First an adult wild cottontail rabbit was seen in the neighborhood. Next a teen sized rabbit was seen dashing through the yard. Then one of our cats was seen rolling wildly, tail lashing, through a patch of tail grass. We investigated and found it was "playing" with a tiny baby bunny.
The bunny was rescued and stashed back in a baby bunny hollow found nearby. I read up on wild rabbits and discovered that these babies weren't abandoned, their mother would be back at night to feed them, and that they were healthy.
When the cats were outside we kept a laundry basket turned over the bunny hollow to keep them safe. But that wasn't going to be enough, we could tell the cats would find a way to grab the rabbits anyway if we allowed. So we had to also sit by as guard. Cats would be out for an hour or two then brought back in, laundry basket removed so mother could get to them when she wanted.
The babies are very cute. And our cats really want to get to them. We've been hearing a lot of howling and cat complaints about the fact that we won't let this happen.
Now some of the babies can hop around a little. So we can't really let the cats out at all. Or mow the lawn in that area. And we know full well that even with all our efforts - a neighborhood cat or hawk or raccoon could get in at night and take the nest apart. We're doing the best we can. But we know our best might not be good enough.
(last photo by Steve Willis)