Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Commander Bun-Bun

In our house, we love animals. We are mainly cat people, though we like other types of animals, but all we co-habit with is kittehs.

JF and I both had dogs and cats while growing up, and the living with a dog wasn't something we really wanted to repeat. Not that there's anything at all wrong with dogs -- I guess we just find them too high-maintenance. Our cat doesn't really require much in the way of output on our part -- feed her, change her litter, and occasionally snuggle when she's in the mood. She was easy to take care of when we had a toddler running around the house.

So, the other day, Offspring and I happened to go into the pet store to get some dog cookies for my mother's Westies. We were going to take a trip out to Mom's while they were away to make sure the house was still habitable. Mom had someone coming in daily to make sure they had food and water, but she said she'd feel better if she knew that there was someone who cared about them to come and check on them. While we were in the pet store, there was a display full of the cutest little bunnies you have ever seen! They were all playful, and hopping around like mad. I immediately spied this one brown bunny in the middle of the cage, who was just standing on her hind legs, looking up at me. I think that's when I lost my heart to her.

JF wanted no part of bunnies. He said that bunnies stink, and that if we got a bunny, he was claiming no responsibility for it. AT ALL. The bunny would be our bunny -- Offspring's and mine -- and he would not clean up after any bunny, period. He just wanted that clear. Yep. Got it. Our bunny. Crystal clear.

After we came back from visiting Mom's dogs, we went to the local PetSmart. I got a rabbit starter kit compete with cage, bedding, treats, toys, food bowl, and water bottle. We took all the bun stuff home, and set it up underneath Offspring's loft bed. Once Offspring had cleaned up her room, we went back out to the small pet store to pick out the bunny.

The little brown bunny was still there, and I asked the clerk to let me hold her. I was just wanting to see if she was as sweet as she seemed. Offspring wanted one of the black-and-white bunnies, but I was all about Little Brown Bunny. She *was* as sweet as she seemed. She immediately snuggled up to my shoulder, and burrowed her face into my neck. I could feel her whiskers tickling my neck, and I was a goner. Offspring held her while I paid for her, and talked baby talk all the way back to the house to her. "It's okay sweetie -- we're almost home. One more turn!"

We named her Hershey. She's the cutest thing, EVER. The geniuses at the pet store didn't know whether she was male or female; "She came in a box marked female, but sometimes they're wrong..." And they had no clue how big she'd get, or how old she was. So, we're going with "female", and "still pretty young" because she's so little. She fits in your hand, and stretched from the end of your palm to the tip of your middle finger, so basically one hand length. So far, she like strawberries, and loves to lick Offspring's fingers. She's very placid, and content to roam around her cage or snuggle with you as long as you like. I guess I was missing the snuggling. Now, I have it in spades!


kathy a. said...

cute cute cute! the softest place on a bunny is just behind and between the ears. which is also where a lot of them like to be rubbed.

Marni said...

Did you know you can litter train rabbits? Yep... my cousin had one for YEARS and she used the litter box.

She is adorable!

ccw said...

Well, in my expert opinion Hershey is either male or female and could be young, middle-aged, or a senior. Bwah! I love some of the pet store workers.

She is beautiful and sounds super sweet. I hope you and Offspring enjoy your bunny. And tell JF to butt out when he comes creeping around wanting to share in the joy that is Hershey. :)

kathy a. said...

maybe the vet can give more info? some bunnies are miniatures, and they do not get all that big.

in my opinion, bunny cages are easier to clean than cat boxes.

buns CHEW, a LOT! they have to -- their front teeth keep growing and need to be worn down. if you let hershey out for hops, keep an eye on cords, baseboards, books and paper, etc.

KLee said...

Kathy -- we bought her several chew toys that we keep in the cage with her, and when we let her out, we are always careful to watch her, but also make sure that she has something to nibble on!

So far, she's been going to the bathroom a lot in her food bowl, so we are going to get her a corner litter box, and see if we can't train her.

We're totally besotted with her. She's been so good, and is still sweet as she can be!

kathy a. said...

you're committed now, so it is my duty to inform you of the website of disapproving rabbits: http://www.disapprovingrabbits.com/

Anonymous said...

Congrats on the new family addition! Hershey is very cute indeed. I guess my only piece of advice would be to keep her away from the cats. Just sayin' 'cause I learned that lesson the hard way once long, long, ago.

La Binsk

Jenevieve said...

She's gorgeous! She looks like a dwarf of some sort. I'll do my best to avoid dumping tons of rabbit advice on you (just completed a week of exotic animal cinic externship), but I will say three things (feel free to ignore):
1. If female, make sure she is spayed! Rabbits are very prone to uterine cancer and 60% of unspayed rabbits will get it!
2. Feed her a pile of hay at least as big as her body, and only about 2 tablespoons of supplement feed a day. Any more will mess up her teeth and make her overweight.
3. Go for a dental checkup at least once a year! Rabbits are so, so prone to bad dental disease and it makes them miserable.

Yay! I love bunnies, especially adorable tiny snuggly things!

liz said...

Must nibble on the sweet bunny!

kathy a. said...

jeni, can you explain more about "hay"? it's not a staple in most households. probably you don't mean the stuff found in horse barns....

and klee -- here's a link to the house rabbit society: http://www.rabbit.org/index.html

KLee said...

We already have a bag of Timothy Hay that she's been munching on! Guess I should add more of that, and less pellets to her bowl. Thanks for the info, everyone!

Jenevieve said...

You're welcome! Let me know if you have any Qs.

KathyA, I do mean real live hay. The long fibers stimulate their GI tract, the low-sugar feed helps their dietary needs, and the tough plant material cuts down on dental disease.

You can get it at the pet shop, but it's usually heinously overpriced. If you live near a horse supply/feed shop, it's usually cheapest to go see if you can a) buy just a half or quarter bale, or b) just take a garbage bag and pick up the bits left on the floor where they store the hay.

Also, getting a wire pen and letting her out to graze on the lawn (provided you aren't herbicide/pesticide-crazed) is really good for their gut and teeth. And if you move the pen around, she can help mow your lawn!

Alright, spewing too much info. Time to stop. :)

Anonymous said...

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