It’s alarming how much fur is coming off this rabbit. I could fashion a small teapot trivet.
With Henry now back east residing in first-rate accommodations that don’t allow pets, the care of Bonanza his rabbit has fallen to me.
A member of the family since 2008 she has simple needs. If she’s equipped with a never-ending supply of fresh timothy hay, the twice daily 1/8 cup offerings of timothy hay pellets, water, shelter, attention and a clean litter box she’s a happy bunny.
The one thing she is not fond of is loud noises.
Unfortunately, she got more than a heavy dose a few weeks back. I suspect this excessive shedding of fur is a direct result.
The day of the “alarming event” began quite harmlessly. My Australian houseguest Nonie was out visiting friends and I was looking forward to my evening with Mom in honour of her impending 91st birthday. A close friend had invited her for dinner and kindly included me in the invitation. My job was easy. Chauffeur Mom to Seasons in the Park, an encompassing one hour journey. I thankfully remembered not to turn on the house alarm; I’d assured Nonie I’d leave it off. She would be returning home before me and it seemed simpler to leave it off rather than walk her through the quirks of the alarm system, especially considering she was unfamiliar with the concept.
Purposefully chanting “don’t turn on the alarm, don’t turn on the alarm” (an act essential for my middle-aged brain) I gathered up keys and purse and headed for the car only to remember I’d forgotten my phone. Aware of the time, I flew back inside to retrieve it. With both my children living so far away, it’s a reassuring link.
Dinner was lovely. Seated at a window table I felt thoroughly spoiled. The food was superb, the company a tonic and the scenery, once the fog lifted, was magnificent. As is my usual practice, my phone remained buried in my purse. I subscribe to the belief that a meal is to be shared with the folks present, not with my phone. However, once we repaired for our hostess’s home for dessert I allowed myself a quick peak.
The screen was a vision; it positively glowed. Not only were there four messages from Nonie and two from my friend Mary but there were three mysterious Blocked Calls.
Horrors. I’d absentmindedly turned on the house alarm when going back inside for the phone.
Nonie’s evening was decidedly different from mine.
Her first clue that something was amiss unfolded the minute she unlocked the front door. Puzzled by the incessant birdlike chirping sounds emanating from somewhere down the hall she ignored them and let our dog out into the backyard. The alarm erupted. The moaning, undulating, ear-piercing siren assaulted the neighbourhood for blocks around.
As Poppy danced with excitement, Bonanza must have been cowering in absolute terror. The siren horn is located in the laundry room directly beneath her. To a wee bunny with sensitive ears it must have been hell.
Nonie meantime was flying blind. With absolutely no knowledge of the alarm, how to turn it off or even whom to call for help, she immediately reached out to me. On my cell phone. I can only imagine her relief when the landline rang. But It wasn’t me. It was the alarm company. Ranjit was checking in to see if all was well.
I understand the conversation went something like this.
Ranjit: “I am calling from the alarm company. Your alarm has gone off.”
Nonie: “Ranjit, hello. YES it has. I am a houseguest and I have no idea of how to stop it. Can you please help?”
Ranjit: ” You are a houseguest? You must get the code. Call the home owner and get the code.”
Nonie.: “Yes, Ranjit. I’ve tried. She’s not answering her phone. I don’t know the code.”
Ranjit: “Impossible. You must have the code. Call the home owner and ask for the code.”
Finally convinced that the “call the home owner” suggestion was useless, he made a decision. “I will have to send for the police. In the meantime stay outside in the backyard. Do not move. If you go back inside, you will once again trigger the alarm.”
Determined to alert the police that their presence was unwarranted, Nonie called 911. From the backyard. The operator informed her that unfortunately once 911 was contacted, an officer had to be dispatched.
Constable Chu arrived within minutes. Aware that she mustn’t open the front door or the now quiet alarm would be retriggered, Nonie frantically advised him to come around the side of the house. ” Close the side gate! Close it or Poppy the dog will get out!”
It was obvious the entire situation was novel to the young constable. However, he responded with patience and assured her he believed she was telling the truth.
As he attempted to apprise me of the situation by phone (the first of his Blocked Calls), a new cast member entered the scene. Dave. He and his wife Mary are the first responders should my alarm go off and he’d been summoned by the alarm company. Unfortunately it’d had been at least four years since their last call to respond so he was naturally a bit rusty as to procedure. In addition, he had no idea I had a houseguest staying. Nonie launched yet again into a full on explanation.
Long story short. Dave returned home assured all was well, Constable Chu escaped to his car to write-up his report and Nonie went downstairs to her bedroom. She threw open the window. Naturally, the alarm responded in full resounding glory.
Flying outside with Poppy dancing attendance at her feet, she skidded to a halt in the backyard. Poor returning Constable Chu was whipping around to close the side gate, all the while assuring her he was fully aware that ” Poppy will get out! I’m closing it!!!”
Fortunately, everything was sorted with the heavenly arrival of Mary, once again summoned by the alarm company.
“Dave and I have tried to reach Kelly several times. Does she not have her cell with her? I’m not sure I can help as we’ve not had to turn off her alarm in a while. Fingers crossed she hasn’t changed the code.”
Mercifully I hadn’t.
Thank you Nonie, Mary, Dave, Constable Chu and Ranjit. I promise that from now on I’ll check my phone at least once during a meal out. Also, take comfort in the fact that I am being rewarded for my lack of attention by a rabbit who is shedding nonstop. A good portion of each day is spent at her side, plucking her fur.
Bonanza – I’m sorry. I promise to be more attentive to the alarm.
All is not lost. He’ll be home at Christmas.