Theme: A few of my favourite things
A list of my favourite things would have a ginormous gaping hole without this addition, which will be of no surprise to some. Anyone that has ever met me, stumbled across me or been in my random vicinity in the last 8 years or so knows of my love of bunnies and all consuming desire to have them. And finally with some incredible persistence I now have them - meet my little ladies, Tiffin and Strudel. They are lion head rabbits, sisters from the same litter and utterly fluffily adorable. In their own unique way. Very unique. Most days I am not even sure they know they are rabbits.
Persistence won the day
Sitting in the sunshine on his 5th or 6th beer, feeling merry and triumphant, as the boys do, feeling like it is them who scored the winning goals, I waved their photo in his face and pleaded, begged, did crying face. “Pleaaaaase adopt us, we have no home. It so sad. We so pretty and cutes”. I waited for the usual barrage of excuses and resulting ping pong conversation where I apparently ‘have an answer for everything’:
- What will we do with them when we go on holiday? Me: Bunny hotel is down the road.
- You’ll be sad if they die. Me: You’ll die one day but I still adopted you.
- You’ll be allergic to them. Me: I’m allergic to everything, don’t care. There’s drugs for that. I got drugs.
- What about the foxes? Me: I’ll fox proof the hutch. And sleep in there if I have to.
- Who is going to pay for them? (always an important factor for the ever frugal man) Me: Me. Promise. I do all the pennies.
It ends with the usual sigh so big it could set off a hurricane, ‘the’ look (I get these a lot), and a question. “Do you really want them?”
“HELL YES. Look at them so fluffy”
“Oh go on then”.
SAY WHAT NOW?
Time stops. My heart stops.
I check he’s serious, as he is a wind up merchant, and can often be cruel with its delivery. The answer is in the affirmative. I check again. Still yes. Cue floods of happy tears and dancing whilst furiously messaging the rescue. He can’t believe I am actually crying over this, shakes his head and goes to get another beer.
One week later and they were home with me. That was one year ago this Sunday. And Graham is as in love with them as I am. Despite his ‘cool’ demeanour.
Life one year on
- I am allergic to them.
- They cost me an absolute fortune.
- They are more demanding and time consuming than all other pets I’ve ever had put together.
- There is no way to read their mind and moods and I always get it wrong.
- They are a nightmare to maintain the fluff.
- I am constantly covered in hay, fluff and straw. Mostly in my hair.
- They seriously do not get the concept of litter training and poop everywhere.
- They have totally wrecked our perfectly manicured lawn.
- They do not like any people, including me.
- The hate any form of contact (Strud especially hates my cuddles) or generally anything but food.
They are basically like having two moody, floofy teenage daughters. But I LOVE THEM SO MUCH.
Though I spent the first few months anxious about whether I was doing everything right, as there are so many more ‘rules’ than there used to be for looking after rabbits, it did indeed take some focus off my other anxieties and stress. Was I feeding them the correct things in the right amount? Are they safe? Are they happy? How the hell do I catch them? How do I groom them? Okay, so I was a bundle of anxiety, but at least this was over something I could mostly control. And I love sitting doing my work where I can see them roaming about, or even just sleeping. Or watching them frozen for an hour watching a slug cross their hutch with a fixed stare of disbelief. It is so calming. Daily, they make me smile and listen to my wittering on. They may not like their grooming sessions but I bloody love it. It is the only time I can make them have cuddles.
In the last year they have also garnered quite a following on our estate, with neighbours bringing carrot tops, home grown veg and even providing their baby’s Infacol as a rescue remedy when we had a scary moment with Strudel’s gassy belly and a possible start of deadly GI Stasis. They have brought their kids to witness the fluff and regularly ask how they are doing (before ever asking about poor Graham). The buns have sent out Christmas cards, given a christening gift to the neighbours' baby and have become something of a talking point online. It does indeed take a community to raise a rabbit.
You read all this stuff about what rabbits ‘love’ and will respond to. Well not my two. They defy the odds and like to break the norm. Like me. Whatever TV series or book is usually popular, I am guaranteed to hate. “Rabbits love banana”. Not mine. “Rabbits love playing with loo roll tubes”. Nope. “They hate rain”. Hmm mine will sit in it all day. And on and on it goes.
However, they have got it so sussed with their 18 naps a day, only waking to eat, roam a bit and poop. Or to escape from my constant prodding, poking, stroking and exclamations of “gimme a cuddle” or “kisseeeeeeesss”. The companionship they give each other is adorable (we will ignore the 2 months temporary separation when they had a huge fall out and I had to rebond them by bouncing them in a box on a sofa every day) and they do everything snuggled up against each other.
I think we can all learn something from rabbit life.
#Be more rabbit.