Natasha gave me quite a scare last night. By and large, her health has been really good throughout our time together (knock wood), so I'd hoped that as she got older she wouldn't develop the periodic stasis problems which Scone suffered from throughout his life.
Last night when I got home from work I opened Natasha's cage, but instead of waiting for me with her paws on the gate, she was just sitting passively in her safe spot in the corner of her cage. I put out her dinner - kale, her favorite - but she didn't touch it. She just hopped into the living room and sat next to Marge, her big stuffed bunny. When I called for her to come for a treat, she didn't move - although she did take a dried banana chip when I offered it. I left her alone while I had dinner, but she hadn't gone anywhere by the time I was done.
Alarm bells started going off. She wasn't hunched over or grinding her teeth, but she wasn't herself, either. I offered parsley, but she just nibbled a bit of a leaf and turned her head away. I even brought in a tray of snow, but she ignored it.
She eventually laid down in front of the front door, in the cool breeze under the door, and seemed to be comfortably napping. After a while, I started her hopping around from place to place, and when she discovered the sprig of parsley on top of the snow tray, she ate it. Success! She started digging in the snow and dumped the tray, then ran into her cage and vacuumed up her kale. This morning she was back to normal. Crisis averted.
A few pictures to start the year:
The local Wegmans supermarket has a "please take" box by the door, where you can pick up packaging and the like (a great source of free aluminum baking trays). They had a round box made of light wood of some kind - probably from a cheese or something like thtat - which seemed like a perfect bunny toy. Natasha loves it - I fill it with yummy Meadow Hay or Oat Hay, and she picks out what she wants (and dumps the box as it gets low). She's started sculpting the edges, too.
Natasha's stuffed friend Marge (short for Margerine) has been poorly of late. Natasha's over-enthusiastic grooming has worn holes in her extremities, so I had to do some restorative surgery this afternoon. I stitched up her arms, and gave her some socks to keep her feet warm (as well as fully stuffed and ungroomed).
Natasha inspected the surgical work carefully.
Natasha seems very satisfied with Marge's recovery.
... which is 1,500 miles West of Natasha, at the moment. I'm going to spend a week at the Sun'n Fun Fly-in in Lakeland, Florida, and have stopped off in Fruita, Colorado, for a week on the way (as you do...). My friend Jerry and I took a hike in the Colorado National Monument this morning. Here are a few pictures I took on the hike - and the first is a bunny:
It's a Desert Cottontail, to be exact. He was hiding in a bush, just watching as we hiked by.
Here are some more denizens of the desert, pictures taken in Monument Canyon or Wedding Canyon:
A Rock Wren:
There are thousands of lizards everywhere in Colorado, but if you look closely they're not all the same. Depending on what website you look at, there are anywhere from a dozen to forty kinds. This is a side-splotched lizard:
This colorful character is a Western Collared Lizard:
I'm so happy to see that you and Natasha are fine! Although I'm sure she misses you now.. she'll be very happy when you get back home!
I love the pics and stories of Natasha and her activities with the hay box that became a tray, and Margerine's surgery, etc... she's so sweet!
Nice pics of FL and CO!
Make sure you don't take too long traveling - Natasha is waiting for you!