These days I feel like I am the head chef in some bizarre trendy restaurant turning out delicacies, especially for Zen who still needs to get back to full health. The prix fixe menu Chez Room Service Woman looks something like this:
Amuse Bouche de Souris with Gabapentin Infusion
Gluten-free rabbit meatballs with psyllium and pumpkin puree with lactulose glaze
Bison pate with cranberries
Day-old Chick with peanut garni on a bed of kibble
Heart Tartare d’oeuf
Assorted fruits & cheeses
In other words, every morning Zen gets a mouse with gabapentin (relieves nerve pain). At lunch he receives pumpkin disguised in rabbit dog food with lactulose and psyllium (Metamucil) to promote, um, digestion. Dinner is another medicated mouse plus some combination of chick, puppy Science Diet, chicken heart, hardboiled egg, peanuts, blueberries, or cheese rind.
The result of all this culinary prowess is that Zen has decided to molt. In March when it still gets down to the 20s at night, no less. Off season molt is not unheard-of but is weird. I like to think that Zen finally feels well enough to produce some new feathers since he didn’t do so last summer. But I have to say he might have done better to wait a few more weeks, as we are currently experiencing the first snowfall of the year.
As any great chef will tell you, how food is presented is critically important. At Chez RSW we strive to present meals in as creative a way as possible. Gwen and Stephen favor a paleo diet: meat only with the occasional egg or Swiss cheese (imported, freshly-sliced only, nothing pre-packaged thank you very much). Often I’ll put their food into paper towel tubes or boxes (or both). Animal experts call this “enrichment.” Gwen and Stephen call it a nuisance. They are not fans of delayed gratification, as it takes them between 90 seconds and three minutes to figure out how to shred the packaging to get at the food.
I then decided Snafu needed a challenge as well, so put a few peanuts in an egg crate. You would think the object would be to figure out how to open the egg crate and remove the edibles. But then you would not be a corvid. It turns out that the goal is to cache as much as possible in the egg crate, carefully hiding food from evil doers who are abroad in the land. So now we have an egg crate filled with peanut bits, shell, kibble, and desiccated blueberries. Bon Appetit!