Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Thank You...

You all have been so wonderful writing such nice things about Princess. I want you to know that it is really comforting to me. I spent yesterday afternoon cleaning up our bedroom. All of her blankets picked up and washed. Her pellet bowl and water dish emptied. I gave Greyton her hay basket - he sat near it most of the afternoon. Twizzle got her willow hay ball we had just got from Busy Bunny. Her little green house she would spend days in was bequeathed to Baxter. She hasn't gone in it yet, but I'm sure she will make it a favorite place to nap as Princess did,and Feather before her.

I was in bed and asleep by 10. just emotionally and physically drained.The room was quiet I would look over the side of the bed to where she usually was and I see nothing now. It hurts.

The pain will subside, I know. My heart tells me I did the very best with her and she enjoyed her life. I'm lucky I had such a wonderful friend.

And you, who some I know personally, but most electronically thank you for the words that help me heal.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Princess Jewel

Princess Jewel passed away at 7:10am.

We both knew it was her last day. From the time I got home last night, I didn't leave her side. Her breathing was slowing,it was all coming to an end.I talked to her all night,petted her and told her about how special she was through the years. How much she was loved. She died in my arms peacefully after 7am.

Each one of our bunnies had a chance to say goodbye to her. Rabbit behaviorists say that's a good thing for them. We brought her to them. Baxter and Twizzle stayed a respectful distance, but were quiet and knew something had happened. Greyton,gentleman rabbit that he is, hopped over to her and sat next to her for about 3 minutes.He knew. He gave her a gentle nudge then hopped off and sat in the corner by himself for awhile. He had said goodbye.

She had lived as full a bunny life as one could hope for.Just over 10 years. It was in 1997 when looking for a companion to our first rabbit, Austin, he was paired at the House Rabbit Society shelter with Jewel. She had this bossy attitude that kept Austin in line. We were so taken with her beautiful blue eyes and soft coat.

The first few days at our house she beat up Austin something fierce. I was so ready to give her back to the shelter. But then Jewel did something that changed my mind.
She would do this little digging motion then flop over on her side-looking for petting. It's a true sign of contentment and trust for a rabbit to do that, and over the years I got her trained with treats to do "the floppy" on command.

We knew right away from her attitude and territorial personality that she should be called Princess. She took to the name right away and absolutely adored being the center of attention. We always had trouble bonding her with the other bunnies due to her jealous streak. But once we recognized her as "royalty" she was so good and never got into trouble. Her previous owners abandoned her due to excessive chewing, but we soon gave her hay baskets and she was content to spend the day eating them.She was always wonderful about her food and hay, and until this summer when her arthritis problems started her downward turn she was never ill.

Besides doing the "floppy" for me, I loved our reading time together. I would lay down on the bed wth a book and put her up there with me. Read read read- pet pet pet. She just loved spending time with me. At night, she slept in a nest of blankets on the floor of my side of the bed. If I ever woke up in the middle of the night I would reach down and pet her. She would make her little clicking noises.She was loved.

Always excited about fresh carrot-tops and Cheerios. Always the lady of the household. Always the Princess.

My heart is broken today, as I said goodbye to her, as I clean up her room for the final time. The memories of this special rabbit will never be forgotten by us.

And then I think about the Rainbow Bridge:

There is a bridge connecting heaven and Earth. It is called the Rainbow Bridge because of its many colors. Just this side of the Rainbow Bridge there is a land of meadows, hills, and valleys with lush green grass.

When a beloved pet dies, the pet goes to this place. There is always food and water and warm spring weather. The old and frail animals are young again. Those who are maimed are made whole again. They play all day with each other.

There is only one thing missing. They are not with their special person who loved them on Earth. So, each day they run and play until the day comes when one suddenly stops playing and looks up. The nose twitches. The ears are up. The eyes are staring. And this one suddenly runs from the group.

You have been seen, and when you and your special friend meet, you take him or her in your arms and embrace. Your face is kissed again and again and you look once more into the eyes of your trusting pet.

Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together, never again to be separated.

In memory of all loving pets and their special friends...

Thank you all for your good thoughts and nice comments.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Monday Bunday

Princess Jewel resting comfortably on blankets. She did manage to eat a little today and took her evening meds.

Aerial view of Greyton and Twizzle.

Greyton looking dubious as I'm near his salad.

Baxter and her telephone.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Greyton and Twizzle in a big heap.

A Quiet Day...

I'm not having a good day. Over the weekend Princess Jewel has gone downhill quite quickly. She has gradually stopped eating.She's had a little water but not really interested. Her back legs have seem to have given out on her.She can't really walk or stand on her own power. I think her advanced old age is now bringing her to her last days.

Today,I have her comfortable in a nice nest of blankets. Her favorite ones. I put on a George Winston piano cd because through the years she always would relax and fall asleep to the soft music.

I'm hoping that she will drift off to sleep and go peacefully. I hate to see her suffer and perhaps she will have to go to the vet to let her rest.

So it's a quiet day around here.I'm very sad. She has been a companion to us for 8 years. It will be hard saying goodbye.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thanks in Old Age

From Walt Whitman's "Leaves of Grass" First Annex: Sands at Seventy

Thanks in Old Age

Thanks in old age- thanks ere I go,
For health, the midday sun,the impalpable air-for life, mere life,
For precious ever-lingering memories, (of you my mother dear-
you, father-you, brothers ,sisters,friends,)
For all my days-not those of peace alone-the days of war
the same,
For gentle words,caresses, gifts from foreign lands,
For shelter,wine and meat-for sweet appreciation,
(You distant,dim unknown-or young or old-countless,
unspecified, readers belov'd,
We never met, and ne'er shall meet-and yet our souls
embrace, long, close and long;)
For beings, groups, love, deeds, words, books-for colors,
For all the brave strong men-devoted hardy men-who've
forward sprung in freedom's help,all years, all lands,
For braver,stronger, more devoted men-(a special laurel ere
I go, to life's war's chosen ones,
The cannoneers of song and thought-the great artillerists-the
fore most leaders, captains of the soul:)
As soldier from an ended war return'd-As traveler out of
myriads, to the long procession retrospective,
Thanks-joyful thanks!-a soldier's, traveler's thanks.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Greyton Impossible...

I have no idea whether it was a full moon, the planets aligned just so, or he got his issue of "Fluffy Bunny" monthly but Greyton was a bun with a mission late last night.

And that mission was to hump the heck out of Twizzle.

It started around 11:30. I was ready to go to bed after dealing with my computer problems all evening. A good night's sleep was just what I needed. But as I started drifting off I heard Greyton in the upstairs hallway. He was making his little grunting noises. Rabbits can be vocal and he makes this noise which sounds like a combination grunt and whimper. He usually makes that sound when very happy.

I look into the hallway and he's mounted Twizzle in the usual style- from the front.Oh Lord. It's Bunny facefuckfest.

Baxter was watching this whole scene in front of her and eventually got bored and ran off to her bed. Greyton usually hangs out with Baxter by her gate and I think just got a good whiff of her scent that sent him into orbit. It's shocking to see him so active because he is almost 9 years old and usually is a big loaf around the house.

After prying Greyton off Twizzle's head, Twizzle ran downstairs and Greyton followed in hot pursuit. I heard chasing and running.And the happy noise. I went downstairs to break it up.

Usually Greyton gets in his "Mood" then settles down after a few minutes.Oh no - not tonight. He was in full blown 'Hef' mode. All he needed was the pipe and robe.

Twizzle for his part in all this either bowed to submission to head humping or got ticked off enough to start biting Greyton's butt in retaliation. The dance continued for another half hour. I'd seperate them and Greyton would get active again. I was losing my patience.

For Twizzle's safety and piece of mind I put him in the cage where we keep a litter box. Greyton wandered off and promptly fell asleep. I dozed on the couch - about an hour later Twizzle was making noises at the cage door wanting to be let out.

Thinking the sex storm had passed, I did. Hearing Twizzle out again caused Greyton to start his engine and more rounds of running, chasing, biting and head humping.

I had had enough. It was now like 2:30am. Greyton for the first time in over 5 years spent the rest of the night in his cage. He hasn't been this bad in about that long.

This morning he was let out. Greyton and Twizzle had their usual good morning nudges but that was it.

As I left the house this morning I could have sworn I saw Greyton typing a letter on the laptop. It began "I never thought this would happen to me...."

*sigh* Those bunnies.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Monday Bunday

Her Majesty Princess Jewel.

Baxter and Mr. Giblets -still looking to hide him before Thursday.

Greyton looking handsome, Twizzle in the background.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

The Bloggers are Coming..The Bloggers are Coming...

The next two days I'll be cleaning my house. Company is arriving on Saturday. Through the good fortune of geography and holiday family visiting several cool people who I met at Journalcon will be getting together with me Saturday.Actually showing up at my door.

I cleared it with Mrs. P. gatekeeper of my door.

me:"Hey local bloggers are coming to visit." I explain the logistics.

Mrs. Pratt: Look of ..well you know where this is going.....

I assured her that everybody visiting was normal,and did not have rabies or bird flu or anything , and assured her that the next time she wants to have people from her lighthouse cult over I would be cool.

I'm thrilled it's happening.I don't get many visitors. Maybe it's the moat.So it will be nice to show off the Prattcave, the Prattmobile,the rabbits, The look of Death from Mrs. Pratt. I feel a little bit like a sideshow barker...

"And here are the amazing pratt bunnies.See them eat carrots! See them eat lettuce! It baffles science!" "Here is the room where the Blog of Pratt hails from. Ignore the Hooters calender on the wall please. Step this way."

But honestly, after kind of spending a decade sheltered away from the world it's nice to socialize again.Even for a day. Yeah I'm all squeelike and a big pile of goo but the friendships formed through Journalcon are very special.So keeping them going is important for me.

So it's up at the crack of dawn for me tomorrow to turn the Prattcave into looking hospitable and not like it's usual disaster area. I'm sure the bunnies will want to help me.Greyton does love that vacuum cleaner you know.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Top 12 Secrets of the Oprah- Roger Ebert Date Revealed...

It's being reported that in the 1980's, Oprah Winfrey and film critic Roger Ebert went on a date. The best thing that happened from this one date romance was Ebert convinced Oprah to launch her show into syndication,make more money than God and begin her world conquest.

The Blog of Pratt has sleuthed out the 12 Other Secrets from the Oprah-Ebert Date...

12. Tense staring contest over jumbo buttered popcorn at cineplex.

11. He likes her perfume asks to have some sprayed on his dessert.

10. Oprah tells oafish waiter Phil he should become a doctor.

9. A seething Steadman Graham watching from afar.

8. They go see "Risky Business"- wonder about that kid jumping on the couch.

7. Both discover secret wish of Oscars made out of Chocolate.

6. "Junk in the Trunk" discovered not a term of endearment for either one.

5. Instead of flowers Ebert brings her pie.

4. Saying "Two Thumbs Up!" worse than goodnight kiss.

3. Both from Chicago-they go to a Cubs game-Concessionaires happy.

2. It was "Siskel this" "Siskel that" all through dinner.

1. Second date? Thumbs down!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Monday Bunday...

Twizzle's big belly makes a comfy pillow for Greyton.

Princess Jewel...still on her medicine and doing well.

Baxter meets Mr. Giblets. She promises to hide him until the 25th.

Greyton in a contented snooze.

Princess lounging for an afternoon nap. She tolerates the paparazzi before she rests.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Twenty Questions...

1. What's for breakfast? Corn muffin w/margerine and coffee

2. Do you read a newspaper daily? - Yes- two or three of them.Philadelphia Inquirer,Philadelphia Daily News, Times Herald

3. What do you do when you can't sleep? Read blogs.

4. Say a word that sums up your mood-Rollercoaster.

5. Do you remember your dreams? Bits and pieces

6. Name something from your dream last night? Goldfish

7. Name a food that describes you- Glazed Donut

8. Today you are t shirt,maroon shirt, khakis, black shoes.

9. What's in your pockets? Keys.Wallet.85 cents.Comb. Cellphone.

10.Did you sing in the shower today? What did you sing? Just random notes.La la la la la laaaaaaaaaa.

11.What's the last song you heard? "California Girls" by the Beach Boys

12.Looking forward to the holidays? No.

13. Where do you want to be this instant-On a beach.

14.What's for lunch? Half a sandwich(roast beef/lettuce/tomato/mayo) potato salad,coffee.

15. What's something you would like to do soon? Go outside and Look at the stars.

16. Reading anything now? What is it? About 15 different books.

17.What's for dinner? I have no idea. I may go out.

18. A Favorite part of the day is...having a rabbit run up to say hello.

19.Are you happy? I wish I were more.

20. Will your friends do this meme? I hope so.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Greyton and Pratt. Greyton is on the left.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Monday Bunday...


Princess Jewel

Twizzle and Greyton

Rare photo of all 4 Pratt Bunnies together Princess at far end. Greyton and Twizzle flirting with Baxter.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Lucky Rabbit ...

Friday night until late this afternoon I was in Atlantic City. It was a hectic work week for both of us so it was a nice break. I rubbed the rabbits' feet for luck before I left.Mrs. Pratt and I had tickets to see Guster at House of Blues. We decided to stay at Harrah's where they put us on the top floor and here's the view...

Atlantic City at night.

Ryan the lead singer of Guster summed up A.C. perfectly at last night's concert."It's a land of many styles of architecture...Western...Eastern....uh..Roman." Despite the overabundence of neon Atlantic City is always a fun diversion for us every few months. i love to people watch in Atlantic City. It is a fascinating parade of the desperate, the greedy, the hedonist, and the elderly on life support.

Before the concert we grabbed a quick bite at a small restaurant that served sandwiches. We watched with amusement as a sweat suit clad gold chain wearing gel soaked extra from "Growing Up Gotti" tried to pay for a turkey club with a $5 casino chip.When Paulie was told the he needed real money, he whistled.(Whistled) to a member of his "crew" to fork over some cash. There were so many sweat suits with this group I thought It was an Olympic training center. As I said- I love to witness things like this.But I can't mock too much or with that group I'd end up in the witness protection program or a landfuill in Staten Island..

We've been to House of Blues for lunch and dinner but this was the first show we've been able to catch in there. Guster was superb as always.Go buy their music. Now.

The opening act was really good too they were a 5 piece band called Matt Pond PA -one of them played the cello. Yes it was rockin' cello. I thought I saw Yo Yo Ma in the mosh pit.But Matt Pond PA is now another new group I want to listen to. I really liked their set. Cd shopping this week I guess.

An odd thing about the balcony seating in House of Blues is that they have waitress service during the concert.They had several bars within the performance space.But during songs a waitress was going around asking if anyone would want anything? Um how about attention and quiet for the performance? But anyway,it wasn't only drinks..but food! Now the balcony seats aren't like sitting at nightclub's seats like in any theater.

Imagine really enjoying a performance of a certain song and at a special part you love hearing live suddenly your attention is jarred by "Another Heinieken Hun?" in your ear. Gah.

So at the beginning of the show, a dude gets his plate of french fries, and later on I look to my right and see a girl eating a salad! Your eyes are not playing tricks on you you read that correctly. Eating a salad. Plate,fork..dressing, croutons. Once again my dreams for another Altamont went unaswered.

We got back to our hotel by 1am and crashed. I was wide awake at 8 am so while Mrs. Pratt was still asleep went downstairs to find coffee and maybe drop some coin.

I started off relaizing that I did happen to have 6 quarters in my pocket. So I plunked them into a machine and immediately hit for $30. Did I feel lucky punk? You bet I did.

I cashed out to use that for later and got coffee for us. Mrs. Pratt was bemused at my luck. usually when I come to Atlantic City I'll do ok at the slots but never hit anything big. She always seems to find the nickel slots that pay off constantly so she can stretch the original $20 in a machine for hours.

But today was my day. After more coffee I used my $30 and within an hour stepped it up to $60.not bad for a $1.50 to begin.

So lunch was definitely on me.We checked out of Harrah's and did House of Blues for lunch. then more slots until we left at 3. But my streak of luck continued. The first machine I sat at-The Munsters started paying off a lot - Mrs. Pratt was trying to win at the game next to me- something with unicorns and toadstools..and it just sucked her money away. So she goes off to find a different game. The minute she leaves-I hit for 1200 points- which on nickel slots is $60. She wandered back to see the high total and think she may have been a little miffed that I was doing well for once.HA! Victory is Mine! So I finished up about $100. Huzzah for me.

When we were walking through the casino we always are astounded at the number of elderly people.I mean not that their old but the level of infirmities we see. We were talking about the people with oxygen tanks and electric scooters for their oxygen tanks..and then an old couple came by and I felt bad. The wife was definitely paralyzed from a stroke. By she still had her members card clutched in her hand. But this lady was frozen. I'm talking- Capt. Pike from Star Trek.

"Who helps her play the slots? Is their a helper monkey?" I asked Mrs. P.

Mrs. Pratt gave me the Look of Death. I told her to be careful. One wrong glance and a dozen seniors could pass on.

We got home late afternoon and the bunnies were all well. Much thanks to Mrs. Nice Neighbor who came by to check on them and give them breakfast. I'm glad Greyton didn't get his freak on in front of you. Lucky you.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Breakfast Interruptus...

First thing every morning, Greyton and Twizzle run into the kitchen and get excited about getting their breakfast carrot. Twizzle keeps to the rug in the center of the floor. Greyton usually will follow me directly to the refrigerator.

Greyton is even vocal.It's a little hard to describe. It's kind of a purring he does. Maybe I'll record it one day and put it on here.

This morning Greyton was as usual very excited for his Cherrios and carrot...well he was VERY excited about something. As I turn around from getting the carrots out. He is mounting Twizzle and acting like rabbit Dirk Diggler.

Me:"What The...??? It's 7:30 in the morning! Greyton!"

I pry him off of Twizzle's face. He runs back to mount him again.He did this 5 times. He was a bunny with a mission...well missionary position ...well I think it was reverse cowgirl. It was definitely a surprise for Twizzle. Twizzle had finally decided to fight back and the bunnies are circling me trying to get at each other.

And I hadn't had a sip of coffee yet.

I have no idea what got Greyton in his "rumpypumpy" mood. Usually it's when he interacts with Baxter for awhile. He picks up her scent and despite his elderly bunny age(8) he thinks he's Hef.

Twizzle looked dazed at the out of the blue face mounting. I gave him an extra carrot for his troubles. Greyton settled down eventually and I got the two to sit near each other without the "boh-diddy-doh doh" music playing in Greyton's head.

I'm ingesting a gallon of coffee now.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Rubber Band Man...

One of the greatest gifts I have ever received is the rubber band ball. My friend Granola Girl who I worked with for many years until she moved to the wilderness of the midwest started it, passed it on to me,and over the years it has grown steadily but sporadically.

Adding to it daily.

The rubber band ball is now the size of a small grapefruit. It's very bouncy. One day last year I was absent-mindedly bouncing it a few times on my office floor. I forgot that student study carrels were underneath my office. I remember the stressed out student knocking on my office door and me trying to explain ."I..have a rubber band ball..and uh..what? final exams? heh heh...uh..sorry." I slipped it back in my desk drawer and was waiting for the embarrassment to fade.

But lately at the end of the day, before I shut off the computer,turn off the lights andl lock the door, I've been adding a rubber band to the rubber band ball. Kind of symbolically saying- I made it through another day and another layer is added to my life.

My journal is like that.It's the electronic rubber band ball which I add to daily to mark time and keep my sanity.Then there are experiences that will feel as if five or ten or twenty rubber bands have been added. I still feel that way about my time in San Diego.

I'll be a bit candid and admit I don't have many friends locally. I work 9-5 then it's usually home and before you know it the evening hours go by and sleep beckons. It's been a bit rough on me because in younger days I was quite a social animal.I think I was even housebroken then. I hated the feeling of being lonely. But establishing some new friendships and relationships with fellow journalers felt like the rubber band ball grew a great deal.

So that's where my head is at right now. Thinking about the rubber band ball that's in my desk.Thinking about how wonderful it is to add to it. Giving it an even bigger bounce than before.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Lights Out...

I know that for people who really don't want trick -or-treaters coming to their door they turn the front porch light out but my street really was not in the spirit of Halloween this year.

The grand total-22 kids.
3 ninjas...not the movie.
2 Batmans..or batmen?
2 witches- so that Macbeth scene was out.
3 princesses- although one had wings so was a fairy princess.
1 tinkerbell...not the chihuahua.
1 tasmanian devil
1 Spider-Man
1-um hard to tell dress and rainbow wig but a dude.....Dennis Rodman maybe?
1 mad scientist
3 bloddy interns
1 death
1 black cat
1 spotted dinosaur
1 gigantic twinkie...and by 1 gigantic twinkie I am not referring to the names Mrs. Pratt called me for walking around in a giant Scooby Doo outfit all night-those were worse...No this guy was a big Hostess Twinkie.

Finally the nice neighbors brought over Little Nice Neighbor dressed as a baby lamb. It was the cutest costume next to mine.

But by 8:30pm I looked up the street and practically everybody's porch light was out.
So even if kids were coming from other neighborhood seeing the darkness of my street would be a deterrent. I blew out the Pratt o'lantern and called it a night.

So Halloween 2005 is over too quickly. I have about 7 bags of uneaten candy that will go quick at work. Of course I could use the extra candy rush as I begin the Nanorwrimo project for november. Nanowrimo is National Novel writing Month. the goal is to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. i completed it last year, and have begun my new project "The Rabbit in the Hat"

Time to sleep though..I'll listen for rabbits that go thump in the night.