What a lovely morning!

Warning: This post may contain the words "poopy" and "butt" in several sentences, so, well, you've been warned. That is all.

What should one do on their -counts- fourth last morning of freedom for another three months? Relax, go shopping, meet up with a friend? The possibilities are endless. But seeing as though all I have done is relax the last two weeks, I have a rather large car debt to repay and I have no friends in sight, all of those options were out. Plus, I haven't mentioned it before, but I am in the middle of a currently successful weight loss attempt; I'm trying to get myself under control before work comes back and I lose all hope. No! I will not lose all hope, because this isn't some crazy diet, it's a lifestyle change.... Perhaps I should leave that for another entry.

No, instead, I thought I'd spend the morning with my darling animals, since I have such a menagerie of them and all. Started with Gage (the cockatoo) - gave him some new water, and feed as usual, sang and bopped around like a loon so that he would do the same. He's a lovely bird. I take great pleasure in the fact that he loves me back, and the whole time we've had him, he has been fussy with who he loves. He's amazingly wonderful, and will probably outlive us all.

Then I sat back and watched with amusement as Gage set about tormenting Rusty (the TacoBell chihuahua). These two have a very volatile relationship right now. Despite the fact that we have had Gage for 15 years (?) and Rusty for around 4 years, it's as thought they have only just discovered each other. Let me explain.

Gage is in an aviary which is quite high, and reaches the ground also; picture cement floor, wire cage, aluminium roofing. He's got plenty of room, so he walks around a lot, and nibbles the grass coming in from between the wire.

Our backyard does not get much sun, because of the amount of two story houses living nearby, so only certain spots are good for dog sun-baking. One of these spots, somehow happened to shine right near the bottom of Gage's cage. Aha! Trouble a-brewing.

Rusty has now taken to freaking out whenever he sees Gage. And he sees Gage, often. At first I was worried, thinking "Dog - Teeth - Ack", but then after remembering "Bird - Beak - OUCH", I figured Gage would be able to hold his own. And he can, he finds it amusing that Rusty simply cannot walk past without going off his head and attempting to get to the big white "thing" in the cage. He gives up eventually of course, while I swear I've heard Gage laugh afterwards. (Er, Gage has somehow picked up my dad's laugh, which is rather amusing; he tends to use it at the right moments too.)

Anyway. I digress, again! I watched this banter for a few minutes, while giving Max a snuggle. I went back inside, cleaned the new mice out -- I'm still not quite sure if Ms Fatty (as she is affectionately called) is pregnant or not, but I bought a new cage for her just in case. I'm not sure if I should move her yet, since we aren't even sure that she's pregnant, but anyway.... They have spent the morning burrowing into the new sawdust. One of the smaller ones amazes me by the amount of junk she can pick up and make into a nest! They seem content, which is nice.

Afterwards came my bunnies. I was very interested to see them this morning, as I had introduced two new things to their cage yesterday and wanted to see how they were faring. First off, I finally started using litter in their litter tray. It sounds so obvious doesn't it, but for the past few months, I have been using a litter tray, but lined with newspaper, shredded paper and some hay for them. The litter is safe for bunnies, but I was still scared that I would come out and find a mess or a blocked-up bunny or something, being the paranoid dear that I am. I also gave them some new food, mixed in with their pellets. The new food has more grains in it, grains and oats and a few seeds also.

They took to the litter tray pretty well, except for a few stray poops which is usual. If I had a better and bigger hutch for them, I'd be able to really train them, and constantly move all of their stray poops into the tray so that they learn - but that time will come. The tray wasn't stinky, which was great too. Clever bunnies, I have.

There was, though, a corner of the cage where it looked like one of the girls had a tummy upset; this was what I was thinking would happen after giving the new food. It wasn't much, and wasn't bad, so I cleaned the cage and thought I'd let the girls out today to have a long grass break in their enclosure. Surprisingly, Bella came out first (which never happens, I usually have to wait for around fifteen minutes until she ventures out). She was having a ball in the enclosure, scooting around it in circles so fast that she completely confused the dogs that were watching!

I was worried about Lucy. She's the friendlier and more affectionate out of the two, yet she was sulking away in the corner of the cage and wouldn't budge. I left her there, went about cleaning the litter tray and water and all the rest, until she finally came over. I grabbed her, popped her in the enclosure and sat down to watch them for a while. I couldn't figure out why Bella kept nudging her nose underneath Lucy and sniffing her butt, I thought she might have been in heat, or something like that. I picked her up again, and lo-and-behold, my dear bun had a severe case of poopy butt.

Being the inexperienced bunny raiser that I am, when I first brought the girls home I spent countless hours reading forums and websites to find out about looking after rabbits. Apparently poopy butt can be common with rabbits, BUT they don't like water and can't be bathed. Ack. My darling Lucy did so well though, letting me flip her over on her back in the crook of my arm, cut away the icky bits and then sponge her with warm water. Poor little dear, I know I'd hate it if someone did that to me! (Er, I'd also be rather concerned as to WHY someone would be doing that to me, but that's beside the point.) She was very brave, and seems back to normal now. I just need to watch her butt now, and make sure they are given harder food until she settles down.

So. That was my morning! I bet I have you completely and utterly enthralled. And now, after spending countless paragraphs discussing the poopy nether-regions of bunnies, it is 1.20pm and I must go and eat. Mmmm, food. I do hope it's not time for your meal break, dear reader.


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