Untitled.

My heart feels like a flaccid orange and my mind is numb. W/out exaggeration, the past 2 days have simply SUCKED BEYOND BELIEF. YES I know I joke about a whole lot of things, but for once I am totally serious.

Yesterday morning I got into a car accident. My daughters and I are all fine. The car is okay. But I saw first-hand how emotionally charged people can be following a collision, and road rage is a DAMN good reason why handguns should be outlawed. W/out rehashing all the details, I got rear-ended. It was a stupid accident. The driver of the other vehicle did not want to be at fault. Rather than take responsibility for her error in judgment, she wanted to take it out on me. She & her large male companion threatened me repeatedly w/ bodily harm. They screamed. They cursed. I do not like being threatened. I do not like being cursed out by two enraged human beings hell-bent on being right when they are wrong. and especially NOT IN FRONT OF CHILDREN. It was ugly. Very, very ugly.

If I saw these folks on the street I’d think they were a lovely family – an attractive mom & dad w/ a beautiful little girl. But the time I spent w/ them. The threats. It was totally surreal. Is it normal for a grown woman to threaten to KNOCK ANOTHER WOMAN OUT?? I haven’t heard this kind of stuff since I was in high school – and even then, it wasn’t ever directed at me. People I know do not act like this. It’s barbaric. INSANE. People who try to look like middle-class America, driving around in a fancy SUV, dress well, and then act like street thugs? Is this real? For the LOVE OF GOD what are people doing to their kids in this day and age?? When you teach your children to hate first and think later – to play a race card – you are as good as crippling them. They will never be more than that. They will never see more than that. Here in Philly – people act. and they think too late.

I spent all day yesterday dazed. Feeling off-sorts. Saddened. angry. sad again. even scared. Trying to reconcile everything. And then, Last night, after dark, raccoons crept into our rabbit’s fenced-in pen and attacked her. We didn’t even know until after the fact. Our good friend & neighbor, Jim, saved her from being mauled. Locked her in her hutch. Broke the bad news. One look, and I knew she was hurt badly. I could see visible puncture wounds on her right side, and she wasn’t moving her one arm.

6 months ago, I spent weeks nursing this rabbit back to health via syringe feedings. You simply cannot stare into the eyes of a creature that close to death, feeding them as a child, holding them, encouraging them, without seeing them as your own. Prudence had been just this side of the pearly gates, wagging her cotton ball tail through the slats for fun. She bid adieu to St. Peter, and rejoined humanity – for what. For THIS? The indignity of being mauled by a hungry raccoon trying to feed her young. I know that God exists, and I know that nature is cruel. But the injustice is too much.

This morning the ladies and I took Prudence to the vet. I knew what they would say. I knew the options. But I took her all the same. How could I do anything else? To keep something I love in pain, safe, at home? To allow her to suffer b/c I could not bear to lose her would be abject cruelty. But taking her…. In my heart, I knew that I was leading her to death. The chance – however slim – that she had or would contract rabies from the bite. that was all that mattered. How could I live w/ myself it it happened? If she bit me. My children? My heart aches. My beloved rabbit, Prudence, my friend. Who’d been at death’s door and had overcome, blossoming into better health and spirits than she’d ever known.

I’ve written before about my love of pets, and I’ve written briefly of their loss. I’ve introduced you to several of our cast of characters – most notably, Kiwi (my crazy ass bird) – but this post… this is a tribute to Prudence.

Spring through fall, Prudence lives/d in the backyard in a wooden hutch w/ her own fenced pen. It had become sort of a joke, that she was a “free-range bunny”, b/c most days we left the gate to her pen open and she would hop in-and-out at will. Although our yard has open fencing, and Prudence could have escaped if she wanted to, she never did. The most she ever did was hop over to our next-door neighbors to sample the clover. So most days I would gaze out the kitchen window to find a Teletubbie-esque scene, with Prudence hopping from spot to spot in the yard, munching grass. Although we have a ton of cats on our block, none of them ever gave Prudence the slightest grief. In fact, the total opposite. These cats would (no joke) actually come to hang out w/ her. Our one cat Bixby would sometimes laze up on top of her hutch, and our other cat Milkshake slept INSIDE of it. Prudence seemed to think this was just fine, and somehow here in West Philly, it WAS normal. They all just got along. Different. But happy. Prudence was as close to a “wild bunny” as a totally domestic fed pet could get – she’d even felt inspired to recently begin digging a burrow in the corner of her pen, like her rabbit forebears. Somehow she just knew. She knew how. She wanted to. And it was okay.

Tonight, my heart aches. Tomorrow we will bury our sweet bunny’s remains in the burrow she’d been digging these past weeks. A fitting tribute to her work.

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7 thoughts on “Untitled.

  1. c-
    i’m so sorry about your harrowing experience with the car accident. i’m glad you and the girls are fine, but feel horrible that you were threatened and verbally assaulted. it doesn’t say much for others when they lash out because of their own mistakes.

    as for prudie…i’m so sorry! though it may not be much solace, you gave her the best life you could–nursed her through a rough time when most others wouldn’t. i’m thinking of you.
    -n

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  2. It’s all a bit too much to comprehend isn’t. Blatant antagonistic mannerisms of the human being are becoming all too familiar across the world. Where I would once always stand up for myself when I was wronged, I now find myself sitting quiet and letting the moment pass. Of course your situation was so different but I was just trying to draw comparison to how it seems things are changing for the worse.
    .
    My husband and I were last night having a chat as we sat and drank coffee. We watched the wild rabbits in the garden and I saw one of them make an involuntary movement with it’s legs… I mentioned that our rabbit, Jasper, who sadly died some months ago, used to do the same thing and we came to the conclusion that he perhaps had brain problems, black outs or fits. After all these months we still thnk of him fondly. (I have mentioned him in blogs in the past and he was an absolute darling who like Prudence, came to be loved by a community of friends here. )
    I think the fitting tribute to her concerning her burial is perfect. I think she knows she was loved and for as long as you could, you cared, loved and gave her a wonderful life. I’m so sorry Christy that this post is a post of sadness and I hope happier times are forthcoming.
    Thinking of you all,
    T xxx

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  3. I’m not good with words of comfort. I always feel so awkward, not knowing what to say. I really truly feel for you. Both tellings, heartbreaking. From bad to worse. In the end Prudence will find peace in her burrow. I am sorry for your loss.

    As for your first topic, did the police ever get involved? I hope those people got what they had coming to them. Behavior like that is becoming all too common, but remember, it’s still not the norm. In general people are better than that. Unfortunately it’s the bad stories that stick in our heads and linger in our minds.

    I hope my comment finds you in better spirits. Take care.

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  4. Christy, I am utterly amazed at the day you had yesterday and it’s a lot to have heaped on your heart. I know you did the best you could under that onslaught, conscious that you had your girls with you. Frankly, it pisses me off and I wish I had been there. I’ll bet John was livid.

    I just want you to know what a role model you are to me. It’s easy to be angry, to bully, to irrationally demand satisfaction. (Especially if who you are yelling at won’t respond in kind.) It takes strength not to lash out at others like that.

    I love your open heart, and though it means things hurt you deeply, it’s something that makes you one of the most beautiful women I know.

    My thoughts are with you today, and your beloved Prudence. And now I think I’ll go not take my kitties for granted.

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  5. I’m so sorry for your experience with the crazy driver (and accomplice) and that it occurred in front of your children. It’s hard enough when something out of control like an accident occurs, but then on top of that the involved party reacts irrationally and just plain scary in front of your children. But you Christy are one of the good ones. Even though circumstance can bring us all to act a bit out of character at times, I would bet that you yourself did not resort to threats of violence or name calling. I would bet that your thoughts were for your safety and your children’s safety and getting the heck away from those crazies, and your children know that. I’m just sorry you had to deal with the whole thing in the first place.

    Losing a pet is just as devastating as losing a family member; especially if you have a tender place in your heart for animals. I could not help but imagine the little hutch and fenced area as you were explaining it and it just struck me that Prudence had a happy 6 months. If you had not been in her life and had not nursed her back she would never have had the opportunity to dig a burrow or live in a hutch or hop around the backyard with the cats and nibble clover. You gave her 6 months of happy that she wouldn’t have otherwise had, and that’s a good thing. I know she went away too soon, and that’s hard to swallow, but you gave her a good life before she went.

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  6. Oh, Christy, I’m so sorry! So much to deal with. I hate it when people act like that. I just don’t get it. And your poor little bunny! Well, at least know that people do care about you – hugs!

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  7. I have to think that kindness and goodness will win out over the meanness in the world. People get mad at themselves and take it out on the innocent. I hope your girls weren’t too frightened! As evidenced by the comments here you are truly loved and this should give you great comfort in such a distressing time. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers as well.
    P.S. I believe that Prudence will always be closer than you think and that all pets and owners are reunited after this life time.

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