Thursday, March 12, 2009

Happy birthday to a little Bunny who is being nursed back to health

In January, I told you the story of Bunny, a New Orleans animal rescuer who was shot in the face by her landlord in a parking lot. The crime was sinister and puzzling.
Here are the links to the original stories:
Update on rescuer shot recently -- she's home! January 18, 2009

Animal rescuer shot in the face, January 13, 2009

Many of you have asked about Bunny, wondering how her recovery has been going.

Her sister-in-law Shelly Patton has an update:

I spoke with Bunny. It’s her birthday today. She’s 61. A young 61. I learned she has three cats. I don’t know why I hadn’t remembered that. She had five cats when Hurricane Katrina hit. Bunny spoke fondly of her old girl, whom she lost a year ago January. She was 26 years old, an amazing life span for a cat.

Physically Bunny couldn’t be doing better. She is healing rapidly. Several bullet fragments that had lodged in her cheek had to be removed because of infection. She has several more surgeries in her future, but she is handling it all Bunny Style, with courage and optimism.

Now that her jaw is unwired, she can eat soft food. She can’t chew, but that is preferable to a liquid diet. As I was on the phone with her, she was eating the contents of a can of tuna. Every few minutes she was shooing one of her three cats away. It was comical listening to her plead with them to leave her alone. Being surrounded by love brings little irritations as well as wonderful blessings. Bunny loves her ferrets and her cats, gladly paying any price necessary to have them close. I never asked if she shared her tuna with them, but I’m sure she did.

Although she’s doing remarkably well physically, Bunny still struggles emotionally. The emotional toll is the hardest part of this whole ordeal. She stays busy from early morning until late at night, not giving herself time to think about what happened. But images and sounds flash through her mind in unexpected places, at unexpected times, causing panic and anxiety to grip her heart.

Last week, an errand took her to the street were she was shot. She hadn’t been thinking about the shooting until the memories flooded her in that instant. Before she could go into the building, she had to calm her pounding heart and slow her breathing. A cold sweat formed on her forehead. But Bunny wasn’t about to let anxiety rule her. It was important to continue with some semblance of normality, and she did. That’s what she does. She continues to move forward regardless of the obstacles, no matter the fear.

Bunny told me it is easier to cope because the man who shot her is still in jail. With any luck, he will never get out. Without luck, he should be behind bars for a good ten years.

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