Have you ever noticed how people in particular occupations tend to look alike? No matter where you go, they populate professions as if members of the same tribe, bearing strikingly similar features. If you find one such tribesman to your liking, it’s comforting to know that there will always be another one down the road who looks just like him.

Take people who run self-storage facilities. These outposts for the hoarder, the downsized, and the divorced always seem to be run by salt-of-the-earth women maintaining homes and makeshift gardens among the cement and asphalt. But there’s always the guy who wanders around the facility in his bathrobe and barbecues next to the dumpster. And the business is invariably absentee-owned, leaving day-to-day decisions to the live-in staffers who nonetheless always pick the hottest day of the year to repave the parking lot.

This homogeneity is evident in those whose vocation is caring for animals. Veterinarians and their helpers tend to be of solid-build and no-nonsense stripe. My own uber-competent female vet owns a winery and looks lovely at social events, yet still exudes the sturdy confidence of one who can shove her arm up a cow in order to extract a calf.

By contrast, those who work in animal adoption shelters, far from unflappable, always seem about ready to snap. Their cheerful smiles and cute pet names barely hide an aspect of deep despair and disappointment, undoubtedly the result of over-familiarity with humanity’s mistreatment of animals. They are salesmen by necessity but deeply distrust the customer and fear parting with the goods.

I recently encountered a rarefied subspecies of the genus animal-rescuem, after opening my front door to discover a baby jackrabbit nestled on the front porch. It huddled by the doorway, occupying the precise spot where the postman tosses packages and in direct sight-line of the neighbor’s cat. Even my noisy dog couldn’t discourage its squatting. Afraid to leave it, and not knowing where to move it, I summoned the experts from the Wildlife Rescue Center of Napa County (napawildliferescue.org).

After determining that the species was not endangered and I was not a notorious bunny-boiler, a volunteer was dispatched to my garden. God bless those who drop everything to help jackrabbits, not to mention the hawks, owls, bats, deer, fox and pheasant their brochure lists as within their purview. My rescuer tenderly collected the critter for relocation to an undisclosed location, but not before performing the two essential duties of any rescue worker: chastising me for wrongdoing, and hitting me up for donations. Holding the caged creature in one hand while thrusting a brochure at me with the other, she explained the financial needs of her organization in detail. Meanwhile, my dog barked and scratched wildly at the window, ignored by the rescuer but not by the bunny.

“Don’t worry, baby, it will be OK,” I told the trembling creature. “Never speak to rabbits!!!” the rescuer warned, directed at me but well within rabbit earshot. “They can drop dead from fright!!!” The bunny and I exchanged sympathetic glances, and she was off. The next morning I opened my front door, and there in the same spot was a baby rabbit. Was this an Easter prank? Did yesterday’s bunny make a break for it? Or was my porch now listed in the rabbit rolodex as the portal through which all bunnies must pass for transport to a better world? I called the rescuer, and she swiftly returned to retrieve rabbit number two.

A few hours later, word came from Rescue HQ’s in-house rabbit expert: the bunnies were unhappy, they were stressed, they were not eating. They were likely left on my porch by a mother exhibiting “poor mothering choices” who would return for them at dusk, summoning them with a high-pitched screech. In other words, I was unwitting bunny daycare. It reminded me of my retail store, where customers would occasionally drop their children and wander off, summoning them later by name in a high-pitched screech.

And so the rabbits returned. “What if I have to relocate one myself?” I asked the expert “Be careful handling rabbits!” she exclaimed. “They can break their own backs trying to get away from you!” The rabbit wranglers handed me a donation envelope and departed. The baby bunnies hopped off in search of Mom, who was probably in a bunny bar somewhere making more poor choices. I retired to my backyard-facing office, seeking respite from all this rabbit-rescuing. Staring back at me through the window was, naturally, another baby jackrabbit. I decided to let the bunny be. He would hop away, but it was comforting to know that there would always be another one popping onto my porch that looks just like him.

(Laura Rafaty is the owner of PennalunaNapaValley.com, a resident of St. Helena, an attorney and former theatrical producer, and an author and columnist. Read more at laurarafaty.com. If you’d like to help the group during its annual campaign, send checks to Wildlife Rescue Center of Napa County, P.O. Box 2571, Napa, CA 94558 or call 224-4295.)