hope she gets some answers soon.

Custard

My lovely dad stayed with me all day yesterday – we dropped Custard off at the vet, and then saw Pirates of the Caribbean III while we waited for the all clear.

The text message came two hours into the THREE hour film. I left the cinema to call Matthew, and chat with him about the surgery. It wasn’t good news.

The abscess had two branches, the one I could feel on his jaw, and another behind his upper back teeth. The abscess had wrapped itself around his jugular vein, and also his left facial nerve, which meant Matthew was only able to remove about 95% of it.

Normally, an encapsulated abscess has a good survival rate if the surgeon is able to remove the whole thing, and no infection remains. But even a small pocket of infection will usually come back, even with aggressive antibiotic treatment. There is a chance he will respond well to the antibiotics, and we can stop this thing in it’s tracks, but he will be on the treatment for the rest of his life. Realistically, the chances are that it won’t be a long time.

Custard had a very large abscess in his nasolachrimal duct when he came to live with me, and he was given only six months to live back then – over six years ago. Every day since then has been a blessing, and I am determined to give him the best care I can until the time comes to let him go.

Thanks everyone for your messages of support. He has been getting lots of cuddles.

Some vibes for Custard please…

The restavit seems to have toned the nausea down to a dull roar, which means that if I take things slowly and carefully, I can actually get out of bed occasionally without spewing.

Saturday night we babysat Alex for a few hours, and despite having a worrying cough, he was an absolute angel, and we’ll be happy to babysit anytime in the future. No pictures, because I didn’t want to stress him, but you can be assured that he is still cute.

On our way out the door on saturday night, I discovered a lump on Custard’s jaw. It’s an abscess, and Matthew the wondervet confirmed it yesterday. He’ll have surgery today, and we are hoping that Matthew won’t find any bone involvement – he has a much better chance of surviving this if his bone is healthy.

Abscesses in rabbits are very often life threatening, because of the way their little systems make pus – an abscess diagnosis is often as bad as a cancer diagnosis. So please keep everything crossed today for my little guy, that he has a safe surgery, and a good prognosis afterwards.

And a big thank you to Dad, who will be driving with me out to Penrith, and waiting around for most of the day so that we can get him home safe and sound. You rock Dad!