I’m not sure if I’m in limbo or hovering on the edge of hell, but it’s been a rough time since my last post.
I’m down to one last surviving baby rabbit – neither Catkin nor Fatty Lumpkin, but the one between them, who went by ‘T’other’ for a bit but is now just ‘Bunny’. He (or she?) is now coming up on 7 weeks, lives in the lounge in a big indoor cage and is officially the most expensive rabbit I’ve ever raised – between vet fees, the UVB lamp because I suspected he wasn’t getting enough vitamin D and a mild eye infection requiring antibiotics, he’s up to £250 and counting! His latest exploit has been to jump off the top of the heater plate and damage a hip, resulting in him putting too much weight on his immature front legs so the knees deformed. He’s now splinted on both front legs with vet wrap and cardboard, which has straightened out his legs and enabled him to stand up properly, but he’s quite dis-chuffed about it! The hind leg will just have to wait and do its own thing – he’s moving the leg alright, it just seems to have parted company with the pelvis and he’s too young, his bones too unformed, to have any hope of surgical intervention. Rabbits are also impossible to bandage around the hips! If it is a dislocation it might just reduce itself back into place over time but he’ll cope even if the joint doesn’t re-organise itself – rabbits manage remarkably well as ‘tripods’ even when a hind leg is completely amputated! He has sensation and can move it, and there’s even some strength in it, it’s just not articulated properly in the hip, so there’s no need to consider amputation – time will do what’s needed there and the splints will enable his front joints to straighten out and strengthen up.
The silkie chicks have discovered sweetcorn and as a result they’re learning to jump onto my hand on request – all I have to do is put one hand flat in the cage at about three inches off the floor and hold sweetcorn in the other, just out of reach, and chicks immediately leap onto me to grab the treats. I’m hoping to refine this into a proper ‘hop onto hand and wait’ in time.
Two of the young ferrets have gone off to their new homes – Cassandra and Hecuba – and I’m looking for new homes for Hector, Ulysses, Penelope and Iris, all now nip-trained and ready to fly the nest. I moved the ferrets back out to the barn – their cages were taking up half the lounge and I was spending too much time changing puppy pads, so they’re back outside with deep beds of wood shavings, which is more absorbent and much more fun to dig in anyway – but impossibly messy inside, since they throw shavings all over the place! They have a playpen full of toys and spend a couple of hours a day in that, which means they can all play-fight, wrestle, chase, hide, dig, tunnel and sleep together, then go back to their cages for food and rest. It seems to be suiting them all well.
I’ve picked up another couple of geese – one’s a Sevastapol cross, with a few long curly feathers but not as ridiculously frilly as a pure-bred, and the other is a Greylag – which is confusing. Technically almost all domestic geese are Greylags (Anser anser) but the ones who still have the ancestral colour markings are called Greylags. They’re quite young, about 7 months, and after a slightly tense first 48 hours Hannibal and Lucy have accepted them and they’ve formed a tight-knit little flock together. The Sevastapol is blind in one eye so tends to panic when startled by anything on her right; she also loses track of the others if they go off to her right and needs to yell until they call back and she can track them down.
I’ve been job-hunting since Mum went to the care home and at the end of September I landed a job which was supposed to start at the beginning of October. Only the company have run into a problem importing the equipment required to set up their covid-testing lab for their workers, which I’m supposed to be working in, so I’m sitting twiddling my thumbs and waiting to be told when the induction training and re-arranged start date will actually be….
Definitely limbo. Possibly Bunny’s face says it best – this was just after he’d had his front legs splinted with sections of cardboard loo roll tube cut to wrap around each leg from just above the paw to just below the elbow, so they’d stabilise his little bent knees. He was not thrilled…