Fri 8 Nov 2013
I’ll admit that one of the vexing things about rabbits is that it seems there is nothing they won’t chew on, and no danger they won’t eventually find. This, of course, is why we rabbit proof. But rabbit proofing isn’t an event, it’s a process. It’s an ongoing process, because sometimes our rabbit proofing measures are no match for our rabbits, and sometimes our rabbits go after things we never imagined they’d be interested in.
I have two rabbits. Harley has lived with me for almost five years, and Bonnie (HRN alum bun formerly known as Olive) joined the family a few months ago. I realize now how I took for granted Harley’s good behavior. He kept mostly to one room of the house, though he could have roamed if he’d wanted to; he didn’t jump onto the furniture; he didn’t risk his neck going after cords that were out of reach.
Bonnie, however, is an entirely different story. Bonnie has made herself the master of the house. Stairs do not deter her. Furniture does not intimidate her. She sees an out-of-reach cord as a test of her mettle. And if there is something she should not get into, you may rest assured that eventually she will get into it. Earlier today I had to fish her out of the fireplace. We had left the fire screen partway open, never imagining that a bunny would be tempted to hop through it. And the indignity she suffered while I cleaned her paws off afterward probably wouldn’t discourage her from trying it again — but unfortunately for her, the fireplace is now securely closed off.
Also alarming is the sinister influence she seems to have had on Harley. Of the two of them he is still by far the better behaved, but he has picked up some of her habits. Just a few weeks after Bonnie moved in, Harley began to follow her up onto the furniture. Now he has no scruples about jumping up there on his own.
So a couple of lessons in rabbit proofing that I’ve learned recently are: (a) A rabbit’s capacity for mischief can surprise you, and (b) even the saintliest of rabbits cannot always resist the allure of the devil.
What are your rabbit proofing horror or success stories? Please leave a comment and share your experiences!