Wednesday, September 30, 2009

By decree of Marcia, Lila is officially mine. *Angels sing Hallelujah

In return for me getting Nati’s rabbit, I have to go buy her another one, which, if left to her own devices she will probably kill or maim. Bitter sweet. I get to keep my little gem safe from Nati’s brutal hands, but at least one other rabbit will suffer because if it.

It started all started this morning…

1) I told Nati that Lila couldn’t sleep in her room with her bed.

2) She asked if she could spend the night in her room. I also said no to that as well.

3) Later, she went into my room, took Lila out, put her in the kitchen, and Inigo started attacking her. I told Nati to put her back in my room, when she didn’t, I did it myself.

4) A short while later I snapped at Nati because she ran over to the bushes Inigo was climbing in and forcefully jerked him out by one leg, probably almost breaking it. I yelled at her for grabbing him by one leg so harshly as well as for freaking out every time he tries to climb something.

She had a conniption the other day when he was climbing on the roof of the chicken coop. She tried to send Aldo up onto the roof to get him down. She literally almost strangled him when she took the cord I was using as a leash for Lila and tried to tie it around his neck to keep him from getting back up there. I keep trying to explain to her that his climbing habits are normal, and in all honestly it will just get worse since he is going to be quite the little tomcat since there is almost no chance of him getting neutered. They bought the poor guy a collar today, so I think they’ll start tying him up, but at least Nati isn’t going to asphyxiate him with a homemade noose.

5) Anyway…I’m going to take care of Carly’s dog Luna for about a week when she goes on vacation to Brazil. I’ll be staying at her house and I have every intention of taking Lila with me because I don’t trust Nati with her. Nati told me I couldn’t take Luna with me and that she would take care of her. Personally I have far more confidence in my ability to control Luna than my ability to get Nati to care for Lila appropriately. I told her she didn’t know how to take care of Lila, she didn’t even know how to take care Inigo and he is a far easier creature to take care of, she doesn’t listen to me when I try to teach her how to take care of either of them and I wasn’t willing to leave Lila with her without supervision.

6) And then a little while later I told her to stop feeding Lila the leaves off of some random tree. Nati still doesn’t understand that just because Lila will eat it doesn’t mean that it is good for her. Case and point: Luna loves cow poo and random dead bird carcasses but won’t eat the fabulous, well-balanced meals that Carly makes for her.

7) Then I told Nati to leave Lila under my dresser because Lila is terrified of Nati. Nati took her out, claiming that Lila licked her hands. I accept that Lila may have licked her hand, I do not accept that she came out of her own volition, which means that Nati grabbed her and pulled out. My dresser has about 2-3 inches of space between it and the floor. The fact that Lila is somehow able to squish herself through that space is a miracle in and of itself. Which means that Nati probably came very close to severely hurting Lila as she wrenched the poor little one from her safe space.

8) I scolded Nati for taking Lila out from under the dresser, and then gave her a ‘I don’t believe you for one minute’ scowl after Nati gave me her fish tale about Lila coming out of her own free will.

Yea, all that in one day. We were not getting along to say the least.

Nati started getting really bratty after all of this saying how it was her and Aldo’s rabbit, implying that I couldn’t take Lila with me and that I had to let Nati play with her. I gave her my same, ‘You don’t listen to me when I tell you how to take care of her so I don’t want you around without supervision’ speech.

This is that same child that has never bought a single leaf of food for the rabbit, who only yesterday bought her first bag of cat food for Inigo, who was willing to let Lila starve to death in her own urine and poo in a bucket in the kitchen, still doesn’t understand that you have to support a rabbit’s body, you can’t just pick them up by their arms, who causes Lila to run and hide under my dresser in fear AND who introduced Lila as ‘Lila Jolley’ when my program directors came into town for my site presentation, and has been referring to her as ‘your rabbit’...suddenly she cares that the rabbit is hers.

Unfortunately she is on the spoiled side, so her parents don’t do a thing about it. She went to school; I went to the muni. When I got back Marcia and I talked. She recognizes that I care about Lila or at the very least have put a lot of money into feeding her and building her a cage. We agreed that I would get Nati another bunny and I would keep Lila. When Marcia and I told her that I would buy her a bunny, she was so excited. Personally if the situation had been reversed and they offered to buy me a new rabbit in order to let Nati keep Lila, I would have rejected the offer. Lila is special.

I’m going to keep trying to teach Nati how not to torture the thing, but I’m not touching it, looking at it, or providing any care to it whatsoever, not one dime. It doesn’t get any of Lila’s food, they will not be friends. If I hear it scratching in a bucket in the kitchen, I’m eating outside. If Nati is playing with it, I’m going somewhere else. I will buy it for her per our agreement. After that I don’t want to know it exists. I Will Not Get Attached.

Marcia and I agreed that Nati will probably kill it. Personally I think it is horribly irresponsible for Marcia to just stand by and let Nati treat a living creature so poorly. She and Anibal seem completely oblivious to the presence of the animals in the household. I think Nati could decide to set Inigo on fire and they wouldn’t notice and if they noticed, they wouldn’t correct her.

Now to make matters even worse, Nati had decided that she doesn’t want a baby bunny, she wants a grown rabbit. Marcia has decided that she is going to purchase a rabbit of the opposite gender so they will have babies and she can sell them in the campo. Now instead of having one bunny that Nati is going to kill and hopefully learn a lesson from, Marcia is going to sponsor her cruelty by making it into a business, giving her plenty of little rabbits to smother. At least Marcia might actually somewhat take care of the rabbits. It is still going to bother me how poorly Nati treats them, but they will probably have a semi-decent place to live somewhere in the yard and they will get fed. And a lot of them will probably die in the summer because Marcia doesn’t know how to really take care of them.

If this becomes a rabbit chop-shop, I’m going to have to leave. I might have to leave anyway depending on how poor the living conditions of the rabbits’ are. I already know of a really nice lady who hosted a PC volunteer in the past who was the backup in the event that Marcia didn’t have space.

I just can’t stand to be with Nati right now. Inigo tried to bit her last night when we were watching tv because she was smothering him. She asked if she could hit him for it; I said ‘no’ and explained he clearly wanted to get of the bed and she wasn’t letting him, so she deserved it. Oh boy do I understand how he feels.

It is really terrible that this is coming between me and the family. Marcia told Nati that she and I are sisters so we can’t fight. Overall they are amazing in so many ways. Marcia and I are getting closer, we joke around and have a friendly cooking competition going. Up until now, I’ve been incredibly happy here. But I have a big heart, my big heart led me to join Peace Corps, and big heart won’t let me stay some place where small little animals are dying slow miserable deaths.

I some ways I feel responsible. If Nati had just killed Lila from neglect maybe we would be done with this mess. Aldo wouldn’t have bought two bunnies of his own, Nati wouldn’t be getting a second one to mistreat, and Marcia wouldn’t be trying to start a bunny business. I feel like by saving one and showing how it can thrive with a little bit of care, I may have caused innumerable others to suffer.

And yet I just love Lila so much. She makes the lonely nights so much easier because if I feel bad I can just cuddle up with her or watch her run around my room in crazy happiness. Every morning I sit up and look over into her makeshift pen at the end of my bed. When she sees I’m awake she looks at me as she sits on her back legs and gives me a ‘Good Morning! Let me out plez, noms plez, cuddle plez? kthanxbi’ look. [Yes, she speaks lol]. Sometimes I let her out and then curl back into bed if it is cold. If I still don’t feel like starting the day a little while later I’ll put my hand over the side of the bed, within seconds Lila comes binking over to give it little bunny kisses. There is no better way to wake up.

I’ve even been in contact with a rabbit rescue organization in North Texas to get advice about how to best care of Lila in such a non-rabbit friendly environment. For example rabbits are supposed to eat large quantities Timothy and Alfalfa hay, but they don’t really sell hay of any sort here. Even the large livestock animals like horses and cows don’t get it. So I’ve been given the okay to stick to fresh grass. I also have been feeding Lila these rabbit food pellets, which have been responsible for her weight gain, but I doubt they are very good for her. Their purpose is to fatten commercial rabbits and it probably has goodness only knows what kinds of random fillers. Amazingly the rabbit people have recommended switching her to rolled oats, and equally amazing is that this is what I eat for breakfast every morning. I’m probably in one of the only places in the entire country where I can easily find quality oatmeal.

*very sad sigh

I just don’t understand how people who have such big hearts for people can have such small hearts for defenseless little animals.

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