Archive for Petey

A Tale of Two Kitties: Part 2

Sadie and Pippin 2

Click here for A Tale of Two Kitties, Part 1.

Financially, I feel more comfortable limiting myself to one pet because I feel more confident that I can handle any potential health issues that crop up.  A few years ago, my rabbit Petey had bladder issues and last year Sadie had a severe kidney issue — both resulted in large vet bills.  That said, when Pippin stood up, put her paws on my patio door, and meowed, I had to take her in.

I may have been a couple hundred dollars poorer by the end of February 8th but I was thrilled — aside of worms, Pippin was healthy.  I dosed her with dewormer and within a few days knew that it would be hard to consider finding another home for her.  I still worry about the financial aspect of having a second pet but we’ve bonded; I will just have to find a way to save more money in case health issues arise.

The dilemma now is convincing Sadie and Pippin that there’s room for both of them in my apartment.  Sadie’s been an only child for 4 years now and who knows what Pippin has endured while she’s been fending for herself — her torn ear and the scar above her eye are testament to at least one fight.  Both Sadie and Pippin are young adults, so they’re well past the kitten stage when every new creature is a potential playmate.  The vet recommended that I keep them separated for at least a week but cautioned that it might take a good deal longer for them to accept one another.

Luckily, Pippin seems quite content in my guest bathroom, despite the fact that there are no windows.  The bathtub has been cozied-up with a kitty cube, a padded crate mat, and several toys.  For the first time in who knows how long, she’s safe, she’s warm, and she’s comfortable.  Sadie has been less certain of this arrangement — unable to see Pippin but able to smell her, for the first few days Sadie seemed convinced that something huge and terrifying lurked behind that door.  She refused to walk past it.

Pippin 19

About midway through the first week, I started opening the door for short periods but I planted myself in the doorway as a human barrier.  I intended to follow the vet’s advice and keep them separated but I thought they’d both feel more comfortable if they could see as well as smell each other.  So that they would associate good things with one another, I gave them both treats while doing this.  I also took turns letting each of them chase string.  This definitely did wonders for Sadie — rather than avoiding passing that door at all costs, she began to sniff it cautiously, and now makes herself comfortable on the other side of it.

While Sadie appears to be warming up to the idea of having a sibling, Pippin still has reservations.  We’re now in our third week and I’ve begun leaving the bathroom door wide open while I’m home and awake.  Pippin has ventured out of the bathroom exactly twice.  Sadie has tried to approach her cautiously but Pippin hisses whenever Sadie gets within three feet of her.  Sadie backs away quickly and gives me a puzzled look when this happens.  I reassure her that she’s a good girl and reassure myself that it will work out in time.  It’s early yet.

Sweet Sadie

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Happy bunnies

A little over a month ago, I was struggling with the decision of whether I should keep my rabbit’s beloved house or whether I should give it to a friend with bunnies.  It’s hard to lose a loved one and my impulse was to keep his house simply because he enjoyed it so much.

After a lot of thought, I realized that while I would enjoy remembering Petey every time I looked at the house, I wanted to pass the love on.  I’m reminded of Petey every time Sadie-cat begs for a bit of banana (banana was also one of Petey’s favorite treats) as well as every time she runs through his nylon tunnel.  I have many photos of him to brighten my day.

Rather than letting the house sit empty in my apartment (Sadie-cat has never shown any interest in it), I wanted other bunnies to enjoy it.  I gave the house to my friend Kristin and her bunnies were happy little campers when she introduced them to their new snazzy little abode.  Check them out!  The one with the fuzzy fur even looks a bit like Petey!

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Remembering Petey

I lost my rabbit to illness about 3 1/2 years ago; I have many fond memories of this sweet little bunny.  The house you see pictured above was one of his favorite things ever.  Sadie-cat never showed any interest in it so I put it in my storage closet for awhile in order to make room for all of her stuff.   The house is big though and my storage closet is small.  Cramped for space as I am, the thought of getting rid of it was simply too much – aside of photos, it’s all that I have left of him.

Last year, one of my coworkers adopted a rabbit; she stopped by frequently to share stories about the funny things her bunny did.  After some extensive soul-searching, I decided to offer her Petey’s house – why should it sit unused when another rabbit could enjoy it?  It was a difficult decision but once it was made, I felt better.  It made my heart happy when she told me how much her rabbit enjoyed the house.

A lot can happen in a year – she decided that she could no longer keep her rabbit and gave it to the shelter.  Petey’s house is now sitting in my office at work and once again I feel torn.  It has been nice to see the house again – it brought back a flood of happy memories.  Should I keep it this time?  I still don’t have room for it but what’s a little clutter compared to happy memories?  Or should I offer it to a friend with rabbits?  Not only does she have her own rabbits but she also fosters other rabbits waiting for forever homes.  If I give the house to her, it can delight many more bunnies and maybe that’s the best way to keep Petey’s memory . . .

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Petey

Petey and I bonded immediately.  It was a low point in my life—my marriage had fallen apart and I was struggling to reclaim some measure of happiness.  I stopped in a pet store because I thought petting a few animals would give me comfort.

Petey was in a cage all by himself—and although I wasn’t all that familiar with rabbits, I was drawn to him.  I held him and petted him—he had the softest fur.  When I placed him back in his cage, he hopped over to me wanting to be petted again.  So, a few minutes later,  I left the store with a cage, various supplies and a precious rabbit.

When we got home, I set up his cage and let him explore my apartment.  He was cautious but incredibly curious—he hopped about, sniffing everything.   This soon led to rubbing his chin on things (marking his possessions) and racing through the apartment.  I quickly learned that this rabbit loved his freedom—he litter-trained quickly, an important first step in unrestricted apartment access.  Accepting that he wasn’t allowed to chew my furniture took a little longer—Petey could be a bit single-minded—but it only took about a week for him to decide that complete apartment freedom was more important that nibbling my furniture—especially since he had so many approved chewables.

Even though he was stubborn, Petey was a sweetheart—he always wanted to be wherever I was.  Some of my hardest days were the days when he followed me to the door as I was leaving for work and he lifted those floppy ears, trying to get me to play hooky.  Some of my best days were the days when I was on the couch reading—and petting him as he sat beside me.

Petey died in my arms Saturday evening after a long battle with bladder problems.  He brought me much happiness, laughter and comfort.  Our time together was much too short and he will be missed.

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The bun exercises his right to intellectual freedom . . .

My checkouts, my business.  May I have a carrot anyway?

My checkouts, my business. May I have a carrot anyway?

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Poor Bun-Bun

2008 has been rough year #2 for Petey.  He had his bladder flushed in July, was taken to the emergency vet a couple of weeks ago and had his bladder flushed again yesterday.  I switched vets after the July bladder flush—the vet I had been taking Petey to is a good person but he takes on more than he can handle—sometimes people are better-served when you re-direct them.  Anyway, I’m much happier with the new vet—he is taking the time to really check Petey out.  I’m hopeful that he’ll determine the underlying cause of Petey’s problems and come up with a preventative plan.  So far I’m guessing that part of the problem has been the post-op care—the previous vet would send Petey home after the flush without any medicine—the current vet sends home meds.

When I picked Petey up yesterday, I was surprised at how good he looked—he looked annoyed but good.  After the July bladder flush, he established himself in a corner and sat there looking hunched and miserable—yesterday, he sat out in the open, nibbled some food and even hopped through his tunnel once.  He’s not eating enough—but it’s a really good sign that he’s eating even a little on his own.

The silver-lining to all of this is that Petey is learning to tolerate being picked up and held.  He’s an independent fella and while he likes following me around and being petted, he likes to be in control.  I don’t know if it will last after he’s fully-recovered, but right now it is nice to be able to pick him up and cuddle him without much struggling on his part.

try picking me up now---bet you can't do it!

try picking me up now---bet you can't do it!

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Petey disapproves of ‘bunny ears’

camera red-eye or extreme disapproval . . .

camera red-eye OR the glare of disapproval ???

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