When Bad Things Happen to Good Bunnies

When the book of similar title came out I didn’t buy it. I didn’t read it. I have sort of a rebellious streak in me about books that provide all of life’s answers. I don’t do Shel Silverstein or Mitch Albom either. So, you know, make of that what you will in the comment department; I don’t care. I’m feeling feisty today. That’s my solution to feeling confused: just get feisty. I’m practicing for the future.

I lost the first half of the week in Florida and then I pushed all my appointments into two days and now there’s a three day weekend coming up so I wasn’t even sure what day it was today. I even confused two of my favorite blogs early this morning so the comments make no sense whatsoever.

Sophie doesn’t care what day it is.Sophie_4 Her life is very day-to-day and as long as we operate according to her schedule everything is right with her world. She has a winter schedule and a summer schedule; those are both fairly simple and orderly.

Her winter schedule involves sleeping by the heat register twenty hours a day, get up to eat three times, a couple of brief social visits with us, knock over a random plant or two, smack the big 22# galoot on the nose a couple times, go back to sleep.

Summertime she sleeps from 10 AM til 3 PM and then the rest of the time she makes her outdoor rounds with an occasional brief rest. A lot of her business is conducted at night so there’s a period of retraining that involves getting us up at 3AM to let her out and again at 5AM to let her in. She’s not vocal like Max  so when she wants out she climbs on top of the television in our bedroom and rocks back and forth on it so it makes a really grating plastic squeaky sound. When she wants back in she climbs the tree to the roof and comes over onto the balcony with our bedroom slider and climbs the screen for as long as it takes to get us up- 3 minutes, 45 minutes- it doesn’t matter to her how long it takes, so training season is short; we get up on the first good snag.

Sophie is one of those felines that has all the attributes, in spades, that cat people love and dog people point to as objectionable. I certainly would be hard pressed to count the ways she demonstrates her love, concern or involvement with us and yet, she’s a presence. She is not a lap cat but she usually sleeps in her bed behind my chair. She spends a lot of time on the computer. She doesn’t ask for stuff out loud but she can burn a hole in my brain by sitting quietly next to her dish and staring at me. She confines her destructive scratching to one chair and one chair only- the one I sit in to do therapy.

When I go away, she misses me. This animal who, for all the world, barely acknowledges my existence, misses me when I’m gone. When I return she’s happy enough that she brings me a gift.  She doesn’t normally hunt, although she likes to bird watch. She never eats her kill (although the big galoot has been known to steal her gifts and eat them, hungry mooch that he is). She only hunts when she needs a welcome home gift.  She brings them and makes one audible meow which is the cue to get up, admire the gift and find a ziplock bag. Normally it’s a mouse, never a bird, but last night it was a baby bunny. She climbed the tree with it, brought it up over the roof and stood at the balcony screen. When FG opened the door she scooted in with the bunny and ran downstairs; her intuition no doubt warned her that I might be ambivalent about such a sizable gift. When we got to her the bunny was unmarked but dead- just barely because it was still warm and I had the feeling that it’s tiny bunny soul hadn’t quite lifted yet. FG picked it up and we were both very dismayed and sad. Sophie looked up expectantly, wanting so much for us to be pleased.  Photo_library_2890

14 responses to “When Bad Things Happen to Good Bunnies

  1. Your posts make me want to write something this beautiful, every day.

    I think I love Sophie.

    My own Sophie (her name is Sprite) is sleeping on my computer right now as I type. Sprite is very vocal though. Very.

    I have a really shallow question– is that your hand holding the dead bunny? Your nails are quite lovely!

  2. I’m so mixed about the cat killing machines whom I love. Ours have a cat door, and last summer we came home one evening only to discover a half-dead heavily-bleeding baby bunny at the top of our stairs. After my sweet husband mercifully killed the poor thing, we had to clean up. There was bunny blood in every corner of our house and trails of droplets leading all directions. So saddening. Luckily, our young children did not see the bunny or the blood. Beautiful writing, Vicki.

  3. Sophie is a beautiful and devoted cat! Unfortunately, your post reminds me of a joke that two of my sons tell:

    Q. Can you say Robert and Richard murdered a rabbit without using the letter “R”?
    A. Bob and Dick killed a bunny.

  4. I got to the end of a lovely story about a great cat and then got sucker-punched. I thought you liked me!!

    No kidding, Vickster, you are one helluva writer.

    I am going email you about your email. Only seems fair.

  5. Hmmmm…in Hoss’s wonderful vernacular this is why I always vote against cats. Especially the ones who play with cute wittle bunnies til they expire!

  6. Hmmmm…in Hoss’s wonderful vernacular this is why I always vote against cats. Especially the ones who play with cute wittle bunnies til they expire!

  7. I’ve held injured bunnies in my hands; luckily they did not die from my cats. I once raised a wild bunny to almost adulthood after my cat skinned a large patch of skin/hair off his hip, and brought him to me like a trophy. I have to remind myself they’re just doing what comes naturally.

  8. Biological determination is a bitch. Reminds me how much I have to notice what I am doing; the baby rabbits I kill are not usually so concrete. Cats don’t have the choice. Lucky? Not lucky?

    Pity you don’t have a hungry hobbit (or a large snake?).

    Great story.

  9. Bad kitty, no kibble.

    (As I type this my cat was recently spotted in the pounce position down by the pond.)

  10. Carnival o’ Cats #62

    WELCOME TO THE CARNIVAL OF CATS!
    Thanks to everyone who contributed this week.

  11. We had a Siamese that found a baby bunny, brought it home, put it in his bed, bathed it and then curled up next to it and went to sleep. We found them both asleep, the bunny alive,well,and sleeping soundly next to his chest. The bunny was returned to his bush nest and Mittens was kept inside until the bunny family had a chance to grow up and disperse.

  12. Our kitty, Smoke, brings home “friends” to play with in the house: little blind moles, chipmunks, baby birds, etc. Not as a hunter, or to kill them – just to play. It’s a sad thing though, that after several chases, swipes, pounces and shakes, the new friends just don’t want to play anymore. Then, it’s up to the humans of the family to try to catch the uncooperative visitors and either try to patch them back together to let them go, or bury them in the yard.

  13. srp- good Mittens! not usual, but good!
    Julie- I think that’s what a lot of cats do; I’m pretty sure Sophie would be content to play with them if only they didn’t die of shock or being whapped. I’m not sure what the instinct is there; maybe some odd combo of being domesticated but also still with that hunting thing activated.

    Thanks to both of you for stopping by! I’m checking out other cats today as well…

  14. I once has a tuxedo cat named Spot (Okay, so mid-western cat-loving men aren’t too original) that had the same habit. I fixed the problem by buying her a collar with a bell attached – it’s hard to stalk prey if you jingle when you move.

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