I’m doing a scientific study in my apartment, tracking the lifecycle of a dust bunny, trying to understand how they reproduce so quickly. As we enter the age of the Sixth Extinction, I think it’s important to witness the habitat of other animals and our impact on their survival. I’ve chosen dust bunnies as a case study because we inhabit the same ecosystem, and I find the process of their population growth perplexing. So I’m going to try to learn more about them.
The thing that’s so counterintuitive about the dust bunny lifecycle is that removing the adults doesn’t seem to stop the children from appearing. Baby dust bunnies seem to come from nowhere. How is that possible? For most species, if you kill off all the adults, they can’t multiply, and the species will become extinct. But I kill dust bunnies ruthlessly, and when I turn around, there they are again. My life is like an episode of the Twilight Zone. I’m being stalked by zombie hairballs.
Now I’m realizing I may need another more experienced investigator to advise me on my work. So I’ve sent an invitation to David Attenborough to come to my apartment for tea. There are so many questions I want to ask him. Do dust bunnies experience anger? Because the way they stick to my socks seems hostile. Can they hear? Because I’ve noticed when my dog runs through the room they seem to tumble away from him in all directions. Why are they all the same color? And why do the adults seem to reach a point where they gain weight and lose their shape? Do dust bunnies experience menopause?
A warren of dust bunnies lives under my furniture. I watch them from across the room with a pair of binoculars, making notes in my journal. They seem to prefer sheltered places, under the bed, under my desk, under the shoe rack in my closet. They lounge there still as stones until my dog’s ball rolls by. Then suddenly they sink themselves into the outer coating of dog saliva, until in a matter of seconds they’ve stopped the ball, and covered the bright orange like dry land leeches. It’s disgusting, but I’m getting used to the brutality of Nature. Every smear of dog saliva in my apartment seems to attract hungry dust bunnies. Law of the jungle, I guess.
I’ve pinned a couple adult specimens on a sample board so I can examine their anatomy more closely. The software program I bought to track the microchips I intend to implant in a few of the adults is really complicated. I’ve been reading the user manual while I wait for David Attenborough to return my call. He’s going to be very impressed with my scientific method. It’s kind of exciting. I feel like I’m at the beginning of something big. It could take years. But I’ll do anything to avoid vacuuming my apartment.