Monday, February 25th, 2013
With a title like that, you’d think I have a brood of kids. I don’t even have one — not of the human variety, anyway. But I discovered this past week that I am, most certainly and somewhat uncomfortably, a mom.
Lulu was really sick this past week for the first time in her almost five years. What started out as the sniffles on Tuesday ended up with her staying overnight at the vet on Wednesday for gastric stasis — likely brought on by the stress of the vet visit the day before. (She’d never been given syringe medication before, so she kind of flipped out.)
Given how dangerous this can be for rabbits, I was beyond concerned. I was positively obsessed. Despite trying not to worry, to take my mind off her… I couldn’t. I’d heard stories of how quickly bunnies can go from stasis. They just “give up” from the pain. And I was terrified because she’d been swooped away by the vet so quickly without me getting a chance to really kiss her and say goodbye, so I was scared she might not come back.
We have one of the foremost rabbit vets in the country as our doctor, and the tech staff there is really great, so I knew she was in good hands, but that didn’t stop me from checking her room every 10 minutes, forgetting she wasn’t in there. Or revisiting the same scenarios in my head and talking them out to Mike, who was probably ready to toss me off the balcony at that point, but didn’t let on. (Thanks for that.) I knew he was stressed, too, so I appreciated his calm while I fell apart.
It may seem small to people with human children, especially those with kids who undergo major medical procedures or live with challenges every day, but to me Lulu being sick or potentially gone was huge. Everything, really. When I spoke to the vet and they told me they’d like to keep her overnight, my voice cracked as I asked if she would be left unattended overnight. And then I had to get off the phone because I was afraid I would flat out cry and officially become Crazy Bunny Lady, though certainly they’d seen much worse based on what I’ve seen at some rabbit events. Rabbit appliqued crocheted sweater vests make a few tears seem less crazy.
When Lulu was able to come home the following afternoon, I hovered. I fretted. I checked on her 18 times in as many minutes. I have never been more anxious to see poop in my life. I realized I was “helicoptering”… and that I was probably putting out too much anxious energy, so I had to chill out. We even left for a bit to give her some peace and I could eat my feelings.
Admittedly, in the past, while I tried to sympathize with friends who worried like maniacs whenever they were away from their kids, I never quite “got it”. I love my friends (and their kids), but when I’d hear moms say things like “I hope their father hasn’t accidentally set them on fire” for the 30th time, you start to think, “Lady, relax. What can possibly happen? Have a drink before I roofie you.”
But I get it now, moms. (File that under things I never thought I’d say.) I could’ve used a roofie* or like, a tranquilizer dart.
To some, Lulu’s just a pet. But when you haven’t had any pets of your own in your adult life and you’re likely never going to have kids, you can invest a lot in your pets. She’s a member of my family, my best girl, and ultimately an investment of 10 years of my life.
Never in a million years did I think going to the swap meet for a tacky birthday gift four and a half years ago would result in the best thing ever.
* Relax, I’ve been ruffied before, I’m allowed to throw it around casually if I want.