“You’re going to write a blog?”
“I don’t know– why not?”
“What’s it gonna be about?”
“I don’t know– stuff”
“What kind of stuff?”
“Uhh… you know… Andy stuff…”
* * *
A good place to start would be Cassius Clay. Not the boxer, the rabbit. You probably haven’t met her and most certainly never will, and that’s both fortunate and unfortunate for the reasons that follow.
I purchased Clay at Big Boy Deli for three bucks from two ten-year-olds. They needed the money to buy a Dutch Masters so they could wrap their blunt. It was two in the morning and I was half-drunk, ordering a gluttonous sandwich that only the morbidly obese could desire when, without warning, the bunny was dropped into my arms.
“Three dollars,” said a deranged child.
So I’m like, “Why do you have a rabbit?”
“Found it outside China City.”
(That’s a restaurant)
I looked down at the petrified little animal trembling in my arms and realized it was probably the cutest rabbit I’d ever seen. My only experience with these things had been through a friend in highschool who’d had a more cathartic, sickly bunny that shat puddles of various startling colors. That rabbit, while surely loved, corrected my anthropomorphic misconceptions of the egg-laying scarf toting hare.
But this small deli bunny in my arms was a dusty brown ball with sharp pointed ears and glassy black eyes; a hark to the hollow confections stuffed in the fattening Easter baskets of my childhood.
In an attempt to rescue this thing from whatever terrible fate such ambivalence must portend, I handed the kids three bucks and set off with my sandwich and my livestock. I plopped the bunny in the tub, chopped up some carrots, and passed out.
* * *
As it would turn out, rabbits need things. The first and most important thing is hay, because without it the rabbit will begin to excrete a substance similar to hand sanitizer and, eventually, die.
Don’t feed your rabbit bread! This too can only end in mess. Keep in mind this isn’t a conventional pet like a cat and you’ll need a cage.
I know some of you may be thinking well duh you shitty faggot, but you must understand that I was wholly unaware of any of these necessities. I thought maybe the rabbit would just exist with us, needing little more than water and a couple carrots.
* * *
Rabbits chew on shit.
I appeared at work in the remains of a brown blazer; a perfectly shorn crescent of bite-marks where once there was a button (which I never did find).
“Got hungry?” asked Zanathan, a cohort in the race to be the shittiest of all shitty fags that there ever was, but of which I continue to, and will always remain, champion.
I said something crappy and forgettable, then proceeded with my daily waitress grind of “how would you like that cooked?” and “don’t order that, it’ll give you the runs.”
* * *
My horrible French roommate has a fear of poop, including the poop of small animals like rabbits. He also only ever refers to poop in the plural, which I’ve purposefully neglected to correct because I’m an evil whore and receive enjoyment from his challenged grammar.
“Ev-AIRRR-E-where zere iz zese poopz!” he would scream, wielding cheese or whatever else of poor French taste.
Admittedly, our apartment had adopted that smell reminiscent of petting zoos and CB2. I’d tried to rig a litter box from one of those large foil trays they sell at dollar stores for cooking gross things served at church functions or bat mitzvahs. Rabbits are actually quite good at using a litter box, but they also like to knock them over or kick all of the contents out onto the floor. Like most things rabbit, it’s a losing battle and you eventually just give up.
There was talk of a meal. Clay did look delicious sitting in the turkey trays, but I’d have felt safer drinking lead paint than cooking a rabbit found on the streets of Bushwick.
The trays would meniscus with little balls of shit at an astonishing rate – looked like one of those colorful McDonalds ball pits, except for rabbits… and filled with crap.
* * *
We started keeping Clay in her cage. She couldn’t be trusted. She’d eaten half the couch, a shoe, many electrical cords, a small child, etc.– they will always find something. They might find you!
I had a growing fear that I might wakeup half-eaten by this demonic nuclear rabbit from space, escaped from its laboratory-guised-as-a-hepatitis-wielding-Chinese-restaurant to kill me, Andy, the shittiest of all shitty faggots.
So I was forced to lock her up.
She would sit all dejected in her small cage, staring at a little green turtle that floated sadly in her bottle, probably lacing the fluid with something toxic while indicating the water level. She liked to stare at it, and actually got mad when I left it out once after a refill. I thought maybe it was something she liked to watch over. We were all so big and there was this little green turtle, smaller than her; something to keep an eye on, control, trapped in a tube, confined.
She was looking particularly sad one day so I took her to the backyard and let her run around. Ok – she actually jumped out of my arms and I chased her around for probably an hour before I was finally able to catch her. I like to think she had a good time, but she was probably as scared to death as anyone would be in that situation, if you can imagine; if you’ve ever met me.
* * *
I found some rabbit ladies online in the New York area. They seemed about as normal as one might expect rabbit people to be. They had no room for Clay. A severe epidemic of abandoned bunnies had evidently plagued the city – she had rabbits “wall to wall.” I think she meant literally – like, packed side by side – and she would maybe walk on them like a living bunny carpet and never need slippers.
I guess it’s not really that shocking that so many forgotten bunnies roam the streets of the city, especially when you think of all the other things people just toss out around here.
This one time, my neighbor poured spent motor oil straight into the gutter, but he doesn’t know what a polar bear is so that doesn’t count.
* * *
I opened a box of Chex once and was surprised because each of the little rice squares came in its own wrapper. It took me a really long time to unwrap enough of them to get a full bowl of cereal.
And then the milk was in little packets, like the ketchup thingies that come with takeout. That was a little more annoying cause I couldn’t find scissors and spilled a lot of them everywhere trying to rip them open with my teeth and keys and stuff.
* * *
A suggested remedy for the filth epidemic in my apartment was to buy disposable dishware so that nobody would ever need to clean again.
* * *
I was repeatedly told not to send Clay to live in a classroom; these are apparently bad places for bunnies.
“They grow unhappy and they get fat and then they just drop dead,” said rabbit lady.
I asked, “Isn’t that sort of what happens to most living things anyway?”
She admonished me, “Then why did you buy the bunny in the first place?”
“You just said you did!”
“Well yeah,” I said, “but what if I hadn’t? What then?”
“You wouldn’t have a rabbit– that’s what.”
* * *
I put up a post on Craigslist for a free rabbit. My inbox flooded.
“i am looking for a rabbit free for my daughter for a christmas gift shes 16 yrs old and has been wanting a rabbit since she was 12yrs old and were having no luck finding one and its breaking her heart ! , we came across your ad and it made her cry she loves animals like their her own child as she gave birth too them !”
Most of the people who contacted me were completely bat shit. I hung up on a woman who sobbed and screamed when I told her I wouldn’t be able to deliver the rabbit to Maryland, and another guy made it pretty clear he intended to eat the thing. I explained to him where the rabbit had been found but he seemed unfazed, “It’s ok, I’ve done this before.”
“HEY HOW YOU DOIN MY NAME IS JED I ALSO HAVE 2 RABBITS AT HOME AND I WILL LOVE TO TAKE YOURS I LOVE RABBITS SO VERY VERY MUCH I THINK BUNNY ARE SO SWEET SO PLZ LET ME KNO OK THANK YOU BYE”
* * *
Clay liked to jump into your lap and lick every inch of your hand. Maybe it was love, maybe it was salt. It was still cute though. Really cute, actually.
At least until you remembered that there was a wild rabbit living in your apartment – a place that now smelled even more like shit and piss then it did when you just had your French roommate and not both him and a smelly bunny.
* * *
After three whole months of bunny, the day had come.
Erin agreed to help me take Clay to the Bronx. A pre-k class was in need of a rabbit to abuse in the hopes that, one day, having remembered the time they spent kicking the poor caged animal and pouring glitter down it’s throat until it shat sparkly unicorn beads, they would be sufficiently scarred and agree to never own a pet in all their life, and maybe just kill themselves. Or maybe it was going to be a good home. I’d say it was a pretty decent tossup.
Better than allowing someone to breed her, which seemed to be the only reason anyone marginally sane had contacted me.
More things to throw in the gutter.
More happy bunny rabbit happy huts.
More super secret alien bunny rabbit ninjas to fight crime on the streets of Brooklyn.
WE NEED MORE BUNNIES DAMMIT!
* * *
What happened next remains a mystery, but I imagine Clay is roaming the halls of P.S. One-Twenty-Whatever, pulling tricks and smoking cigarettes in the bathroom with the fifth graders…
…Or, maybe she’s the mascot, and every June, she’s paraded down the halls on the backs of the football team wearing all pink with a tiara and tossing candy to all the covetous cavitied children.
…Or, maybe she really was a demonic nuclear rabbit bunny from space with superhuman powers that broke from her cage and ripped off the heads of all the little kids one-by-one before demanding to “speak to the leader,” in whatever voice such types of things have. I bet the school is just a hub of demonic zombie rabbits now and everyone fears them and doesn’t go to field day.
…Or, maybe they fed her bread and she started pooping gel again and died like a big fat lumpy rabbit in her cage, resenting me everyday for the prison I sent her to and her untimely death at the hands of demonic alien super children from the Bronx with glitter.
* * *
Jill told me to get over it.
“You did everything you could. You can’t have a rabbit running around your apartment. That shit’s NAHT OKAY.”
She was right.
I’m not the person to rescue Brooklyn’s bunnies – sorry folks; I really did try my best. I like to think that, at the very least, Clay got to live for three more months in a cool little place in Bushwick and left her mark by damaging an immeasurable amount of property. I wear my chewed up blazer in both remembrance and inelegance.
When I got home from the Bronx, our apartment felt empty. I swept up the stray piles of hay (I still find little “poopz” pellets to this day) and started putting things back in order. I thought about how shitty the world sometimes is (literally and figuratively). You may think you’re doing the right thing, but sometimes there’s just not an answer. The little affirmations that make you feel good and help to certify that you’re not just an evil sack of shit aren’t always so obvious. The problems become so innumerable that you can only try – taking in a stray bunny for a few months and hope that you’re not the one who eventually kills it.
There is no longer a perfect world for bunnies like Clay.
The broom caught something bright green. It was the little turtle from Clay’s bottle. Must have fallen out when I was getting all her stuff together.
I know… it’s super cheesy – but I cried a little. ■
UPDATE: ok, so I was so curious after writing this that I emailed the teacher from the classroom I’d sent her to and got this response:
Clay is doing very well. A family from the school took Clay home over the summer. Clay loves to chew on wires lol. Clay visits the school and the family takes Clay home on the weekends.
You found a great home for Clay. Thank you again. And thank you for reaching out. I hope all is well with you. You saved Clay.
So there you go, a happy ending.