About Helen

P1250648_wThis is Helen the rabbit. She lived in a cage for a few days after she came home. She came from a backyard breeder that had just one pair of rabbits, and two young bunnies. Still, Helen and Bonnie Bunny lived in a small hutch in a dark little shed.P1250732_wHelen and her sister Bonnie came to live with Wiley Wabbit, an elderly widower rabbit. They are mini-rex rabbits.Photobooth 2012-02-11 at 23.37 #4_wCheck out Helen’s cute tummy!IMG_8618_wThey all lived together and got to play in the back yard every day.IMG_0456_wAfter a while, though, Helen’s sister Bonnie decided she wanted Wiley all to herself. She drove off poor Helen.IMG_1313_wThat was fine with Helen because she became the Princess of the Kitchen.2011-10-27 15.12.57_wHelen had no cage, just a corner of the kitchen. Because she wanted to live in China, she would try to dig there through the bottom of her litter box, tossing the contents willy-nilly. This is her second litter box, with a higher back.IMG_4541_wSame corner, new COVERED, and final, litter box. It didn’t stop the digging, just the mess. Her clean boxes contained a layer of timothy hay over CareFresh. We won’t talk about her soiled litter box.2012-06-15 12.27.36_wThis is how Helen told her slave to “Clean My Litter Box!” It only happened once.IMG_4419_wNo door on this girl’s crib!IMG_4152_wFor some reason, Helen never ate these chairs. Maybe I just never looked that closely.IMG_7088_wUsually, she was a good little bunny, and even a stray raisin like this was unusual.2012-06-30 19.46.17_wShe was such a good bunny that she became an interior decorator.2012-09-01 00.49.26_wShe even decorated in Dobby’s area when he was out for the evening.2012-09-01 00.49.26_wBut generally she was a good little bunny, only eating her own furniture and the adjacent walls.IMG_4199_wShe also liked to rearrange her furniture. And eat my tasty cookbooks: note the barricade.IMG_3560_wShe particularly liked this condo. I stuck it in there temporarily and she was in there almost immediately.IMG_4200_wA picture of innocence.IMG_6629_wIn pole position while I am cooking. Lots of lettuce and parsley flying around this kitchen. Banana boxes are a big favorite around here. You can put several together to make a compartmented tunnel. Even just one seems to be rabbit-sized.IMG_4486_wHelen’s favorite part of the day was Clean Up, after Dobby went to bed.IMG_4529_wHis strewn timothy hay, guinea pig pellets, and stray corn kernels were the highlight of her day!IMG_4532_wShe would take up residence as soon as the door was opened to his area.IMG_4538_wShe would glean the leftover food and bunch up the dirty rugs. We barricaded off the back area or she would go under the shelves and never come out.IMG_4485_wShe was never allowed near Dobby’s precious White Rabbit Rug, which was promptly removed.IMG_6626_wHanging out in Dobby’s area was the best part of every evening. Before she was spayed, she left calling cards and rude little puddles, but that behavior stopped immediately after she was fixed. (I wish I could say the same for Dobby…)IMG_3603_wThe days were lazy.IMG_8590_wOther than the abuse.IMG_8594_wThe constant abuse.IMG_7057_wReal dress-up was okay though. These are CareFresh earrings!IMG_3563_wHere’s that condo again. Wait, who is that on the other side of that wall?IMG_3563_wDobby! Dobby never accepted the fact that Helen was allowed on “the greener side” of the kitchen wall.11b48-2012-06-1717-53-48Dobby was really annoyed when she was allowed outside to play in his special pasture.2013-01-02 23.48.46_wThen one day she just became very, very quiet. Less than 2 years old and she had suffered a stroke. Nothing to be done, no one to blame.2013-01-02 17.56.36_wI brought her home from the vet and she continued to deflate, like a balloon with a slow leak. And then she was gone. She left an empty corner in the kitchen, and another in my heart. Even Dobby mourned.Photobooth 2011-11-21 at 00.39 #4_wI’ve had many rabbits, indoors, outdoors, baby bunnies, gift bunnies, cast-off pets, abandoned 4H bunnies, $2 bunnies bought at bird auctions because nobody else was interested, wild bunnies, and ridiculously domestic ones. Back in 1970 I had a house rabbit I had to toss out of my bathroom sink to wash my hands. But I never before had one that created such a ruckus in so short a time. You just never know, do you?

[Originally published February 18, 2013]

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