Lord of the Flies

When we returned home from the Midwest, the first thing I did was drag my sorry self upstairs to crash out in bed. After nearly 15 hours in the car, it was all I could do. But the first thing my husband did, being the amazing soul he is, was go through the entire house to make sure everything was just as we’d left it. And everything was fine. Save for the flies.

When we left John says he noticed one lone fly bzzzzing round an upstairs room. No big deal. He figured it’d be dead by the time the weekend was over.

HAHAHAHHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAH!!!!

Remember Cutie? My daughter’s runaway hamster?? Yes, I know I haven’t written about him in weeks. But that’s b/c we thought he was still on vacation. Well… he is, except it’s that reeeeeeeaaaalllly long vacation that never ends. Ugh. we can now state w/ fair certainty that Cutie has become banquet to 50,000 flies. So we’ve spent the better part of two days shooing, swatting and otherwise casting out these winged creatures from our happy home. And in tackling this new and vexing challenge, I have noticed something truly profound.

When a fly gets trapped inside, they follow a particular pattern. First, They zoom from room to room looking for an exit. Second, they find a window. They fly back and forth past the window, assessing the possibility of escape. In a last-ditch effort, they begin to fly into the window, over and over, as though their feeble crashes will at last force the glass and they will be free. Eventually, the exhausted fly succumbs to the inevitable, either crawling up into a ball and breathing its last, OR conversely, overcoming its initial aversion and fear and FINALLY allowing me to gently scoop it up and release it out into the world.

Having watched this scenario play out OH SO MANY times over the past couple days, I have been struck by the similarity between humans and flies. These flies leave you wondering. WHAT THE HELL??!! ARE YOU REALLY SO DAMN STUPID?? I AM HERE – ARE YOU BLIND?! MY HAND! It is GUIDING YOU OUT – SEE THERE!! THE OPEN WINDOW!!!! IT’S RIGHT THEEERRRRRREEE!! I AM TRYING TO SAVE YOU, YOU MORON!!!

When a human becomes trapped – and here I am speaking rather metaphorically – so by this I could mean a myriad of things. But when a human becomes similarly “trapped” w/ no hope of escape, their response is very much like the fly. We are stubborn. We are STUPID. We do not want Help. We don’t NEED HELP. Instead we rush round looking for a means of escape. OH! And there it is. But it’s not, not really. No, it’s an impenetrable hurdle. So we bang out heads against the proverbial glass, frustrating ourselves and every conceivable attempt at freedom. And when that *Great Hand from the Sky* reaches down to help, what do we do?? We fail to see it. Or if we do, we RUN THE HELL AWAY.

Sometimes life presents you w/ a metaphor that you just can’t help but notice. I do not profess to be any more in tune w/ the great Cosmos than the next guy, but I can tell you this whole FLY THING has gotten my attention. The past several days have been pretty hard for me. I do not like vertigo. Yes, it is BAD. Having to steady myself constantly against the rotational force of the planet, whilst everyone else goes about their daily business blissfully unencumbered SUCKS. Feeling shitty always puts me in a slightly philosophical frame of mind. SO. Feeling this way, I would just like to say HEY. HEY BIG GUY. If you are up there, pitying me or watching me with amusement, FEEL FREE TO HELP. I am here, just smacking my head against the glass, so You just FEEL FREE to stick that big ol’ mitt out for me already. As long as you’re not going to smash me dead, I_am_YOURS.

Dear Prudence

It’s a bit hard for me to believe it’s 2008. With the jumble of the holidays and all of the travel, by the time we got home it was already here. I came down New Year’s Day with a terrible respiratory cold, which started out as a runny nose and quickly degenerated into total head congestion, sore throat, burning sinuses and complete malaise. Oh, the malaise…. From fine to wretched in 6 hours flat. And if you can imagine all of that coming on top of the vertigo I’d already been fighting for 2-plus weeks beforehand, you can see why 2008 is just catching up to me now. Fortunately, Sunday I felt my real self beginning to break free of the chrysalis of plague, and by yesterday I was finally feeling normal again. Not wanting to crawl into a ball and sleep. BREATHING in_and_out of my nose! Dizziness, almost gone. So I’ve been trying like mad to catch up on a whole slew of things – basically life – that had to be put on hold while I was down for the count. And unfortunately, one of those things is our little rabbit, Prudence.

For those of you who don’t know me in “real life,” our family has a whole slew of pets, and I can pretty fairly be described as zookeeper. Well, last week being so sick, most of the animal tending fell to my husband and older daughter, with me doing some minor tasks, like letting some of the pets sleep on/with me. I was holding and petting Pru while watching TV on Tuesday and Wednesday and she seemed fine. Thursday I noticed she seemed a little off and wasn’t eating. Friday she didn’t eat, and by bedtime that night, she’d begun acting really weird. Normally feisty and playful, Prudence was listless to the point of being almost unresponsive. When she moved in her cage at all, she shook, palsy-like. First thing Saturday morn we took her to the ER at my husband’s work. Apparently Prudence had been ill for some time, but the vet said that rabbits have an uncanny ability to mask sickness until it’s almost too late. Definitely something to share with other rabbit owners. They diagnosed Pru as being severely dehydrated and kept her over the weekend for blood work and further testing. Yesterday afternoon we finally got to bring her home, though we could have kept her at the hospital for an ultrasound and additional diagnostics. Please don’t get me wrong when I say that in a perfect world I would like for my rabbit to be able to have an ultrasound, but in my world (replete with 1 paycheck for 2 adults, 2 human children and a barn full of other animals), rabbit ultrasounds are at the bottom of the financial priority list.

Having said that, I am so happy to be holding a most alive! and sweet Prudence! The only difficulty is that we (first my husband, and now me) have to administer liquid antibiotics for the next 19 days via a thin mouth syringe, not too hard actually, but the real kicker is the liquid feedings via large syringe. Ho boy. Let me tell you, if it comes down to this, I think it will be a miracle if my bunny gets enough food/liquid to maintain life function. The food itself isn’t revolting, in fact, quite the opposite. The powdered “herbivore critical care diet” has the most pleasant smell – like a cross between fresh hay and anise. And we mix it with vanilla protein shake, similar to what they give patients in hospital for calorie-rich consumption. But it’s just so HARD to get her to eat it. First we have to lay a bath towel down on the floor, then wrap her up in it like a bunny burrito. Then you have to cradle her football-like in one arm, whilst maneuvering the syringe into her (most unwilling) mouth and then squirting it in. The feedings go in drips and drabs, with most of the food being wiped off her face. And trust me, you have to wipe it off because if you don’t it will congeal and then harden cement like on her fur. Then there’s NO getting it off.

You can just SEE how much this rabbit loves this process. And me, well doing this 2-3 times a day is reaaaallly fun.