Monday, March 29, 2010

New Stuff--part 1

As I mentioned before, I always add to my rabbit-stuff collection at this time of year--and I did. I was going to post about all the lovely trinket boxes and other things I got, but one particular thing I purchased has taken precedence:

This plastic slinky toy was bought through the Colorado HRS Gift Shop website, which offers stuff for rabbits as well as about rabbits, and the proceeds benefit rabbits, so it's even better. Since Mickey LOVES to toss stuff around, I knew he'd love this toy, and as you can see below, I was right:

Tomorrow, I'll show you all the great stuff I got for me. :)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

TV time

Thought I'd share a few shots of our semi-nightly routine:

On the couch, watching TV. At least I'm watching TV, anyway; I'm not sure about Mick. He certainly gives the impression that he does, because he will perch on my left shoulder like this more-or-less without budging for hours with his face pointed so he can see the TV screen. Occasionally, he will shift position slightly, maybe turn and lick my face if I've stopped petting him, then settle down again once petting has resumed.

The only time he will move around for the most part is if we're not alone in the room. If my husband is sitting in his recliner, Mickey will occasionally move over to my right shoulder, put his paws on the couch arm and lean over to see what he's doing on the off-chance that there might be some petting or treats forthcoming. Once he realizes it's not going to happen, he moves back to his usual spot, pausing only to give me a few reassuring licks ("It's ok, Mum, I still love you best.") before settling down again.

If my son comes into the room, though, it's another story altogether, The boy gets ignored, at least until one of the following happens:
  • The boy pets him
  • The boy brings him a treat
  • The boy leaves the room without either petting him or bringing him a treat
The last one usually causes the biggest reaction. Mickey will turn his head in the direction my son has left, sometimes even getting up and moving a couple of steps in that direction. He will then wait a few moments to see if my son returns to the room. If there is no return, I get a look of complete affront ("Did you see that?! I have been disrespected! Aren't you going to do something about this?") . I soothe the ruffled fur with some more petting, which earns me more face-licking until, ego restored, His Majesty settles down again.

TV time usually lasts for a minimum of 2 hours, sometimes as much as 4 if we're watching a ball game. Sporting events seem to hold his interest more than regular TV shows; he prefers football and baseball in particular, but boxing bores him. He lets me know when he's had enough; he starts moving around more often or he starts giving me little nips here and there, and then I know he wants to go back to his cage. Afterwards, he enjoys dinner and/or a treat while I switch into something that's not completely covered with shedded fur.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Collection, Part 1

Easter is always a great time of year for me, but not exactly for the reason you'd think. As I mentioned back when I started this blog, I collect rabbit stuff, and because so many rabbit items come out for sale particularly at Easter, it's a great time of year to add to my collection. I haven't had the chance to do much in the way of shopping for new stuff, though, because we were on vacation, but I do plan to make up for it soon enough.

I'm rather particular when it comes to what goes into my collection; cutesy does not necessarily cut it, and there really are some gawd-awfully ugly things out there trying to pass for cute bunnies. Here's just a few of the things that I already have:

This is one of my most recent acquisitions, bought on eBay: a perpetual calendar made of resin, which sits on my computer desk--and which I am often forgetting to switch to the proper date. (This isn't the case in the pic, which was actually taken on March 4th.)

These resin statues were a Christmas gift from my husband this year. The rabbit-and-cardinal one is particularly appropriate because my husband loves cardinals, so now we have a statue that represents us both. They are meant to be placed outdoors, but with all the snow we had, there wasn't anywhere to put them, so they've been sitting on thiis chair in my dining room. Now that the weather's improved and all the snow's melted, I can find a proper spot for them.

This assortment of rabbits can be found on top of the small bookshelf next to my busband's desk. With the exception of the two trinket box rabbits in the front, all were found on eBay.

The watering-can trinket box was a gift from my brother and his wife, but this one I bought for myself somewhere (and the only reason I know this is because I left the price tag on it). Surprisingly, both are made by the same company/artist, and they share a very special feature:

A little porcelain carrot inside. I really want to find more like this, but I have no idea who makes them (no marks on the boxes at all) and I forget where I got this one, so I'm going to have to keep my eyes open.

Mickey is licking my leg at the moment. He's out and about for the first time since we got home, and there's been some new changes to his routine; he goes into the hallway and the bathroom way more now than he used to. He's been in both places before, and he's allowed there with supervision, but he usually didn't bother unless there were towels or a sheet placed on the floor to cover the slippery wood. Now, he's bopping down the hall every so often and even going into the bathroom despite the lights being off. I've interrupted this post a few times now to make sure Mickey doesn't try to chew the internet cable my son has taped to the edge of his doorway and the floor and shoo him back to the dining room. I'd told my sister that if she didn't want to give Mickey access to the dining room, she could let him run around in the hallway instead, and I know she was letting him do that from the pictures she sent me, so I'm guessing it was enough to convince him that the new territory was worth exploring more often. Of course, I'm sure the fact that she'd blocked off his access to the boy's doorway helped make things even more appealing--there's nothing that wascally wabbit likes more than a challenge.

Speaking of which, there he goes again. I'd better post this and go check on him.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Home again

Came home yesterday, and was welcomed happily by Mr. Mick. It was a temporary happiness on his part, though. My sister had warned me that she thought he was in need of a bath, and had tried to brush out some stickiness in his fur, but he wouldn't hold still for her. As soon as I had the chance, I gave him a full inspection--and he was more than in need of a bath, he was absolutely filthy, having managed to somehow get a load of poop stuck to his rear end between the time my sister checked on him and the time we got home. This happens from time to time with him; either something he eats temporarily makes things a little loose or he sits in some excess cecum*** and it gets lodged in his fur.

He immediately went into the sink for a butt-bath, then spent a couple of hours with me on the couch, perched on my shoulder and licking my face while I dried and straightened out his fur with a towel and my fingers. This morning, I finished the grooming by taking the clippers to his back end to thin out his fur in that area, then gave him a good all-over brushing. It's a pre-emptive strike of sorts; we've had some very warm weather here lately, so I'm figuring a big shed is just around the corner, and anything that can keep the house from becoming one big hairball is helpful. He's not perfectly clean yet; there's still a little greasy residue on his face from the eye meds, but that's going to require some bunny shampoo to remove and I didn't feel like dealing with it after last night.

Once Mickey was taken care of, I put him in his carrier and gave his cage a good cleaning as well. He seemed resigned to the process; even after he went back in the cage, he simply gave everything a sniff and then started in on picking out the treats in his food bowl, as if to say, "Well, I knew this was coming--at least I'm getting rewarded for it. Would it have killed you to come up with something besides romaine for breakfast, though? Sheesh."

A couple of pics sent to me by my sister while we were gone:

Hey, what's with blocking off the door?

Hmmph...well, if I can't do what I want, I'm just going to sit here and sulk.

***For the non-rabbit owners, cecum are clusters of nutrient-rich pellets of partially-digested food produced from the anus for the rabbit to reingest. It is essential for rabbit nutrition, but occasionally the rabbit produces more than it needs...and doesn't seem to care if he sits in it or not.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Little Break (or while Mum's away, the bun will play)

Hello from Florida, where my family and I are enjoying some much-needed sun, fun and baseball (although it would be slightly more fun if I wasn't dealing with a particularly nasty cold at the same time, but fun nonetheless).

Now, my personal view (and I emphasize the word PERSONAL--you may not feel the same and that's okay, to each his/her own) is that pets are happiest at home where they feel the most secure; they do not need to go with you on vacation unless you are either going someplace where they feel equally comfortable and secure, unless they have proven to be very comfortable with traveling in all kinds of situations, or unless you absolutely have no other way of going on vacation because you have no one trustworthy/knowledgeable enough to watch them for you. Of course, I also say that because I am lucky enough to have an excellent set of rabbit-sitters in my sister and her boyfriend, so I know any rabbit I have will do fine while I'm gone.

All that said, though, I was still a little anxious leaving Mickey behind this year. Unlike all my previous rabbits, who didn't care who fed them or let them out for exercise as long as they were fed and let out, His Majesty is very much a "mama's bun" in some ways; he tends to generally sulk if petting isn't delivered on a daily basis, yet if there is a time where I can't hold or play with him until the following day, I get assaulted with massive amounts of face- or hand-licking when I do--almost as if he's afraid he's offended me and wants ever-so-much to apologize and make things better. What would he do if he didn't see me for 10 days? Would he think I'd abandoned him like his previous owner had done?

Fortunately, my fears have so far been for naught; my sister says he's been doing great--he hops right out to greet her when she opens his cage. She also sent me this photo via text message:
Somebunny is clearly exploring great new heights while his mum is gone.

We will be home again in less than a week; it'll be interesting to see what kind of reception I get. Will it be "YAY! Mum's home!" or "Feh, what are you doing here--where's that other person? She was WAY nicer to me than you."

Friday, March 5, 2010

Potentially Nervous? More like Absolutely Thrilled!

I hadn't been planning on posting today, but then I got a much-anticipated package in the mail: my t-shirt and mug from Potentially Crazy, the Potentially Nervous store.

Here's a closeup of the mug: the late great Fats in all his snuggly, fluffy glory:

If you have not checked out PN yet, I highly recommend that you do. My friend Alice's photos and videos are just awesome, and she is one of the people who inspired me to start this blog, so go there and tell her that Jade and Mickey sent you. Better yet, go to the store and buy her stuff; I promise you will not be disappointed--and Alice, if you're reading this, I'm emailing you a pic of me in the t-shirt as I promised (for your eyes only, though--I am NOT photogenic and I do poor Fats no justice).

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Doctor, there's an eye in my ointment

Mickey's eyes are still a little icky, so before I leave on vacation and hand him over to my poor sister to deal with. I decided to bring him to the vet for a good once-over to make sure he's in good shape. We're very lucky that both the vets who take care of him are rabbit-savvy, but I was happy that he got to see his regular vet, Dr. Shanahan, who is the more rabbit-savvy out of the two. She checked him out and said that he's fine overall, except for what looks like a mild eye infection in both eyes. Since the Neo/Poly/Dex ointment he'd gotten before didn't do anything to relieve the infection, she's given us Terramycin ointment instead. I'm to put it in his eyes twice a day until the day we leave, so fortunately my sister won't have to deal with it.

Dr. Shanahan said that it's possible that he's having an allergic reaction to something, which I think is possible considering that the ickiness tends to be less problematic on some days than others, and his eyes haven't really gotten worse since it first started. I'm just trying to figure out what could be triggering it, because there isn't anything that he's been eating or exposed to that I can think of that I can associate with the onset of his symptoms.

At the moment, His Majesty has been treated and is having a leisurely late lunch, none the worse for the trip, although he did give the receptionist the Bunny Butt O'Snub when we got there. She said they get that a lot.

"Hmph...I'd have done a lot worse if I'd known they were planning on sticking things in me.
That thermometer was NOT pleasant."

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Zen and the Art of Wabbit Maintenance

My family and I are going away on vacation next week. As always when we travel, my sister and her boyfriend take on the roles of bunny-sitters while we're gone. Usually before we leave, they come over for a thanks-in-advance dinner and a quick review of rabbit routine, which has generally consisted of "Here's where his food is, here's the vet number in case of emergency, call me if you have any questions, thanks lots!"

Not this time.

Not when the rabbit in question is His Majesty, Mr. High-Maintenance.

"Hey, who are you calling high-maintenance?"

With Mickey's predecessor, Karnage, the routine was simple: greens twice a day, pellets once a day, make sure he has water, let him out to run around a bit; he'll go back in his cage as soon as you tell him to. Boom-done.

Mickey's routine: check eyes and clean if needed twice a day (because of blocked tear ducts). treats twice a day, greens twice a day, pellets mixed with crumbled hay cubes once a day (to keep his teeth in good shape), chop up papaya and put it in pineapple juice once a day (to keep him from getting hairballs), add hay to litterbox (or replace litterbox with fresh one), replace hay in tubes if he eats it, let him out for exercise but watch out for him chewing on stuff and expect to have to chase him to get him back in the cage. Oh, and you might have to wipe juice off his fur because he tends to stick his butt in his papaya-and-juice bowl.

"Well, pardon me for expecting proper service in my own home.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'll be napping in my castle--
and I expect not to be disturbed unless it's time for my evening treats, thank you very much."

My sister was here for an hour getting all the details, and no dinner this time. Needless to say, they'll be getting some serious compensation for this.