Meet Rita and say goodbye to Fritz

First, the bad news. It turned out that Fritz was indeed from Brazil. Only it wasn’t Brazil, the country, but the mythical place from the movie Brazil, where things are all screwed up. Only a bunny from “Brazil” could survive a trip in a hot car engine on a disgustingly hot day and die from an unknown malady a couple of weeks later. One day he was fine, prancing about in the yard, eating whatever he wanted, happily, and the next he was lying on the ground, unable to move, barely able to react. We took him to the vet, who didn’t know what was going on with him, said it could be a number of things, gave him a couple of injections and pill, gave us more pills to give him, and we took him home. The next day, he was a little better, and the next morning, he was stiff as a door knob.

Goodbye, little grey fur ball, we will miss you dearly.

We shouldn’t get so attached to pets, they all die in the end, some sooner than they should…

Now for the good news. We still have Rita. I mentioned her before. She’s a white bunny with a grey nose whom we got as a companion for Fritz. They got along well together while he was still around. Now it’s only her, and she doesn’t seem to mind so much. She goes about her business, munching whatever she likes from the yard and garden, mostly grass, weeds and unfortunately, flowers. And she loves to poop little rabbit bonbons. She walks and poops, walks and poops… She even has a few favorite spots where she does her little dirty business, full of rabbit bonbons. Here are a few photos of her.

Let’s hope she sticks around in this world for a bit more time than Fritz…


How Fritz earned his ‘Wonder Bunny’ moniker

As mentioned previously, Fritz’ full name is Fritz the Wonder Bunny from Brazil. We named him that on a whim, because it sounded cute, but he proved it true. So how did he earn it? I’ll tell you how.

Fritz, being a curious bunny and also a silly one, as young bunnies tend to be, found a spot inside the engine of our car where he liked to sleep undisturbed. He’d disappear for hours on end and we figured he’d made a burrow somewhere in the garden or he found a comfy and shady spot under one of our rhubarb bushes.

During one such afternoon when Fritz was nowhere to be found, I needed to run an errand that involved using the car. I looked under to make sure no one was sleeping there, opened the gate, got in and left. I drove for a couple of kilometers, parked the car on a street, then came back to it after a half hour or so, got in and drove back home. So far, so good.

Instead of parking the car inside our courtyard, as I usually do, I left it outside, on the street, because I knew I’d use it again later that same day.

Back inside our yard, Ligia and I started looking for Fritz. He was still nowhere to be found. He’d been gone for a few hours and we started to get worried. Where could he be, the silly bunny?

After we looked everywhere, we gave up. We figured he either found a great hiding spot or he decided to up and go. After all, our pets are all free to go if they so desire. They’re free and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Our cats can climb over the fences any time they wish, and we also have a cat-sized hole in our gate, if they want to explore our street and socialize with other cats.

A few more hours passed by, and we started to get really worried. We’d only had the little guy for a few weeks, but we’d gotten attached to him. The thought of losing him saddened us deeply. We started thinking about scenarios.

What if Fritz had been eaten by a hawk? But we saw no hawks hanging about that day. What if Fritz might have climbed into the engine? That happened to us before, when two of our cats had kittens — but we thought the possibility so remote and the chance of his survival so slim if he did so, especially after I drove the car through town, that we put it out of our minds. We also didn’t have the heart to look inside the engine and see Fritz splattered all over, in case that was what had happened.

The time came for me to run out for another errand, and I left with a heavy heart, by this time realizing that we’d probably lost Fritz for good. I walked out of the house, opened the gate and to my astonishment, who do you think I found nibbling the grass next to my car but Fritz himself!

The little fur ball was covered in oil and dust and was quite scared. I called Ligia to my side and we caught him and put him back in the yard, where, in spite of his clearly harrowing experience, he dug right into a fresh red beet root while glancing about with his big eyes and twitching his soft bunny nose.

So what had happened? Short story, he climbed into the engine bay. That much we know for sure. I still don’t know what spot he chose, but it’s obviously a very good one, and that was his saving grace. He was inside the engine when I started the car and he stayed inside the engine the whole time, while I drove through the town and while the car stayed parked on a public street, kilometers away from our home. Did I mention the day was particularly hot, with temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius?

He continued to stay inside the engine as I drove the car back home and he stayed either inside the engine or under the car as the car stood parked on the street outside our home for more than four hours. We assume he continued to stay with the car all that time because it was the only familiar thing in unfamiliar surroundings.

I don’t know what went through his tiny little bunny mind during all that time. It must have been a terrible experience, being caught up in a big metal monster that made a lot of noise and a lot of heat, moving about with all sorts of unfamiliar smells and somehow avoiding being crushed by all the belts and fans in the engine bay. Then, when the car stopped for good, he climbed out of the engine, his fur full of oil and dust from the car’s innards and he found himself in yet another strange place with all sorts of unfamiliar smells. He must have figured that if he waited there long enough, something would happen that would make things right again and sure enough, it did!

Now do you see why he is rightfully called Fritz the Wonder Bunny? It’s a wonder he’s still around! As far as we’re concerned, he’s a Super Bunny!

We’re hoping he won’t have to take a trip to Brazil in order to prove the last part of his name, but you never know. The future will reveal all! 🙂


Meet Fritz, our new bunny

At the end of July, we brought home an addition to our pet family: a fluffy little grey bunny we called Fritz. His full name is actually Fritz the Wonder Bunny from Brazil. You might think his name’s unusual, but he’s done a great deal to earn it, as you’ll see in a future post. Let’s meet him!

He truly was tiny. He fit into the palm of my hand — a scared little grey furball with a heartbeat so fast I thought he was going to burst.

After he calmed down and ate some kale leaves and carrots, we introduced him to our cats (we have four of them), and watched carefully to make sure they got along. The kittens were all quite curious to see who (and what) he was.

Zuzu (the black one) made her “I don’t like this” face. See how her ears are turned back? Zuzu does that quite often, but she’s friendly as can be. Bubu (the one in the lower left corner) was very curious. He wanted to smell Fritz and touch him and play with him, but Fritz was understandably a little scared of a cat about four times his size (Bubu is a big tabby). Tira (the one on the right) approached Fritz first, touched him with her paw and smelled his scent.

Fritz stood there in the grass, small as he could make himself, probably thinking he’d get gobbled up, but our kittens are those kinds of cats. They’re nice and friendly. They do tend to get a little mischievous at times, but they didn’t want to hurt Fritz.

Next up was Bubu, who could barely contain his curiosity. He wanted to jump on Fritz and play with him, but we managed to calm him down somewhat.

Fritz got accustomed to his surroundings fairly fast, and was soon up and about, smelling the various grasses in our yard and picking what he wanted to eat (he’s quite picky, but in a good way; he’s a veritable gourmand).

It’s now been about a month since we brought Fritz home, and he’s doing great! We kept him in a little cage for most of the day and all of the night during his first few weeks, because there were a couple of hawks and an owl who had their eye on him. Now that he’s bigger and he’s shown us that he can take care of himself, we let him roam freely through our yard and garden. He’s already found a few great hiding spots. Not even we can find him sometimes. He comes out when he wants to eat and socialize. And he gets along great with all of our cats.

Contrary to popular belief, he hasn’t made short change of our vegetable garden. He’s shown little interest in it so far. He prefers to eat certain kinds of grasses and weeds.

Just so he wouldn’t get lonely, we recently got him a girl companion we called Rita, a fluffy little white bunny whom he already adores; there’ll be more about that soon. Unfortunately for him (and fortunately for us), when he matures a little more, we’ll sterilize him, because, you know the old adage, they’ll be multiplying like rabbits if we don’t…

I’ll leave you with a little rough footage of Fritz eating grass in the yard, shot with my cellphone (so I apologize in advance for the poor video quality). I’ll have better video of Fritz soon!