“Socrates, you haven’t played with that toy in forever,” I said, bending down to pet my Jack Russel mix dog. He shook his head violently from side to side, flapping the large, gray, stuffed animal around. “Wait a minute! You don’t have toys with batteries! Why is this one moving? Oh no!”
The mistaken toy was, in fact, a real rabbit. Not a bunny, like one would think, based on the dog’s size; this was a sizable, wild rabbit that Socrates caught and now secured in his clutches. It looked like he was wearing an old-fashioned, lady’s fur wrap that still had the head attached. Upon my scream, Socrates took off running out the back door, full steam ahead, with me close at his paws.
“Drop it!” I shouted to no avail, swinging at him with a broom I picked up along the way.
Socrates looked up at me with his abnormally large, brown ears drooped over his white fur and serious expression, resembling Elmer Fudd, “Scwewy wabbit.”
With lightning speed, I chased him around the pool, up the hill, down the hill and back around the pool, until he tuckered himself out. Within the confines of the pool equipment and a bush, he dropped the rabbit to the ground.
What was he planning on making, a stew? Socrates caught his breath before I could catch him and hoisted the rabbit back up and took off. God, that little guy can run!
“Sam! Lindsay! I need help!”
They joined in on the chase around the pool. A new reality show was in the making, The Keystone Cops on the Wild Kingdom.
“Don’t let him back inside the house,” I ordered, but it was too late.
He ran back inside the kitchen. I aimed and swung the broom, missing him but clearing an entire row of wine glasses hanging from the ceiling rack, shattering them to the ground. He ran through the dining room, then up the stairs.
“NOT UP THE STAIRS!”
Inside my bedroom, the jostled rabbit’s head bobbed up and down. Another swing and a miss on my part, and the curtain rod hit the ground.
“NOT IN MY CLOSET!”
He ran in, then immediately out, but not before sending the precariously stacked, T-shirt-and-socks-filled plastic bins crashing to the floor. Sam was ready, and as soon as Socrates entered the hallway, Sam reached down, scooped them up, and shook Socrates hard enough that he dropped the rabbit with a lifeless thud.
“Naughty Socrates. Poor rabbit,” I scolded.
Suddenly, the rabbit lifted his head, jumped up, and made a hop for it.
“Quick, open the front door!” I instructed Lindsay.
She flung open the door and the rabbit sprang into action, landing a few feet outside.
Wanting in on the action, Mae, our cat, pounced. The rabbit leaped through the fence into Mr. McGregor’s yard with the cat in hot pursuit. A wild Jay dive bombed, pecking at Mae’s head.
“Mom, do something!”
I motioned, “Lindsay, grab that rock – try to scare Mae off.”
Using her skilled water polo shooting arm, she pulled back and shot with perfect precision, scoring a direct hit and throwing the stunned Mae off the hunt.
Happily, the rabbit made a clean, if terrifying, getaway.
Do cats and rabbits share in the “nine lives” legend?
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