How did you end up owning bunnies? normal people ask me. Most people have like a fish. Or a cat. Or a dog. Regular animals. I actually tried to keep a couple of fish but they did not last more than a week (the beta) or a month (the goldfish) and well, as it turns out, bunnies are great pets.
My first ever pet was named Lando or Peanut, who was a guinea pig who was probably sad and lonely his whole life. Our family got him because I was having “behavioral problems” (thanks, puberty) and my mom was like go talk to a therapist and the therapist was like get her a pet. Luckily a neighbor’s guinea pig had babies and we went to pick out our new pet. Rebecca ended up picking Peanut, who had an extra toe on his front right foot. Cool, right? Within the first week, Peanut’s little purple plastic igloo had broken and I thought to tape a felt strip over the gaping hole in the top and then spent many hours worrying if it was too hot for him. Anyway, he died 5 years later when I went to college.
So, after feeling finally settled in a city that I loved, I was ready for a pet. I got my buns on a whim, really, but they are great pets.
Getting Mocha, my first rabbit, was a crazy story. Again, I decided one day in the summer that I wanted a bunny. I was told to get in contact with the JSPCA. So, I did. A day later, I get a call that they have a rabbit, and I can pick him up. I was like, wait what? Then I forgot about it.
The day after they called again and were like, are you picking up the rabbit?
Then it clicked. There was a rabbit. For me!
I rushed to the pet store and picked up all the supplies that I had researched (before calling about getting a rabbit). I got a cage, and food, and of course hay. Rabbits need hay. 80% of their diet needs to be hay. I cannot stress that enough.
Anyway, I needed to cab to the JSPCA to pick up the rabbit, and I hailed a cab and the guy refused to let me put the cage next to me in the backseat.
“Put it in the trunk,” he said grumpily.
I don’t get why cab drivers hate pets so much. Like, there had been no animal in that super new clean cage and he was like “Trunk! Now!”
Anyway, I had the most awkward exchange when I got to the JSPCA after putting Mocha in his new cage.
Vet: Do you have any questions?
Me: Uh, yes. How old is she? (They told me Mocha was a girl. And was healthy. Spoiler: wrong on both counts.)
Vet: We don’t know. Young. Around four months. Any other questions?
Me: Uh, no I guess not.
Vet: *immediately leaves to work in the back*
Me: Oh wait, I have more questions.
Assistant: *runs to get reluctant, impatient vet*
This happened several times.
Two weeks later, I am worried. I might be allergic to my rabbit! Wherever I held Mocha, I had an itchy, red rash. I took him to the vet. Actually, I think I took him to the vet because I saw he bit a huge chunk out of my flip flop, and the vet was like “Good thing you brought him in.”
“This is a boy rabbit,” my nice vet told me. “And you both have scabies.”
Yes, my brand-new, baby rabbit had given me his scabies. I had to give Mocha daily shots of Ivermectin, which successfully kills the mites. For humans, though, you could just get this cream. My having scabies grossed out most of my friends, which I understand. My older sister still doesn’t want me to visit her, honestly. Just in case.
Anyway, four years and another rabbit later, we are one happy fuzzy family!
Some fun rabbit stories:
Rabbits are very easy-going animals. Except when you eat a banana. Then they will try to get to it and eat it like their life depends on it.
Rabbits are not so intelligent. Actually, they’re really dumb. I have seen Mocha try to drink from his water bottle by licking the back. And when I rearranged my apartment, moving my bed 5 cms, Luna freaked out and had to run around several times, checking out her “new” territory.
Rabbits eat everything. This is okay when it comes to their food, but not okay when it comes to books. Or the wall. Rabbit-proofing taught me how many wires that I have that are in reach. Goodbye, any use of the bottom of my bookshelves besides a hidey-hole for the buns.