Disapproving Rabbits Band Aid

Okay, Disapproving Rabbit fans, I know the disapproval entries have been slow this spring--but hey, that's how the bird readers of the blog feel in winter when the birding is slow and I load up on Cinnamon entries. So, here's a little Cinnamon report:

I took Cinnamon with us this weekend--she did not go with us out to the bee hives but did get some quality time with Non Birding Bill and myself--whether she wanted it or not. We brought along her leash and did a good job of keeping her away from Cabal the Wonder Dog. I was sitting outside with her and had her on her extra long leash. We attached her leash to the legs of a trampoline and I sat with her, just in case she got tangled. Someone who had never met Cinnamon came down to experience the disapproval and when Cinnamon had had enough of people stroking her velvety soft fur, she hopped away.

As she hopped away, I noticed the leash was loosely wrapped around her back paw. Not wanting her to get tangled, I crawled over to move the leash. Cinnamon must have thought I was going to grab her and take her in, because she ran the other direction and sure enough, the loop acted as a noose on her back paw. When a rabbit is scared, they panic and try to get away in any way possible--this can help save them by making a last minute jump away from a golden eagle, or in the case of Cinnamon--tangle her up further.

Cinnamon then tried to jump in every direction and squirm out of her harness, which somehow wedged the whole front section of her body into the harness, binding her front paws...that's when I heard the sound no rabbit owner ever wants to hear--the rabbit scream. I tried to twist around and grab Cinnamon but she kept going around behind me and hopping up my back--she was slippery and I couldn't grab her. The screaming and the idea that Cinnamon could be breaking bones tangled in the leash boiled panic in my mind. I forced myself to try to keep calm and just take time to do it right. I finally grabbed hold of Cinnamon (still screaming) and asked for a knife to cut her out of the harness. But before anyone could move, I found the quick release and she was out and the screaming ceased. It felt like it took ten minutes to get her out, but Non Birding Bill assured me that it was barely a minute and was surprised at how fast I moved and got her out of the leash.

I sat with her for several minutes snuggled in close next to my chest--her breathing was raspy from all the screaming. NBB forced me into the house so we could look her over and see where she was hurt--I kind of didn't want to, imagining the worst possible damage. We set her on some carpet and she hopped normally, no limping, no favoring of any paws. She flopped onto the floor and I laid down next to her to pet and stroke her ears and apologize for not getting her out of the leash sooner. After a few minutes, she got up, shook her ears and nudged me hard as if to say, "Hey, I'm over it, now you get over it. It was far more embarrassing for me."

That night when I finally went to bed in the guest room, Cinnamon was sleeping on my side of the bed with NBB (that big pile of sheet behind Cinnamon is NBB). She seems to be saying in this photo, "Want to make it up to me? Then YOU sleep on the towel on the floor."

I don't think she hurt herself too badly. I think she just got bound up and couldn't get free and that freaked her out, causing her to panic and scream. It's so strange, I've heard the rabbit scream many times before in the wild--I've even mimicked it to call in hawks, owls, coyotes, and foxes. But, man o man, is it different when it's your very own disapproving rabbit.

But all is well and she's snoozing in her little Fortress of Solitude at home.