My neighborhood is experiencing a rabbit population explosion. I counted four in a neighbor's backyard the other night.
Now, I have nothing against rabbits. I really enjoy watching them hop around and play. And neither I nor any of my neighbors have vegetable gardens, so we don't have to worry about rabbit-inflicted food loss. But this summer is the first in many years that there have been rabbits in the area, and it finally hit me why: Rocky's not around to run them off anymore.
Now, Rocky never actually killed the rabbits. His policy regarding the local wildlife was very much "bring 'em back alive". Oh, except for mice. He would dissect mice with great pleasure, eating only the tasty bits, and leaving the guts and feet in tidy piles on the back porch for me to step in when I went out in the morning to get the newspaper. Aaahhh, memories.
The first live item he brought into the apartment was a chipmunk. A very frisky chipmunk, who scurried hither and yon for two days. I would hear the chipmunk in the bedroom, or the kitchen, or wherever, and I would pick Rocky up and take him to the chipmunk, and all Rocky would do is give the chipmunk an affectionate nudge. I think Rocky was looking for a pet. But then, of course, the chipmunk would go scurrying elsewhere, everywhere of course except the open front door.
So on the second day, I determined it was time to help reunite the chipmunk with his natural environment. I got the broom and the cat and tried to herd the chipmunk outside. Instead, the chipmunk went running into the bathroom and up into the tub. "Perfect!", I thought. "I'll just put the chipmunk in ........ something ........... and take him outside!"
I grabbed a plastic mixing bowl and a piece of cardboard for a cover and headed into the bathroom, closing the door firmly behind me so as to prevent the chipmunk from heading back out into the apartment. You know where this is going, right? I put the bowl over the chipmunk, slid the cardboard under the bowl, and picked up the whole kit and kaboodle, with one hand under the bowl and one hand on top of the cardboard. Then I went to open the door, and ....... yeah....... not so much. I had no way to turn the door handle, as both hands were occupied with chipmunk containment.
So! I did the only thing I could think of (which is usually the worst possible option, in any given situation, given my thought processes), and placed the covered bowl against my stomach, holding it in place with one hand and using the other to open up the door. Success! And I headed out the back door, down the stairs, and across the back yard with the chipmunk scrabbling wildly in the bowl. I set the bowl on the ground, took off the cardboard, and the chipmunk ran happily away, surely to tell his friends about his adventure.
And Rocky spent the next few days sniffing about the apartment, looking for his missing friend.
Coming soon: Rocky graduates from chipmunks to rabbits.