Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Southern Bun

I made the mistake of telling Coco about a printer saleswoman who came to my office yesterday to "train" employees how to print things double-sided and create 11 x 17" booklets with side staples. I suppose this is not actually important, nor very interesting, except that this woman spoke exactly like any movie actress cast as "Southern Woman #2" might speak.

I mention this, because sometimes when Coco is especially hammered, she puts on an accent. Not always discernible and certainly never predictable, Coco somehow finds a way to insert this quirk of hers into random portions of conversation.

I was in the kitchen of our new apartment fixing Coco another mint julep, as today she was clearly feeling her southern roots...

"Oh my word, sugar. I'm tellin' yew my forehead is sweatin' like a whore in church!" 

I stepped into the living room and handed Coco the brass mug filled with the sweet minty beverage.

"Coco, you're sitting on top of the radiator cover. Of course you're toasty. Here, have a sip."

She bent down and lapped up the boozy drink like a normal bunny should.

"My, my Cokes, you're certainly acting like a proper bunny today!"

She lifted her paw and adjusted her newly fashioned hat. One hour prior, Coco had torn apart all of the kitchen cabinets to pick out a coffee filter for her headpiece. Though the hat turned out marvelously, I did feel it was unnecessary for her to throw the remaining filters into the toilet and flush. It took me 45 minutes to mop up the flood.

"I'm a southern belle, honey. Mama raised me right back when I was just a young chitlin. I do declare, the first beau I ever paid mind to had to court my pa for a full year before I'd give him permission to kiss my hand. You suggesting I am anything but a lady has me quite ruffled." Coco said, licking the bourbon from her upper lip.

"Coco, I didn't mean anything by it."

"I swear you've got me as heated as a baked potato-- So you watch it, now!" Coco snapped back. All the charm quickly draining from her miniature, furry (and I suppose sweaty) body. 

"Ok Coco, listen, I think you are the epitome of class and charm. You display grace in everything that you do. I respect you and I love you more than I love my own life. I also think that more people should acknowledge your greatness." I figured that flooding Coco with kind words might negate her Southern sass. 

I was wrong.

"You are a joke, my dear. A silly and hideous joke that I've heard before and didn't find it funny the first time. In addition to your tragic face, I suggest you stop taking garment advice from the hop-along pauper convention you clearly frequent. You are an embarrassment, and I pity you." Coco was beginning to sway from the heat from the radiator.

I grabbed her cup and scooped her up from the platform. I carried her into the kitchen and gently put her down on the cool surface of the counter. I ran a washcloth under some cold water and patted her paws. 

"Here baby girl. Let's get you cooled down. I think that heat really put you in a state!"

Coco lifted her chin and slowly tilted her head to the side. She kicked the mint julep off of the counter and onto the kitchen floor, held her paw to her cheek and laughed, "You know, I do believe you are correct! There is nothing more displeasing than a toasted bun! Fetch me a sweet tea and rum, would you doll? Mama's gotta make up for lost time."

"Right away, ma'am. Right away."

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Wild Night is Calling

We moved.
We moved out of the house where Coco once spent her mornings, afternoons and evenings resting on the table where her cage also sat or lounging on the adjacent windowsill, snoozing in the afternoon sun.

The one bedroom apartment in which we currently live also has plenty of windows offering the day's sunlight, but now, Coco doesn't live on a table anymore. She lives among the humans, her cage on the floor with its door open at all times, giving Coco access to, well…everything. This, I believe is where the trouble began. 

At around 3AM, for the past 16 consecutive nights, Coco has been awake, running amok around the apartment. She's repeatedly leapt into my bed, slapped me across both cheeks, and laughed maniacally as she hopped out of the room...letting out little screams down the hallway. 

At first I blamed this on booze, of course. Perhaps she was taking in a little extra these days to cope with her new environment…no big deal. This would pass, I was sure of it. On the other hand when I would rouse myself out of bed at 7:15AM to prepare my morning coffee, Coco was often nowhere to be found…until I spotted her sleeping in the shower, snoozing in a potted plant or snoring in a nest of blankets--but how? It was breakfast time and Coco never missed an opportunity to stuff her face. Her restlessness in the wee hours of the morning was truly a problem.

This past night, I was jolted awake at 3:37am to the sound of breaking glass. I jumped up, and stumbled down the hallway into the living room, tripping over Coco's overturned food dish, to find my little fluff monster chucking fruit at the far wall of the room. She had already broken two panes of glass and launched four pears, two avocados and an apple at the windows. Books were strewn about the living room, hundreds of pages torn from their backing and all the while, little miss bunny was screaming at the top of her lungs, "I'VE GOTTA GET OUTTA HERE!!!" She threw punches and flying side kicks at an invisible enemy.

Coco was a rabbit insane! She had become completely detached from reality, her reality as a somewhat tame house bunny with an affinity for hard alcohol. I needed to bring her back in.

I reached for Coco, flipped her onto her back, her body lying vertically along my knees and I squeezed her paws firmly, "Coco. You've got to pull it together. This new found freedom has turned you feral."

"I'm completely freaked out, Ma." Coco said, her eyes shifting wildly. "I…I…I need to run, like, really run. I need to dart through bushes. I need to dig a hole, for real. It's just this feeling...I gotta GO."

"Baby love!" I cooed. "This is your home. I know you feel like a rambunctious teen, but you are actually a 9-year-old Elderbun. My old lady bunny. I feed you, I kiss you, I clean your bum, I give you hip massages...you need this. You belong here, not in the wild." I stroked her cheeks and nuzzled her nose with mine.

"I...I...." Coco struggled to get her words out. Her breathing had calmed and she now looked me directly in the eyes. "I need a drink." 

"That's my girl! I'm glad you're back Coco."
I carried my soft, sleepy bunny into the bedroom and set her up on a large pillow. I pulled my flask out of the sock drawer and sat it next to her. 
"Everything is better now, Coco. Everything is fine."

Coco picked up the flask and poured the brown liquor into her pea-sized mouth. "Everything is better now," she said. "Everything is fine."