Monday, September 7, 2009

Rooftop Rabbit

Several of the memorable events during construction and the early years of operation here at the Cove have involved animals, both wild and domesticated.

But none was more bizarre than what I saw as I returned from a trip to Home Depot late one autumn afternoon. This was at the end of a long day of destruction -- removing plaster, pulling out lath and dead wiring. While the dust settled, I made a run for supplies to be used in the ensuing reconstruction.

I pulled into the driveway at about 4:45, just as the sun was sinking below the tree-line. As I stopped to look at the rosy sky off to the west, a far more interesting sight caught my eye. Huddled in the middle of the roof over the front porch was a rabbit.

I was so stunned by the vision, which would not go away no matter how often or how hard I blinked, that it took me a minute or two to realize that the bunny perched on my porch roof must be Theo.

Theo was a pet rabbit kept by Lawrence, one of the tenants we inherited from the previous owner of the property. What we didn't know at the time was that Lawrence considered Theo to be a free-range bunny, often letting him roam the second floor while he was at work.

The weather that November was unusually warm, prompting the upstairs tenants to open the windows at either end of the hallway, neither of which had a screen. In the spirit of adventure, Theo had apparently hopped out to catch the cool breeze coming off the water.

Or maybe one of Lawrence's floor mates, who wasn't crazy about sharing the public spaces with a furry friend, put him out there. We never found out for sure. But we did institute a new policy limiting Theo to Lawrence's room while his owner was off the property.