A weekend passing.

The morning of the health-care decision at the Supreme Court, before the decision was handed down, I tuned in to the local right-wing AM talk station, figuring it might be amusing to hear the pack tuning up. Alas, the host was beating, with no particular enthusiasm, a drum that anyone could tell his heart wasn’t into — the “stoning” of a Christian group whose only crime was to show up at an Arab-American heritage festival in Dearborn and start yelling REPENT at the assembled Muslims, punctuated by waving a pig head around.

I have to admit, I didn’t have the patience to watch the whole video, but I did drag the playhead to the 9-minute mark, when the stoning allegedly starts. “Stones, rocks and debris,” is what the subtitles say. It’s impossible to tell on the shakycam video, but it mostly looked like water bottles to me. When you think about it, it’s probably easier to find those lying around at a street festival in an urban environment than it would be to find stones, even stones comma rocks. But whatever. I didn’t hear anyone screaming ahhh my eye!!!, but I did hear a lot of ouch! hey! that hurt! which would seem to indicate more of a water-bottle assault than a truly dangerous, rock-based one.

Which isn’t, of course, justification for the violence at all. But when you show up at an ethnic festival loaded for bear — this far shorter video gives you more of a sense of things — the least you can do is not whine when the bear bites you.

The Arab-American News has a pretty comprehensive story on this. I know it’s going around the right-wing blogs, so just in case you’re looking for the rest of the story, y’know?

And now, we haz a sad: Ruby left us behind this weekend. After three years of absolutely uneventful good health, she didn’t come out of her cage Thursday for her usual morning hop-around. I left the door open, and when noon came and went with no appearance, I dragged her out for some amateur veterinary care. There was a little bit of blood around her bottom, nothing alarming, but I took her to the professionals, who gave her antibiotics and a rather vigorous manual exam, but in the end, with rabbits, it’s mostly a matter of shrugging and conjecture. No fly strike (thank GOD), maybe a vaginal infection (yes, go ahead and laugh), maybe a hairball, maybe…? Who knows? You can’t exactly do exploratory surgery on a rabbit. I gave her the antibiotics on schedule and other recommended care, but she turned the corner downhill fast. I missed a followup call from the vet on Saturday, and that might have made a difference, but probably not. We gave her fluids when we could get her to swallow them, petted her a lot, told her she was a good bunny. She died Sunday morning in a pool of sunlight, looking out at the back yard.

I blamed myself for missing the vet’s call, and did my penance by digging the grave myself. I think the whole exercise of grave-digging is for us to remember the deceased, even a three-pound pet rabbit. Ruby lived in our kitchen, and we had many conversations while I made dinner, and I’m not ashamed to tell you I played her part in a high, squeaky voice:

Give me some of that lettuce. Now. I’m terribly, terribly hungry.

Sure, Ruby. Would you like a little of this bacon, too?

I’m a strict vegan, and I wish you’d stop bringing that stuff into our house. Don’t my beliefs count for anything around here?

Not nearly as funny as Animals Talking in All Caps, but we had our moments.

She liked dried cherries and bananas. She was simultaneously afraid of everything and unafraid of us stinky primates 50 times her size — we were rabbit-punched many times. She enriched our lives with her beauty and grace, and sometimes watched “Cops” with us from her perch on the back of the couch.

Wherever she is now, I hope to meet her again someday.

Posted at 12:26 am in Detroit life, Same ol' same ol' |

43 responses to “A weekend passing.”

  1. Dexter said on July 9, 2012 at 1:38 am

    I am so sorry you lost your dear Ruby Rabbit. I lost my beloved P-Dogg the Labbie three years ago come Thursday and I still miss her.
    One cannot “replace” pets, and I was not going to get another dog but sixteen months ago my daughter brought Pogo the Labbie to me and she has been quite an adventure.
    You did well with Ruby and she passed peacefully, as you describe it. Far better a fate than my rabbit had, when the neighbor’s German Shepherd ripped off the hutch door and ate my bunny. That was fifty-four years ago and it seemed awful but I guess it didn’t really traumatize me.
    I always got a lift when a Ruby story came to this blog. Take care. Sympathies.

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  2. Cathie from Canada said on July 9, 2012 at 1:45 am

    My condolences on your loss. My sister once said a very comforting thing when one of our dogs had died young — “dogs don’t know how long they live, only how well they live. You helped your dog live well.”
    I think the same would apply to your rabbit — you helped Ruby live well, happily hopping around your kitchen and “talking” to you. She knew she was loved.

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  3. Dexter said on July 9, 2012 at 2:32 am


    Good summation.

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  4. Deborah said on July 9, 2012 at 4:28 am

    Sorry to hear about Ruby. Will miss your stories about her.

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  5. Linda said on July 9, 2012 at 6:04 am

    Sorry to hear about your pet. She was a cutie. It’s always tough to say goodbye to them.

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  6. Nancy said on July 9, 2012 at 6:50 am

    What a nice tribute to Ruby.

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  7. coozledad said on July 9, 2012 at 7:44 am

    Sorry about that rabbidge, Nancy.
    Lately, when one of our animals dies, or once it starts looking like it won’t make it, my wife says “We need to stack some wood for a fire.” I’ve probably mentioned there are a couple of instances where we have considered using inhumation, even going so far as to make use of the existing stones in the family cemetery, i.e., Robert H. Spencer 1841-1923 Darrylwhootheh 2000?- 2009. I think they did something like that at Cimetière des Saints-Innocents for a while.
    The contract doesn’t say anything about adding more to it, but there are pretty explicit statutes covering removal of interees.

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  8. Julie Robinson said on July 9, 2012 at 8:11 am

    I’m so sorry about Ruby, and shedding a few tears as I read about her. As Jefftmmo would say, grace and peace to you.

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  9. Minnie said on July 9, 2012 at 9:25 am

    Aw. So sorry about Ruby. You made her a good life within the family and made her famous among your blog readers. RIP, Ruby.

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  10. Judybusy said on July 9, 2012 at 9:27 am

    I’m so sorry to hear about Ruby–she was obviously well-loved.I am also relieved to know I am not the only one to have full-on conversations with the pet, with myself doing both parts. Well, my partner does it too, but if it’s good enough for Nancy Nall, it’s good enough for us. Ruby was a beauty.

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  11. 4dbirds said on July 9, 2012 at 9:33 am

    So sorry Nancy. Such a cute bunny. We’ve had a couple of bunnies in our lives and still miss them.

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  12. MarcG said on July 9, 2012 at 9:45 am

    Against my usual practice of skipping comments, I read the comments on the Arab-American celebration video. It took about ONE comment for the haters to show up in their vilest form. YUCK! I suspect that the commenters were the same people wearing their God and Jesus shirts and carrying around a pig’s head at that festival. Seems like there sure are a lot of haters in those supposedly christian groups. Shouldn’t they be out feeding the hungry, clothing the poor, healing the sick, that sort of thing?

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  13. Randy said on July 9, 2012 at 9:55 am

    So sorry to hear about Ruby.

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  14. Julie Robinson said on July 9, 2012 at 9:59 am

    Yes, MarcG, they should. They should be showing love rather than hate, and any group that doesn’t should give up the title of Christian.

    I’m contrasting their reaction to Islam to that of a friend who struck up a conversation with a gas station attendant, and asked him about his beliefs when he learned that he was Muslim. He wasn’t trying to convert him, he was genuinely interested. They now call each other friends, and each can be a bridge for others to better understand different faiths. To me, that’s the loving Christian response.

    BTW, we have no pets, so when home alone I’m forced to carry on conversations with myself. Works for me!

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  15. Lex said on July 9, 2012 at 10:01 am

    I’m so sorry about Ruby, and it’s not at all weird that she had a “voice.” Our orange tabby, Tracy (currently AWOL), “speaks” in an old blues man’s voice and has since he was 6 months old, which comports with @iboudreau’s observation that all orange tabbies have Robert Johnson’s voice.

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  16. Dorothy said on July 9, 2012 at 10:04 am

    I’m sad for all of you about Ruby – how is Kate taking it? Spriggy left you all roughly three years ago, too and now the early exit of sweet Ruby. That is such a pretty picture of her today, too. Virtual hugs to the Derringers.

    I wish I were friends with everyone here on Facebook so I could share pictures from this weekend. My mom turned 90 on Saturday and we had a swell party and a day at Kennywood yesterday. I didn’t want the fun to end, we had so many laughs together. I miss having family around where I live. I think I’ll go feel sorry for myself for the rest of the morning.

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  17. Bitter Scribe said on July 9, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Exactly what kind of “Christians” carry pigs’ heads around?

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  18. Will said on July 9, 2012 at 10:08 am

    Beautifully written, Nancy. Ruby was a lucky rabbit.

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  19. brian stouder said on July 9, 2012 at 10:51 am

    Wherever she is now, I hope to meet her again someday.

    As Chloe, our 8 year old, and I see it, you will. Our reasoning was that, after all, how empty would heaven be, without all our loved ones in attendance?

    Anyway, shortly after our bunny left us, the girls began reminding me that we’d always agreed that a kitty would be a good pet if we didn’t have a rabbit.

    And now, we have two kitties (Winnie and Taffy), who we adopted from the shelter (and there’s a story there, too, but we’ll skip the digression) pretty much took charge of the house upon arrival.

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  20. Maggie Jochild said on July 9, 2012 at 11:26 am

    When I was a child, my mother created voices for all our myriad animals and their versions of ESL, and it became a way we worked out family tensions, having the dog or cat comment on our personal habits with a directness we dared not otherwise voice. I realized, with a jolt, we were not the only people who had done so once I encountered the phenomenon of LOLCats and recognized not only a common anthropomorphic style but a consistent, logical grammar. It still fascinates me, how universal and agreed-upon this “instant pidgin” is, and how consistently the community at I Can Haz Cheeseburgers uses the venue for humor about the general human condition rather than as a bully platform for hateful, partisan snark.

    The habit of conversation with and between family pets continues on among my tribe. My Abbyssian of 17 years, Rusk, turned out to have the aggrieved tone and vocabulary of a flaming queen — although this possibly was a reaction to his long life as the only male animal in communal households of lesbian separatists. My Cat of Cats, Alice, was a brilliant Manx who unfortunately was unable to pronounce L’s, substituting either Y or sometimes W for that consonant. Consequently, she pronounced and signed her name “Ayis”. She particularly thrilled a roomful of my friends where she broke into song with that old Sinatra standard “Yuck be a yady tonight”.

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  21. Prospero said on July 9, 2012 at 11:34 am

    Ruby’s with El-ahrairah, The Prince With a Thousand Enemies. Silflay Hraka. There was a great Twilight Zone episode about an OldTimer that croaked and almost chose hell over heaven, but hell wouldn’t let his dog in:


    Those assholes in Dearborn defame Christians. Stoning would be too good for them, but everybody knows, Dearborn is run by Sharia:


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  22. Scout said on July 9, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    My condolences, Nancy. Ruby was a lucky bunny because she was loved by your family as well as all of your readers. Connie from Canada said it well, I will remember that.

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  23. MichaelG said on July 9, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    Sorry to hear about Ruby. The point, as Cathy noted above, is that Ruby was well loved and lived a good life.

    I wonder if those “Christians” were visiting neighbors of Coozledad.

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  24. alex said on July 9, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    My condolences re Ruby.

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  25. MarkH said on July 9, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    Condolences on Ruby, Nance. Others here have said it better than I could.

    In other losses today, Ernest Borgnine, RIP:


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  26. Charlotte said on July 9, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Poor bunny! (my general term of endearment for dogs, small children, etc …)
    My two bird dogs are 10 and 12 and they’re aging, limping, the one who was never very smart is losing what mental grip he once had … and I, shameful person that I am, keep looking at puppies.
    Ashamed to admit, my first thought when I heard about Ernest Borgnine was “he’s still alive?”

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  27. Little Bird said on July 9, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    I laughed when I got the part about the pig head, and was crying by the time I got to the end of the post. So sorry to hear about Ruby.

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  28. MarkH said on July 9, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    Charlotte, you were not alone. In the story, Borgnine tells how he always wanted to work no matter how old he was. Trouble was, Hollywood was saying the same thing: “He’s still alive?”

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  29. LAMary said on July 9, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    Sorry to hear about Ruby. I’ll miss her more than I’ll miss Ernest Borgnine. Nothing against Ernest, but I looked forward to Ruby news more than Borgnine news.

    I have a female orange tabby, something I understand is quite rare, and she is more Nicole Kidman than old bluesman. She’s tall and slender and elegant with a pink nose and pale green eyes. She’s Nicole Kidman without the Aussie accent. She also would never had married the cat equivalent of Tom Cruise. She hangs out with my grey/brown tabby, Albert, who is the cat equivalent of George Clooney.

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  30. Julie Robinson said on July 9, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    For those of you in the Fort, Patty Martone has died.

    Edit: Oh Maggie, I am yaughing my head off. In the category of useless information clogging up my brain, Luck be a Lady was sung in the film by Marlon Brando, not Sinatra, though of course ol’ blue eyes made it famous later.

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  31. Dorothy said on July 9, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Mary while my across the street neighbors were away we were tending to some kittens, their mama and three young adult ones, too. All three of the orange tabby cats were females. My daughter told me that most orange cats are males. I wonder what the scientific explanation for that is? One of the young adults was black and orange/gold. I called it the Pittsburgh cat.

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  32. LAMary said on July 9, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    I think almost all calicos are female and 90% of orange tabbies are male. My orange tabby is very sweet and gentle. The only thing she does that’s a little annoying is steal scrambled eggs. If you walk away from your scrambled eggs she’ll dart over and grab your omelette or scrambled eggs in one swift paw manouver. Especially cheese omelettes. She frequently eats her catfood with her paw, so she’s got some good grabbing skills. A nice thin, neat omelette will go in one piece. Since she’s such a sweetheart in general I don’t get too upset about it and we all know to be vigilant about omelettes and scrambled eggs.
    Another thing about Anna the orange cat is she has interesting relationships with the dogs. She isn’t afraid of them and she rubs her face on their legs or faces, whichever is closer at any given time. Once, Max the great lunking great dane boxer mix, decided he wanted a little game of chase, and Anna wasn’t interested. She escaped by jumping up onto the back of a straight backed dining room chair which tipped it over. This scared the bejeesus out of the dog and stopped the chase. We refer to this as the time Anna threw a chair at Max.

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  33. derwood said on July 9, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    Nancy, I am so sorry about Ruby. Loved the pictures you would post. White bunnies are actually prone to blockages and GI issues. We have had many a close call with Killer.

    Good thoughts to the NND family.

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  34. brian stouder said on July 9, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    Mary – the chair-throwing Anna story is marvelous!

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  35. Deborah said on July 9, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    I’m loving all of the pet stories. Sometimes when I’m petting Ursula under her chin I move her mouth up and down so that it looks like she’s talking and of course I speak for her. She speaks baby talk as do I when I talk to her. Mostly gibberish. Since her sister is no longer with us she vocalizes a lot, yammering constantly. My husband and I respond as though she is telling us how much she loves us when really she is probably crabbing and complaining that we are not petting her that very moment.

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  36. nancy said on July 9, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    Derwood, I didn’t know that about white bunnies. Maybe that’s why they’re always so crabby.

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  37. LAMary said on July 9, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    White kitties are prone to deafness. Just proves being white has its drawbacks.
    Smokey the Labrador and I have talks all the time but it’s largely telepathic. He mumbles occasionally. I think his voice would be like Bob Marley’s. Max the great lunking dane would sound like Jesse Ventura. Amelia, the calico cat would sound like Kathy Griffin.

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  38. nancy said on July 9, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    Spriggy’s voice was that of a fast-talking little hustler, but every once in a while he’d switch to a cockney rude-boy patois. Usually when he was trying to put one over on us. Alan and I had a whole half-hour Spriggy Show blocked out for him. He’d talk the dumb redbone hound next door into going dumpster-diving outside an Italian restaurant.

    “Now, you put your legs up there, and I’ll run up your back and into the dumpster.”

    “Will you throw some food out for me?”

    “Sure. We’re partners, right?”

    (The deed is accomplished.)

    “Are you finding anything, Spriggy?”

    (Muffled gobbling noises.)

    “No, Samson, not yet. Let me keep digging.”

    And so on.

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  39. Suzanne said on July 9, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    Sorry about the bunny. We lost a pet a while back and we miss him, although he’d gotten kinda crabby and mangy, which I think helped ease the blow. Which is probably what my kids will say about me someday…

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  40. Charlotte said on July 9, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    I had a very fierce, very talkative orange calico — she lived to be somewhere in the vicinity of 20 (she was a stray, so we were never sure). She hated, HATED, dogs. When we first got Raymond (now 12) she refused to come downstairs for a good six months, then eventually, when she did, he wanted to play. She reared up on her hind legs, and took him out with a one-two punch with her front paws! Jack Dempsey!
    My younger dog, Owen, doesn’t vocalize much, but he does burp expressively. Owie’s highest compliment/love offering is a gigantic belch. Doubly hilarious since he’s so pretty we call him “Lord Fauntleroy.”
    The pets. Where would we be without the pets?

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  41. Catherine said on July 9, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    So sorry about Ruby, but love the animal dialogues. Maybe a twitter account?

    Parents who’ve had a kid in sports or arts, does this WSJ article make you sputter, too? http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304211804577505010161475028.html?mod=googlenews_wsj#articleTabs_comments%3D%26articleTabs%3Darticle
    It starts out feeling like a critique of club sports and a story about how her kids found baseball happiness without making the elite club team. The punchline, however, is when they make the elite team the next year and ditch the B team that they helped start. Money quote: “Because let’s be honest, nobody wants to lose forever.” WTF?

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  42. Sherri said on July 9, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    Catherine, almost everything about kid club sports make me sputter. It’s not surprising to me at all that a parent who would create a new club team so her kids could play on it would ditch that team as soon as her kids could play on a better one. How else are they going to learn to be good hedge fund managers?

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  43. Crazycatlady said on July 9, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    Ruby had a last moment in the sun. That was a true act of kindness. Peace, Ruby.

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