The phone is crammed between my shoulder and ear. I’m listening intently as I reach for the fax about to drop onto the floor, while simultaiously holding up my sock-covered foot, to prevent the giant, long-eared ball of fur from getting to the fax before me.
“What?”, I say, distractedly into the phone, “You’re leaving for Japan, when…?”
Undone by my startle reaction, I miss the fax AND the rabbit, who gleefully snatches the paper, bounds outside my office onto the deck, and leaps onto a cardbord box with a hole cut in the top.
“Can you hold a minute?”, I say. I have roughly 20 seconds before the fax is confetti.
“No. I’m boarding. I just faxed you the specs I’ll need in Tokyo. Can you fix them and email it to me in English?”, says the physicist.
“Got it”, I say, “You’re cutting out.” I drop the phone and scramble for the door. Chloe is balanced on the box, busily stuffing the paper down the hole. In 2 seconds, she’ll stuff herself down on top of the paper. Twelve pounds of fuzzy, adorableness determined to shred paper into teeny tiny pieces.
I wasn’t smart enough to cut the bottom off the box. In fact, I reenforced it with duct tape, worried her weight would crumple the “roof”. My only option is to go in.
Right after I squeeze through the dog door to get onto the deck. Undoing the sliding door deadbolt would waste too much time.
I hurl myself mostly through the dog door and get my arm down the hole. I shove the warm fuzzy stomach sideways, feeling for the paper underneath with my fingertips. Cardboard…cardboard…bunny foot…OW, she bit me! I resist the urge to snatch my finger out of the box and stick it in my mouth.
At this point, my roommate, who is moving out, greets a prospective new roommate at the front door. I ignore them, no longer going for the fax, now going for the scruff of my bunny’s neck. This works! I’ve got her!
She still has the paper in her mouth. Did you know rabbits can still shred paper while hanging in the air? Me, neither.
We’re at an impasse. She’s far to big to haul back out of the hole. I’m laid flat out: half in, half out of the house, with my arm plunged to the shoulder into a cardboard box. I’m also yelling at the box to “LET GO!”, then giving it a vigorous shake from the inside.
My roommate pokes her head around the corner of the door. The No Longer Prospective Roommate is on tip toe, looking over her shoulder, suddenly aware of why roommate #1 is leaving.
Jane has desperate, furious arguments with cardboard boxes. And uses the dog door to go in and out of the house.
“It’s not exactly as bad as it looks”, says former roommate, helpfully. “Wanna see the kitchen?”
The kitchen. With it’s Wall O Rabbits.
I’m doomed. I’m going to have to figure out how to make the whole rent. For the rest of my life.
The fear of rent doubling shoots adreniline into my body: I still have the 500 pound struggling bunny by the scruff of the neck, though she is kicking angrily with her back feet and trying to continue chewing. Not a team player.
I shove my other arm into the hole, ripping the cardboard and busting my chin open when it hits the deck. I grab the fax, try to ease it out of her mouth. This turns out to be surprisingly simple, because she’s opened her mouth to lunge at the other intruding hand.
This is the same giant bunny who was spread out from my waist to ear, snoring on her belly, with her nose snuggled up under my jaw before the alarm went off this morning.
I get the fax.
Jane 1. Chloe 2.
I have the fax in one hand and bunny in the other. I’m trying to keep them seperate and figure out how to slide the fax away from her chompers and out of the hole.
My almost former roommate and the not-in-this-lifetime looky-loo are peering around the door again. Former roommate knows what’s going on. She’s having the time of her life not explaining a thing.
“A little help, here?”, I beg.
“With what?”, she asks, innocently, eyebrows raised.
(I might have deserved that, FYI.)
At that moment, Chloe goes completely limp in my grasp.
Oh God. She’s had a heart attack! Noooooo!!!!
Fortunately I’m still suspicious: I snatch the paper up and out of the rabbit hole before I check on her.
I also fall over from the sudden lack of bunny weight and the momentum of yanking my arm out, flipping the box and me on our sides.
One very miffed rabbit is staring at me through the hole. Alive and perfectly healthy. Her eyes zip to the paper.
“OH NO YOU DON’T!”, I shout at the box, hurling myself away. “It’s MINE!”
Former roommate is trying to look grave. Never in a Million Years Roommate is horrified.
I realize she still has not seen the rabbit.
All she has seen is Jane fighting with an inert cardboard box as if it were a many knived serial killer.
Never in a MIllion Years Roommate says to Nearly Former roommate: “I just looked at the nicest two bedroom, two bath, but didn’t have anyone to room with. Are you looking for a place?”
They go out for coffee. I’m doomed.
Chloe leaps out of the box. She’s seriously miffed. She flys on top of me, squeezes her plumpness through the mostly Jane-filled dog door, and hurls herself at the metal trash can inside the office. She knocks it over, and begins to roll it end over end around the room. Rabbits. They love noise. Who knew?
Holding the fax way above my head, I blindly grope the bottom of the box for the missing corner piece. Bingo.
Chloe is rolling the trash can back and forth over my stretched out legs. I get the message.
I am not happy.
I am not happy either. My astro physicist-slash-engineer-slash-inventor employer is on a flight to Japan. I can’t quite make out the numbers near the rip. I can’t have his office fax me the specs again. I AM his office. Like many geniuses, he has trouble communicating with those less genius-y.
My job was to make him repeat himself over and over using successively simpler words and anologies until I understood what the heck he was talking about, and rewrite the info in psuedo-scientific language, so he can hand it over to his less genius-y clients without anyone but me feeling stupid.
I was going to have to explain the little white lie I told him the previous week, when he realized he needed to make sure I was shredding all important documents. Of course I had. I might not be genius-y, but I have office street-smarts.
I had been outsourcing the shredding to a very reliable source till my first paycheck. And she had been doing a stellar job until today.