Love

in appreciation of kale and my fianceé

I was sitting crumpled in front of Seven yesterday evening in the rabbit pen when it hit me that she might not be eating or pooping. Rabbits have sensitive digestive tracts that need frequent input of long fibres (like hay) to keep things moving, and things need to keep moving or their good gut bacteria turns to bad bacteria, a toxic and potentially deadly situation. It's called GI stasis and is feared amongst rabbit people, but usually a good supply of hay will prevent it. The way Seven's teeth are currently, she can't eat hay, or much else from the looks of things. She keeps picking up hay like she really wants to eat it, holds it for a second and puts it back down. She grated at a carrot for a while last night but ignored dandelion greens and spinach, then she huddled up making chewing motions without anything in her mouth. Internet research on trusted rabbit sites confirmed symptoms we were seeing. Jer got to work making a slurry of rabbit pellets and water. As I said at the time, if I had any doubt in my mind about marrying this man, watching him feed our rabbit with a syringe erased it. I teared up a little. She turned out to be really hungry and lapped up a fair bit of slurry, then perked up significantly. Thus began the kitchen experiments. More slurries were made, employing various techniques and achieving various viscosities. The hay slurry was sadly a fail, as was grass. Somewhere in my reading I came across kale. Aha! A fine, fibrous green with decent moisture content (we also need to keep her hydrated). Jer, already established as savior of rabbits, ventured out to the late-night grocery store for an armload of kale. To quote his description of the experience: << Misunderstandings at the grocery store. I put down three heads of kale and nothing else. Clerk says "Eating healthy?". "Nah, It's rabbit food' says I. "I know right" says the clerk.>> To our enormous relief, Seven is still able to eat kale, and ridiculous quantities were consumed. At some point after midnight I fell asleep on the floor with the rabbits nestled in front of me. We set alarms throughout the night and got up to coax some water and food into her. At four am she was still eating kale, and at six she had a little more. Adding to his repertoire as top-notch caregiver, Jer also learned to give a bunny tummy massage. Mid-morning, the worries began again as she repeatedly refused water, kale and slurry. Just moments ago, Jer got her eating more slurry. Once she starts, she seems to realize that she'd like to eat more, and went on to eat swiss chard too. Yay! We just have to keep this up, I guess, until she can eat normally again unless our vet gives us another approach. Good news is that the dentist will see her on Wednesday. We're crossing our fingers that we'll have the funds for it. We have a decent amount saved, but specialist sounds expensive. So, with all of the above, today is kind of a strange day. It's beautifully sunny outside. The wind is blowing down the chimney making our living room smell like lapsang souchong. The rabbits and I are sunning on a blanket and we're just taking it easy. We'll get through.

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Seven

I'm hoping to crowdsource healing vibes for my bunny. Seven's misaligned teeth are long and jagged and have started cutting into her gums where they've caused at least one abscess, possibly two. We're waiting for a call from the veterinary dental specialist to find out how soon we can get her in. It looks so painful. I am hoping desperately, fearfully, that she will continue eating despite the pain. She's hiding in a cardboard box right now and I am terrified and anxious and so sad to see her like this. She is the sweetest little curious creature. Please send love her way. Welcome spring, new moon, eclipse. I hope you will be kind to my rabbit. This morning began enjoyably, at least. We had a friend visiting (though I had completely misunderstood when she would arrive so was ill prepared to host), and went for a walk in the drizzle. We were soon joined by coffee and butter danishes, as can happen in our neck of the woods, and paid a casual visit to the ocean's edge. My mum came by with gifts and treasures from my beautiful, quirky late grandmother, and seeds for our garden. We ventured out to the theme of more coffee and pastries (oh what a way to spend a Friday!), and Jer and Ana came back from downtown with more gifts and delectables. Then we wrangled the bunnies into their carrier for their check-in with the vet. Ever since the vet looked in Seven's mouth and found that the situation we thought was six months away and that we were going to prevent by getting her teeth done in the next few months had sped up and was already happening, already urgent, the afternoon has crept by dark and tearful. I picked up more strawberry antibiotics in town and, in a sorry daze, made my way towards the Solstice Cafe for tea and solace. Alas, they'd closed for a special event, so I trudged aimlessly into the square. I almost sat on a bench in the rain to eat chocolates and read my sad and beautiful book - did sit for a moment, but some boys were horsing around on the high railing and spitting and I really didn't feel like listening to them so kept going, into Green Cuisine, where one can be nourished for $6. It was soothing. I sat in a booth near the back, facing a poster of Green Tara and a tree mural. I ate small tidbits each of baked falafel and steamed kale, curried tempeh, vegan lasagna, squash, beans and apple crumble (comfort me with spiced apples please, yes). Afterwards, I sat, unable to read, and gave myself a headache panicking about it all before picking up a pen and doodling in my journal. Never underestimate the therapeutic benefits of making art. It didn't fix everything, but it helped. I drew some trees, gave them leaves, then filled in ground level with flowers and leafy sprigs, and got the idea of drawing Seven in, happy and well. I drew Zephyr too, to help anchor her in this world and because they are constant companions. Next a field of wheat and flowering clover, both bunnies settled happily in the center.

I'm drinking strong peppermint tea, adaptogen extraordinaire. I'm hoping it will help me cope. It's hard to stand up straight under the weight of this, my fear and sadness for my darling pet. The vets know what they are doing, this I trust. I hope that we can get her treated sooner than soon. Now, to think positive and give my bunny love. May she be well.

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