Thursday, June 30, 2011

Meet the Critters: Murphie Bunn

Murphie Bunn is a three year old rabbit. She has lived with Mama and Dadda since she was a very little baby bunny.  When Murphie (aka ‘The Bunn-Bunn’) became part of the family shortly before Easter 2008, she was no bigger than a softball.  She was the cutest, sweetest little bunny Mama and Dadda had ever met. 

Mama and Dadda soon discovered, however, that she was as mischievous as she was cute.  In truth, Murphie Bunn is perhaps the single most destructive creature to ever walk the face of the planet.  

As she grew and continued to gain speed and strength, Murphie became skilled at the obliteration and annihilation of all things electronic.  She moved swiftly through the house, leaving a trail of destruction in her wake.  The long list of casualties includes six sets of computer speakers, three computer mice, two cell phone chargers, one computer keyboard, countless AC adapters, and the stereo

While her preferred prey IS Mama and Dadda’s electronic devices, she will occasionally target other things for termination, like puppy beds, purse straps, dining room rugs, and plush frogs. Those inanimate objects never stood a chance against Bunn….Murphie Bunn.

As all things do, Murphie changed significantly as she grew and matured.  In her awkward teenage stage, she sported a half-lop.  

Had she been a member of a warren, this questionable ‘fashion statement’ might have inspired many jokes at her expense, but as it was, Mama and Dadda laughed at their silly looking little bunny and loved her all the same.

Murphie had lived with Mama and Dadda for about six months when Beaker joined the family. Mama and Dadda were sure Beaker and Murphie would become great friends, and they looked forward to all of the adorable Easter pictures they would surely take of the two of them together.

They were wrong.

Murphie did NOT become Beaker’s friend.  Murphie became her nemesis.  Beaker has never hated another living creature as much as she hates Murphie Bunn.

It must be said, however, that Murphie Bunn is in no way responsible for Beaker’s hatred of her. Murphie actually likes Beaker very much.  In general, Murphie likes everyone.  Beaker, on the other hand, doesn’t really like anyone (except for Mama).  She merely tolerates some members of the family more so than others. Beaker has always considered Murphie to be utterly intolerable. 

The reason for Beaker’s animosity is most likely due to a misunderstanding. Unfortunately, Murphie’s hutch is located in close proximity to the place where Beaker lays her eggs.  Because there is no rooster involved, Beaker’s eggs are not fertile and will never hatch, thus they must be removed after she lays them. 

Mama and Dadda are actually the ones that remove the eggs, but Beaker does not know this, nor will she EVER. It is a deep, dark secret that Mama and Dadda have vowed to keep from her forever, mostly because they’ve seen her reaction to the missing eggs. 

Because Murphie is always the closest to the scene of the crime, she is often falsely accused and punished for egg theft by Beaker.  When Beaker realizes that her eggs are missing, she sounds the chicken alarm and charges at Murphie’s hutch, slamming her entire body against Murphie’s house repeatedly, until Mama intervenes and puts a stop to the madness.

Murphie doesn’t really seem to mind the attacks. After all, Beaker can’t actually hurt her—she’s confined and protected by the bars of her hutch—a detail (and significant piece of innocence-proving evidence) that Beaker has unfortunately failed to recognize and process. 

Occasionally, Murphie will ‘growl’ at her (a low, completely non-menacing noise that sounds like ‘murrrr’) but other than that, Murphie pays Beaker’s relentless assaults no mind and usually doesn’t even acknowledge them.  

Mama and Dadda have since accepted the sad truth that Murphie and Beaker will never be friends.
Eventually, Murphie matured and outgrew her ‘half-lop’ phase in favor of a more symmetrical and balanced appearance. 

As an adult rabbit, she has continued to be a sweet natured, affectionate little bunny, harboring no aggression or ill will towards anyone…not even Beaker.  

At the end of Murphie’s third year with Mama and Dadda, Mojo joined the family.  Initially, she was not receptive to him. He was a stranger, and if he was anything like Beaker, he would be trouble.  For the first few days after Mojo joined the family, she ‘murrrrred’ at him and boxed the bars of her hutch with her front paws every time he came near.  

This comical action was obviously intended to intimidate him, but in reality, it only served to pique the puppy’s curiosity.  Mojo was immediately interested in Murphie, and he tried his very best to keep a polite, respectful distance.  A puppy’s best effort, however, rarely wins out over his curious and social nature. 

Within a few days, Murphie realized that Mojo was not a threat to her, and she accepted him as a member of the family.  When she was no longer wary of him, she began to take an interest in him as well, and they gradually began to socialize with each other.  

It was in Mojo that Murphie finally found the friend she sought. 

Mojo adores her and often bathes and grooms her face and ears for her.  No matter what Mojo may be doing, he always makes time to hang out with Murphie Bunn.  Murphie enjoys the doting attention and affection, and she is thankful to have another animal to interact with in a positive and friendly manner.  They are a source of happiness and companionship in each other’s lives. 

Murphie Bunn and Mojo are the very best of friends.

Up next, Bella The Fail Dove and Screamin' Shaman... 

Want to see photos of Murphie Bunn? You can!  Click here:

Monday, June 13, 2011

Meet the Critters: Mojo - Part 2

Mojo sat in his cage with a heavy heart, listening to the sounds of whining dogs and very displeased cats.   Mama had left him and he was devastated — he had tried his very best to be a good boy, and he did not understand why she had left.

Mojo sighed.

If only Mama had given him a chance to apologize for whatever horrible thing it was that he had done.  Mama and Dadda were much nicer to him than his first people were, and he was sure they could have had a wonderful life together, filled with treats, toys, and bye-bye in the car—but that dream was gone.  It was all over now.  He curled up in a ball and trembled, afraid of what his future would hold.

Then, The Lady in Uniform came for him again. 

Mojo tucked his tail and cowered in fear as The Lady in Uniform reached into the cage to grab him. She picked him up, carried him across the room, and put him in a deep metal box with a cold, slippery bottom.

Suddenly, there was an awful, loud noise that seemed to come from all directions, and a gush of cold water hit him.  It seemed to be falling from the sky.  It began to pool around his feet, steadily rising higher and higher.
Mojo frantically searched for an escape, but The Lady in Uniform hovered above him, blocking his exit and refusing to let him out of the box.  The water rose higher.

He was doomed!

Then, The Lady in Uniform reached into the water and started rattling the floor of the metal box. There was an alarming gurgling sound at his feet. Mojo trembled.

The metal box was going to eat him!

Suddenly, much to Mojo’s relief, the water level began to drop, and he realized that the metal box was not going to eat him after all. It was just drinking the water.  It must be thirsty.  It was The Thirsty Box.

“Blah wah wah wah,” The Lady in Uniform grumbled. 

She rinsed him off until he was soaking wet, reached for a bottle on the shelf, and squirted some strange smelling stuff all over him. 

Strange smelling stuff…strange smelling stuff…

‘Ah, yes!’ Mojo thought. ‘NOW I remember.’

This had happened once before.  Mama had done it to him the day she rescued him from the pound, only she had used a much larger white box instead of the cold metal one. Mama had called it a ‘Bath’.

Mojo understood what was happening now (in that moment, at least.) The Lady in Uniform was giving him a Bath.

He did not like it.

The Lady in Uniform scrubbed him with The Strange Smelling Stuff until he was covered with its smell. Then, she rinsed it off.  The Thirsty Box greedily drank all of The Strange Smelling Stuff, gurgling contentedly.

‘What a strange box,’ Mojo thought. ‘You’re not supposed to drink The Strange Smelling Stuff. The Thirsty Box is not a good boy.’

Finally, The Lady in Uniform picked him up, took him out of The Thirsty Box, and dried him off. 

Mojo breathed a sigh of relief. It was over. He had survived.

But it wasn’t over.  Not by a long shot.

The Lady in Uniform set Mojo down on a table.  She turned and grabbed a shiny black stick off of the shelf and approached him again.

At first, Mojo was somewhat excited, despite his apprehension. Were they going to play ‘Go Get It’!?  While a game of ‘Go Get It’ would not make up for what had happened to him today by any means, it was certainly a step in the right direction. 

But then, something REALLY scary happened. 

The stick started to buzz.  It sounded like the bees in Mama and Dadda’s garden, and Mojo realized in horror that the stick had teeth!  TEETH!!!  And they were coming right for him!

Mojo was terrified. He tried to jump off the table and make a run for it, but The Lady in Uniform was too fast for him.  She held him down to the table…

…and attacked him with The Snarling Buzzy-Bee Stick. 

When the Snarling Buzzy-Bee Stick touched him, his hair started to fall off in clumps! Mojo was absolutely horrified.

What had he done to deserve this?!

The Snarling Buzzy-Bee Stick attacked every part of his body while the Lady in Uniform held him down—his back, his belly, his face, his legs, his feet, his ears…and even his tail. 

Mojo could do nothing but tremble.  He was paralyzed with fear.

Suddenly, the Snarling Buzzy-Bee Stick was quiet.  The Lady in Uniform put it back on the shelf, picked Mojo up, and put him back in his cage.  

After she left and Mojo felt safe again, he stood up and started to move around in the cage.

It was at that point that he had a delightful realization.

It didn’t hurt to move anymore!  The matted hair was gone.  The Snarling Buzzy-Bee Stick had taken it all away.  His hair no longer pulled at his skin when he walked.  He could sit down without any pain. Imagine how much more fun running, jumping, and playing would be now!

Mojo sighed.  If only he could run, jump and play.  If only Mama and Dadda were here… 

Then, The Lady in Uniform came back. She took him out of the cage and carried him into another room…

…and Mama and Dadda WERE there!!!

They had come back for him!

Mojo was overjoyed.  The Lady in Uniform put him down and he ran to Mama and Dadda as fast as he could, his entire body wagging with excitement.

Mama and Dadda had come to his rescue again. He had not been abandoned.  He was going home.

‘Jo IS a good boy!’ he realized, with relief.  

It was the happiest moment of his life. 

                                                                                  *                             *                             *

Mama worried about Mojo the whole time he was at the vet getting groomed.  The way he looked at her before they took him away had been heartbreaking.  She wished there had been a way to explain to him that she would come back for him. Dadda assured her that everything would be fine while she waited anxiously by the phone for the vet to call. 

When the call they were waiting for finally arrived, they left the house immediately to go pick up Mojo.  They were both eager to see what their newly groomed dog would look like.  To them, he had always been a 7.6Lb ball of yarn.  They had never seen him look like anything other than a wooly, matted creature that was more akin to a teddy bear than to any live animal. 

They had no real sense of what he actually looked like as a dog.  

What they saw when they arrived to pick him up surprised them. 

When they dropped Mojo off to be groomed, he looked like this:

 When they came to pick him up, he looked like this:

That was all of the dog the groomer found underneath the matted fur.

In the weeks that followed his adventure in grooming, Mojo’s behavior became increasingly puppy-like.  He was still an extraordinarily well behaved dog, but he was more active and playful than he had been when he first came to live with Mama and Dadda. With the matted hair gone, the source of his discomfort had been eliminated. He was free to run fast, jump high, and play hard…and he did.

A lot.

He spends his days playing with his toys, hanging out with Murphie Bunn, and trying in vain to befriend Beaker.  In the evenings, he goes on long walks through the neighborhood with Mama and Dadda.  After dinner, he cuddles on the couch with Mama and Dadda while they stare at The Noisy Flickering Box.  At night, he falls asleep on his back and has little doggie dreams.

Even though he’s in his comfort zone with Mama and Dadda now (both physically and mentally), he has continued to be the easiest, most well behaved puppy they have ever met.  He’s a friendly little dog that loves everyone he meets.  He is convinced that the world exists to love him and play with him.  

Mojo aims to please, and he’s a very smart little dog.  He learns fast, he does what he’s told, and he always behaves.  Jo is a good boy.

Up next, Murphie Bunn…

Want to see photos of Mojo? You can! Click here:
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