Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Eagle Has Landed! Or...the Bunny.

Since 8-year-old Mischa got adopted on Sunday, today, Tuesday, I brought home 7-year-old Fuzzy. I love this little guy! I think I got some good pictures. Let's see...

This is not a great photo, but it does show off his lop ears:

This picture is just cute! Except for all of his little poops. Sigh... Fuzzy is not the best with his litter box.

This is an overhead view. Please note how the fur on the top of his head parts right in the middle! By the way, the dark fur is, in fact, as soft and glossy as it looks, and the lighter fur is so fine that you can hardly tell when you're touching it. (And in case you're wondering, those are Fuzzy's measuring spoons. Most rabbits love to toss around plastic measuring cups and/or spoons.)

Sterling is still miraculously doing great. She still hasn't peed on anything, and she has been hissing much less than she did with Mischa. Poor Fuzzy only rates a single half-hearted hiss as she walks by. I don't know if Sterling is getting used to rabbits, or if she thinks Fuzzy is less of a threat. Or maybe she can tell Fuzzy can't hear her and doesn't want to put forth the effort.

Now you can see Fuzzy. He is almost impossible not to pick up and cuddle. I've been trying so hard to give Sterling scads of attention, but she is not a cuddler. So I picked up Fuzzy and took him to sit on the couch. Next to Sterling. Would you believe that for almost a minute Sterling didn't do anything? And then she hissed, but from where she was laying! She didn't even bother to stand up to hiss. And she never did leave. I put Fuzzy back because cat hisses stink, and a bunch in a row gets a bit putrid. But still, amazing!

But just to prove Sterling is not stressed by this situation, I took this picture 10 minutes ago:

So all is well, and everyone is welcome to come visit!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

I Am a Lucky Charm!

First, allow me to add a bit about last night, after my last post. Hilariously, Sterling started randomly hissing at Mischa -- or should I say, hissing in Mischa's direction. Sterling began hissing at Mischa from all over my apartment, mostly from places where she couldn't even see Mischa. It was hysterical, and it was for no good reason other than Mischa's existence. When Sterling hissed, Mischa wasn't making any noise or doing anything that would attract attention. Sterling would just be going about her day, then suddenly, out of nowhere, hiss no matter where she was or what she was doing, in Mischa's general direction. What a silly, silly girl.

But now for the big news: Mischa is getting adopted! I must be a lucky charm. I brought Mischa home yesterday (Friday), and today around 1:00 PM I get a phone call from the Seattle Animal Shelter telling me that someone wants to adopt her! I am so, so excited for her. And she's going to (hopefully) have a boyfriend named Ernie! Yep. Mischa and Ernie, sittin' in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G. But don't worry, they're both fixed. Ha!

And so, on Tuesday, I'm going to bring home the next most elderly rabbit at SAS: seven-year-old Fuzzy. Let me tell you a bit about Fuzzy, and I'll supplement with pictures on Tuesday. Fuzzy is totally ridiculous. I don't mean that in a mean way, but he looks utterly fake, like a stuffed animal. Here is some info:

1) Fuzzy is a mix between a lionhead rabbit and a lop-eared rabbit. So he has quite a hairdo.

2) Fuzzy is solid black, and with his hairdo, it's hard to tell what part of him you're looking at most of the time.

3) Fuzzy is deaf. As a result, Fuzzy sleeps so soundly you can't help but check that he's still alive.

4) Fuzzy has bald spots.

5) Fuzzy has the same attitude of an old guy on his front porch with a rifle, shouting, "You whippersnappers get off my lawn!" at the neighborhood kids. In fact, one volunteer compared him to Clint Eastwood in "Gran Torino." How do I know this? Once, accidentally, Fuzzy was out roaming the critter room when a teen rabbit named Lopter got out as well. Fuzzy totally attacked and defended his territory. And then went and took a nap.

6) Fuzzy naps a lot.

7) Fuzzy loves to be held and cuddled.

The deaf thing works out great, since Sterling can hiss and growl all she wants, and Fuzzy will be blissfully unaware. And probably asleep.

My hope is that my good-luck-charminess will continue, and someone will adopt Fuzzy, too.

By the way, everyone in the Puget Sound area is welcome to come and visit to meet Fuzzy, though you have to pay homage to Sterling first.

I'll post a picture tomorrow of Mischa packing up to head out to her forever home.

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Adventure Begins

10:34 PM

Okay, I'll sign off for the night with a final report. I know it's early days, but I'm so excited with how well things are going. Sterling continues to hiss every time she walks by Mischa, but Mischa seems very unconcerned by it all. Sterling has not peed on anything yet, and she's out and about through my whole apartment! To explain how big of a deal that is: when my Dad was here over Christmas, Sterling refused to come out of my bedroom unless we were gone or asleep. For an entire week. And then the morning he left, I came home from dropping him off at the airport to find that she had peed on his bed, as if to say, "Good riddance, and don't come back!" (Luckily, his bed was covered with a shower curtain.) And my Dad even tried to be nice!

So the fact that she's out and about, hasn't peed, and has done no more than hiss is really quite remarkable. However, it's entirely possible that she's currently lying on the couch plotting devious ways to torture Mischa and me tomorrow. She does like to plot.

Until tomorrow, sweet carrot dreams from Mischa, and dreams of solitude from Sterling.

7:18 PM

Here is what has happened with Sterling so far:

When Mischa and I returned home, Sterling was in my bedroom on the bed. Sterling cannot see Mischa's little pen from the bed. As I got Mischa all set up, Sterling stayed there and didn't seem agitated at all. When Mischa made noise by crunching on a carrot, Sterling sat up, ears pricked, but still didn't seem agitated and didn't leave the bed.

Then Sterling's automatic feeder let out her next little meal. Sterling hopped down and walked right past Mischa's little home on her way to her food. Now Mischa was curled up under the chair in her pen. Sterling paused, took a quick glance and went on her way. The same thing happened on her way back.

A couple of hours later, the feeder went off again. This time, Mischa was out and about. Sterling ignored her on her way to her food, but on the way back she hissed the entire way to the bedroom. (Hiss! Step, step, step. Hiss! Step, step, step.) She sat on her "condo" (which is what I call her cat tree) to ponder, then stuck her head back out to hiss again, just in case Mischa had missed it, and went under the bed to sulk. She's now back on top of the bed.

I fear jinxing myself, but still no pee!

2:21 PM

She's here! Here is where she started:

Here is where she is now, exploring around:

1:49 PM

I've been to SAS to pack up Mischa's stuff. Here is a picture of her new home:

Okay, off to pick up Mischa!

12:54 PM
I forgot to take all of my bags and baggies and tupperware to the Shelter with me this morning. So I did my regular shift, came home, showered, and am about to head back to get all of Mischa's stuff.

Just FYI, here is a picture of Sterling's current life. (Please ignore mess on coffee table.) As you can see, her life is rather cushy.

Okay, off I go.

Did You Know?

Just a little plug for the Seattle Animal Shelter. As I wrote in my last post, SAS has tons of critters in addition to cats and dogs. So please, check to see if SAS has any critter for adoption before you buy one.

Love reptiles? We get every kind.

Does your child want a hamster or gerbil? Please check SAS before buying one at a pet store.

Are you an urban farmer? SAS almost always has chickens, both hens and roosters. Sometimes we even have really snazzy ones. In addition, we've had goats, pigs and a peacock.

Want something exotic? We have had dwarf hamsters, chinchillas, a hedgehog, and an eight- foot python.

Want a baby animal? We've had baby guinea pigs no bigger than peanuts, and baby rabbits only eight days old.

And, of course, many, many dogs and cats.

You can even watch videos!

Also, please keep in mind that we always need foster parents, especially for babies, the elderly, sick animals, and animals with behavioral problems. This is true for critters, dogs and cats. SAS never has enough foster parents. Please e-mail me at scschinagl@hotmail.com if you have any questions at all about fostering, the Animal Shelter itself, or about volunteering.

Armageddon? Arma-urine

People, I may be the architect of my own Armageddon. Allow me to explain.

Item 1: I have a Bad Cat. Her name is Sterling, and she is spoiled rotten, which I'm sure adds to her bad behavior. Sterling has made it clear that she is to be my one and only pet. No one else is welcome. Unfortunately, she makes this clear via various bodily functions, the grossest of which is pee.

Item 2a: How do I know she makes this clear? I once got her a kitten for company, thinking that with a kitten she could definitely be the alpha female. What did I get? A cat guarding her (my) bedroom like it's the last trench before the enemy overruns her kingdom. And pee. And poop. And puke. Oh, yes. I spent two weeks spending probably close to $100 dollars on laundry.

Item 2b: When Sterling was only a few years old and living with my Mom and sister, she was already Queen, but she wasn't quite filled with her full-on sense of superiority yet. My sister got a puppy. Not just a puppy; a Cocker Spaniel puppy. A puppy who woke up every day with the renewed, optimistic feeling that he could make Sterling be his very bestest friend in the whole wide world. Sterling did not agree. Day after day after day, she did not agree. This resulted in some secret peeing, but mostly hiding. High up, far out of the puppy's reach.

Item 3: I volunteer at the Seattle Animal Shelter, and I work with the Critter Team. The Critter Team cares for all of the animals that aren't dogs or cats. Keep in mind that SAS is also Seattle Animal Control, so we get all sorts of critters. We've had goats, peacocks, a hedgehog, guinea pigs, mice, hamsters, rats, gerbils, pigs, chickens, snakes, and the list goes on and on. We also get lots and lots and lots of rabbits. Right around Christmas, many people went out of their way to be extra jerky. Within about two weeks, we had four quite elderly rabbits dropped off. **Just a moment to rant. Who DOES that? Who has a pet, and when it gets old, drops it off at an animal shelter? Who DOES that?** Anyway, the average age of a rabbit is seven. Within a day of each other, we had a seven-year-old and an eight-year-old dropped off.

Item 4: Mischa is the eight-year-old rabbit. To be realistic, no one is going to adopt her. Maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised, but most people do not want to adopt a rabbit who might not be around much longer. So I have decided to take her home and foster her.

Reason for Hope: Okay, I'm trying to keep my expectations low. In order not to jinx myself, all I'm hoping for is for them to tolerate and ignore each other. So...

1) Sterling and Mischa are the same size.
2) Sterling and Mischa are the same color (which means nothing, except I think it's cool).
3) Sterling and Mischa have the same two favorite activities: eating and sleeping.
4) Mischa will be contained in her own little pen, while Sterling will have the run of the house.
5) Mischa is not annoying. See # 3.

Proactive Action: After years with Sterling, I am now an expert in Proactive Sterling Action. She manages to get creative and fool me once in a while, but I can mostly head off the worst of it.

1) Embarrassingly, Sterling is on an anti-anxiety medication. I know, it sounds so yuppie. So, so yuppie. But her peeing has dramatically decreased while she's been on it.
2) Shower curtains: I cover everything with shower curtains. They protect furniture from pee, poop and puke, and are thick enough that the smell doesn't leak through, either.
3) $40 of quarters for laundry, just in case.

So folks, wish me luck. I'll be updating this blog often, with photos and video clips. It should be highly entertaining. For you.