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Keeping a house rabbit May to present 2004

From: Chloe
Category: Other stuff
Date: 02 July 2004


We've wanted a pet for quite sometime, the problem was agreeing on exactly what.

We both like cats and dogs, but I am the one with more time in the house so cleaning up, walking (for dogs) would mainly fall on me. I am pregnant and the risk of toxicplasmosis is extremely high, if handling or inhaling (?) said animal's excretia, plus I'm unbeliveably squeamish. The thought of trundling to the park picking it all up frankly does not appeal. We wanted to practice our newly honed parenting skills on some poor unsuspecting creature. One day in town, we passed some pet shops. Dan and I had both kept rabbits in childhood (a distant pleasant glimmer in the memory), and an idea and a solution was born.

Being amazingly British we chose, inevitably, the creature that looked like it was being hassled the most by the other rabbits. A black and white lop eared cutey became ours for the princely sum of 24.

Advice and tip, if buying a rabbit or guinea from a pet shop, make sure they are older than ours was, 7-8 weeks old. It is simply too young to leave the mother and the social life of the litter and they get disorientated, lonely and stressed out.

We got a lift home from a perfect stranger in a van, as she overheard me complain that our taxi had not turned up ( another great and amazing thing about pregnancy).

Decided to call rabbit Elby, a name made out of LB ( standing for Little Bollocks, after our fav Father Ted epidode, when Bishop Brennan gets terrorised by mysterious rabbits when he comes to stay on Craggy Island).A Shy, shivering creature. He sooon learned to get a voracious appetite. Vegetarian animals are so much better for the squeamish, easier to clear up after.

He lollops around the house, but lives contained in a small cage under the chimney breast. He is now pretty house trained, has a lot of freedom, runs around and leaps for joy, and practises running up and down the floor boards, perhaps to keep his claws in check.

One day he went missing. There was no roof on the cage, I figured he'd climbed out. We had a cat flap on one of the doors, so I credited him with enough intelligence and curiosity to escape into the garden, or our cellar as the door was slightly ajar.

After an entire day, we could not find him. Dan decided we had eliminated the possible, so he decided to think laterily and try the impossible. We found him seven feet above his cage, where he'd been all day, up INSIDE the chimney breast, on a shelf we didn't even know existed.

Maybe he was actually a Nepalese climbing rabbit, instead.

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