Our Halloweekends visit to Cedar Point began with our traditional bringing of the rabbit to bunny_hugger's parents. This was the third time we'd taken Columbo to them to watch while we were on a holiday somewhere and we just figured of course there'd be many more of them to come. They've always been happy to take care of first Stephen and then Columbo. And they had liked having a rabbit to care for who didn't have any special medical routines. In his last years Stephen took to needing painkiller, that fortunately he was very happy to take, and sometimes had extra requirements. Columbo, though, he'd had nothing ... except.
In August, following our frustration that he was still urinating way too much, the veterinarians diagnosed that he'd had a urinary tract infection. And that was basically easily cured, with a couple days' worth of antibiotics that made Columbo hate any oral medicines, and painkillers that didn't endear him to that. Alongside that, the vets explained that ``expressing'' Columbo's bladder would probably help him, and over the next weeks I started getting the hang of it. With a bit of assistance he could have his major pee of the day done, and be generally a lot better off.
bunny_hugger's parents weren't sure they could express Columbo's bladder while we were off. We insisted that it was all right: even if he did lose his control, it was only for four days. He'd survive. They could treat him as a basically problem-free rabbit.
(In hindsight, the incontinence was a clue. But it wasn't one we recognized, and the vets were confounded by tests for the sort of bug that would cause incontinence like this coming back negative.)
They worried, though, especially as he didn't show any sign of peeing at all while we were away. And so her father worked out how to express his bladder, and wrung him out, while we were off at Cedar Point. Her father took Columbo's death particularly hard, and we weren't sure at first why. It was probably several things, but among them, that moment of taking extraordinary care for the rabbit's health. It's bonding in a way that just feeding and watering and shooing off the dog doesn't demand.
Trivia: The first proposal to build railways for public transport seems to have been published in 1802 by one Richard Lovell Edgeworth, who proposed adding rails to the roads already carrying the greatest volume of traffic. Source: The Railway Journey: The Industrialization of Time and Space in the 19th Century, Wolfgang Schivelbusch.
Currently Reading: And Chaos Died, Joanna Russ.
PS: after the end of a day at Six Flags over Texas.
Putting the park to bed: the main entrance square, including what you can see of the carousel (left), and people figuring what they want to take home besides the experience.
And on the way to the car: a chance to see La Vibora from outside and nestled in for the evening.