Thursday, December 30, 2010

Good-bye 2010

A few of the last pictures from 2010; an interesting year, one of varied stripes, a woody nose and somewhat piquant after taste depending on the education of one's palate.

Rabbits are now allowed at certain times into the greater space outside their really quite spacious pens. Sometimes they prefer to stay in their pens, seeing no difference between inside and outside. Tyler has found a favorite spot outside his pen next to the weapons basket.

Tyler demonstrates the correct placement of structure and bunny for a mid-winter DIY warming treatment. The whole body can be beneficially effected by the application of solar radiation to the tail.

Amelia demonstrates the same treatment without a structure.

I know people get upset when they read about bunny fights, but I don't think you'd like it if I was not completely forthcoming. Amelia took some skin off Sydney and we had to go to the vet. You can see where they shaved on her neck in this photo of the patient with her friend.

Harriet looks out into the the cold and damp, dreaming a little dream of spring.

See you in two oh double one.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Monday Bunday

Although we may not be having the extreme weathers of other environs it is still winter here. The days are short, though in theory lengthening, and there is that feeling of hibernation being the best choice of activity whenever possible.

Some highlights in bonding have been Tyler grooming Amelia and being in her space with attacks from either side. Indeed as I write he has snuck into her space the back way, between the fence and the wall, and they are getting along just fine. The animosity between Amelia and Harriet may be cooling down just a bit. Tyler will allow DS to pet him, thereby establishing dominance over a human once again. I still live in the fantasy that we can exist in some sort of harmony that does not require visits to the vet or extensive fencing.

The first kiss since the move.

Sydney and Amelia take comfort in each other while enduring The Kitchen of Terror.

Harriet as SnuggleBun.

Tyler advises "hole up and wait for Spring".

Monday, December 20, 2010

Monday Bunday

Tyler settles in for his long winter's nap in
his apple box house while Harriet keeps guard.

Tyler's story; boy looses home; boy finds home and looses sister; boy finds sister; boy and sister meet a girl; boy, sister and girl becomes friends, it's a little complicated; boy,sister and girl meet another girl, it becomes more complicated; boy and sister become fast friends with second girl while first girl is away; boy meets first girl again........

Why can't dates be fun?

Amelia has gotten the OK from the vet to come off of restricted activity and social isolation. This required a completed reconfiguration of the pens and rabbit flow. I combined all the pens and set them up so that Harriet and Amelia could if need be, be separated by the Spots in the middle. I was unhappy with the lack of space. The Spots are used to roaming and really did a lot of running at BFs, I could see them becoming fat, lazy and complacent. To combat this trend I decided to divide the room more or less in half with fencing for exercise purposes. Tyler on discovering he could come out the pen went on an extended hop about of the territory. DS's room, the study/computer room, even the bathroom with it's cold tile floor did not go unexamined. A quick gnaw at a familiar bookcase in the study was, I imagine Tyler's
"Kilroy was here", better than peeing in the corner as far as I am concerned.

Amelia did plenty of hopping and chinning in her bigger space. You can see where she was shaved for her injury, it looks like her leg is falling off. Her other wound was on her shoulder.

Amelia on her side has been boxing with both Harriet and Sydney, bonding with them seems to have regressed to not quite square one, maybe square one and a half. Thinking I could easily re-bond Tyler and Amelia I popped them in a little pen in the kitchen. They squeezed themselves into the tiny littler box, but there was no grooming. I tried putting them both in Amelia's pen, but Tyler got snippy, he needs more time. Boy meets girl again on a speed date and doesn't like the pressure....

Amelia interprets the Eclipse.

Have a Great Week, don't miss acknowledging The Eclipse, there hasn't been a lunar eclipse on a Solstice for 372 years......

Friday, December 17, 2010

Cycling Around

Twelve years ago for the last Year of the Rabbit I had a bunch of cards printed up, thinking they would be terribly popular and I would make a lot of money. I took them around to local book stores and card shops to no avail. I even went up to San Francisco sure that I could get some card shop, some boutique, some sort of Asian store to carry them. After a day of not so much luck my car broke down and I didn't try that again. I did get a listing with an Internet distributor which was not terribly successful, but it was nice to be listed. This was all in the days before Etsy and easy DYI websites and pretty much everything, though not in the days before rabbits. The rabbit depicted, especially the Rabbit and Ginkgo design, is the magnificent and still much loved Bandit. She lived free range in a no pets apartment with my son and I and ruled the roost between life threatening illnesses. A big girl, 12 pounds, with a big heart.

Rabbit with Ginkgo Leaf

The images were created with my ink paintings and digital help of a graphic designer friend, Toni H. Because rabbits tend to breed if not checked the printers made a mistake and printed twice as many cards as I had ordered. they didn't charge because it was their bad, but now I have two thousand of each design. Not thinking I included the date, 1999, so as a card they are un-usable for the coming year. However clever cropping, as I've done with the posted images once again makes them useful. My plan is to crop some down to postcard size, maybe mount them on a backing so they are sturdy and sell them through Etsy. Have I told you how much I love Etsy? Keep you eyes open, I'll have them up before the Rabbit Year starts on February 3rd. Maybe I'll sell a few here and there this time !!

Rabbit in the Moon

Monday, December 13, 2010

Monday Bunday

Amelia is healing up and appreciates all the well wishes from her fans and the readers of The Qi Papers and friends on Facebook. She is posing here in her private pen with a flannel Laura Ashely flooring that seats atop a layer of washable wool and a non-vinyl shower curtain. Her pen is outfitted with a litter box and a brand new just for her willow tent, which she likes very much.

Laura Ashely flannel sheeting put to good use.

On the occasion that I have let her out for a hop while I tidied up she has wanted to do nothing better than fight with Harriet through the fence. The Spots and Harriet have fancy flooring too and I must say I certainly appreciate the cheap sheets one can buy at Ross Dress For Less.

Tyler and Harriet model a rock and roll design.

These sheets have come in handy not only in creating the rabbit's new rooms, but also as curtains for rest of the warren. The place came without any window coverings and frankly my bank account would go into permanent hemorrhage if I bought hardware and window treatments even of the most low budget sort. Fortunately the windows all had anchors for hardware so it was easy enough fix up a decent looking rod with pieces of bamboo, two inch cotton twill and a screw. Ross provided sheets for curtains (yet to be actually sewn), but all in all it is a cheap, not completely inelegant and washable solution.

Sydney enjoys a water bowl wedgie atop the stars.

Concerned as always about out gassing of the rug and the new vinyls flooring I bought a few more plants to help clean the air. NASA did some good research about what plants are most effective so I rounded out my plant collection with a few more off that list. Ross once again provided lovely homes for my new foliar friends. I loved these blue and white Chinese pots and got them at a damn good price.

Yes, this plant is a bit small for the pot,
but philodendrons are fast growing
and will fill it up in no time.


Friday, December 10, 2010

Dating Updates and More

The Spots and Harriet wait in the kitchen for the maid to be done with their room, she is so slow.....

Amelia is doing just fine. It took a couple days for her to get her appetite and attitude completely back, but she seems just fine. She does need to be separated from the other rabbits until next week, though I'm considering letting Tyler visit her for moral support. Meantime The Spots and Harriet are getting along just fine. You'd think they had always shared space. Although Tyler has groomed Harriet, which means she is "dominant" I have seen him nip and chase her a bit if he thinks she's over hopping her bounds; getting too close to his piece of pumpkin or getting snippy with Amelia through the fence. My hope is once Amelia can socialize Tyler will keep Harriet in check. Right now all the gurlz want to do is fight.

Snuggling in the little box like old friends!!!

I've been taking an on-line Environmental Writing class with Crafty Green Poet.
There first assignment was to described an encounter with nature.

All the time I breathe, in and out, trading oxygen for carbon dioxide, the same as any animal: dolphin, cockroach, or wooly mammoth. Breathing too in a sort of opposite way, carbon dioxide in and oxygen out, are trees. Where I live there are a lot of trees, for an urban setting. My mother grew up in New York City and she always claimed there were no trees there and for this reason she was particularly fascinated and grateful for trees. She made sure that her children knew all the right names of trees from an early age. Podocarpus, Weeping Willow, Japanese Maple, Cyprus, California Buckeye.

As I walk around the neighborhood John rattles on and I silently say the names of the trees. Sometimes there will be a pink notice on a tree. This always means that the person who owns the property where the tree lives wants to cut it down. The City of Santa Cruz has laws that require public hearings for the removal of any tree over 15 feet. I have never attended such a hearing, but I imagine the red tape alone keeps homeowners from deforesting the city.

Along the block where John lives the entire street is lined with majestic Sycamores. Leaves buoyantly green in the spring and summer, drop brown and crunchy in front yards and on the street in the fall. Winter sees bare branches scratching calligraphy in the sky The tree protection law extends only to the actual removal of a tree; pruning is unregulated. It appears that cutting half the main branches from a tree is still pruning, since this is just what John’s neighbor did the other day. I arrived on the scene midway through the desecration and to my surprise felt quite nauseous. At the end of it a medium sized trailer was filled with branches, some a foot in diameter. The neighbor took them to the dump; they wouldn’t even be burned in fireplace or made into garden chips.

I breathe in and I breathe out, sometimes it is hard to be human.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

You Never Really Know

During the winter take some time off to rest in a cozy place.

Ever so much has happened. First just yesterday Amelia had to go to the vet for a big rip on her sweet little arm. Yes, Harriet was was perpetrator, but I'm quite sure she was provoked. I think it may have just been chance that she did what seemed to be a lot of damage. They seemed to working things out, they really did. At first the vet thought she'd have to stitch layers of tissue, but as it turned out once the wound was cleaned up the rip had mostly been a fat pad. Hooray for fat pads, I see now their place in evolution; fleshy decoys. Amelia had to spend most of the day at the vet's and during that time the Spots and Harriet became better acquainted. In fact they became so well acquainted that by the end of the day Tyler was grooming Harriet while Sydney supervised from inside a little house made from an apple box.

First Kiss; you just see a little bit of Sydney inside the apple box house.

Amelia must have her own private pen for 7 to 10 days. So you see it is all very interesting and unexpected. Although one would go bonkers trying to predict what will happen next some things are givens. For instance around this time many people will be buying gifts for others and themselves too. Self gifting is an activity I shamelessly support. Tee shirts, hoodies and totes are all simple yet effective presents and you can buy them with Qi Papers designs HERE at my Skreened shop. And there are always STAMPS from my Etsy Shop and PRINTS and CUSTOM ANIMAL PORTRAITS. I printed up some more of the Amelia in Her Dream print and they look pretty good. I'll be putting those up for sale at my Etsy shop soon.......

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Monday Bunday:The New Warren

The food seems more or less up to standard.

There is much milling about.

Old objects take on a new fascination.

Bunny butts are still cute.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday Bunday: Sketches

It's all a bit of a jumble, this moving and despite best efforts and having use of my bro's truck (OK pictures of me in the truck next time, maybe) I only have a chair and three boxes in the garage. There's been a couple of setbacks; a gas leak in the garage and a new carpet that needed cleaning and the off-gassing sealed. It looks, however, like DS will be joining the 4 Buns of Fun and myself at the new warren. These sketches were done for the Sketchbook Project. My theme is "Inside/Outside", but it might as well be rabbits, not everything I've sketched has been rabbits, but maybe almost.....

Have a decent week everyone, thanks for visiting.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Twister Thursday

As we have discussed before in this blog, Yoga was invented in India by a rabbit. It is still practiced by rabbits, but not in a class setting, rather is it integrated throughout the buns daily activities. Here, Amelia demonstrates a simple seated twisted pose. You have most likely seen your rabbit do same. Twists help maintain a supple spine and gently massage the intestines. Although humans can by no means achieve the level of cuteness that a rabbit can, we can, like our bunny teachers, integrate gentle twists and stretches into daily life.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday Bunday: Call to Action

Space Walk Bunny

Attention fellow and sister Bunheads here is an opportunity to get some good rescue rabbit PR out to the general public. The talented Etsy quilt maker Cindi Glinksi has created a Bunny quilt for the NASA Etsy Spacecraft Contest. As you can see it is a fabulously wonderful piece and has been chosen as a finalist. For the bun to win it must get the most votes and anyone can vote, but just once, it's not like in real elections. The winner gets lots of publicity since Cindi not only a bunny lover but a rescue supporter as well, rabbits and rescues will be in the forefront, where they belong.

Click HERE to vote on Etsy.

Amelia doing her Rembrant imitation.

VOTE, it won't take hardly a minute and could make a big difference.
Art is powerful.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It's Thursday and An Incident

Twice weekly visits to the Farmer's Market are required by the four rabbits here at the Raboratory. They claim it is in their contract or within their scope of practice or one of many inalienable rights depending on the day. I didn't buy the limes for them, I brought them, 5 for two bucks, because of the color, though I did think I could take some pictures with rabbits and the marvelous limes and what fun that would be and it was. They all wanted to eat them after an initial sniff.

At the Farmer's Market there is often musical entertainment. This week there was a fine guitarist, Boogie Bruce. He had four guitars and played some fantastic steely blues while I was there. I gave him a dollar. Outside the natural foods store where I went to buy ginger there was an older gentleman playing really good violin, no really good. I didn't buy the ginger they had because it was from China and that seemed like way too far away.

Further up the Mall, which is not Mall as in a covered shopping mall or a strip mall, but just a one lane street with lots of businesses. Some call it the heart of downtown Santa Cruz. Further up the Mall playing off the acoustics of buildings that replaced those taken by the earthquake of '89, was Santa Claus type of fellow. Though unlike Santa he wore a blue and white baseball cap with a six pointed star. He also wore dark blue Crocs with grey striped socks. Standing on a corner amidst the tall buildings he played a jazz trumpet. The song "On the Street Where You Live", the notes riffed and rippled up and falling back down off the walls and coating the street as dusk, too, fell. Amazing stuff. I gave him a dollar too.

I give a little more rent when I have more patients than usual. Not because I have to, but because I know that my office mate, the lease holder, has to carry the office and he's struggling to do that since not all the days are sublet. When the State Board of Equalization called me a few days back trying to get all my info current, I was asked how much rent I paid and I said usually $200, but sometimes I pay more voluntarily, just trying to be fair. There was a sort of silence on the other end. "I guess you don't hear that often" I ventured.....

Lest you think the Raboratory these days is all posed photos with brightly colored fruits that rabbits can't eat. Here is an incident that occurred just last night. Tyler was just too happy to comply with Amelia's constant grooming requests and simply rolled over on his back, feets in the air.

Tyler the Love Pillow

Monday, November 08, 2010

Today's breakfast basket special was Hidden Surprise in a Radicchio shell. Unbeknownst to the buns inside the cilantro garnished radicchio nestled in a bed of dandelions lay 3 chunks of fresh home grown pumpkin. Not a secret for long split seconds after the baskets were introduced the pumpkin had been plucked.....

Amelia excavates for the golden treasure within.

And is rewarded.

Harriet just after she finds her first piece.

Sydney guards her tasty bit.

Good to the very last molecule.

Tyler amidst the carnage, hunting for more pumpkin.
Yes, they did finish their meal, completely and utterly.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

An Incident

Disclaimer: this is single incident and does not apply to all rabbits who do not eat, many of these rabbits could benefit from veterinary care and intervention.

On Thursday Harriet decided she would not eat. All treats were summarily refused with the turning of the black nose. She seemed depressed. However her posture was not hunched, nor was she grinding her teeth or drooling. Her ears ere cool. I rubbed her tummy, I massaged her ears and back. Around 11 I gave her some pumpkin through a syringe. I could hear a gurgle in her intestines, her abdomen did not seem particularly bloated or hard. I went off to a two hour seminar on Autoimmune Conditions and Nitric Oxide. On my return she seemed a bit more lethargic, though in all fairness it wasbunny nap time. Feeling a bit over loaded in other categories, I decided to see if the vet could see her. At 4 we were at the vet. Although our regular Dr. was not there, there was an exotics specialist. Harriet charmed the staff and was well behaved for all the pokings and prodings. Her temperature was normal and she weighed 7 lbs and 1 oz. The vet couldn't find anything wrong as far as obstructions in the intestines, or with her teeth, nor did Harriet seem to be in any sort of pain. The vet was happy with Harriet's diet and could find no fault that may have caused the problem: Ritz Crackers, Chocolate Cake, excessive rug chewing... The diagnosis was gas. This based on my having heard gas gurgles two times at home. I was given the opportunity to leave her for treatment and observation or do the procedures myself at home. Some pet owners would not have had the latter option, but I am all too well known at the vet's and can perform almost any task a vet tech can. We got an IV bag with SubQ fluids, antibiotics ( apparently there can be build up of bacteria with stasis which must be controlled), a motility inducer, and some Critical care.

$153 dollars later I put Harriet back in her space at home and started unpacking the pharmacy. Harriet went straight to her box and started eating hay, she left a couple poops. Then she got out and did some grooming, plenty of twisting (work that tummy) and face work, (such a face she has, have I mentioned that?) and she ate some cecals (nature's probiotic for rabbits). Then she got back in her box and ate more hay and did 20 poops. She gobbled up the rose I proffered. She chewed vigorously on some matting. I called the vet and inquired if I could just wait and observe, hold off on all the meds. No, I was told, do all the meds until the bunny if eating and pooping normally. Over the course of the next few hours it became quite clear that if I administered all the meds I would in fact be keeping the bunny from eating and pooping normally. She ate almost all of a normal greens vegie dinner with her warren mates. I held off on the meds. During the night I could hear her eating hay and at one point drinking. The next day she was perfectly fine full of piss and vinegar, begging for food and boxing with Amelia.

Naturally, I am grateful she has recovered and certainly the next time she skips a meal and has no other symptoms I'll let her recover in her own way for the first say, 24 hours. about every 3-4 months Tyler or Sydney will skip a meal in just this same way. The first time this happened with Tyler I brought him in to see the vet and really all she could say was maybe he has a little gas. When Sydney first did this I couldn't catch her to take her to the vet. Generally speaking if I can't catch the rabbit, the rabbit doesn't need to go to the vet. Now on to gas, often I have heard gas inside Amelia as she stretches out. It's presence was not accompanied by any refusal to eat or discomfort. It would seem that gas alone is not indicative of a problem. Thinking about wild rabbits I would imagine that every so often they don't have 4 square meals and 12 snacks a day. It is hard to know how many wild rabbits get stasis, that sort thing doesn't make it into the news or even Facebook. A brief investigation points to stasis being a domestic rabbit condition. Many factors could be contributors to this: lack of proper space to exercise in, the wrong sorts of food. Wild rabbits live in social groups, could this somehow contribute to maintaining digestive health? It is true that premature babies grow more quickly and become viable faster if they are touched.

Back to Harriet the only things I could think of that could have sparked the digestive strike are: dandelions too many meals in a row and lack of contact. In the wild I imagine that rabbits eat a variety of foods everyday, I could certainly be wrong, but could there be a mechanism instilled in rabbit physiology that prevents the animal from mono dieting. In humans a mono diet can lead to food allergies and other imbalances as an imbalance of constituents accumulates in the tissues and irritates the digestive tract. Then there is lack of contact. Harriet still isn't getting groomed by any of the other rabbits. In the couple days leading up the incident I'd been very busy on the other side of the fence and actually did feel like I wasn't giving her enough attention. There was a point when I picked up Amelia and saw Harriet watching and I though "Uh, oh she was hurt by that". But how silly is that? My scientific brothers often remind me not anthropomorphize. However it is true that in Chinese Medicine the condition called "Wood Attacking Earth" can result in a lack of appetite. The Wood element can be adversely effected by emotional upset........

I did get most of my money back for the meds.