Category Archives: Creatures featured
Over the course of the past two years I’ve become somewhat knowledgeable on the subject of the house rabbit.
If there’s one thing you can’t say to them, it’s “No running in the house please.”
Taking a keen interest in a hair straightener. No, you don’t need that for your ears.
The back of that shelf has a plexiglass barrier bolted to it in what turned out to be a vain attempt at denying access to a place where appliances and various chargers are frequently plugged in. A minute or so after this picture was taken, he made the leap. It may not look too difficult, but note that it’s going from one slippery surface to another, at an awkward angle. We now keep these curtains closed if he’s in a scampy mood and we can’t directly supervise him.
Rabbits like to chew. They need to chew. Chewing is their specialist subject. Naturally, we provide objects specifically made to meet this need, such as this wood panel, which he occasionally deigns to nibble.
The bag his litter comes in is also on the approved list.
Then there’s his collection of cardboard tubes.
Furniture is on the unapproved list (as are cords to Venetian blinds),
though the slats holding the mattress are OK, as long as they maintain structural integrity.
Moulding was a big worry before he arrived. To our relief, he’s satisfied himself with just a few nibbles here and there.
And he’s left the coffee table alone!
Likewise the wing chair he’s grooming underneath in the first picture.
Probably his very favourite targets, aside from my wife’s slippers, are drapes.
Those hung unmolested for a dozen years. Oh well.
Who knows what he makes of my CD collection.
It often comes as a surprise to those who, when they think of pet rabbits at all, picture them outdoors in hutches or worse [NSFB – Not Safe For Bunnies], that they can live quite happily inside with the humans. They can usually be litter-trained and are odour-free: both big pluses. And they are incomparably adorable. Meet Oreo,
aka spanner, because when we spotted him in a shop all the arguments against having a bunny ground to a stop.
He’s just over a year old now, and has the run of most of the house, the exceptions being the kitchen and the storage room where his hay is kept.
Aside from hay—we get ours by the bale from a local farmer; much of it ends up scattered on the floors, just like in medieval times—rabbits also dig their greens.
is to bunny-proof your own hutch. This involves safeguarding wires, which rabbits appear to be more fond of than carrots, and restricting access to books or whatever your new housemate fancies.
Still, you must prepare yourself for the inevitable small nibbles that start appearing in home furnishings.
And they will. Go. Everywhere.
it was in the way
Rabbits are crepuscular, which means they’re most active in the mornings and evenings
but really, once you’ve let a rabbit in, he’s liable to scamp about in your head 24/7.
Wonderful as it’s been having him in our lives, he’s a lot of work and worry. When rabbits are sick they can go downhill very fast, so you’ve got to keep a close eye on them. As a prey species, most don’t particularly like being held, so many people’s reason for wanting one in the first place (lots of hugs, of course!) goes right out the window. But he’s an appreciative magnet for pets, grinding his teeth in approval – a satisfying reward known as ‘tooth purring’. All in all, we’re glad he’s ours and we’re his.
I had what educators call a teachable moment yesterday whilst interviewing a gardener (which makes me sound posher than I am, but if the Hunters fit…). “I see you around on your bike,” he said after we’d discussed how much Monsanto Roundup should be sprayed to stun but not kill bunnies. After we’d established that yes I am the village cyclist, he launched into a mini diatribe against cyclists who wear “those ear things” and weave all over the road. Needless to say I cleared my throat.
Had a bit of fun watching his eyes slightly bulge at the thought he may have just insulted a potential client, but I’m not cruel enough to enjoy the squirming of even tradesmen, so I let him off the hook by agreeing that yes, it looks like a crazy thing to do, before explaining why it isn’t any madder than spraying glyphosate around and hoping the local hoppers regard it as nectar.
Anyway, it turns out his anecdotal ire was based on an apparently misbehaving pedestrian, who in the interests of comity I agreed should also be sprayed with Roundup much like unruly weeds.
My wife recently celebrated the 10th anniversary with her employer, though ‘celebrated’ is so not the word she’d wish to use: more like bewailed. But that’s another post. The point of this one is that they give people who manage to hang on that long a list from which to choose an anniversary gift. As a last resort – nothing on the list appealed – she chose this:
Though we take a lot of pictures, we have seldom felt the urge for any of them to be moving. That was before the bunnies moved in. Last year I finally got around to pushing the movie button on my camera. It was fun, but not addictive. Then came the list, which was filled with underwhelming flat screen TVs, garden furniture, and if I remember correctly, an option to give to charity. Charity begins at home, especially when you’re feeling like a basket case after giving a decade of your life to what can seem like the back office of Satan. She took the Handycam.
As I may have mentioned, we like “our” rabbits. They’ve made us laugh; they’ve made us cry. They keep us company out here in nowhere, along with the lambs who sometimes make a break-in, and the occasional lost white van man.
Which is enough preamble.
Harrier Jump Jet @ 1.16. I should probably learn how to edit these; there’s a lot of eating first…
Always start the morning with breakfast and a kick in the face
Out of the cave & into the jungle