Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Taking a slide on the tile side

I am a glutton for punishment, as such I have started trying to litter box train Lila. I made the final decision after Nati decided to take her and Inigo on a trip to Grandma’s house in the campo. I told her that she shouldn’t bring them both because she wouldn’t be able to watch both of them at the same time. Thankfully the family invited me to come along; Inigo spent the first 5 minutes being introduced to the family and then was relegated to sleeping in the car when they got bored of him soon after that. Lila spent the entire time in my lap. The minute we got into the car I felt my lap suddenly get very warm and instantly regretted folding the towel under her in half only once. Yup, time to teach bladder control.

I actually the last time a rabbit peed in my lap I was in a car, about 10 years old, coming going back to Arlington after spending the day at some sort of flea market in Canton with Nana and Jolley Pop. Garrett came home with a turtle; I came home with a little black and white bunny whose ears criss-crossed, because of which I was going to name him ‘Scissors’. The turtle lasted a long while; we eventually gave him to a nearby pet store. Scissors wasn’t so lucky; Nana and Jolley Pop’s Yorkies got him after a few days.

Actually in general Lila is very good. She usually pees on the concrete in my room, not the rug. However she has had 2 accidents on my bed recently. No bueno. I have a little litter box for her in my room and I think she is actually getting most of her poo in or near the box. However she has a strong preference for peeing in front of my door. Again, she gets points for avoiding the rug. I’ll give my floor a good scrub with vinegar to help get rid of the odor from her old spots and motivate her to use the box.

Lila has been eating her little rabbit pellets and has gained some weight. It was difficult to tell that she was skinny because of her fur, but for a long while her spine was very prominent. Now she is rounding out little, her hips are still a little bony, but her spine isn’t sticking out. Actually she has gained enough weight that she can’t jump on my bed anymore. She is a downright hefty little heifer.

Inigo looks like a healthy little US kitten now. Tia Carly brought him over some cat food that she had left over from cat-sitting for another volunteer. When I put it down for him for the first time he attacked my hand and so I sent him sliding across the kitchen floor. He almost never attacks me anymore; just Nati and Lila. Just the occasional hit-and-run while I am ironing in the kitchen or walking past him while he is ‘hiding’ in the bushes. I say ‘hiding’ because he is a bright white cat who can hardly sit still in brown dirt and sparse coverage of the bushes. It is like when Brinkley, my parents 60lb tank shaped white boxer, thinks she is being stealthy as she slowly creeps into our laps on the brown couch. Smooth guys, real smooth.

While Bree told me that little boy cats are naturally very mischievous, Tia Carly, who also grew up with cats, has officially certified Inigo as particularly naughty. Yes, it does make me feel better to know that someone who knows cats agrees that his is quite the little imp.

Lila loves Inigo’s cat food, which is terrible for her, so I try to keep her out of it. However he does a good job of keeping her away all by himself. He will swipe at her with one claw while he has his head down in the bowl. It reminds me of a large school yard bully avoiding punches by putting his hand on the forehead of his swinging opponent and extending his arm. He eats like the food is his first, or last, meal. When I saw him eating like this for the first time I felt terrible for not getting him on real cat food earlier. Clearly he was ready for it. Oh well, he is on it now. Nati she is going to buy the next bag of cat food for him. We’ll see.

I’ve started cutting Inigo’s nails as well. Yes, the beast has been semi-disarmed. The first time Nati and I both had to hold him down. They don’t make kitty sized straight-jackets do they? I guess you’d need kitty mental hospitals first. Anyway, he was not a happy camper to say the least. The second time I was actually able to do it alone. I did it in front of Anibal and Marcia. I don’t know if they were impressed with my manicurist abilities or if this is just another note for them to put into their list of ‘Strange Gringo Habits’. Note: I actually sort of picture this list being narrated by some sort of Paraguayan Steve Erwin. Hmm, what would an Australian speaking Guarani sound like?

Gringo Custom #&*^: Our gringa child decided to cut the malcriada cat’s nails today. We are not sure how she managed to survive. Perhaps she is protected by ST. Francis of Assisi.

Inigo has generally seemed to learn not to bite or claw me. He can paw at me with his razor blades sheathed, but the minute they come out, weeeeee he goes across the tile. Sometimes he will just sit in my lap with his open mouth on my hand, he doesn’t bite down, he just looks at me, waiting, watching for my hand out of his peripheral vision. Then I start to wag my finger at him like a scolding mother, the way I do when I yell at him for attacking Lila right before I send him to take a slide on the tile side, and he thinks twice, and closes his mouth.

I’ve started prepping Nati to give me the bunny if/when I move to a place of my own. Today I mentioned her giving her to me when I go back to the states, which btw would make her the hands-down luckiest bunny of all time.

Oh and just a note ‘Lila’ may have to be changed to ‘Lilo’ at some point. I really have no idea whether or not he/she is a… well…a he or a she. Little bunny genital is a bit ambiguous if you don’t really know what to look for. I’m secretly hoping she is really a he because I don’t want her to start having babies. There is a reason we have the saying ‘breeding like rabbits’

The whole little bunnies thing is a real possibility because for some insane reason Nati and our little neighbor, Aldo, want to get another f^&!$#@* bunny! They say the second bunny is to keep Lila company. But Nati doesn’t take care of Lila as is and I don’t want to take care of two of them. For heaven sakes, Lila lives in a bucket! Actually she has been spending most of her time in my room. I’m really hoping that her parents step up and just say ‘no’ this time.

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