austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

I just sit there and stare as you hop from shrub to shrub

So how was our first week with the new rabbit?

Fair enough, I think. We knew, intellectually, that the new rabbit wouldn't be like our lost one. We didn't realize that catching him in the corner of our eyes would be so much like seeing a ghost. Our new rabbit is a little larger than the lost one. A solid grey rather than brown. He hasn't got a dewlap. His tail is surprisingly thin, considering, if long. But at a quick glance it's still spooky.

Our new rabbit spent the first couple days reserved, if not ... boring. He sat still a lot, and didn't do more than chew indifferently at his toys, most of which were ones brought from his shelter. I think that was sadness. Being adopted as an animal has to be everything that's traumatic about moving without the ability to understand anyone's promise that it'll all be okay. After a couple days he started to get more active, and he's done a couple bits of running around and even one bink. He's active, on his schedule.

He's quite well-behaved. Almost unnervingly so. It's great to have a rabbit that doesn't show any interest in chewing on cords. Our lost rabbit was a great cord-chewer up to the last year of his life. And that's fine. But he also doesn't seem interested in chewing cardboard, which he's welcome to do. What kind of rabbit doesn't chew cardboard?

He's wary of taking anything from the hand. But after a couple days he started to accept papaya tablets, one of our lost rabbit's favorite things in the world. He's a prowler; let out of his pen, and there's little reason not to let him out of his pen, he pokes around the whole lower floor. He doesn't seem interested in hopping up the steps. But he has leapt onto the sofa a couple times, and tried but failed to twice.

They promised us he was litter-trained. We did try to find where he preferred to pee and set a litter box there. But he did pee in several other spots, too, on a fleece rug backed by puppy training pads that we left for this sort of contingency. Also once when on the sofa he was coaxed into lying across bunny_hugger's lap, only to pee on her Stitch kigurumi. But that also seems to have come to a stop; at least, we haven't spotted any new pee spots. (The fleece makes it easy to see, while wicking away and drying urine rapidly.) One hypothesis is that he felt the need to make the place smell more like him, to feel more comfortably home. We'll see what happens as we changed the litter and replaced the fleece and, presumably, messed up his scent-map of the place.

He's warming up to us, I think. He's a great one for sneaking up and turning out to be at your feet. And Thursday night he both hopped onto the couch and flopped over bunny_hugger's lap, which for a rabbit is abnormally sociable. Nothing untoward happened there. He also tried a gummi coke-bottle and didn't seem to hate it, which is a bit of a freakish thing to do. He follows people. More closely, if he thinks you've got food, but he seems to like being near where we are or where the action is. That he has a knack for just happening to be underfoot makes him seem all the more relentless an investigator.

It's a lot of little adjustments, such as just the wonder of having an ambulatory, able-bodied rabbit again, and having one that's not rambunctious for all that. He's quieter than our lost rabbit, but our lost rabbit was extremely loud. He was often sneezing. He snored. He woke himself up screaming from dreams several times. Our new rabbit is just quietly present. We haven't heard a thing, yet. It's an adjustment.

Trivia: The first English poetry composed in the New World appears to have been a translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses composed by George Sandys, treasurer of Jamestown, before 1631. Source: An Empire Of Wealth: The Epic History of American Economic Power, John Steele Gordon.

Currently Reading: Barnaby, Volume 1, Crockett Johnson.

Tags: rabbit

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