Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Bunny Love

A month ago we adopted "Thumper." That name seemed a little too unoriginal for us, so we immediately started calling him Gimli instead. At first Gimli was very cage protective and would growl a bit if you tried to reach into his cage. He's sort of stubborn like me, and refuses to do things unless it was his idea in the first place. I've learned that if I just leave his cage door open when it's time to play, he'll come out all by himself.

Play time always starts the same way. Gimli circles the area in a very regimented way. He sniffs at everything, being sure to double back to his cage every now and then. Since rabbits are prey, they are always on the lookout for the safest and quickest way back to their home should trouble arise.

Once Gimli is assured that the loft is a safe area, he skips around merrily. He approaches the doors of all the rooms he's not allowed into, just in case someone forgot to close them. He's already learned what the word "NO!" means, and if he starts to misbehave (chewing something he shouldn't, for example) all I have to do is clap and say "No!" Sometimes he gives me a little attitude about it in the form of flicking his back legs at me. I guess that's the bunny equivalent of talking back.

I've learned by watching him for hours what his personality is like. I can tell which grunts mean "I'm just teasing you" and which ones mean "back off, human." I've also learned when he's running just for the sake of running, and when he wants to engage me in a game of chase. He likes to play hide-and-seek too, but he's not very good at it. Every time he finds a good hiding place he thumps to let me know where he is. His two favorite places are under the recliner (see pic below,) and in the aquarium cabinet.

For the most part he's very well behaved. His favorite toys are towels to bunch up and a set of baby teething rings. Since I've gotten the teething rings for him he doesn't nip at me quite so much.

After dinner I usually pet Gimli's face while holding him on my lap. He absolutely loves this. His eyes almost close and he gets very still. His body language tells me he's relaxed. When I stop petting his furry little cheeks, he always returns the favor by grooming my hands and arms. Sometimes he'll climb up my chest and lick my cheeks and nose with his warm little tongue. It's very ticklish and oh so cute!

One of the things I thought about that's an advantage to having a bunny instead of a toddler is that I never have to say "I wish he could just stay this size forever!" My bunny will always be this same size, this same softness and the same cuteness. He may flick his feet at me in disapproval, thump at me in anger or growl at me when he's mad, but he'll never say "I hate you, Mom." Maybe I'm over romanticizing the situation, but I am really happy to have this furry little critter around the house.

I'm so glad Thumper came into your life. He sounds like a great pet.
How fun! Your post is very nostalgic for me because growing up we always had bunnies. In fact once we had two of them escape and have babies under our shed! They dug an intricate tunnel system. Then we spent weeks trying to catch these wild bunnies, haha. They are fun pets.
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Fantastic, he is very cute. My family had rabbits also growing up. And before we were married, JG and my mother bought me a dalmatian puppy, that is still with us today. Very old, but still hanging in. He is the love of our life. Not a replacement for children, because that could never be, but a responsibility very similar to prepare us for the future. Disease won't always be on the earth ya know. ;)
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