With the relatively clean bill of health for our pet rabbit we were able to consider something we had never done with our lost rabbit. We were going to leave him unsupervised overnight.
bunny_hugger had done this with previous rabbits. But it takes some confidence. A rabbit can go from fine to endangered just by missing a day's worth of meals. We'd never consider that with our lost rabbit, especially once his decline got bad. But we weren't sure we could bring our new rabbit to bunny_hugger's parents, not without stressing him, and without several hours' diversion to her parents. (Not that it's a burden being at her parents', except that it does take time we might not have.)
What had us planning on letting him go unsupervised was the state pinball championship. It was schedule for last weekend, at MJS's near-legendary pole barn just outside Kalamazoo. That's only about 75 minutes away, not an unreasonable drive to set out in the morning ... except that we needed to be there by 10 am, and the earlier the better since that would let us get practice in, and add to that how much earlier we have to get up to get ready in the morning and you know what? Staying in a hotel near the tournament venue made sense.
It still felt illicit setting up our rabbit to go unsupervised overnight, though. We loaded him up on hay and water, of course. And a lot of pellets. He doesn't gulp down pellets so rapidly as our lost rabbit did at the same age. He'll eat, but he'll leave some around and then come back to it, and toss his food dish around until he's shown it who's boss. And then eat more. We also loaded a lot of vegetables in, which similarly, he'll eat but not voraciously.
We weren't seriously worried, but we were nevertheless relieved to get home and see him sitting up, alert and healthy and at the edge of his pen. (We didn't give him the unrestricted roam of the house.) As we had left we told him, as we often told our lost rabbit, to watch the house. Apparently he took his charge seriously. Good omen.
Trivia: Shortly before the New Madrid Earthquake of 1811 the United States had appropriated $50,000 to help Venezuelans recover from an earthquake which killed twenty thousand poeple in Caracas. Source: The Culture of Calamity: Disaster and the Making of Modern America, Kevin Rozario.
Currently Reading: The Complete Peanuts 1983-84, Charles Schulz. Editor Gary Groth.
How Much I Did Lose In Pinball, an update on last weekend. You'll be getting the fuller story here soon.