Friday 15 February 2013

Amusing Bunni: My Visit To The Bunni Hutch

It was one of those things I'd always imagined doing one day but since I found out about her devastating illness last November, the idea of going to Chicago to visit Bunni and Kittehkins took on a much greater sense of urgency.


As I said in my previous post, Bunni and I have known each other for some years online and over that time we've become very close - she's like a sister so it was really important to me that I go and meet her.

Typically, my passport had expired so I had to renew it and get my U.S. visa waiver organised before I could do anything else but, strangely enough for government organisations, it all went very smoothly and painlessly so I set out for the airport at four o'clock on a crisp January morning and headed to Chicago to spend a couple of weeks with Bunni and Molly.

Everything went very quickly when I arrived at O'Hare - I had collected my luggage and cleared immigration and customs in no time at all - I even got a cab almost immediately. I called Bunni from the cab to let her know that I'd be arriving soon and within half an hour I was being greeted by Bunni's cute little smiling face at her front door.
It was so good to meet her at long last, hugs and kisses were delivered in person to both her and Molly and there were two whole weeks to get to know them better.

From past experience, (I've been around cats since I was a kid and I rescued two great little guys from the streets in London), I know all the right buttons to push with kittehs - and they can also sense very well whether people like them or not....... suffice to say that Molly and I were getting on like a house on fire within the first day or two....... she was so relaxed with me she even came up on the sofa, cuddled up beside me and fell asleep.



Oh, and by the way, just in case you were wondering, Bunni and I were getting on really well, too - our meeting only confirmed what we already knew about each other and conversation was really easy and natural.

Fortunately for me, Bunni likes good food and she likes to go out to good restaurants just as much as I do so, on the second day I was there, we went to the Viceroy Of India for some good old British food - you know the sort of thing....... tandoori lamb chops, chicken tikka massala, butter chicken, saag aloo, etc..
The following day was Bunnikins' birthday so we wanted to do something special - I'd already asked her on the phone a week or two before to have a good think about where she would like to go. Bunni did just that and decided she would like to go downtown to Lawry's......... oooh, yes....... prime rib carved at the table....... lobster tails....... all the trimmings....... nice bottle of Barolo....... yummy!


After all the excitement and running around over the first few days, Bunni was feeling tired and was in pain - she'd been looking forward to my visit and her birthday and there was no way she was going to let her illness stop her if she could help it.

Anyway, we took things a lot easier for a few days until she felt a bit better - with Bunni's problem she has good days and bad days so we just played it by ear, took each day as it came and did as little or as much as she was able to do at any particular time.


We'd planned to go and see a movie one day so before the film we went to a great little Thai restaurant that Bunni knows and had an excellent lunch  there before setting off to the nearby cinema to see Les Misérables.

It was nice to see Colm Wilkinson, who played Jean Valjean in the original London stage production, in a cameo role as the Bishop in the film....... Russell Crowe, on the other hand, sounds more like a half-strangled bull with its balls caught on a barbed wire fence when he....... "sings".


Seriously, though, regardless of Russell Crowe's vocal shortcomings, that film and music are now indelibly etched into my mind and every time I see, hear or think about Les Miserables, I immediately think of darling little Bunnikins.

On another day we had some good old American country cooking at the Old Country Buffet - their fried chicken was easily the best I've ever had, (and I've been around a bit).

Opus#6 even phoned from California one day and I finally got to have a really nice chat with her, too.

Needless to say, the two weeks that seemed like lots of time when I first arrived went by with a whoosh and all too soon it was time to go home. That morning Bunni and I walked a couple of blocks to her local diner, (she's been going there for years), to have a damned good American breakfast....... omelette with everything in, fried potatoes and pancakes with whipped butter and maple syrup, (Bunni didn't want to leave me to the mercy of airline food)....... and then it was time to go back to the Bunni Hutch and call a cab to take me, extremely reluctantly, to the airport.

Bunni thought it would probably be up to half an hour before the taxi arrived so we were taken a bit by surprise when it showed up after about five or ten minutes. I knew we could both easily have become very sad and emotional as we were saying goodbye if we'd had an extra twenty minutes to wait around, so perhaps the cab's sudden arrival was a blessing in disguise.

Kittehkins was curled up in her little bed looking absolutely adorable and I had just  been about to take another photo of her when the cab turned up....... so I didn't even have time to get the photo or give her one last hug before I left.


I would dearly love to have been able to stay for a bit longer but the short time I did get to spend with Bunni and Kittehkins is something I will treasure forever.


If you would like to contribute to Bunni's medical fund you can use this PayPal button.......