Friday, December 30, 2005

Them Ears Say a Lot

Before I got Calvin, I had read-up on bunny body language at When Calvin is really interested in something or checking out the apartment before he starts zooming around, his ears are pointing forward. When he wants a good head rub, he'll hold his ears apart, giving me more "scalp" to rub, an action that the people at the shelter had never seen him do before when he did it on the day we first met and I brought him home. I call it the "Oh yeah, Mama, give me some lovin' " pose. His expressions are usually pretty simple since he's such an easy-going little guy and has no motives other than attention and getting good food.

Though Calvin is easy to read, Jessica is a whole 'nother ballgame. Her lop ears aren't as expressive as Calvin's "uppy" ears, but I've slowly learned to read her ears as well. When she's interested in something, they sort of slide foward like a pendulum, usually blocking her eye so she has to turn her head to the side to look at me. She's able to lift her ears up to half mast, as it were, when she is grooming, but otherwise they stay down. With the wide range of emotions and expressions she shows, her lop ears makes it harder for her to express herself so I can understand, so she adds the thump of a back foot for emphasis a lot. ;-)

It's not so much that rabbits don't communicate with us humans - we just have to learn how to listen and pay attention to them.


Sunday, December 11, 2005

Bury me under lots of hay

Whenever I go to give Calvin and Jessica's litterbox a new bunch of hay, one or both of them usually hop into it before I'm done (if one isn't already sitting in it). As I try to put the hay around them, they usually get covered with some of it. I brush it off, but they don't move - they just begin chowing down on the fresh stuff. I know that the ancestors of the domestic rabbit lived underground in warrens, but that doesn't seem to explain why my two wouldn't care if they'd be buried under a pile of hay.

I think they wouldn't mind being covered with hay because they'd have to eat their way out, and to a rabbit, that'd be a lot of fun. Um, okay, whatever :-)


Thursday, December 01, 2005

The rabbit sense of taste

I know that rabbits must have a sense of taste - no, not in fashion (although Calvin always looks spiffy in his chinchilla coat and Jessica darling with her lop ears), but in food. Smell probably has a really big connection to what will taste good to a rabbit and what won't.

However, I can't understand how they can go from munching on fresh spearmint to eating fresh dill. I mean, that's like eating a pickle after chewing minty gum or brushing your teeth. Yuck-o, yet both Calvin and Jessica don't seem to notice anything odd about it.

Remind me not to eat any salad that they toss together ;-)


Thursday, November 24, 2005

What I'm thankful for (Calvin)

I'm thankful for yummy salad and hay, for getting to race around the apartment, and for getting to lie around and relax and not have to worry about who will take care of me. I am thankful for Jessica. This is our second Thanksgiving together, and having another rabbit in the house to talk to and share thoughts with is the best. I'm thankful for treats and for balconies that are fun to dance on. I'm very thankful for not having to go to school like Mama is, for that sociology stuff is hard! I'm thankful for Mama and for her choosing me for her first pet rabbit ever.


What I'm thankful for (Jessica)

I'm thankful for having a Mama that loves me despite my love of shredding paper and my lop ears that are so hard to keep clean. I'm thankful for hay, clean litterboxes with fresh newspaper to shred, and let's not forget treats. I'm thankful that Calvin chose me to come home with him and Mama. I'm thankful for getting to race around, to explore behind nooks and crannies, and to get nice, long grooming sessions from Calvin and headrubs from Mama.


What I'm thankful for (Mama)

As I sat down to dinner, I gave thanks for my two little fuzzy stress relievers. I am so thankful that there are shelters and rescue groups that take in rabbits and find them homes. I'm thankful that Jessica recovered from her ear infection earlier this year, a very scary time for me when I had to leave her at the hospital for a few days. I'm thankful that they are both happy, healthy, and active. I'm thankful for being able to provide hay and salad for them, when most pet rabbits are fed commercial pellets that have to be so very boring.

And most of all, I am thankful that I didn't have to leave my pets behind like the victims of Hurricane Katrina did, for my buns are my kids and my family.

Have a happy Thanksgiving, and give thanks for the little fuzzy beasts in your life :-)


Saturday, November 12, 2005

Mama's revenge

Tonight just happened to be the night that Jessica's ears needed cleaning. (They get cleaned once a week - lop ears are hard for the rabbits to keep clean themselves.) If she tries to tell you that it was done as revenge for her little project, don't believe her, no matter how cute she looks. :-)


Bunny projects (Mama's point of view)

"Rip, rip, fling. Rip, rip, fling."

"Fling, fling, rip. Fling, fling, rip."

"I'm a bulldozer."

"Uh, oh. It's a reporter. I'll be all over the tabloids for this."

Yes, bunnies love their little projects. I heard this one beginning last night after I went to bed. Now, I could have gotten up and tried to intervene, but rabbits can be stubborn (especially my little diva, Jessica). The best I could have done was throw the construction (or should I say, destruction) timetable off by an hour or two.

When I got up this morning, newspaper was everywhere in their cage. If I put the shredded paper back into the litterbox, Jessica will jump in and fling it back out. Calvin does contribute to the chaos here and there, but I think Jess was the forerabbit on this project. She was acting like a groundhog earlier, digging and pushing like a bulldozer. I don't know if she's trying to dig a warren to live in for the winter (her wild, European ancestors lived underground) or if she's trying to help the guys in the show Prison Break bust out.

Living with rabbits is always a fun time :-)


Bunny projects (Jessica's point of view)

"Some shots of my masterpiece."

Mama cleaned our litterbox last night, but something about how it was set up really bothered me. So, I decided to remodel.

You see, rabbits like to have little projects. We enjoy ripping paper, digging, flinging things around - so how perfect is it to rip up the newspaper lining the bottom of the litterbox and fling it all over the place? Talk about fun. I could do this all night and all day.

In fact, I think I will :-)


[I helped, too, but I'll let Jessica take the fall. I know where the treats come from, so I have to make sure my bunny halo is on straight. - Calvin]

Friday, October 21, 2005

I hate vertical blinds

In the two places where Mama has lived, there have been vertical blinds hanging in front of the big windows that go outside. [The balcony sliding glass door - Mama] I love to run by the big window, but these blinds always get in my way. I push at them, but they swing back to hit me. That's not very nice, so I shove them again, and again they come back to hit me.


Saturday, October 08, 2005

Dreaming of treats

I love to flop - to lie totally on my side and just snooze away. One or both of my ears usually stick up when I do this, too. (Mama says that the first time she saw a rabbit do this - at college with Auntie Sue - she thought the rabbit, Wellington, was dead. When Mama gasped, Wellie looked up at her like, "What? Why are you ruining a perfectly good flop?")

Mama has noticed that I move my mouth when I'm flopped. Well, of course, for what will I dream about other than oatmeal, raisins, papaya, pineapple, strawberries, Critter Berries, fresh hay, carrots, dandelion, etc.? Calvin tells me that he dreams of running around and racing through the outdoors, but I'm a lady, so I prefer more dainty dreams. Lady humans might be demure and only pick at their food out of some sense of propriety, but rabbits don't buy into that sort of thing. If I can't be scarfing down treats in real life, I can at least dream about it when I'm sleeping.


Friday, October 07, 2005

That hairy time of year

Mama calls me her little shedding machine, and the fur has been flying the last few weeks. I know it doesn't make sense, but rabbits shed a lot of fur before growing in heavier fur for fall and winter. I'm always shedding (part of my chinchilla-colored charm :-) but it gets a lot worse in September. Jessica has been shedding a lot, too, and she gets so mad at Mama for pulling tufts of fur off of her butt.

The best thing about shedding, though, is the special treats Mama gives us. She got some dried papaya at the pet store, and she just brought home some dried pineapple yesterday. Both papaya and pineapple have special stuff in them that helps the fur we eat when we groom to keep on going through our systems and not become blocked and make us stop eating. We both love these special treats, so we might have to keep shedding all of the time in order to keep them coming. I'll have to talk to Jessica about that. :-)


Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Mama needs four feet

Hurray! Mama went back to work today, letting us get back to our mischief-planning and busy nap schedules. She broke a toe on Saturday and went to the people vet. I, Jessica, feel sort of guilty, since she got hurt after kicking one of the gates she has up to keep us out of places where we aren't allowed to go. (She doesn't want us to chew on her books or her drum set, and I must admit that they do look tasty - Calvin.)

So, we think Mama needs to have four feet like we do. Then, she won't stumble and fall so much, for when have you ever seen a rabbit stumble? But, she still needs to have her arms and hands, for how else can she give us treats if she doesn't have any hands?

Mama walks funny now, too, but all humans walk funny. When she came back from the people vet on Saturday, she brought salad with her, and she told us that the salad supply was secure. Though we were worried about her, it was a relief to know that we wouldn't run out of parsley. :-)

Hopefully Mama will get better soon so she can hop and dance around with us.

Jessica and Calvin

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

"Fuzzy" logic

Mama told me that she posted an entry on how I'm always optimistic about what she has when she leaves the kitchen. I thought that it was time to tell the world the logic of rabbits.
  1. If it crinkles, it contains a treat.
  2. If it rattles, it contains a treat.
  3. If it has a lid that peels off, it contains a treat.
  4. If it smells good, it's a treat.
  5. If Mama comes out from the kitchen, she has a treat.
  6. If Mama is eating something, it's a treat.
  7. If Mama is eating something that she says isn't for bunnies, she'll give us a treat if we bug her.
  8. If we have had one kind of treat, that doesn't mean we can't have another treat.
  9. "You'll spoil your dinner" doesn't apply to rabbits.
  10. If you expect me to sit still to be brushed, you had better have a treat.
  11. If you say "Come here Calvin," you had better have a treat.
  12. If Jessica thinks there is a treat, please give us a treat or else she'll beat me up for nothing.

Now that the world knows how I think, isn't it time to give me a treat? You think it's easy to type with paws?


Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Calvin, my eternal optimist

Oh, to have the optimism of a rabbit.

Whenever I go into the kitchen, Calvin's "bunny sense" kicks in, and he's usually waiting for me at the end of the hall. Then, he starts dancing and running and jumping, positive that since I was in the kitchen, I therefore must have a treat for him. Of course, Jessica then rushes over, thinking that he's eating a treat and she isn't.

I stand there, looking down at them, either empty handed or holding some food for myself, and say, "Sorry, nothing for bunnies."

I've spoken to them, so that absolutely must mean that I have a treat. They continue to mill around my feet, and I go and sit down. After a second or two, they realize that I must have decided to give them their treat where I'm sitting, so they mob me and try to get a treat. Meanwhile, I'm trying to keep my food (popcorn, pizza, whathaveyou) out of their way so I don't have bunny fuzz in it.

Eventually, I have to give them a treat, for they won't leave me alone. They have me trained so well ;-)

Oh, to have the optimism of bunnies. :-)


Monday, September 26, 2005

"Tails" of sibling rivalry

Hi, there. This is the Mama, as Calvin and Jessica call me. I thought I should get to write something on this blog, too, especially on topics relating to rabbits in general, and Calvin and Jessica in particular. So, I'm starting things off with "tails" of sibling rivalry.

When I first got Calvin, I hadn't really planned on getting a second bunny. But I could tell that he was very lonely. He'd lay around the apartment, licking the carpet, so I thought that he might love to have someone to lick. So, I took him back to the shelter to pick out a buddy. He's neutered, so it didn't matter if he picked a girl (and she would likely be spayed, since Red Door adopts out neutered animals to help prevent unwanted litters and for better rabbit health/behavior).

He chose Jessica, and she joined our household. When introducing rabbits, there can be a lot of fighting, and the fur certainly flew with them during their bonding sessions. Finally, though, they mostly left each other alone, eating and grooming without fighting.

Now, of course, they get along fine for the most part. However, they do bicker like a married couple, and they have some very funny antics:
  1. Carrots. Their house is a bunny condo with 2 floors, so when they get their salad every morning and night, I put one bowl upstairs and one bowl downstairs. At night, they get 2 pieces of carrot, one for each bowl. Calvin usually uses his sniffer and finds the carrot in the upstairs bowl. (They're both usually upstairs at night when I bring their salad.) He barely gets a bite or two before Jessica grabs the carrot and runs downstairs with it. Calvin sniffs around where the carrot was (sometimes looking at Jessica, now sitting at the bottom of the ramp, with a look that says, "Hey, you took my carrot.), then starts to eat other stuff (usually parsley). For a while, I was keeping the downstairs carrot in my hand as I put the bowls into the cage, handing it to Jessica, so she'd actually only be stealing her own carrot from the downstairs bowl, and Calvin's carrot would still be upstairs where he was. That worked pretty well, and she's still none the wiser :-)
  2. Tug of war. Remember in the Disney movie The Lady and the Tramp when Lady and Tramp kiss after they eat the same piece of spaghetti? Well, in bunnyland, it doesn't happen that way. If Calvin and Jessica begin to eat the same piece of parsley or hay, as soon as the pull from the other is felt, they pull back, and one gets the rest of the piece while the other is left to finish the mouthful they still have. You can almost see their little bunny brains say, "Mine!" "No, it's mine!" with the loser thinking, "Hey, I had it first."
  3. Treat time. Calvin is the brains of the duo, and Jessica the brawns. Whenever it's treat time, Calvin usually runs over to me first, followed by Jessica if she thinks there is actually food. (More on Calvin the Eternal Optimist at a later time.) If I put a treat down, Calvin sniffs around and finds it. If Jessica thinks that the treat is under Calvin, she'll bump him out of the way, even if she misses the treat in her exuberance and Calvin ends up getting it.

Their interaction is definitely worth the cost of salad and hay, whether it's them cuddling together, Calvin doing his "I love you" dance around Jessica, or them squabbling over food. :-)


Sunday, September 25, 2005

Which parsley right is for you?

Mama asked that I write a little something about for this new blog (whatever that is), so I chose to write about parsley.

Parsley is more complicated than it looks. There are two kinds - flat (also called Italian) and curly (what is used as a garnish a lot). Both are quite tasty. The flat parsley can get nice, thick stems on them, all the better to munch on. Curly parsley can have big bunches of leaves that make it hard to eat, getting one's fur all wet and matted.

So give your bunny a tasty treat - get some parsley. It's cheap (79 cents a bunch at our Meijer store), crunchy, and healthy. Mama knows better than to run out of it.

I really love parsley, which Mama noticed after she adopted me, and she made it my middle name.

Hurray for parsley!! :-)


I hate the vet!

I knew something was up when Mama kept hovering near the cage after she gave us our salad. She was sneaky this time, setting up the carrier with some fresh hay and salad where I couldn't see her do it. Then, she reached in and snagged me.

She tried talking to me on the long car ride to the vet, but I just ignored her. I feel fine, so I don't get why I have to go see the vet again. My ear infection is all gone, my teeth are fine since the vet floated them last month, so there's no reason to be happy to be going back.

A different vet saw me this time. She took me into the back and did all sorts of unspeakable horrors to me, like sticking that metal thing in my mouth to look at my teeth. I told you they were fine, but you wouldn't listen. And she took my weight! How embarassing, for a lady never reveals her weight, or her age.

Mama told me that we don't have to go back until December, which I'll forget about until she grabs me and puts me in the carrier again. Next time, though, Calvin gets to come, too, for a physical. He had better still treat me like a queen when we get back home.


Hi, I'm Jessica

Jessica Donna
Adopted from Red Door Animal Shelter on April 17, 2004

"What? I'm not doing anything."

Hi! I'm Jessica. I'm queen of the warren, and woe to anybunny and anyhuman who thinks otherwise. I fought with Calvin a little bit when I was first living here, but now I have him wrapped around my little finger. Well, bunnies don't have fingers, but you know what I mean.

Mama says that she doesn't play favorites, but I think she likes me best because I like to cuddle and I'm a diva, so I like getting brushed and my nails trimmed.

I have anger control issues, for whenever something makes me mad, I stomp a back foot so everyone knows how I'm feeling. I used to absolute HATE Mama picking me up and holding me, but I've gotten resigned to the fact that she's gonna do it anyway and, if there are head rubs and/or treats involved, I'll put up with it.

I was given up by my previous owner, and I'm glad Red Door took me in and gave me a foster home. I was able to work through some of my issues before Mama and Calvin took me in. Mama thinks I was abused or something before Red Door got me, but I don't really remember anything except being upset.

If you are thinking of getting a rabbit, please adopt one instead of buying one at the pet store! Shelter bunnies like Calvin and me have a lot o' love to give!!


Hi, I'm Calvin

Calvin Parsley
Adopted from Red Door Animal Shelter on September 20, 2003

"Do I hear the raisin box opening?"

Hi! I'm Calvin. I love running around (Mama says I run the Calvin 500), dancing (especially on the balcony), eating, and catering to Jessica's every whim. I will cuddle sometimes, but I run from the brush and the nail clippers. I was very lonely, licking the carpet, so Mama took me to Red Door to pick out a buddy, and that's how Jessica joined us.

There are a lot of bunnies in shelters looking for homes. Please adopt a rabbit instead of buying one at the pet store! Shelter bunnies like Jessica and me have a lot o' love to give!!