When You Give A Girl A Bunny

When You Give A Girl A Bunny

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While I was home for Fall Break back in October, my boyfriend and I decided to take his dog for a walk at our local park. Surrounded by woods, it was not uncommon to see critters of all kinds there. Groundhogs, squirrels, chipmunks, and of course, rabbits inhabited the green space. So, we weren't at first so surprised that, along the side of the narrow road through the park, we came across a bunny.

Justin turned to me and said, "Look at that rabbit! It's huge!"

It took me a moment to see it sitting calmly in the grass. "Yeah...do you think it's a wild rabbit?" I said.

Now, keep in mind that Eastern Cottontail rabbits, which are indigenous to Western Pennsylvania, look like this:

At first glance, the bunny we saw across the pavement seemed to have similar coloring to that of a wild rabbit. But this bunny was much bigger than any Eastern Cottontail I had ever seen, and one of its ears flopped downwards while the other stood straight up, reminding me of the propellers of a helicopter.

After thinking for a moment, Justin turned to me and said, "I don't know. I'll stay with Cooper [his dog] and you try walking up to it. See how close it lets you get."

So, I did.

The rabbit hopped up to me, sniffed my hand cautiously, and then allowed me to pet lightly between its ears. Knowing next to nothing about bunnies, we called a friend to get a second opinion. After she examined the pictures we sent, she insisted that it was, in fact, a domesticated rabbit that was likely abandoned. So, my boyfriend and I wrapped the bunny up in a blanket and brought it home with us.

The next day, we drove to several different shelters to try to find somewhere to take Forrest Pumpkin Bun Bun (Yes, we named the bunny. Wouldn't you?) so that he (or she) could find a new forever home. But, the rescue organizations we went to were at capacity and begged us to keep it for at least a few more weeks. So, we took it back with us to Justin's parent's house.

Justin and I were leaving for school the next day, and we were running out of options. We found a friend that was willing to take it, but by that point, I was already attached. I called my parents. My dad told me that, and I quote, "it'll be nice to have a little bunny in the house." And that was the end of it. We officially had a new pet.

The next week, my parents took the bunny to the vet and found out that it was a girl. So, she became simply....Pumpkin.

That's when things got really interesting....The vet told my parents that there was a chance that Pumpkin could be pregnant, but that it may be too early to tell, and that they would know in about 30 days. 28 days after we found her at the park, Pumpkin gave birth to 7 baby bunnies. Within 2 weeks, they were already developing into little fluffy balls of joy.

Long story short, my parents are now caring for a total of 8 rabbits, when they only signed up to take care of one. I honestly could not thank them enough for being crazy enough animal people to take on this daunting task. But between you and me, I secretly think that they're actually really enjoying this crazy experience.

Please enjoy the sickeningly adorable pictures of the baby bunnies below. I literally cannot stop looking at them.

In addition, while I am so very thankful for this experience and for our new pet Pumpkin, I would like to also urge all of you to act more diligently against pet release and abandonment. It is never okay in any situation to release a domesticated animal outside. While I personally believe that pets are for life, and adopting or buying one means that you commit to taking care of it for its entire lifetime, if you do have to surrender a pet, please either find a new home for it or take it to your local, preferably no-kill, shelter. There are so many places which work so hard to make sure that stray, abandoned, and surrendered animals find good homes, so please take advantage of them. Here are a few places near me which specifically accept rabbit surrenders:

Western PA Humane Society

Animal Rescue League

E.A.R.S.

Please be responsible pet owners, friends. Our pets love us and are forever loyal to us. Besides, who could possibly abandon this sweet face?

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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8 Lessons I Learned From My Three-Legged Cat

Having a cat with three legs can teach you a lot about life

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Back in February, I was going through a spiral. I had no motivation to do anything, my candle was burning out if you will. My girlfriend and I had discussed getting a kitten so that our other cat, Athena, could have a little playmate. We got to the shelter, only to find that they had to quarantine a good number of their cats due to an FIV or leukemia contamination. Luckily, there were other cats that had been cleared and were ready to go out to a cat cafe. I got to hold a few, but the one that won was a little black kitten that had her leg amputated. I knew she was the one by the way she purred when I held her.

Over the last few months, this little cat, Posey, has taught me so much. Such as:

Anything is possible

Giphy

Posey has made incredible adjustments to having just three legs. She chases her sister, jumps up onto cabinets, you name it. Jumping down from ledges isn't quite her favorite, but she's been amazing about it. If she can adjust to that kind of life, so can I. Even if my job hunting isn't going great, nothing is going to stop me.

It takes some work to get where you want to be

Giphy

Of course, learning how to do things with three legs takes a lot of work. I don't know how she adjusted when she was in the shelter, but I do know that by the time we got her she was a little champ. She had to have put in effort post surgery to get where she is. Now I need to put in the work to get my life together.

Don't be afraid to speak up

Giphy

I'm going to say it right now: she is a little crybaby. I could be sitting two feet away, and she will start crying if I don't give her attention. She let it be known when she wants loving. Letting anyone, even my girlfriend, in on what's going through my head is something that I need to work on.

Someone will love you for you

Giphy

Cats like Posey usually have a harder time getting adopted, mostly because of color and "defect". That being said, if she was older, she might have been in the shelter even longer.

There's more than one way to contribute to the house

Giphy

When either of them start protesting about being held, my girlfriend and I just say "Oh I know, life is hard when you don't have to pay rent". In all seriousness, these two contribute in ways to help us deal with emotions. The more I think about what they do, the more I realize that I don't have to just work and put in a paycheck for the house.

It does not take much to be self sufficient

Giphy

I always worry about her when we go to Atlanta to take care of stuff for our move. But I know that they will be fine for a weekend as long as they have food, clean water, and a clean litter box. As long as I have basic needs met, I'll be okay.

Or to be happy

Giphy

She just wants to play and to cuddle. As long as she gets that, it does not take her much to purr like a motorboat. And just like having the needs met, as long as have the simple things, like something to do or someone to do that something with, I am happy.

There's always time for a nap (or just do nothing at all)

Giphy

She loves to sleep and gets fussy when anyone wakes her up. It's gotta be so tough to be as cute as she is. But more to the point, she takes time to take care of herself. And while I may not take a nap, I've realized that I don't have to be go-go-go all the time, and that slowing down and doing absolutely nothing actually helps. Now if I could actually do it, I'd be in business.

So, Posey, I thank you for bringing me so much and teaching me so much more.

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