Where I blab about bunnies and encourage your bunny (and other animal) stories.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


The ants are back. Little itty bitty ones aimlessly wandering around my floor looking for any hint of food. This year it seems to be confined to the bathroom floor, but early last fall it was pretty much everywhere -- living room, bedroom. So, I got sick of the one-by-one method (there are probably more ants than I care to think about under the floor or wherever they're coming from). Wimpy ants. Moving inside because it's a bit chilly at night. Well, this is my house, Swarm! Now git!

The problem with this approach, however, is that ants rarely listen when you order them around. So, to Walmart I went to buy the latest and greatest ant traps. The kind with the clear liquid inside that the ants think is food and take back to the colony. You're actually supposed to let the ants go if you see them traipsing around your home after you put these traps out. That is a very difficult thing for me to do, but I tried.

So there was a trap last autumn behind the TV stand, behind my desk, behind the bathroom door. Pea, mind you, was about 7 months old at the time. I got her in May. One night, I headed to the bathroom and noticed the door is shut a little more than it should be. I walked in and noticed that the ant trap is upside down in the middle of my hyacinth-colored bathroom rug. "Oh, SHIT!" I think. And that was before I noticed that a corner of the trap was chewed away. Pea was the only one out in the living room (and subsequently the bathroom) that night. I knew she had come in the bathroom, found a new toy, and chewed it while tossing it around. Surprisingly, she had not eaten all the gunk inside the trap (which was roughly the consistency of olive oil). But I found my baby girl, scooped her up, cooed and petted her until she got sick of that ("Momma, why are you mauling me?"). I watched her like a hawk that night, most of the time from the floor. She didn't act strangely, but every time she lay down, I had to go over and figure out if she was laying down because she didn't feel well or if she just felt like laying down.

I hit the Net. Nothing like the Internet to discover the toxicity of ant traps to a 5-pound bunny. Turns out the chemical in those traps is basically Borax. Soap. And after a few very scary hours (for me, not for Pea), I calmed the hell down. Next day, again, I watched her like a hawk, all the time she was wondering why I wouldn't leave her alone. She was completely fine from her encounter with the wicked ant trap.

I got so scared about this because I never found out why Amber died, but I'm pretty sure it was some sort of poisoning. Was it some funky substance on the hotel floor from the farmers' convention in the same hotel? Was it the leaves he was chowing on a few days before? Was it something I tracked into the apartment the night before on my shoes (starting my policy of no shoes in my apt)? Was it the way I used to hypnotize him and hold him on my legs on his back that finally had some permanent effect to his brain, causing it to shut down his nervous system backward from how any lagamorph vet has ever seen? I don't know. And I never will. I couldn't bear the thought of an autopsy, which probably wouldn't have pointed at anything anyway. The paralysis started with his back legs and traveled up his body, not down as is apparently normal with paralysis. Only 22 hours after I found him falling because his back legs couldn't support him (I came home from work and found him that way), the illness had so severely affected his brain and vital organs that he died in my arms. That is the short version of a very long story. And the reason why I got completely panic-stricken when SweetPea ate soap.


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