Thursday, April 21, 2011
When I took my job at the Humane Society, I knew that there would be times when I would be dealing with vicious animals. However, I never, ever coupled the word “vicious” with the word “rabbit.” When you are surrounded by big-ass dogs that have been abused, or feral cats, the fluffy bunnies that are up for adoption tend to fly under the radar. I mean… they’re fluffy bunnies up for adoption!!
The fluffy bunnies that were up for adoption typically left the shelter pretty fast… presumably because they were, after all, fluffy bunnies that were up for adoption. Of course, when it came to these spastic creatures, nobody loved them more than The Rabbit Lady. TRL was one of many volunteers at PHS. What set her apart from the other volunteers, though, was the simple fact that she was out of her fucking mind.
I had never formally met TRL (at least, I don’t think I did). I had seen her around plenty of times, and smiled and said hello as I passed by – just to be polite and all that jazz. TRL would name the rabbits, play with them, and make elaborate, heart-shaped bios for them to post on the fronts of their cages. Something like, “Hi, I’m Blake, and I like long walks on the beach, mojitos, and late-night Telemundo.” That doesn’t sound harmless at all, right? In fact, it’s kind of cute, yes? Well, this is the part where I tell you that TRL seriously believed that she could talk to the rabbits via telepathy.
Flash sideways to poor, unsuspecting me. There was one morning where I was responsible for cleaning up the adoption areas of the shelter. This particular assignment was probably the most difficult because of the time-limit. The aim was to be done cleaning and feeding every adoptable animal in the shelter before the doors opened to the public at ten am. I remember making excellent time and being all proud of myself as I wheeled my cart full of supplies into the final leg of the “race” – the Small Animal Room. As always, every cage had a fluffy bunny in it, each boasting its own adorable, heart-shaped dossier with thorough explanations of age, sex, religious preferences, and the like. The very first cage was home to two unsuspecting brown bunnies, who loved to cuddle each other and do cute rabbit things. I reached in toward one of the fluffy little bunnies… and the motherfucker reared up and tried to bite me.
Now, I knew that rabbits were biters. My friend and partner-in-crime, LG, had been bitten by a giant-ass rabbit during our first week working there. Of course, while we were both taken aback by the ferocity of that bite (that thing was around the diameter of a golf ball and as dark as an eggplant, and it stayed that way for months), we were extremely aware of the fact that that rabbit was not up for adoption. In fact, it never was – it went off to some weird bunny farm. But this rabbit that had just tried to bite me WAS up for adoption.
I grabbed the mean little bastard as quickly as I could, and put him in his carrier, with the intention of telling the folks in charge later that he should be evaluated again. I reached in to grab this guy’s buddy, and was surprised as hell when that one attempted to attack me as well. Much to my chagrin, almost every single rabbit in the room that day was aggressive. One of them actually stood on its back legs for over a minute and tried to fucking BOX with me. I had to roll a ball at it with my right hand to distract it while I grabbed it with my left. The excellent time I had been making was completely obliterated as I spent over an hour wrestling with rabbit after rabbit, sustaining scratches while making sure that the psychotic bastards didn’t break their own necks with their frantic kicking. (I hadn't even had the opportunity to clean the cages yet!)
I trudged back to the Small Animal Room to finally get started on the cleaning, painfully aware that the shelter had been open for business for almost an entire hour. I grabbed the sign-off sheet from the back of the door so that I could write down my start and end times (all in all, a total of around three hours in a room that normally took forty-five minutes) as well as my initials; I also left a very short note to the supervisors that said, “Would have finished much sooner, but all of these rabbits are PSYCHOTIC!!!”
Now, remember The Rabbit Lady? Well, she saw my note, and she didn’t appreciate it. She was so offended that she went to the head of my department demanding some form of corrective action be taken against me. My direct supervisor convinced the big boss to let him give me a stern talking to, as opposed to having me either written-up on final warning or flat out fired.
My hand healed (no scarring, yay!), I kept my job (wrongful termination just wasn’t in the cards for me), and I was finally aware that rabbits are homicidal creatures that have cold, black hearts and an insatiable hunger for human blood.
Fuck those guys.