Adventures in Rabbitry

Two months ago, Madeline presented a PowerPoint (which I helped put together – lest we forget, she’s only 5) to explain why bunnies make good pets. Aaron conceded, and the search for a rabbit began. Surprisingly, it’s rather hard to find a “normal” rabbit. I could only find a couple of breeders in the area, and I wasn’t interested in a Flemish Giant or Angora.

Seriously – if it’s dog sized, is it even still a rabbit?
While the fiber spinning potential is appealing, I’m not about to spend more time every day grooming a rabbit than I do myself. Also, just look at that thing. It’s like a giant cotton ball with a mouth.

Luckily, there’s a small animal rescue group (primarily rabbits, but they have some other animals as well) down in Appleton. I was able to set up an appointment for us to meet some rabbits that they thought would be a good fit for our family. Unfortunately, that appointment was 2 weeks in the future. Not knowing what breed we’d wind up with made it a little tricky to find a properly sized cage, but I did my best to prepare for the new arrival.

It’s hard to say exactly what Emmett thought was happening (his language skills, while improving every day, still leave a bit to be desired). He seemed to be under the impression that we were going to try to trap the Easter bunny and keep him for a pet. He was very concerned that the cage wouldn’t be big enough.

When the cage arrived, it all became real for Madeline. After assembly, she just sat in front of it and basked in its glow, struggling to keep her breathing even. A day or two later, she was practicing a dance in front of the cage “because the bunny will be so excited to see how well I dance for him.”

It was a very energetic dance.

We decided to move the cage to the laundry room so he’d have a quiet place to get away from Madeline (it was quickly apparent this would be necessary). Madeline did not (and still doesn’t) like that the cage would be located in a room she can’t get into. She began a countdown to the rabbit coming home:

“9 days?! I can’t wait that long!”
At 6am – “MOM! IT’S ONLY 8 DAYS NOW”

The brainstorming of potential rabbit names began before we even found one:

Emmett was adamant that “Bunny” was the only name he’d be okay with.
Madeline wanted something along the lines of “Sweetie Pie,” “Hoppy” or “Oreo.” Terrible.
Aaron was rooting for “Crash Bundi-coot.”
No one liked the names that anyone else came up with.

There were concerns that naming this animal would cause a rift in the family.

We found our little man, and brought him home. It took a while before we actually settled on a name, but we’re all (mostly) happy with it. Emmett still thinks his name should be Bunny.

Nibbles (named after Nibbles the Book Monster, and because it’s kind of what he does) is settling in well. He has full run of the ground floor of the house, but he’s afraid of the tile floor because his only method of movement is hopping, which is tricky when your back legs slide out from under you. He’s litter box trained (so glad I didn’t have to do that), and he goes where he wants. He mostly wants to sleep under the couch.

My very favorite thing is when we catch him at the end of the night (I don’t want him roaming unsupervised) and he THUMPS the floor. It’s the only sound he makes. He’s warning any neighboring rabbits that danger’s afoot. I love it.

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