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Belinda Says Hay: “Caregiving”

Belinda Says Hay Caregiving

Hello. It’s Belinda.

My roommate has been “pushing my buttons” lately. But that’s no excuse for what I did.

It all started on Tuesday morning. I woke to the sound of the refrigerator door opening and closing.

I got myself together. Then I ran upstairs to the kitchen and stood at the fence. My roommate was standing at the counter with her back to me.

She fiddled with the coffee maker for a minute or two. Then something odd happened.

While the coffee was brewing she stared at it.  Just stood there watching it with her hands in her pockets. Not saying anything.

Now this might sound rude, but I was ready to start my day. I had a tight schedule and watching my roommate watching coffee brew was not in the plan.

So although I know it annoys her when I push into the fence, it was my only option. I put my nose through the bars and I “walked it forward” two steps. Made a bit of a polite jingle. Like a doorbell, in my opinion.

She didn’t even turn her head.

So I did it again. Used my shoulder instead of my nose to put a little more “sauce” into this one. Made a big racket.

“Belinda. Stop that.”

Still watching the pot.

“Just hang on a minute. I’ll get your breakfast.”

And I have to admit, she did. It took her double the usual time to carry my pellets and morning hay down to me, but she served it by my sleeping rug, where I like it. And after a while, she returned to the bottom floor with a pear blueberry healthy snacker. So far so good.

I was looking forward to my usual morning routine. Most days, I work on spokesrabbit assignments in my office under the steps. When I need a break to “clear my head,” I run upstairs and spend some time in the digging box. If I’m lucky I get some work done on the dining room carpet.

My roommate spends most days sitting at the dining room table looking at things on the computer. So if I want to sneak in some carpet time, I have to wait until she goes upstairs to “powder her nose.”

Well on Tuesday I didn’t get a chance to do anything on the dining room level. Because my roommate pulled a fast one.

While I was still enjoying my snacker, she told me to “have a good day at work.”

That was a strange thing to say. It usually means she’s leaving the house, not shuffling around the bottom floor in pajamas and a robe.

Then she walked back upstairs to the kitchen and closed the fence behind her. A few minutes later I heard water pipe noises from the upstairs bathroom. Then I heard her voice through the vents, talking to the English.

She was on the bedroom level.

And she stayed up there all morning while I tried to concentrate on my work. Hard when I couldn’t get any breaks.

I took a half-nap around noon and when I woke up I saw that lunch had been served while I was sleeping. Some salad, timothy and orchard medley. No roommate in sight.

That evening we watched “Mork and Mindy” after dinner, except my roommate fell asleep during the first episode. I put myself to bed while she was still snoring on the couch.

I have just described the entire week. Me stuck on the bottom floor all day while my roommate goofs off with the English. No way to get to my exercise spots on the first floor. Night-time relaxation ruined by my roommate nodding off and all the “horns.”

Every day I got more upset and today I took a stand. When she pulled the gate closed after breakfast I ran into it full-tilt. It folded outward, just like I wanted.

“Belinda! Stop that.”

She pulled it closed. When she turned to leave the kitchen I thought not so fast.

I threw myself into the fence again. It made a big scaping noise.

“Belinda! I have to go back upstairs. Can’t you see how sick I am?”

I looked up at her and just like that I felt terrible. Her face looked like air was missing. Even her robe looked wilted.

I didn’t know what to say so I turned around and walked back downstairs to my office. I’ve been pretending to work for the past few hours but I keep switching from one tab to the next.

I keep thinking about how Abigail’s roommate, “Dad,” takes such excellent care of her. He’s patient and he lets her have space to run and all her favorite foods.

My roommate is good to me too. And this week was my chance to take care of her for a change.

A lot of humans get sick this time of year. I know that from all the TV commercials.

But instead of realizing my roommate had a “bug,” all I worried about was myself.

I might have a job that I happen to love.

But I need to remember I have important duties at home too.



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