You Don’t Know Love Until You’ve Owned A Rabbit

Ya see, I’ve got this rabbit and her name’s Angie, short for Angel (an 8 year old girl named her, not me).

We bought the little rascal on a humid ass, cloudy day in summer on a whim. That morning my mom left to hang out with some of her friends for the day leaving my father, sister, and I to fend for ourselves. She called to let me know she wouldn’t be home for lunch because she was doing some crap I had absolutely no interest in and made sure she knew this; she called me a turd. I aptly hung up the phone after a few quick, but sincere, I love you’s and bounded along to let father dearest and sister-o-mine know the news. My tummy growled angrily at me and I knew it would be time soon for some delicious Chicken Fries from the delicatessen, Burger King.

There was a quiet voice in my head screaming “hell no” when my father suggested we go to Old Country Buffet with my sister agreeing whole-heartily. It isn’t just the food there that I don’t like, but I had shit to do later that day (not really) and whenever we go to the hell hole that is OCB (warning: acronym), we spend an hour or more sitting and chatting in the friendly atmosphere of stale food and uncomfortable chairs. Halfway through playing with my bread pudding, my sister got antsy and wanted to leave and go do things around town. Screw that, I was ready to go home and kick it on my Super Nintendo and bust out some sweet moves in Shaq Fu. Something had to be done to prevent the rest of my afternoon from turning into quality family time so I suggested that I just get left home and the rest of the herd could do what they wanted.

My father then pulled some fascist, guilt-tripping, Jedi mind trick and implied it was in my best interest being a newly licensed driver using my father’s automobile to stay and show my sister a good time. I was pissed, needless to say, after the meal, but it was an anger akin to what those my sister’s age must have felt. It was an annoying “grrr” running through my head in shots constantly and it gave me instant contempt for anything. My father came up with the idea of getting some ice cream at some shop a little walk away in the plaza where the OCB was located. I refused said ice cream because I was trying to show my disdain by rejecting the offer in a mature way that went along the lines of me saying “No,” frowning, and looking generally displeased with life…Much like the scene when you let your 6 year old son know he can’t get the latest toy because it’s sold out and when you try offering a substitute, it is met with extreme resistance. Just ain’t good enough, bitch.

I ended up having some ice cream just to make it through my temporary angst. Chocolate with some darker chocolate in it, chocolate chip chunks, WARM cookie dough/cake yumminess with chocolate fudge and caramel all upon, and some whipped cream with chocolate shavings to top off. Must be had with gigantic glass of cold milk. Delicious.

We washed up after what was an admittedly decent, and dare i say, fun time hanging out with my dad sister and casually gathered our things to make the trip back to the car and go home. It was my belief that sister-o-mine was probably so full up on food now that her little frame is pretty sleepy and in no mood to go gallivanting around for the time being which meant I could make some calls and get sweet loving soon enough from a rabbi’s daughter down the way.

We were a 10 minute drive from home when my sister shrieked, “Daddy! Can we go to that pet store?!” My father replied. “Let’s go princess, you gonna look at the doggies?” “I want a basset hound!” My sister would quip, “Or maybe a beagle…or a…maybe a…”

The rest of the conversation they had was rather lost on me as I was too busy walking 5 steps behind the two, weeping and silently cursing God’s name as we walked into the store. I had asked to stay in the car, but that was met with a staunch counter-argument from my father trying to convince me I’d have a blast with the animals. Turns out I did, a rectal one.

It was the first time I had used a bathroom in an animal store and it felt strange. Did the dogs and cats in there poop here? If so, what nasty bug can you get from sharing a bathroom with an animal? Of course the little critters weren’t sent to do their business in a people-bathroom, but it made the 10 or so agonizing minutes I was squatting on the toilet bearable. Why was I being a little girly-man and sitting on the toilet instead of whipping out my manhood and emptying my bladder into a urinal? To answer that you will need to read the previous paragraph. The fantastic meal I had consumed at Old Country Buffet (screw the acronym) can only be described as an angry, squeaky freight train barreling out of a cavern at full burn amidst a mysteriously moist mist. I won’t get into the rest of the details as I’m eating at the moment.

Upon my departure from the battle zone where I had successfully deployed my ordinance, I returned to join with the rest of my unit to try to convince them I was freaking done and was more than ready to return home. When I had entered the bathroom, pa and sis were standing by the area for cats and birds. Crappy deal for the cats frankly; the felines have to watch what would be their meals in the wild roam freely while they’re stuck in glass boxes. I’ve always felt kind of bad for the kitten or puppy that looks particularly melancholy of his existence, but hey, who hasn’t? I’ve wanted to buy those wittle wovely fuzzy friends just to see them happy but then was quickly reminded by the ugly voice of Logic that I wouldn’t have the cash to send them to a vet or the heart to put them to sleep if they got really sick. Instead I just get close to the glass and whisper a hello and if the wittle ones get close to the glass I try petting them and they try rubbing against my hand to feel some affection, I assume, but alas neither of us feel anything other than the cold breath of the glass.

But I digress…

So, as I stated prior, when I had entered the bathroom, my father and sister were gazing at the cats and birds (who used to be DINOSAURS!) and she was doing what every child in a pet store does, and that is beg for a pet. My father would humor her by laughing heartily at her requests and then suggesting they look at the puppies and lizards. He’d assure her that we’d get a pet one day soon. My family has had pets before, just not any mammals. Lots of gold fishes have passed through my home. Lots of gold fishes won in carnival games because when I think carnival prize, I think a living organism that can easily die under the not so watchful care of a child and scar him or her for life. The totally unfair part of this is that both my parents have had a plethora of dogs and cats and wouldn’t allow my sister and I the same satisfaction citing the weather in Northeastern Illinois because nooo one here has pets…Except every single one of my friends who own a dog.

I got curious as to where my father and sister were, but was more curious as to who would buy or sell crickets for $.25 each. I eventually found my sister when I heard her little voice crooning a very cute, very audible “awww.”

She was holding a little bunny, specifically a dutch; black and white, perfectly symmetrical

It was the smallest bunny of the bunch and I was thinking, “it would be cute to have a bunny.”

I noticed my father was speaking to one of the employees at the store while holding a cage, bunny food, and some hay. I asked Amanda what was going on and she said, “we’re buying the bunny, I named it Angel, you can tell it’s a girl because they marked her ear pink.”

I for one, was less enthused because I had heard of bunnies being boring pets and wouldn’t be very friendly or warm as a dog or even kitty would. I also knew that I’d be the one stuck cleaning the cage, feeding the bunny, washing the bunny, and picking up after the bunny.

All this work for a pet I didn’t choose nor necessarily want over a dog and was about to state my case to my father when the bunny, hereafter known as Angie, bit my sister and pooped on her.

She gave the bunny for me to hold while she went to clean up and little Angie looked at me with her big eyes and cotton ball cheeks and licked my thumb.

I fell in love.

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