Monday, 27 March 2017

Bunecdote # 4 - Musical Food Bowls


The topic of food has been touched on before and will doubtlessly be nibbled on time and again. Today, I shall talk about the position of the breakfast bowl which is one that needs to be chewed over at least once a week.




Back when Humpty and Numpty first joined my humble home the breakfast bowl position, like the water bowl position was not to be discussed. They were next to each other at one end of their indoor run. However, I soon discovered that my Lola shaped hoover had no qualms eating Gizmo's share on top of her own - particularly after my vet advised me that I had, in fact, been overdoing it with the pellets resulting in Lola being rather more round than her breed's disposition allows for.

Roughly at the same time I was getting ready to move house and once in the new home we had a temporary 2-storey hutch in the living-room until Gizmo and Lola's new run was ready. That made feeding easy. Gizmo got breakfast on the bottom floor, Lola got hers one floor up. Perfect! In fact, I even got my dishes cleaned as Lola, eating breakfast right beside her water bowl, took to washing her pellet bowl after she was done and licked it until it shone. Like a child growing up, Lola was learning to pull her weight.

It didn't last. The arrival of the new run put an end to it and though Lola remained the one being fed inside the run, with her dish next to the water bowl, washing up was no longer on her agenda.

Gizmo, meanwhile, had worries of a different kind. His breakfast was served near the run door, but on the living room floor. It meant I, his favourite human (or so I would like to think), was, in theory, capable of catching him at any time. Therefore, the food bowl must not be trusted.
Having spent the better part of a year to get Gizmo to a level of trust where he would not only come to me for cuddles but where closed doors no longer sent him into a frenzy that made me fear for his wellbeing, this was something of a test for both of us. Surprisingly, after a few cautious dances around the bowl and the odd scamper to the safety under the coffee table, Gizmo not only accepted this new routine, but helped me enforce it. Every morning, the moment I took the pellets out of the cupboard, he chased after Lola until she was in her food corner in the run, before he sat down at his designated breakfast bowl spot.

My spot. My bowl. Nom.


Naturally, this perfect order of affairs did not last. Mostly, it's my fault. I went and threw out the carpet to replace it with floor boards, and while I made sure there was a rug in place outside the rabbit run to avoid accidents due to lack of foot holds, Gizmo quickly decided that this new floor was a no go for him. For once, he refused to move from the little rug outside the run. The new floor, after all, might be filled with sharks and other deadly creatures only waiting for him to set an unwary foot on the Cold and Slippery that used to be a Warm and Reliable (nevermind the Incredibly Dirty, Dusty and Furry). The food bowl, if not placed within his reach on the rug, was subsequently admired and pined for, but not advanced on. If it was within reach, he pulled it onto the rug, lest the floor sharks got it first.

This problem was largely solved with the acquisition of another near room-sized rug until the rabbits returned home from their most recent January holiday. Gizmo decided that breakfast outside the run was no breakfast at all and refused to touch his bowl unless it was placed on the roof of one of his houses - which, of course, meant Lola had to be distracted with Other Stuff. Once finished, Gizmo proceeded to throw the dish out the window where it was more than likely to clatter on top of Lola's, by then thankfully empty and abandoned bowl, before giving me a look that said "was that it?"

Thor, shown here doing his Gizmo impression.

Considering Gizmo likes to keep his home tidy and organised, this should not surprise me. After all, this was not the first time he had thrown about his empty dish until, like a good servant, I came and removed it. Nor will it be the last.

I wonder how long it will be before he remembers why eating separately from Lola was a good idea?

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