Pulling a rabbit out of an empty nester’s upstairs bedroom!

by Kay Hazelwood –

Editor's note: In December 2016, we featured a story about a Trinity mom who donated to a school the desk left behind when her daughter arrived at Trinity. Here is another family's story about what happens to a college student's room when parents become empty nesters. 


The last Hazelwood left for college in January 2014, and Tom and I found ourselves empty nesters. The transition, as each child departed, changed and was as varied as their personalities. With Aly, Maddy, and Audrey, their rooms, though, did not undergo many significant changes when they left for school other than the usual removal of odds and ends: unmatched socks, unwanted jeans, clothes they had outgrown.

Marion, on the other hand was an entirely different story.

Marion decided to leave for college a semester early, so her departure coincided with the departure of her older sister Audrey's return to Trinity in January. Before Marion left, I had one requirement, Copper, the rabbit that had occupied her room incognito since its arrival in September, had to be spayed so it could go live with Marion’s best friend, who also had a rabbit. The spaying went off without a hitch, but when it was time to have Copper’s stitches removed, that was another story altogether.

The Hazelwood family includes mom, Kay, center, Trinity class of '82, with daughters who played volleyball at Trinity: Audrey '15, Maddie '13, and Aly '09, and daughter Marion, a volleyball player at Oklahoma.

Since Marion had to be at school a few days before the other students, she enlisted Audrey to take Copper to the vet. Simple enough, right? Copper had other plans. The pet did not want to go and ran under the bed...and we all know how fast rabbits can move. After 45 minutes of hopelessly chasing the rabbit who did not want to be caught, Audrey called me in tears. I suggested she take the mattress and box springs off the bed to make easier access and remove the hiding place. She did and propped them against the wall.

With Marion’s bed tossed, Copper now chose to hide behind the dressers. Too heavy to move, Audrey called again. This time, I suggested enlisting the pet whisperer. Enter Tom, who until I called him had no idea a rabbit had been living upstairs for four months. Here is how our conversation went:

Me: Honey, I need you to go upstairs and help Audrey get Marion’s rabbit into the crate and take it to Dr. Abshier.
Tom: Audrey is already gone. She left an hour ago. . . . . what rabbit?
Me: Marion’s rabbit. Marion got a rabbit in September. Audrey is upstairs trying to catch it because it needs its stitches out. I need you to help her catch it and take to Dr. Abshier.
Tom: D*********, Kay!
Me: It needs to go to the vet, and I need you to catch it. And that wasn’t the plumbing making those weird thumping sounds
Tom: Anything else up there?
Me: Nope, just a rabbit
Tom did catch Copper in his typical whisperer style. He called her name, and she hopped right over to him. Tom, by the way, has whispered a parakeet from our back porch and onto his shoulder, a cockatiel out of a tree, and a duck, Wilson, into its crate.

Since Copper had free rein of Marion’s room, her departure led to a complete makeover. No more nibbled baseboards and shredded carpet; and no more familiar room to return home to. Marion's room is now a beautiful nursery for daughter Aly and her husband Michael’s son, Spencer.

About Kay

Kay Hazelwood sent three daughters to Trinity, and they all played volleyball. The only daughter who didn’t come to Trinity to play volleyball grew up coming to campus to see her older sisters play.

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