My bunny, Tribble, a 9 year old, refuses to acknowledge the difference between work days and holidays. As soon as it’s light each morning, she decides it’s time for me to get up and get her breakfast. She hops around on the hardwood floors to make enough noise to wake me up. If I attempt to go back to sleep, she pushes her food dish with her nose so it scrapes and bumps and rattles me awake. “Food dish hockey,” I call it. As a last resort, she’ll gnaw on the leg of the bedside table. She knows I’ll get out of bed and tell her to stop.
On New Year’s Day, 2003, Tribble began her morning wake-up routine much earlier than usual. I had been to a quiet and non-alcoholic New Year’s Eve gathering ;the night before, and when I went to bed I had been looking forward to sleeping in. I forced my eyes open. It wasn’t even dawn yet. Did the clock say five-thirty? I was groggy and had a pounding headache for some reason. No way was I going to get up at five-thirty; especially on a holiday. I mumbled as much to Tribble and turned back over to go to sleep.
Tribble did her around-the room hop. Food dish hockey. Gnawing on the bedside table legs. She seemed frantic, going from one thing to the next non-stop. It made my head throb even more. “Oh all right,” I muttered to my furry tormentor.
What’s the matter with you this morning?” I decided I’d get up and feed her and then go back to bed. But when I sat up, I became aware of an overwhelming smell. Gas!
The only thing in my apartment that uses natural gas is the ancient matchlit oven and stovetop. When I dashed into the kitchen to check it that New Year’s morning, I discovered the pilot lights had gone out. Who knows how long gas had been poisoning the air in my small apartment. I quickly opened the doors and windows.
When it was safe again, I gave my hero-bunny her breakfast, plus a kiss on the nose. I wish I could have awarded her a medal.
House Rabbit Journal Fall 2003: Volume IV, Number 9