I decided to start this year by adding something new to this blog. Those of you who have read my biography will know that I share my home with a pair of house rabbits. Each of them has their own personality and yet they are as mischievous as each other. They are my daily entertainment, the source of my joy, and the reason for many grey hairs. And from this Sunday onwards, they shall be the inspiration for a fortnightly blog post, providing you with light-hearted, funny anecdotes on every day life with bunnies.
Without further ado, let me introduce the cast of Bunecdotes.
I have had rabbits for as long as I can remember, but once I finished school at 19, my last rabbit only recently passed, I knew I could not get another until I was properly settled. I waited many long years, but in 2012, having spent years researching all the new information that had come to light about rabbits, their behaviour and proper care, I finally went shopping for The Stuff. I felt like a mum getting everything ready for the new baby. Considering the amount of Stuff (TM) that came with my new role as bunny mummy that thought was not so far off the mark. I had also decided early on that I would adopt rather than shop, allowing two lost souls a new chance at life.
These lost souls turned out to be called Lola and Gizmo. Lola, still a baby when she caught my attention, had been given up because she was feisty and had been fighting with her sister. All I knew about Gizmo was that he had had a rough start in life. He was a case of neglect and, considering all the fears he later showed, quite likely abuse. Little did I know that, at the time they arrived in my life in January 2013, I had agreed to take care of not one but two teenagers, and while I never regretted my decision, for the first few months I often wondered just what it was I had signed up for. No amount of research had prepared me for this. Gizmo was scared of his own shadow and had decided it was safest when I was not around. Lola, on the other hand, was every bit the feisty, bossy creature her previous owner had warned she was. She knew what she wanted and was not afraid to use force to get it. If she wanted to be stroked for exactly 30 seconds she had no qualms biting the hand doing the stroking if you were still going at second 31. If you had neglected to stroke her for a while she would let you know with a bite. Not a gentle nip, but a bite that would take weeks to heal and likely scar.
Needless to say, I despaired, and was more than a little disappointed that my two fluffy companions turned out to prefer life without me. But gentle coaxing, lots of patience, and time (thankfully, teenage bunnies don't stay teenagers for long!) eventually revealed the unique characters I no longer could imagine life without - greying hairs not withstanding.
Nicknames: Baby, Numpty, Fluffbutt (Zootopia handed me that one on a golden platter)
Lola is very much the Weeping Angel of rabbits. To use the Doctor's words: Don't blink. Don't turn your back. Don't look away. Blink and you're dead.
Well, maybe not dead, but you will certainly find a lot of damage. Lola has energy enough for four rabbits. She is like the Duracell Bunny. She just keeps on going. And her curiosity means her nose and teeth end up in all sorts of trouble. And trouble certainly has a way of finding her. Four years into our cohabitation, I am convinced she thinks her name is "Lola, nein!" (nein being the German for no.)
She grew up to be every bit the diva she promised to be. She loves attention, and will demand head rubs through nudges or nips. She has learned not to bite, though if you insult her dignity, she will retaliate and nobody can hold a grudge like Lola.
Nicknames: Bear or Bärle, Wuschel, Humpty
It must be true that opposites attract, because Gizmo is Lola's opposite in every way. Where Lola is boisterous, demanding, and greedy, Gizmo is, calm, gentle, and slow to trust, but quick to love. No one loves cuddles more than he, though any interaction with this shy boy needs to happen on his level. In his own way, Gizmo is as curious as Lola, but he has the brains where Lola has the brawns, meaning, he will send her ahead and only if she returns in one piece will he follow. He is a firm believer in order and tidiness (the two of us were made for each other!). Everything has its place with Gizmo and he will redesign if your ideas differ from his. He is a sensitive soul who will probably be cautious for the rest of his life, but he has come a long way from the rabbit who scampered into the safety of his house whenever I entered the room.