Mr. Bunny turned up late one night 3 years ago in north Berkeley. We could not find anyone who had lost a rabbit, or who wanted one. Before long we were hooked and wanted to keep him ourselves. Mr. Bunny was not the perfect pet at first, we have to admit, so we suspect that someone had abandoned him.We don’t know if it was “rabbit adolescence” or whether he just needed some time to adjust, but he has certainly rewarded our attentions. Now we do think he’s the perfect pet; his many remaining naughtinesses are to us a part of his charm. He’s an independent cuss–sturdy, assertive, and individualistic. He doesn’t come when he’s called; he comes when he wants to, which makes it that much more sweet that he comes at all. He displays a gutsy will to chew on his choice of toy, not the boring old things we offer, and his taste runs to such items as the rubber refrigerator gasket. He has found some creative alternatives that are okay with us, though: he has his own phone book (he’s up to the L’s), and he likes to rip the labels off the bottles we keep under the sink for recycling. He’d be great at stripping wallpaper.Mr. Bunny will come across the room just to be near us, although he would never climb into our laps. He likes to eat when we eat, and just to be underfoot (often literally). We have both adopted a shuffling gait to avoid stepping on this black missile who comes charging across our paths if we walk across the room. Mr. Bunny is lucky to have two devoted friends, Ted and Lynda, who are his frequent and doting bunny-sitters. They also saved his life when he came down with an intestinal blockage while he was staying with them. Now he takes his Petromalt regularly and has never had a relapse.
In March of 1988, he began to spray, a natural macho bunny activity which began to wear away at our good relationship. Neutering not only solved the problem but also opens the possibility of a spayed female companion.
Our way of coping with problems is to adapt: to change the apartment so that cords are concealed and valuable books are shelved high; and to change our expectations so a chewed glasses-case or a messy corner (where the bunny has been nibbling on dry bread) just don’t matter. We know it’s worth the adjustment for the pleasure we receive when Mr. Bunny snuggles close and licks an arm in exchange for some ear-stroking, or when we giggle as we watch a long strand of raw spaghetti disappear into his tiny jaws.
House Rabbit Journal Volume II No. 5