Got a funny story to tell you!
Saturday night, at around 2am, the three cats and two dogs raised this HUGE fuss…barking, hissing…all sorts of carrying on.
So…I haul my butt outta bed, fumble for my glasses (bi-focals…who knew? and when did I get old!?) and stumble into the sun room.
There they all are.
Ready for action.
So I’m fumbling around trying to see what’s got them all worked up – they’re all looking in essentially the same part of the room…eyes darting about madly, so even in my sleep deprived state, I’m pretty sure that SOMETHING either came thru the pet door, or one of my critters brought something else in, and that something is still alive and kicking.
Who knows! Could be anything, right?
So now I’m coming more awake and a bit wary. I really don’t wanna get bit by something nasty at two o’clock in the morning.
Any time, really, but not at twoo’freakinclockinthemorng!
Then suddenly…a flash!
Movement out of the corner of my eye!
With big floppy ears.
A little baby bunny.
About the size of my fist.
Tiny lil thing, and petrified.
Hopping behind whatever cover it can find, trying to get away from the various monsters with sharp teeth in my house.
So I corral the dogs, lock the cats up in the bathroom one at a time…doors slamming, things getting knocked around, muttered cursing as I slowly try to bring some order out of the middle of the night chaos, and finally…quiet returns to the house.
It’s just me and the baby bunny in the sun room.
By this point, he’s facing head-in, standing in the corner, his back protected by the sofa (which the larger animals can’t get behind), and his flank protected by the plastic cover I can use when I want to close the pet door off for a while.
As a precaution, I put on my lawn gloves (so…to get the complete picture, we’ve got sleep-bedraggled guy in flip flops, boxer shorts and lawn gloves), and gently reach down to secure Baby Bunny.
He’s quivering in my hands, but calm. Staring at me with really big eyes.
Terrified but hopeful.
I hadn’t eaten him yet, and I wasn’t growling or snarling, so maybe I was one of the good guys.
Moving slowly, I hauled out my cat carrier, used to tote the felines to the vet when they gotta go, lined it with a towel, and placed him gently inside.
Let him sleep undisturbed that evening, and fell back into bed myself.
Next morning, I got up, dressed, got the day (and the coffee!) started, and went to check on my little charge.
He was wedged as far back into the cat carrier as he could get, and looked every bit as petrified.
So…I prepped some bunny food. What do bunnies eat? Hell if I know, but I have extensive childhood experience watching Bugs Bunny re-runs, so shredded carrots seemed like a good choice.
There we go then.
Carrots it is. Thank you, Bugs!
That, and some water, and he was all set.
I took the little guy out briefly to take a better look at his wounds.
When I put him in the cage, there wasn’t much blood (I only got one little spot on my gardening gloves), so I wasn’t hugely concerned, but I wanted to know more about what we were dealing with.
It wasn’t awful, but it was bad enough.
Two puncture wounds that looked suspiciously like cat teeth on his right rear leg (upper), and the lower part of that same leg…ouch.
It looked like it had been partially degloved.
No way to fix that myself. I didn’t even know where to start.
And the vet office I took the baby bird to a couple years ago…they weren’t open on Sundays.
Okay…so the plan became…keep Spike (I named him Spike cos he proved to be a tough little cuss)….keep Spike comfy today, and tomorrow, go take him to the vet lady I knew who took in hurt wild animals.
Shut him away from my gaggle of bold hunters and checked on him throughout the day.
He ate well, drank some, and was moving around a bit, so I took those to be good signs.
By morning, after a hearty breakfast (Spike…not me), we headed out on our big adventure to find him some help.
We loaded up and headed to nearby Conway in the early morning rain.
Alas, the vet lady I knew about had retired and was unreachable, but the office gave me the address of another vet office, and recommended that I try there.
Off we went again.
No luck for Spike, but like the first office, these folk gave me a third address I could try, so we headed off again, after a stop to get some coffee and top off the gas tank.
By now, we’ve been driving for a bit over an hour.
I don’t mind…the little guy needs help, and who’s gonna do it?
He wound up in my house, so it’s my gig.
But I DO wish we could find somebody who will take him. That leg’s gotta hurt.
Third place is a few towns over…actually, not far from where I live (so basically, back where we started).
I’ve never been to this place, so I’m lookin at the road…lookin at the map….lookin at the road….lookin at the map.
Back and forth like that.
Then I find the place!
Right behind the KFC like the directions say…whooohooo! made it!
Except not quite.
A cop has pulled behind me and turned his flashers on.
Oh Christ…what now?!
I wasn’t speeding, I have my seat belt on, wasn’t weaving all over the road…dude, lemme alone, I’m busy here! Baby Bunny Rescue!
We pull into the KFC parking lot and I’m LOOKING AT my destination, not fifty feet away.
With a sigh, I roll down my window and get my license and all that jazz ready.
“Sir…what are you doing this morning?” He asks me.
“Well Officer…actually, I’m taking a baby bunny to that clinic right there.” I point. “He’s hurt and I don’t think he’d live if I released him into the wild.”
He gives me this skeptical look like…”oh…so it’s the baby bunny rescue line, is it?”
And before he can even speak, I cut in, “no, no…I’m serious!” I pick up the cage and SHOW him said baby bunny.
I don’t tell him about me running around the house in my boxers with the garden gloves at two in the morning.
Or that I’ve named my little charge, “Spike.”
He nods and informs me that my tag is expired.
Apparently it expired while I was in the hospital having my chest cracked open, and I missed it in the pile of mail that was waiting for me when I finally got outta there.
Ahhh, but I’m not worried, cos I’ve got Baby Bunny Protection, right? I mean, seriously. No way is this dude gonna ACTUALLY give me a ticket…I’m RESCUING A BABY BUNNY for God’s sake!
Two hundred thirty five dollars and nearly half an hour later, I FINALLY deliver Spike into the hands of the people who are equipped to treat his wounds.
They thanked me and told me that had I released him, his chances of survival would have been about nil, but they’re pretty sure they can get patched up and back into the wild.
In the meanwhile, AFTER dropping Spike off, I came back home to research the steps I’d need to take to get myself right with the Powers that Be in Horry County, and on Tuesday morning, I headed out again (in the rain again) to take care of the car taxes.
A trip to the DMV, followed by a trip to the County Tax Office, followed by ANOTHER trip to the DMV, and I finally had THAT sorted out, so I’m all legitified again.
I’ve got a court date for September 19, and when I go (and I’m definitely going), I’m gonna point out that
a) I was in the wrong…true, I’d just had quadruple bypass surgery, but that’s not an excuse and doesn’t give me a magic pass on paying my taxes.
b) the taxes have been paid – All forty-six dollars worth.
c) the ticket was some 510% MORE THAN the tax bill in question
d) the punishment doled out seems a bit excessive given the “crime.”
and e) Baby Bunny Rescue is not…repeat, is NOT a “gateway behavior” to nefarious deeds, and that a simple e-mail or post card reminder would have been sufficient to prompt the desired (tax paying) behavior, and that our court’s time would likely be better spent going after…you know…actual bad guys and stuff.
And that’s my Baby Bunny Rescue story.
Proof positive that no good deed goes unpunished!