The Easter Lagomorph Is Coming

March 8th, 2012 by Michael Tabor
Michael and I love our two Lagomorphs. What??? Put simply, our rabbits. In the past, it was thought that the rabbit belonged to the rodent family  but this is untrue and they should not be referred to as such. This is insulting to them. Besides being utterly cute, they make wonderful pets and they’re smarter than you may think. Not quite as bright as Bugs Bunny – more along the lines of Peter Rabbit in McGregor’s garden.
Blossom has quite a personality and if you’re under the mistaken assumptiion that she’s just some dumb bunny, you’re in for a rude awakening, and I do mean “rude”. Never, and I repeat this emphatically with the emphasis on the first syllable, NEV-er be so careless as to place your hand into her domain without placing the other available hand on top of her head. She will invariably bite you. Hard. Her otherwise sweet temperment will be dominated by her territorial instincts, and you (even if you come bearing gifts) are considered to be the intruder. When the cleaning lady arrives (that’s me), it gets even trickier but I have mastered the situation over time. She has to be lured into the outer section of her home (this being the sunroom) while I deftly grab a large piece of slate (used for this sole purpose, readily available) and cover the opening to prevent her from entering her loft (complete with cathedral ceiling). This is accomplished with the use of food as enticement. It works every time. The other day, however, she managed to move the heavy slate aside, which is no small feat when you consider it weighs a good deal more than she does. This would have proven disastrous for the unsuspecting cleaning lady busy about her task, for were Blossom to make her way inside, a set of acutely sharp incisors would have made their presence known. If Blossom were ever featured in a Flintstones cartoon, she would have been utilized as Fred’s razor to shave with in the morning. She even has the audacity to charge at you in defense of her turf and actually emits a small grunt- like noise in the process, stopping just short of you in an effort to frighten. It’s rather effective knowing she will nip you. When this happens, I laugh it off by calling her “The Big, Bad, Bunny”. It’s really very funny because she’s so cute (provided you escape the wrath of her teeth). When we bring her to the vet to have her nails clipped, they think she’s sooooo adorable! They don’t know the real Blossom.
Then there’s our other Lagomorph. Godiva. Whereas Blossom is snowy white, Godiva is like dark chocolate, hence the name. She is docile. Serene. Sweet. Clean. The complete antithesis to “The Big, Bad, Bunny”. That’s it. Nothing more to be said about Godiva. In no way is she the lesser of the two. She’s just “good”. More of what you would expect in the typical bunny.
If you’re thinking of getting a rabbit for your kid at Easter, you may want to reconsider. Rabbits demand a lot of attention and can easily become sick if not properly cared for. They need a variety of fresh greens daily in addition to fresh bedding, hay for consumption, and papaya pills to aid in good digestion. All these things can prove costly but if you’re dedictaed to their good health and well being, go for it – they are a constant source of amusement. They will interact at play, with toys made especially for rabbits. Have you ever seen a rabbit wash its face? Too cute! Or seen one yawn? Hilarious!

If you decide to keep them indoors, be sure to cover all your wiring with plastic tubing or they will disconnect your cable service, or eliminate your source of electricity and quite possibly themselves in the process. But if you choose to house them outdoors as we do, you’ll need to provide a constant source of shade as shelter from the sun and the elements. Many a bunny has suffered heat exhaustion and died as a result of exposure. In winter, a clear plastic covering acts as a sort of greenhouse effect. You may however, need to shovel a path in heavy snow. This is not always convenient but they will thank you for it. Don’t expect an outcry of “Hooray! We’re saved!” but instead, a little dance of appreciation to make you smile.
Never serve them wilted greens and not all greens are suitable. Not long ago, I purchased an assortment of greens from the local supermarket. On this particular day, the kale was so fresh that when I placed it on the kitchen counter, a large, bright green grasshopper crawled out of it! Now that’s FRESH! Needless to say, I was quite freaked out by this display and had to contain my anxiety and act fast before he hopped off into the nether reaches of the kitchen’s recesses. He made a feeble attempt at a hop, having survived the trip from California, to the Pathmark on Long Island, into the plastic  stay-fresh bag, wheeled around for a tour in the cart, ferried down the conveyer belt to be rung up, placed into another plastic bag with a multitude of sundries, back into the cart for a bumpy ride across the parking lot and into the back of the Jeep before reaching our home as its final (?) destination. So, little wonder that by this time he might feel a bit woozy, much to my benefit. I hastily grabbed the plastic bag from which he had just been removed and gently covered him, scooped him up, and raced to the front door. Snow was in the night’s forecast but no matter. He would find quick refuge under one of the many cedar bushes outside. Now, as anyone who knows me can verify, I am not, not, not, a bug person but as Michael often quotes, “All life is precious”. This being said and my duty done, I found it safe at this point to promptly freak  with an audible  “Eeeeeeeee!” shrieked several times in succession while shuddering and stomping my feet at the horrific ordeal I’d just encountered. I hate to think of what would have happened had I put the kale into the refrigerator along with “Grasshopper”. Might he have eaten all of the meat loaf? Or jumped out at Michael during one of his late night binges? I can picture him waking me up to tell me about it, and me saying “Go back to bed, It was only a nightmare”. Oh yeah??? Then where’s all the meat loaf?

In short, if you are prepared to deal with all this for the sake of a cute little, button-nosed bunny, then you are ndeed the perfect candidate for just such a pet. Make the leap only by making the commitment. Otherwise, stick with the chocolate version. Might I suggest Godiva?
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