The Knitting Journeyman

Gathering Up One Thread At A Time As I Weave This Web Of Mine.....

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Rabbit Update

            Who knew two silly little rabbits could be so…incredible?
            Let’s see…in the short time they have been with us…what have I learned?  The first thing is…I do not ever want to get angora rabbits again.  Give me a lionhead and I’ll be happy.   Something w short fur, something that can be easily groomed, without fearing of bugs setting up house in the poop encrusted fur on his butt.
            Now, my boys are my babies.  Roughly about two months old. They will always be my house bunnies.  If they live twenty years, then woo hoo…cute obnoxious little lagomorphs for twenty years, living in my house.  Uhm, no, rabbits usually do not live that long.  They will probably be here for more like ten or twelve years. 
            I don’t think I have ever been so paranoid about having a pet before in my life.  Every day…let’s look at the poop.  Not that they aren’t little poop machines, because they are.  There is always plenty of poop all over the place.  They do, thankfully, pee in the litter boxes, but they do tend to mark here and there, now and then. They’re boys—it’s what they do.   Is the poop normal?  Ok, there’s mushy poop.  Not wet poop.  Just mushy.  What does that mean?  Lately it means some dumb bunny has been asleep in the litter box and smooshed poop or tossed out smooshed poop or something other than this is how the poop came out of the bunny.
            Rabbits are messy.  Did I tell you the conure parrot was messy?  Well, the parrot is still worse than two little bunnies.  Hay everywhere.  We did try the toilet paper roll filled w hay.  That didn’t really go over well.  The empty tissue box full of hay went better, but we ended up removing a half of one side, making it more open, so they can stick their heads in and dig through things to get to the tastier bits.
            Now, keep in mind, we have angora rabbits.  The boys are satin angoras, the second least puffy angora there is, or so I think.  I know French angoras are less puffy, and I think the satins are the next on the puffy list.  So, hay everywhere is not a good thing.  Hay everywhere means hay in the fur.  At this point, I don’t think I will ever spin this fluff into yarn—although I keep a baggy handy to stick in every little bit of wool we comb out of our monsters every day.  And yes, we groom, even minimally, every single day.  We check for poop in the fur…we check for mats…we check for rabbit spit…whatever…the works.
            The other day Charley, our resident vampire bunny (that story in a bit), had gunk all over his face.  The one water bottle leaks worse than the others (yes, we have four 32 ounce water bottles, 2 on each floor of the rabbit condo) and E has a tendency to stick tons of the solid hay briquettes (we have alfalfa and timothy grass briquettes) all over the place.  I pulled out no less than ten briquettes last night.  One of the briquettes was under the leaking water bottle.  I figure that’s where the mess came from on his face.  Neither bun likes when you touch his whiskers.  How do you wipe a bun’s face without touching his whiskers?  Well, to get the mess of Charley’s face, there was no way around it.  We ended up leaving the mess on his face—and the next day his face was clean.  Whether he did it or Simon helped him, they are not saying.  This is the obnoxious side of the rabbit.  The rabbit parent never really knows what’s going on…they are simply happy it is going on, on some level.
Did you know that rabbits will just be sitting there, all calm and sedate, and then flop over as if having a convulsion?  I’ve seen cats do that, but bunnies?  Charley and Simon will just flop, over onto their side, or roll over on their backs with all their sharp clawed toes pointing up in the air, like the big goofy dog here.  Out of nowhere.  For a bit, I was actually worried there was something wrong w them.  No one ever said rabbits would flop, not in any book.  These critters don’t weight two pounds a piece and they will whomp down onto the floor as loud as the 65 pound dog when she collapsed to the floor to rest.  Well, almost as loud. 
            We have Charley and Simon, what I am now calling the evil twin and the good twin, respectively.  One note…the boys came w the names Simon and Garfunkel.  I don’t know if Simon LeBon, lead singer of Duran Duran, will appreciate the tribute or not, but both buns are named after him, officially.  Charley is Simon’s nickname from the band.  The kids, who do know who Duran Duran is, since I tend to sing certain songs under my breath when I am not thinking about it (and, again, no, my son was not named after Nick Rhodes—my son was named after Czar Nikolas—thank you –sorry Nick), will tell you that Charley is named for the big brother in Charlie and Lola.
            Simon is my lovely silver colored tort boy.  He is as his first picture showed.  A bit reserved, not really shy, but less apt to jump in your face and nibble your nose than his brother is.  This does not mean he is not curious.  He is the one who first tried to jump out of the top of the bunny condo.  Simon, unlike his brother, was aiming up, towards the top of the hay container.  Charley simply attempted to fly.  Simon landed perfectly on the cage’s edge—where I luckily saw him as soon as he did it and tisk-tsked him back into the cage proper.  Charley missed his jump and ended up falling on his bum.  Charley was not deterred.  Simon at least has not tried to jump out of anything since that first attempt.  Simon is the good boy, the good twin.  He is not withdrawn at all.  He is open and curious and as ornery as any rabbit.  He likes to be held, up to a point.  He doesn’t mind being picked up, usually.  He loves his bunny chow—but what bunny does not?
            Charley, my little vampire, is more red.  The breeder told me he is a chocolate tort, but I call him the red one—as opposed to Simon, who is the grey one.  Now, when the boys first came home, the fence we used was only 12 inches high (it is now 26 inches high and we leave them free to run around in the fence 24/7)—because that was what we had on hand.  That first week-end N was w us—and I was very afraid that N would go bopping through the kitchen, step over the fence and land on one bunny or another—so I … I sort of explained to him that we have the Monty Python bunny… two of them actually…killer vampire blood sucking attack rabbits, to be exact.  By the end of the week-end N still refused to dip a toe past their fence, but he would reach over when the buns were in the top of the condo and very gently stroke whichever bunny was closer. 
Now, Charley is our nipper.  He’s our digger.  He’s our let me at ‘em my name should be ALVIN!!! Bunny.  Charley has a tendency to grab R’s jeans by the seam down the butt and just yank, w his teeth, as hard as he can.  Both bunnies will do it, grab your jeans, usually at the hem, and tug on them.  Charley has a thing for the seat of R’s pants…Charley does not care to be picked up.  He freaks when you pick him up, but slowly he is starting to be ok with me, if I am very careful and very slow, when I pick him up.
            Simon has nice smooth fur.  It combs easily.  He enjoys being groomed.  He will couch himself out and just suck up all the attention while one or the other of us brushes him.  Charley-oh my Charley boy…he’s….musty.  His fur is always on the edge of being matted.  He always has issues w his fur.  The way things work w him, since he doesn’t much care to sit still and be groomed much at all, is I end up trimming mats out, trimming sticky stuff out of his belly, whatever.  Simon is a love.  Charley is a lover, on his own terms.  I was holding him one night and the boy leaned up and nipped my neck.  He wasn’t trying to hurt me.  He wasn’t angry.  He’s like a puppy, mouthing things, testing things out.  Since he doesn’t have hands, he uses his mouth.   And now, Charley is called our vampire bunny.
            Had I known how cute, how smart, how inquisitive these little snots were, I’d have had rabbits all along.  I would not have gotten cats.  I don’t think I would have ever gotten cats.  I so prefer the buns.  Of course, I keep looking at DumbDumb (Kendall, the border collie mix) and thinking—I should have gotten a rabbit instead of a dog.
            Rabbits and I are perfect for one another.  They don’t want to sit on you; they want to sit beside you.  Yes, they are messy, but no messier than kids.  I can now unequivocally say that rabbits are like fairies…you never know what’s going on, but you know you’re going to giggle about it at some point.  I may need to buy five different components to go into their feed, but everything is so cheap it is more than worth the effort.  Plus, once the buns are older and their guts are more developed, we can start feeding them ‘treats’, like turnip greens and carrot tops and all sorts of cool things.   I personally am looking forward to seeing if these buns like bananas.
            More to come on the buns.  I am very glad they are here.  They are helping me slow down, as I was hoping.  Although, not really in the way I was planning, since rabbits require a great deal of care and maintenance…I’ll have to run you through out hey we’re home boys cleaning routine at some point.  We are all spending a great deal more time at my house too.  I get to cook at home now.  I love that.  Access to all my spices.  Plus, access to all my books and clothes…although most of my good knitting needles are at R’s house…sigh…
            Much work left to be done in other arenas.  More to come.