Thursday, July 22, 2010

Foo' wabbit goes exploring

I'm at the computer this past Tuesday night when I hear this *Crash!* sound coming from the kitchen. It sounded like something hitting Mickey's cage. Being that the wascally wabbit was out and about, I figured I'd better investigate. Imagine my surprise when I found this:

First reaction: How the heck did he get up there?
Second reaction: Oy, better get him down before he hurts himself.
Third reaction: Oh, wait, get the camera first...

Yeah, that's how good a bunny-mom I am--take a few pictures, then rescue. In the meantime, Mickey is just wandering around the top of the cage, looking slightly confused. The cage roof is sagging a bit from the 6 1/2 pounds of added weight, and I'm thinking I'd better take care of things before somebunny actually does get hurt.

Well, gee--I'm pretty high up, aren't I?

I put the camera down and tried to lift him up off the cage roof and slide him out from under the table without catching his toes in the mesh. It's a tight fit under there, so it was going to be difficult. I almost had him out, but then Mickey decided he wasn't going to have anything to do with that. He wriggled himself out of my grasp and landed back on the roof, scooted himself to the right-hand side of the cage, hopped down onto the storage box there (which is probably how he got up on the roof in the first place), then hopped down onto the floor and scampered away. I chased after him and picked him up for a quick inspection to make sure there weren't any broken toenails (or toes, for that matter). He was fine, just mildly annoyed at the interruption of his fun-and-games.

I have no idea what brought on that little incident. He used to hop up on the roof of his cage back when we first got him, but that was a couple of years, a couple of cages and a couple of bunny-pounds ago. The only thing I can figure is that he saw the lid of the storage box, hopped up on that, then decided to explore from there. The lid of the box has now been covered with assorted items to discourage further roof exploration.

Feh, always spoiling my fun, I say...

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Somebunny's really going to be difficult now

For the second year in a row, Mickey has been chosen to appear in the Bunspace calendar. Here is his winning photo:
"I'm not fat, I'm fluffy."

His pic (one of 10 I sent in) was one of 90 chosen to appear (out of 765 submitted) and was one of the 66 chosen to be in the photo pages for each month. Proceeds from the sale of the calendar go to the House Rabbit Society .

Upon hearing the news, His Majesty immediately declared that he should be given extra treats as a reward for said honor. When it was pointed out that it was all the treats that he had already been getting that contributed to the extreme..."fluffyness"...of said pic, he immediately turned up his nose, flashed a Bunny Butt O'Snub and began tossing hay around his cage until he was placated with a few bits of Cheerios. He's really going to be impossible to live with now.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Cage Door Workout

Cleaned Mick's cage today--and wonder of wonders, he hasn't trashed it yet. Trashing his cage is one of his favorite activites, especially when he's decided that it is time for him to have his treats and I have for some reason been impertinent enough not to comply with His Majesty's desires. The white plastic floor covers have been taking the brunt of his wrath for the most part; you'd think he'd appreciate their existence, since they keep his fuzzy tootsies off the wire floor, but he's often more interested in flinging them than parking his bunny butt on them.

The new cage has so far been working out well; cleaning it was easier in some ways (cleaning the cage floor) and not quite as easy in others (getting all the loose hay out), but overall it wasn't a strain, so that's a relief. The cage door has taken some getting used to, because it opens inward instead of outward, but we've adapted to it for the most part. The most amusing part is how Mickey responds to it; as soon as he sees me unlatch it, he's pulling at it and trying to get it open. If I close the door and leave it unlatched--for example, in order to clean his dishes before feeding him--he'll go spazbunny on the door. Of course, this had to be captured on video:

As you can see, the floor covers got it first. I particularly love the toy toss at the end--a parting "hmph!", so to speak--and the ear in the water dish, which seems to cool him down in more ways than one. I'm half tempted to leave it unlatched sometimes--Lord knows Mr. Lazybun can use the occasional workout. ;)

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Leading Cause of Heart Failure in Rabbit Owners

Treated myself to one of those new Flip video cameras, and they are quite easy to use. I bought it in order to make better videos of Mickey in action, although the boy beat me to this one. This is something that's hard to catch on video, so I hadn't tried it yet. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: the "death flop"...

This is why some rabbit owners look so gray-haired and shaky after a least until we learn to check for chest movements.

It's supposed to be a good thing when they do this; it signifies the rabbit's ultimate trust in you--they don't do it unless they feel completely secure. Having had two rabbits actually die in that position, though, I will admit that it took quite a while to see Mickey do that and not go into immediate heart failure/freak-out. My husband actually confessed to shaking Mickey's cage once--back when we first got him--because "It looked like he was dead, but I didn't want to wake you up and tell you he was dead if he wasn't, because then you'd be mad at me".

It's even scarier when he's out of his cage, because he very rarely does it then. Last night, I looked down and saw him like that next to my foot. For a few missed heartbeats, I thought I had run him over with my computer chair somehow--until he started licking his paw and I could breathe again. Now, when we see him like this in his cage, it's more "Awwwwwwwwwwwwwww, isn't he cute?" than "OhdeargawdCALLTHEVET!!!", but I still check the chest every time.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Next Step to Superstardom

The House Rabbit Society has a new video page, where people can send in videos of their rabbits.

First video on the page? None other than a certain grumpy mini-lop, starring in "Grumpy bunneh iz grumpy".

"If anyone needs me, I'll be in my dressing room."

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Independence Day to all in the US...

...and a happy 4th of July to everyone else. :)

"You try putting that Uncle Sam hat on my head and I'll give you such a nip."

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Legend of The Mick

Had to take Mickey to the vet's today for his quarterly tooth-grinding. Because his molars grow in at a slight angle, they don't wear as they should and begin developing points and irritating his mouth, which causes all kinds of problems for him. His vet and I had hoped that he wouldn't need to have them ground down too often, and at one point, it was looking like it would only need to get done maybe twice a year, but because he starts showing signs of irritation when the points are barely forming, we decided that it was best to be proactive and get them before he's too bothered.

Oddly enough, it was because of his teeth that I nearly passed him by when I was looking for a new rabbit. When my rabbit, Karnage, passed away in April of 2008, I was devastated, but at the same time, I knew I needed another rabbit. There are two shelters in my area; the first one I called didn't take in rabbits, but the second, Berkshire Humane Society , did. I made an appointment to check out the rabbits they had, then went to their webpage to see if they had any pictures of the rabbits they had. On their front page was a picture of the sweetest-looking little orange lop. I was immediately interested, since I hadn't owned a lop since my first rabbit. I went to their "small animals" section; the little orange lop was named Lolo and he had been brought to the shelter the month before. One thing I noticed on his description, though; he had some "tooth issues". "Tooth issues" can mean anything from slightly overgrown teeth that need maybe a trim and a better diet to "expect to spend a fortune at the vet for the next 10 years". I made a note to ask about the "tooth issues", but in my mind, I had already crossed him off the list. There were a bunch of sweet-looking bunnies available, even a bonded pair, and I was trying very hard to keep my mind open when I made the trip to the shelter.

When I got there, there were five rabbits available: a female with some major "bunnitude", mainly territory issues; a male mini-Rex who spooked easily and needed a quiet home, a bonded pair who I fell in love with but didn't have the room for, and Lolo. I asked about the "tooth issues"; they said that his back teeth were overgrown because of a poor diet and neglect and needed to be ground down, which they would do before he went to a new home. As far as their vet could tell, a proper diet would improve his teeth. I decided to see how he would respond to me, so we went into one of their introduction rooms.

My son wanted me to send him any pics of the rabbits I looked at, so I took pictures with my cell phone.

Lolo was very shy at first; as soon as he was put on the floor, he scooted under the bench in the corner.

I sat down on the floor and waited, talking to him very softly. He didn't budge for a few minutes, but finally, he started moving around.

He hopped over to the door, then back under the bench, then back to the door again. I took a few pictures while he was at the door, then he started hopping around the room.

He began exploring the room, back and forth. Eventually, he started coming over to where I sat, letting me pet him a little before he'd toss his ears and dance away for a bit, then return for more. He made his way around the small room, then went back under the bench.

A minute or so later, he hopped over to where I was sitting on the floor. It was an unseasonably warm April day, so I was wearing shorts and sandals and had my legs stretched out in front of me. To my surprise and delight, he started licking my ankle. I'd known that some rabbits do lick, but had never had one lick me before, so I was thrilled. "Well, aren't you the little charmer?" I said to him.

He hopped further up alongside my leg, and started licking my calf. I said, "You are just the sweetest thing."

Then he tried to hump my knee.

Oh yeah, this one was coming home with me. :)

Surprisingly, he let me scoop him up so I could open the door and bring him back to the small animals area. The girl in charge was very impressed. She said he wasn't usually that cooperative. She gave me the rundown on his history. One of the staff, coming in to work for that day, saw a woman leaving a small box by the shelter door. He checked the box, saw the rabbit inside, and ran to catch the woman, who was about to get in her car and leave. He persuaded her to come in and formally surrender the rabbit, which she claimed to have found in her basement. They had him listed as a Holland Lop, which is the smallest of the lop breeds, and said he was about ten months old. I filled out the paperwork and made an appointment to pick him up after he'd had his tooth work done.

On May 1, 2008, I went to the shelter and picked up my new rabbit. Along with a new home, he got a new name: Mickey, so named because his orange fur reminded me of the hair color of Mickey Mantle, the legendary baseball player for the New York Yankees (my favorite team). Since then, we have determined that he is definitely a Mini Lop and not a Holland, his tooth issues are manageable but still require many vet visits, and he is the loviest, snuggliest bunny on earth. 

"Well of course I am--now where's my treats? I've had a hard day."