Friday, August 29, 2008

behavior problems

My poor Joelle... I think that something is wrong with her, but since she is a rabbit she cannot tell me what the issue is. Thus I must conduct some detective work and attempt to interpret her clues.
me? have behavior problems?
Her behavior has changed since we moved to State College, and that is what has me concerned. The major concern is her use (or lack thereof) of the litter box. In my place in Pittsburgh Joelle had a box in her "house" and another one in the bathroom. She preferred the one in the bathroom, and often when I would come home and let her out of the house she would dash straight away into the bathroom. When I moved to State College I set up a box in the bathroom and showed it to her and even laid out carpet leading up to the box so she would not have to put her furry paws on the slippery tile. However, she has yet to use that box. In addition, not too long after I moved (within a month) she started using other parts of her house instead of her box as the place to pee. This is the most troubling part - and the most annoying. After a couple incidents that first month she's been pretty good, but in the past month she's been pretty consistently leaving spots in the corners that are not where her litter box is. I don't quite know what to do. One day this week I got exasperated and shoved the bathroom box into the house, also...leaving pretty much no room to do much of anything except sit in a litter box. That stopped the peeing-not-in-the-box thing. For about two days. Now it's back and apparently is spreading to any corner she wants.

The peeing is concerning enough, but also in the past week I have caught her chewing up the fabric on my footstool (Curses!!! That's a discontinued slipcover color, naughty rabbit!!) and digging at the carpet near the glass slider (trying to get outside???). She's just been acting WEIRD!

Several possibilities come to my mind:
  • The apartment is smaller than the one in Pittsburgh, so maybe she feels cramped
  • I am not home as much as I was in Pittsburgh, so maybe she is lonely and bored
  • Her hair is a big huge matted mess, so maybe she is feeling miserable about being unkempt
  • Moving probably stressed her out a lot, and maybe that and all the other things have just put her over the edge
Now...what do to about any of those things?
  • I could add on to her house and/or rearrange the furniture to make it seem more roomy (or move to a bigger place...haha, not really)
  • I could get another rabbit, although that would make it even MORE cramped!
  • I could terrorize her by cutting off all of her hair so she's clean again, or I could even pay a lot to have the vet do it while Jo is sedated (this seems like a very tempting option...although the since rabbits are tricky the anesthesia scares me and I feel kind of like it's a cop-out and that I'm a bad mom who can't brush her own kid's hair and that it costs a lot)
  • I could do yoga with her...? Or see if there's bunny Prozac. Or maybe at least do some cuddle sessions, although she doesn't really like cuddling
I suppose I'll try the easier ones first and see what happens. Any thoughts?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

on campus

Not only are students prevalent these days on the Penn State campus, the regulars are here, too. All summer long I've been greeted day in and day out by rabbits and squirrels bustling about in the grass and underbrush. These things are the tamest wild animals you can imagine. They can be pretty funny, too: one day Not Joe and I were walking down a path when all of a sudden a trash can started making noise - and out popped a squirrel!

One of the other graduate students in the lab told me that there's a "legend" about the squirrels and rabbits. They are reportedly reincarnations of devoted alumni who now get to live out their days on the university campus they hold most dear. I like this tale simply because it gives an explanation for the 5-toed paw print that is one of the emblems representing the Penn State Nittany lion. I had been befuddled by this print for some time because felines do not have 5-toed prints. In fact, when I looked into it, only small mammals such as minks, otters, and RABBITS and SQUIRRELS have 5 toes showing up in their tracks. So, there you have it - the 5-toed print is actually that of the Penn State alumni-turned-lawn-crawler!

I was astounded the other day on my walk back from Afternoon Coffee to see another wild animal casually hanging out on campus, fittingly seated on a branch in a tree in the Peace Garden.Way cool! I love my neighbors here on campus!

Monday, August 25, 2008

school's on


I moved here to Penn State at the end of April, which happens to be the end of the school year. I watched undergraduates dragging their feet and begrudgingly going to final exams. And then they were gone - SUMMER!

But now... Now, my friends, they are back. And with a vengeance!

Suddenly the population of the town of State College roughly doubled. What was once a sleepy town is now bustling. Traffic has picked up in all senses of the word: there are more cars, buses, bicycles, and pedestrians. Part of me thinks I ought to start getting up earlier and reaching campus before it becomes too crazy in the mornings (another part of me really likes to sleep).

It will take some adjusting, to be sure. Also what is sure that, despite the fact that busy-ness around me can be a bit stressful and annoying, I am glad that the "kids" are back in Happy Valley. It just seems right.

Friday, August 08, 2008

not joe


Back in January I received some flowers from Trader Joe's when I shopped there for the first time. So thoughtful and lovely. They brought a wonderful touch to my apartment.

But now Joe is Trader Joe's in State College. No real hope of getting any more flora from him.

However, here in State College there is someone even better. Much better than the individual to whom I wrote an unsent letter to last week... And from this Not Joe, I received these yesterday...I agree with Herman: "Something tells me I'm into something good."

Just had to share. :-D