austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

You're getting to be a rabbit with me

So as happens life is screwing up my plans. In this case, of getting nearly current on my journal here.

Penelope, our upstairs grumblebunny, whom we became foster-failures for in April, is ill. We noticed the problem when she went from being just fussy about what she ate, to picky, and finally just stopped eating much of anything. We suspected her teeth, at first. She has a problem where her molars don't grind down quite right, and they need intervention every few months. She'd had them ground just in May, so it would be weird and unsettling if she needed them ground already. But it was imaginable, and it would explain much of her habits, particularly that it seemed she ate less and less of the harder stuff first.

But she reached the point she wasn't eating anything robustly and that's a veterinary visit. It ended up being an overnight visit, so she could be examined by the expert in an unhurried manner. And the problem seems to be something in her belly. Her liver, or perhaps her stomach. It might be some odd temporary blockage from something she oughtn't have eaten. It might be cancer.

We knew adopting an elder rabbit meant we'd have not enough time with her. But four months!

The only way to know is surgery. Which would be expensive, but not beyond what we expected. (That said, if you know someone who could give me money to do whatever it is I do, please drop a line.) It's also risky. It's always dangerous to put an animal under anaesthesia, and moreso an ``exotic'' like a rabbit, and moreso an older rabbit; she's about eight years old. And it's possible that they could open her and find that it's an impossible mess and they have to euthanize her on the table. The vet we think of as the pessimistic one --- the first one to suggest we ought to consider putting Stephen down --- warned us about this. The vet we think of as more optimistic says Penelope doesn't seem to be in particular pain, and so we don't need to decide right away.

But we also know the sooner we act the better. Her chances are surely better the stronger she is to start with, and the longer she goes eating poorly the weaker she'll be. Also the sooner the more recovery time she'll enjoy under our direct supervision. We're planning to be off to Pinburgh at the end of the month, and while bunny_hugger's mother is an excellent caretaker of animals (and a retired nurse, which has left her extremely well-primed to watch sick animals) she is also anxious about caring for an ill rabbit. Fortunately, recovery time would be something like a week to ten days; if we act soon, Penelope might need only a day or two of recovery time under bunny_hugger's mother's care.

And yet. There's the chance we take her in for surgery and she never comes back. And it's so perilous to think of doing that. ... I mean, yes, ultimately, if she dies on the table then whatever kills her is the thing in her abdomen. But to think that she would die because this day I chose to pick her up and put her in this cage and drive her to this office is to strangle myself under the terrors of choice.

Thank you for all your good thoughts.

Trivia: The lowest salary paid to a performer for a Vitaphone short was to banjo-player Roy Smeck, whose short, recorded 12 July 1926, earned him $350. Source: The Speed of Sound, Scott Eyman.

Currently Reading: Mission to Saturn: Cassini and the Hugyens Probe, David M Harland.

PS: Entering Storbyook Land, where we've got a lot of happy memories.


Giant Mother Goose statue that greets people. Also it used to literally greet people, as a speaker and closed-circuit TV let some staff member talk to people who were nearby. That wasn't in operation when we visited and I don't know when it last was.


The Gingerbread House Snack bar, with a pretty nice outside decor that's nice and inviting and suggests the place would have more candies than it actually does. (It's more, like, burgers and pizza and stuff.)


Oh hey, yeah, so on top of the Gingerbread House Snack Bar is this girl that's repurposed from an A&W Restaurant somewhere. This is not the only repurposed fast-food figure we would encounter, either.

Tags: fifth anniversary trip, rabbit, story book land

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