Lazy morning, watching the bunny hop around. While Ruby will never claim her place in the pet hall of fame, it has been interesting having her live with us. Humanity’s deal with companion animals has always been that we’ll share our bounty in exchange for something of theirs — mousing ability, a nose that can find game or just a wagging tail when we come home after a brutal day among the other primates. I’m still figuring out what we get from Ruby, although Kate is thrilled every time she sees her slammin’ cuteness or strokes her cloudlike fur. I enjoy carrying on squeaky-voice conversations with her and hand-feeding her pieces of apple and banana. But on a quiet morning when I’m alone in the house, sometimes I just enjoy watching her explore her world.
Despite their ability to use a litter box, rabbits make mediocre house pets, at least for people with nice houses. They’re too inclined to destruction, and while intelligent, they don’t really possess the brainpower to make the chew-this-not-that distinction dogs do. I’d hoped by this point Ruby would have lost her natural wariness around us, but she’s still one of the world’s tastiest and most abundant prey animals, and if I’m stroking her on my lap in the office, all it takes is the sound of Kate bounding up the stairs to send her under the bed for 20 minutes of trembling. The fading light in evening is always my cue to round her up and put her back in her cage, because otherwise she’ll pick her hiding place for the night and refuse to come out for love, money or carrot greens.
But one reason we keep animals in the house is to see the world through their eyes. Who isn’t thrilled by the dog who stares into the darkness outside the glow of the home fires and growls deep in his throat? To a rabbit, all the world is meadow and moor, the highest place in it is a vantage spot to watch for predators, the lowest a burrow for digging. I threw a couple of cheap blankets on the guest-room bed for her amusement, and she’s pleased to root through them for an hour at a time, pushing them with her nose and paws into a landscape that suits her. If I join her there with the laptop, sometimes she will put her twitchy nose up against my ear and kiss me.
It’s hard not to anthropomorphize, though. Note how I just turned a sniff into a kiss.
I’m starting to think we gave her the wrong name. Kate was commenting on her smoky-eye markings, and sang the Maybelline jingle. And I thought Maybelline would have suited her perfectly. She grooms more often than most supermodels.
God, I’ll be glad when this week is over. Funny how losing just one more hour of sleep at night can bollix up your productivity but good. Bloggage? A little:
Jim at Sweet Juniper keeps a Polaroid camera in his car for feral-dog shots. and has a new collection up today. I think I’ve seen that brindle pit bull bitch before. Or else one of her sisters.
Are salaries like Scott Simon’s the dirty little secret of public broadcasting? I’ve known a few people in broadcasting, and a few more in public broadcasting, and the model is the same in both places — a few bloated “personalities” at the top get a big pile of cash, while the rank and file work second jobs to afford studio apartments. But if I knew the guy was making $300K, I wouldn’t give them my $50, either.
If bloggers are going to do the work of paid journalists, they’d better grow some thick skins, as some learn what the people they cover really think of them. Living in Portsmouth (pronounced “Pors’muf” locally) should be good preparation, though.
If no one has used the term “Polanski-palooza” yet, let me be the first. If only I could collect a royalty — I think it’s a winner.
Have a good rest of the day. I’m getting going any minute now.