Friday, June 8, 2012

Cottontail Tale

Ever since the resident cat in our house was shuffled off to the sunny South, I've had a vague yearning in my heart for a pet.

My upstairs housemate's dog is, with his begging and farting and habit of tossing my garbage all over my room, actually worse than no pet at all.

Last Thanksgiving, I visited my boyfriend's friend's apartment, which was inhabited by an enormous lop-eared rabbit. When I saw the rabbit wandering freely around the house, just like any cat would do (to my astonishment—I had previously believed that rabbits lived in cages and that was that), a rabbit became the new pet of my dreams.

But still I waited. I didn't want to risk getting another animal that would hate the dog as much as the last cat hated him.

But as the Law of Attraction and my former landlord state (in approximate terms), when you want something, it will come to you.

I visited some former coworkers last Sunday and found a rabbit grazing in their backyard. One of them had acquired it despite a "NO PETS" policy (capital letters and all) on their lease agreement. Without relating the whole boring story of the discussion among housemates I witnessed, regarding this new addition to their household, I am still sure you can guess how the rabbit came to be mine.

I brought him home with very few supplies and even less information. I spent that first evening reading about rabbit care on the Internet. I had no idea where he had come from, how old he was, or whether he had ever been to a vet. I later learned that he had been raised for food (food! He is the friendliest rabbit I ever met! How could anyone want to eat him!?) so I doubt he's been neutered. My first action as a rabbit owner was to buy a bag of hay for him to eat. My second will be to take him to a veterinarian.

When I got him, he was living outside (bad, because rabbits need socialization and a safe haven from predators) in a dog crate (bad as well, since the sides of the tray are not high enough to keep any kind of litter within it) with a vegetable crate inside it for shelter. He came with no food bowl or water bottle, and no food either, since his new owners had just been feeding him vegetable scraps from the store where they work. I've rigged up some supplies from the thrift store and around the house, but he definitely needs a better home, and soon.

For exercise, I'm letting him run around on my screened-in porch in the evenings, but I want to housetrain him.

When the bunny first arrived, I thought the dog was going to die of excitement, but over the past few days, he has calmed down to just mild curiosity. The two met face-to-face today and handled themselves gracefully, but for one overeager bark.

My third action as a rabbit owner is going to be to give him a new name. His name was Red, but he had only been Red for a couple of days, so I figure he won't mind another small change. I've been waiting years to be able to name something after all, and I'm not going to miss out on that opportunity! I have a list of three candidate names, and I promise to have selected one of them by his vet appointment on Tuesday.


Geoff said...


I have some name ideas if you decide to go against your list of three:

Rabbi (RAH-BYE)
Rabbii (RAHB-EYE)
Rabbiii (RAH-BYEE)
Rico II