Friendly Takeover

Hasenpfeffer appeared at our back door on the Sunday before Mother’s Day in 1990. He apparently followed one of our two cats home. My wife, Susan, told me that the first thing that crossed her mind was, “I want that bunny!” She opened the door, and the rabbit did not hesitate to come into what turned out to be his 4-bedroom, 2-bath hutch, with atrium.

We have had to install corner guards on all of our moldings, both inside and out, to keep him from gnawing. We have bunny-proofed our atrium and covered all planter beds with clay pavers. He managed to fell an organpipe cactus, which stood about six feet tall, by gnawing around its base. We have placed wire trunk guards around all of our atrium plantings to protect them.

Hasenpfepper is litterbox trained. He uses his box only when he wants to. He has found that he gets special attention if he makes his “raisin” deposits on the papers next to his box.

In spite of the bother, he is a joy to have around. He has not seen the inside of his cage since he joined our family. He has made a buddy out of one of our cats. They frequently lie side by side with the cat draping one paw over the rabbit.

Hasie is very concerned about the goings on in his hutch (our home). He checked on all of the rearranging we did in preparation for entertaining some 20 guests recently. We thought it best that we seclude him in the guest bedroom in order that he not be frightened by all the commotion. Totally unnecessary. About an hour into the evening we happened to tell our guests that we were now the proud parents of a rabbit. They insisted on seeing him and we brought him out to join the festivities. This bun is a social butterfly. He “marked” each of our guests and made his rounds. He would nudge feet of people seated and demand to be stroked.

For some reason he does not like to be picked up and held, but recently, our house rabbit has taken to getting up onto our couch and waiting for us to join him and comb him. The couch is where he has been given treats from time to time. His treats used to consist mainly of carrots. We have since discovered that raw peanuts attract his attention more than a carrot ever did.

We always pictured rabbits as “do nothing” type animals. Nothing could be further from the truth. These critters, when uncaged, are a source of almost non-stop entertainment.

George Gerner

House Rabbit Journal Volume II, No. 6