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Archive for the ‘bunny-proofing’ Category

The cover alone of a paperback (Malcolm Lowry's Under the Volcano), the left and bottom edges are very rabbit-bitten

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Without a doubt, the worst part of animal companionship is the battle of wills. Unlike humans, with whom I can reason when conflicts arise, pets just don’t listen.

Okay, pets sometimes do listen. Sometimes Frank is a darling, really: obedient and sensitive.

Just not this morning. This morning was about domination.

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Floor map of our apartment, featuring details of our rabbit's habitatYesterday S caught the home-rearranging bug and moved Frank from the living room to our bedroom.

Now, although we have less space in our bedroom, we’ll be able to enjoy that space more completely as we won’t feel guilty for neglecting Frank when we want to watch TV from our daybed. (Our TV is on a cart that we roll from room to room, as needed; it is not represented in the map at right.) We also love the living room opened up. Of course, Frank will be welcome often in the living room – his second litter box has been moved there from the bedroom, etc. – but while we’re out he’ll now be relegated to the bedroom instead, and when we have house guests we’ll no longer have to do the temporary (modular, needs-based) Frank-move that we had been doing. And, especially pertinent with summer coming up, our bedroom is the cooler of the two rooms.

Judging by his current maxed-out pose in his crate (although all doors in the apartment are presently open), I think Frank likes the new arrangement just fine. (Now our histamines will just have to get used to the extra allergens in the room…)

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Because you might just find, while scooping litter and mucking out crates, that there is a hole in the bottom of the bag, and suddenly you might see coffee grinds scattered all over the room, and you may have to dash and scramble to keep bun(s) contained while you clean up your mess.

I say, it could happen to you!!!

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another update

Frank is basically recovered but he’s not 100%. He takes his time with meals now (especially pellets: sometimes as much as 6, 7 hours — he never used to scarf them, but this isn’t how he was before he fell ill), and he’s very picky about his greens (he eats his carrot greens immediately and leaves the rest for later — much later); and his mood and activity levels aren’t like they were.

We stopped giving him Critical Care a few days ago (after reducing his portion for a few days), and today we stop giving him his digestion meds cold turkey. We’re going to ease him off the pain meds and exact some close, close observation. (I’m back at work this week so the observation won’t be as close as it’s been, but we’ll do our best.) He saw the vet today and his red blood count was normal (hooray), but we won’t be able to re-test his liver functions for a few months. (Well, we could re-test them now, but they won’t have improved yet … if they are to improve at all, that is.) There’s still the chance this is all about a dental problem, so we’ll be watching for that as he comes off the pain meds.

After Frank’s naughtiness overnight we started experimenting with new housing setups and proofing techniques. The night before last we all 3 spent in our bedroom, but last night we were back in his room. I think all the moving about disrupts him but I don’t see what else we can do. I mean, it’s either this or lock him in his crate when we aren’t around, and I think that would disrupt him more as we haven’t done that since we transitioned him out of his cage when we brought him home a few years ago.

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update

Frank is recovering well, but he’s been misbehaving overnight by nibbling at bunny-proofs that used to deter him, like the plastic tubes we put around electrical cords, and packing tape affixed backwards over baseboards and such. We were up and down all night, wrapping towels around things and offering him hay. He is now still in an adventurous mood, jumping on things, etc. I hope he’ll retire for the day soon.

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A few months ago, we draped a sheet beneath the slats on our bed so that Frank couldn’t nibble on them when he came to visit. Yesterday he caught us in the middle of a bedroom rearrange when one end of the sheet was loose. Remember the game with the parachute, Cat and Mouse? I think this is Frank’s version. Did you catch his impertinent flip of the ears near the beginning? What a naughty bun.

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We had Frank in our room over the past weekend to accommodate a house guest. Thankfully his recent energies didn’t carry over to his nights with us … it probably helped that I pulled various furnishings away from the walls (to make Frank-sized pathways around the room) and generally made some temporary changes with him in mind. I think he is rather used to our room at this point … apparently, endless noisy explorations and mass territory markings are no longer necessary. He did jump up on the bed twice … well, once, successfully. (I do worry about that, about broken backs and legs, but I don’t think crating him overnight is a good solution. Hmm.)

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Something I believe that is fundamental to humanity is our free will, our ability to choose. Everyone has heard about the concept of free will, but what is meant by it — its significance and implications on our existence — is not always clear. I think it means different things to different people, and to some people, likely nothing. I’ve been considering the concept of free will for awhile, and what I’m thinking now is that one thing free will means is I have choice in how I conduct myself in my day-to-day life. I can and must choose, for example, what food to eat, what clothing to wear, and how to behave on the streetcar. We must, unavoidably, choose from the moment we wake up until the moment we fall asleep. Not every choice we make is made consciously, some are made through habit, others through reflex or instinct, but every choice does have consequences, and I believe we have a responsibility to consider those consequences.

When I chose to bring Frank home, the consequence of my choice was that Frank was placed under my care to the exclusion of all others. Not only did the quantifiable fact of his care become my responsibility, but also the quality of that care; and the degree to which Frank flourished or floundered while under my care became dependent on the choices I made, whether consciously or not. For example, once I had chosen to feed Frank, I had to choose what to feed him. At the time, the two choices available to me were to buy pellets from the small dry-goods store in Kensington market where I had seen a bin labelled “rabbit food,” or to research alternatives.

I think one of the biggest failures of our society is that we don’t often choose to research alternatives. We often choose not to discover the hidden consequences of those choices we are most familiar with. When was the last time you evaluated your pet’s diet, habitat, play behaviour, or medical care? When was the last time you sought out new resources? How many people buy their rabbit food at that store in Kensington? Have they asked about its ingredients? Have they researched their rabbit’s dietary needs and functions?

Something I learned a few years ago is that we should define ourselves as constantly trying. Perfection is impossible, but we must strive for perfection anyway. We must never be satisfied with what we think we know. Most importantly, we must recognize when we’ve sunken into a smug funk, and we must raise ourselves out of it! I try to apply this to everything I do.

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more free toys

a phonebook strategically placed before a metal grate which Frank loves to rattleAs all rabbit-keepers know, good toys double as bunny-proofers, and that has never been more true (for Frank and I, anyway) than of this setup with the yellow pages pictured here. Frank has long held a deep appreciation for the metal grate covers on the air vent which runs between our livingroom and bedroom and, although he was foiled for awhile by our having hidden the livingroom-side behind the sofa, he re-discovered the grate recently and the sound of him rattling the bars overnight and in the early morning has not been an enjoyable one for us.a phonebook strategically placed before a metal grate which Frank loves to rattleA few months ago I gave him his first phone book and while he enjoyed ripping a page from it now and again, he never really attacked it in the way I’ve heard other buns sometimes do. Before bed one night I thought to stuff it behind the sofa, wedging it in between the sofa and metal grate. Eureka! Not only has he largely ignored the grate since then, but he’s also finally engaged in true shredding behaviour. Whatabun!

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