Saturday, April 03, 2021 (23 days before April’s full “Pink Moon”)
A couple days ago I happened upon my cat Max as he began working on a baby bunny. My discovery came too late to rescue baby but that warned, “baby bunny season” has arrived. Now it’s time to start keeping my cat inside.
Through today and many ensuing, Max will be an unhappy pain in my neck. He’ll brush against my legs, circle figure eights in front of my steps, position himself in my blind spots. Before taking a step, I’ll have to search and avoid landing on him. For us both, it’ll be awful before getting easier.
Max, about fifteen years old, has been with me since he was about two. He originally was an outside-only kitty and stayed that way a few years, living in the barn and ridding (supposedly) the mice. One day on finding him with a swelling wound, I took him to our vet who discovered a small puncture apparently from a cat fight. The fight meant that Max had to avoid contact with other cats a couple months, until his wound aged so he could be tested for kitty aids. That day Max moved into my house.
After an initial confusion, Max loved being inside. Finally, after testing negative, he became an inside-outside guy. In mornings, I must navigate around his figure-eight weavings, and avoid stepping backwards onto his parked body. My happy morning moment is pushing him outside for the day. Usually Max reappears before darkness and comes inside. The exception is baby bunny season when he shows up outside my bedroom window at 2 a.m., or doesn’t appear at all.
Last spring, a teeny bunny hopping near my backdoor probably was from a litter nested under the haystack in my barn. I decided to let that baby grow and kept Max inside. The cat was unhappy but the growing bunny pleased me. Our baby grew more strong and alert while eating my hay and living safely under the barn floorboard.
Max had been inside for a couple of months before other cats began prowling his territory. That’s when my cat again went outside, and right away, discovered our bunny in the barn. Max tried to get the little one, but bunny survived, grew up, now and then became visible, and still nests under the barn. Recently, another bunny hopping with ours suggested maybe soon babies.
Today Max and I will restart our dancing act. He’ll languish during the weeks of safety growing babies need. My cat and I will watch bunnies through a window, staying alert for invading other cats. When it’s appropriate, my cat again will be outside and free.
Dear Friends: I loved Speedo, a domestic cottontail rescued on my property (another story). Diana