Monday, August 22, 2005

My New Baby

My lion-head rabbit, Ada, gave birth to a (yes, just ONE) tiny baby last Saturday morning. It was very exciting for me because although I've seen many baby rodents (my hamsters used to multiply like mad... sometimes up to 6 babies at one go), it was my first time seeing a baby rabbit. As usual, it was pink, naked and had its eyes still closed.

Ada giving birth to a baby came as a shock to all of us in the family - she'd been separated from Java (my male rabbit) for at least a month already. On top of that, when I got the rabbits, the breeder personally told me that they don't breed easily like the local common breed (or else, she, as a breeder, will get rich very easily - those were her very words). So, when it happened (the birth, I mean), Ada was in her usual cage with Java. Now, the cage has a wired base and the poor baby, being so small, slipped through between the wiring and was trapped with its head on top, the rest of its body below. By the time my mother discovered it in the morning, it was cold as a dead fish, struggling and crying out. We had to use a pair of pliers to pry open the two bars of wire between which the little one was trapped and lifted it out. We placed the newborn in a separate carrier with Ada, but she was oblivious to it, ignoring the poor baby, and even stepping over it. I made a frantic phone call to the breeder (7.30am in the morning!) and she advised me to keep the baby warm (the poor thing being cold as a dead fish is a BAD sign!). So I restrained poor, agitated Ada, put the baby wrapped layers of tissue paper next to her, and waited for the baby to get warm. Thank goodness it worked.

Ada, being a first-time mother, is not the slightest interested in nursing the baby, so we had to hold her on her back and put the baby on her belly each time it was to nurse. Two days later, the baby had grown some very fine, downy fur on its body, and some very very fine whiskers. It is indeed a heart-warming sight. What is less heart-warming, however, is an injury on the baby's left hind-leg. It'd turned an ugly shade of brownish-black and horribly swollen. I suspected a fracture and yesterday, I took the little fella to the vet. The vet, a rather handsome-looking man, took a look at the baby and confirmed that its leg is broken. There was nothing much he could do though, considering the two-day-old being so very small. He then gave me lots of tips and pointers on taking care of the baby, including applying warm compression on the injured leg - but didn't charge me anything, since "he didn't do anything". What a kind gentleman. He also reassured me that the baby rabbit is very active and healthy. A good sign.

I had been thinking of a name for the baby for some time: Ada + Java = Ava? Eva? Too difficult to differentiate between Ada and Eva, my mother said. Before I thought further, though, my hubby had decided - we shall call it Bitbit. What a cacat name, but it sounds rather nice to the ears. :)

Bitbit it shall be, then!

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