Sometimes a change is needed for us to enter a new path, a new way of thinking. There are good changes and bad changes, and I’ve certainly, as I’m sure most of the readers here have, experienced my fair share of bad events in life that have changed me.
This is about a good change that happened that I never thought would mean anything to me.
“I will name him George, and I will hug him and pet him and squeeze him.”
A few weeks ago, my daughter snuck into the house and headed straight for her room without saying hi, as is the norm. I thought maybe she was upset about something so I knock on her door, and go in, even though she’s saying “Don’t open the door!” because that’s not how our house works.
Sitting there in a cage that looked much too big for him is a baby bunny – a cute little tan and white fuzzball who looked scared to death. I picked him up and he snuggled against me, and I was lost.
I grew up on a farm, where we had domesticated rabbits, but they didn’t live in cages. They lived in the woods and in the spring when they had babies, I’d catch one, play with it for a while, and then set it free. I never had a rabbit as a pet.
I give my daughter the lecture on responsibility. I’m not taking care of it. I’m not cleaning cages. She had hamsters when she as little – went through four or five of them over the years – and she was pretty good about caring for them, but their life expectancy is three years tops, and the longest one we had was two. Lori got tired of burying them, so she quit wanting a new one when the last one died.
So, now we have this bunny, and my daughter and her friends gave it some weird long ten-word name that was ridiculous. As he’s snuggled up against my chest, completely relaxed and I’m petting his silky soft fur, that old Loony Toons cartoon came to me with the abominable snowman who finds a cute little pink bunny, and so my daughter’s new fuzzball because George. I had to go find the cartoon on YouTube to show my kid what I was talking about – I feel old!
We’ve only had George about a month so far, but the changes in the house are remarkable, and, well, if my kid thinks that George is leaving this house with her when she reaches the “leave home” age, she’s got another think coming. It didn’t take long – maybe ten seconds – before I was head-over-heels in love with George… It was the Mr. who took a little time to warm up to him, but now? Look out if anyone tries to run off with his George now!
We had no idea that rabbits were this intelligent. He pretty much litter box trained himself – by jumping into a cardboard box of newspapers to be recycled and doing his business. We’ve since changed it to an actual kitty litter box that we put some shavings in for him, and he hasn’t wet on the floor since. He knows that yummies come from the kitchen and if someone heads into the kitchen, he’s right on their heels. Yes, he runs free most of the day. Because he’s so silent, I bought a tiny collar with a bell on it so we can keep track of him, and he’s got free-run of the main part of the apartment. It’s kind of like having a toddler in the house again. He gets into things he shouldn’t, and if it gets really silent, it’s time to go find him. In the morning when we let him out of his pen to have “breakfast” he will hunker down and wait until we put his collar on because he knows he can’t leave his pen till he’s wearing it. And during the day, if I’m home alone working quietly in the living room, he will sprawl out next to my desk for his nap. If others are in the house making too much noise, he’ll go into his cage (which is always open) and into his house, and take his nap there.
So what are the changes that have happened? Besides cages and litter boxes and having to buy extra salad for him?
The peace and tenderness in the house.
When hubby has a bad day, I go get George and bring him to our bedroom. He has a big towel he stays on when in our bed, and my hubby will pet George into a coma. I call it road kill relaxation because he sprawls and flattens and goes limp. My husband will get down on the floor with him a couple of times a day and play with him, hand feeding him his veggies or treats. And in the afternoons especially, while I’m working, George will come over and stand up on his big back feet and wait for me to pick him up and give him some snuggly time.
He’s a source of laughter for us when he gets into his “binky” mode and jumps and twists and scurries across the house looking like he’s got springs in his butt. Hubby and I do most of the maintenance like feeding and cleaning cages and litter box, but he’s very clean and doesn’t smell that much, which is nice. He’s ours. We claim him. The kiddo is a teenager and has other things to do, but she spends a little time with him each day, and still claims he’s hers. (He’s not!) *grin
He’s a mini Holland Lop, and he’s about 4 ½ months old, and he’s growing fast, but he’s supposed to stay under 4lbs. It’s like have a small, silent puppy in the house, who follows us around, sniffs everything he can reach, and makes us all very happy. Some changes are very very good.