In Which I Am Forced to Join Border Patrol

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If you know me in real life, or are friends with me on Facebook, or follow me on Instagram, or have been within a fifteen-foot radius of me within the last two months, you are already aware that there is someone new in my life.

Her name is Betty White, Lady of Cadbury. She is a Miniature Holland Lop, my pride and joy, and absolute confirmation that I am nowhere near ready to procreate.

Behold:

IMG_3215

I’ll give you a moment to recover from her absurd level of cuteness, then I’ll elaborate.

(Wait, one more picture.

Now we can elaborate.)

First, I will tell you why making Betty a part of the family has meant I am basically a member of Border Patrol now.

– She can’t speak English.

Or, if she can, she’s doing a really good job of pretending she can’t understand what I’m saying. Sometimes I think she really knows.

“Betty, I love you. ” She responds by licking my face.

“Betty, you are the best bunny in all the land.” She responds by licking my hand.

“Betty, you have the cutest floppy ears in the history of floppy ears.” She hops away to demonstrate how floppy her ears can be when she hops.

It works in negative ways too, like when I catch her chewing on wires: “Beeee-eeetttyyy…” She scurries away, like, What? I wasn’t doing anything. Wires? What wires? I didn’t chew any wires.

Or when I can hear her digging in the corner on the carpet and I try to sneak up on her to tell her to stop. As soon as she hears me coming she freezes and curls up into a ball and twitches her nose really fast and pins her ears against her body and stares up at me like she’s trying to hypnotize me. You heard nothing. I did not attempt to dig a hole to China through the carpet. I did nothing. You are getting very sleepy. Stop monitoring my behavior.

But most of the time I’m like, “Betty, are you hungry? Are you hungry baby girl?” And I make a big show of feeding her and watering her and she can see it and smell it and knows it’s there. And she just looks at me like, “Um, no, I’m not hungry. Stop cramping my bunny style.” Then ten minutes later she’s all up in my business like she’s starving to death or something so I have to show her where her food and water is and she chows down. I don’t want to say she’s stupid because she’s my bunny and I love her; I just think we’re not speaking the same language. Hence my claim that she is a non-English speaker.

Unfortunately for us both I don’t know enough languages to figure out what language she does speak, so as a native East Texan I have to fall back on all of my East Texas stereotypes, hence the next reason I think she is an illegal immigrant.

– She does not appear to have a problem with water.

She lets me give her a bath every week without complaint. I towel her off and she gets all slick and grumpy-looking, then she gets all fluffy and licks herself and grooms ferociously for about an hour, then hops about merrily for the rest of the night. It is pretty delightful.

This is actually a pretty racist and inappropriate point to make to I am just going to leave you with this picture of Betty not enjoying Cinco de Mayo and move on to my next point about why she’s an illegal immigrant.

– She kind of looks like a terrorist.

This is probably unfair. But you know what, it is also unfair for any creature to be as adorable as she is, so tough toenails. Suck it up, buttercup. Betty magically develops gigantic-looking biceps when she wears a camo harness intended for ferrets (yeah, it’s true; ferret people are actually crazier than bunny people like me. You can visit any pet store to verify this statement).

Also she is conveniently ACU pocket-sized.

Two words, my friends. BUNNY. GRENADE.

You never saw that coming, did you? OF COURSE YOU DIDN’T. Because she will kill you with her cuteness and you will LOVE EVERY SECOND OF IT. She will lick your hand and nuzzle your cheek and lay her fluffy body across your lap and you will melt into a puddle of helpless love for her tiny, fluffy, adorable, perfect, gray, bunny body.

It is exactly like this:

And the final reason I am convinced that my beloved baby bunny is an illegal immigrant:

– She cannot produce absolutely any paperwork of any kind. None.

I’ve coaxed; I’ve wheedled; I’ve played bad cop. Still she has failed to produce any documentation proving that she is an authentic, blue-blooded, all-American baby bunny. I have begun to look into having her naturalized but I’m concerned that alerting the authorities to her presence could mean deportation.

I know. I’m a terrible border patrol agent. I’m too soft. But you’d melt into a puddle of love too if you got to feed her lettuce and watch her crunch it around her cute little bunny mouth. Nobody in the history of time has ever looked cute eating a salad until Betty the bunny. Weep, ugly vegans; the bunny has put you to shame.

She has made me aware of my limitations though; namely, that even though as soon as I see a baby my arms open up and my hip juts out ready to receive that squishy lump of kid, I am nowhere ready to have one of my own. Manfriend and I have talked about it and agreed we definitely want a few, but it is at least several years down the line (I can hear my mother wailing now, “Several? Several?” She wanted grandbabies like, yesterday. Betty is referred to as her grandbunny).

But here is why:

When I first brought her home, she didn’t eat for a couple of days. At least not in my presence.

“Kelley,” my mother tried to reason with me, “if she’s still pooping then there’s still something in her system and she’s okay. Just give her a little time to adjust and she’ll be okay.”

“Okay,” I said, and hung up, and immediately went back to lying on the floor next to her, willing her to eat. I left work early two days in a row and followed her around the house on my hands and knees while she hopped aimlessly, trying to get her to nibble on her bunny food, but she showed no interest in it. I thought her hopping was aimless because she was slowly starving to death, but now I realize it was probably just because she was a pound-and-a-half baby rabbit who didn’t know where anything was and was just trying to explore her environment but this annoying human was crawling around after her holding food up in her face every thirty seconds saying, “Please eat this, Betty, I love you.”

Clearly she’s still here so clearly she began to eat and drink on a regular basis so my fears were unfounded. But can you imagine how I’d be with a baby if I was such a psychotic ball of nerves about a rabbit? OH MY GOD THE BABY DIDN’T FINISH NURSING. HE/SHE WILL CLEARLY BE UNDERNOURISHED AND THEN BE BULLIED IN PRESCHOOL AND NOT GET INTO THE COLLEGE OF HIS/HER CHOICE AND LIVE A LONELY LIFE OF DEBT AND ALCOHOLISM, PLAGUED BY ANEMIA AND A TWITCHY LEFT EYE BECAUSE I WAS A BAD GIVER OF NOURISHMENT.

Don’t get me wrong; it wasn’t all bad. The pendulum swung dangerously far in the other direction as well. I used to (and still do) lie on the floor for hours and just watch her hop around. For hours. I let other, important, actually-need-to-get-done things go undone because I am lying on the floor watching my baby bunny hop and toss her bunny head and twitch her bunny whiskers and lick my hand and be adorable.

It is delightful.

This blog is a perfect example. There were many evenings I had time to write but I didn’t because it was a lot more fun to sit on the couch while Betty hopped from side to side, using my belly as a springboard, than it was to upload pictures or stare at the computer screen some more after staring at a computer screen all day at work.

My younger sister says she thinks I have a problem. Actually, all of my sisters have, at one point or another, voiced their concern for my mental health based on my affection for Betty. But honestly… I JUST CAN’T HELP IT. She is freaking adorable. Currently she is hopping around my feet, her little bell jingling merrily, her ears flopping, her nose twitching. And she is perfect. And I am not sorry.

You can follow her on Instagram @ladybettybunny.

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