This is Thumper. He was born at Target in Anaheim, California seven years ago. In his youth, he enjoyed relaxing days on a shady balcony of a townhome. He wasn’t disturbed by much other than the occasional bug and being sprayed down every so often when the balcony was cleaned.
As he reached middle age he was moved to Knoxville, Tennessee. This came as quite a shock to Thumper as he had fully acclimated to the California weather and rather enjoyed it.
The two week ride in a bumpy, stagnant moving truck was far from ideal. When he finally arrived at his Tennessee home, he was greeted by a wall of heat and humidity that made his fur curl and his ears droop. His new abode was on an apartment balcony that was blessedly covered and surrounded by maples and evergreens. The view and neighborhood squirrels helped to distract him from the oppressive weather.
Seventy-eight days of ninety or more degree heat later, Thumper was shocked one morning to awake to the smell of something crisp and dusty. After much thought and overhearing of other’s conversations, he determined that this new smell was called fall. He reveled in the cool of the nights and the dew of the mornings during this time.
He had just settled into the bliss of fall when a devastatingly cold wind blew in from the north. All at once Thumper involuntarily shifted to survival mode, but, of course, just when he had adapted to this third seasonal change, he was again subjected to stifling heat and humidity. Thumper decided that this place had issues – it couldn’t decide what it wanted to be – cold, hot, dry, wet, humid, or windy.
He had reached his tolerance limits when he was loaded onto another moving truck. After only a few days he arrived at his next home, back in California. This time he was placed on a brown substance that absorbed the heat of the sun and the cold of the night. He even got to enjoy fragrant things growing around him and his nose was periodically tickled by water that sprinkled all over him.
Oh, such bliss he had found…until one day he felt an odd sensation in his ears. It was a foreign feeling, unlike anything he had ever experienced. It never lasted more than a few minutes and didn’t occur at night. He realized that it was only when he had water collecting in the curves of his delicate ears that he experienced this phenomenon.
Thumper was perplexed by his ear issue until one morning when he was awakened by the robust laughter of his owner. “That’s so hilarious,” she said. “The cats are lined up for their morning rabbit ear drinking experience. This is such a Kodak moment – I’ve got to get a picture of this!”
The cats are drinking from my EARS?!?! Thumper was shocked and utterly humiliated. He had endured an immeasurable amount of discomfort and unforeseen situations in the past year, but none of that could compare to the devastation of having his flowing, perfectly maintained ears used for such a derabbitizing purpose.
Thumper smoldered about the situation for many days, unwilling to let it go. It wasn’t until the girl cat, Mykonos, starting sleeping next to him during the heat of the afternoons that his resolve began to waver. The vast array of colors in her Calico coat distracted him from the uncomfortable temperatures and the constant humming sound she emitted brought him great comfort. He soon found himself looking forward to her visits.
Then one morning when Thumper awoke to the now familiar tickling sensation he was no longer upset about the situation. Rather, he welcomed her visits, whether they be to keep him company or fill her belly with the water that had cooled in his ears from the watering the night before. Her presence helped to fill his days and made him feel appreciated and useful. Although Thumper hadn’t anticipated “water boy” being part of his rabbit job description when he arrived at this new home, it was just fine by him.