An Unconventional Love Story

Saturday, June 8, 2013

I grew up with two younger sisters and two younger brothers. My youngest sister is 10 years younger than me. One thing we didn't have, however, was a pet. No dogs, no cats, no birds, no turtles, no fish... nothing. My parents (rightfully) predicted that if we got a dog, they'd end up taking care of it, and we lived in a three-bedroom house with seven people.

So when a rabbit showed up at my apartment one day... well, saying I was unprepared is an understatement.

How Snicks ended up here is a great story: my roommate at the time worked with a girl who was getting ready to go away to college. (Weirdly, she was going to attend Shepherd, my alma mater.) Joanna (who had Snicks) asked Molly (my former roommate) if we'd be willing to adopt her rabbit. Molly asked me about it, and honestly I wasn't sure. We weren't home a lot, we had a small apartment, I was worried he would smell. But in the end, well, how are you NOT going to take in a homeless five-month-old bunny?

Joanna brought Snicks over late one afternoon with a cage and some litter. (Homeboy came litterbox trained -- he's been way smart since the beginning!) We put him down on a rug in the kitchen, and, well... there he was! I petted him and petted him and he jumped in my heart immediately. Molly left shortly after to go to work, so Snicks and I were left alone for the evening. It went pretty much like this: Snicks stares at Anna, Anna stares at Snicks. For hours. Seriously. I had NO idea what to do with a rabbit. And obviously he had no idea what to do with me either. Around 10 p.m. I put him in his cage for the night and went to my room to go to bed. Where I promptly got up no less than seven times to walk into the living room to be sure he was still breathing. And a mother was born. :)

That was August 2010, and now Snicks is three years old and I will have had him for three years in August. I didn't know what to do with him, but you know what -- he didn't know what to do either. I didn't know what rabbits were supposed to do; neither did he. We had some hard times (he got three abscesses in summer 2011, which resulted me crying in the vet's office and saying "I am afraid you are going to call bunny protective services" and them assuring me that they knew I loved him since I brought him in... one of my better moments. Also I learned that bunnies form strong ties with the person they see as their primary caregiver... and unneutered bunnies will, a lot of times, show that affection through peeing on that person. I can vouch that that's true!). But mostly we've had really good times. We figured out together that he doesn't like carrots (yep) at all or cucumbers very much. But he love, love, loves bananas, apples, oats and (don't tell) chocolate. He also likes to chew cell phone cords if someone is stupid enough to leave them hanging down where he can reach. He loves being scratched on the head and will nudge your hand when he wants a scratch. He's cuddly and likes kisses. He hates car rides and he's shy around strangers. However, he's really gentle and good with kids and lets them touch his face. He never thumps, he never kicks. The vet told me that, should I ever get another rabbit, I should not expect that that rabbit will be anything like Snicks because Snicks is unusual. He doesn't do normal rabbit things, but he doesn't know that and neither did I.

It took him very little time to earn the privilege of being a free-roaming rabbit. He runs around the apartment all the time because he's not mischievous (mostly) and he knows that when he needs to go to the bathroom he needs to find his litterbox. In fact, one day I accidentally left him in my room all day with the door shut while I was at work, and when I came home and opened the door, he just hopped out. And I discovered HE HADN'T GONE TO THE BATHROOM ALL DAY. He held it because his head told him he could only go in his litterbox, and he couldn't get to it. (Bet your kid wouldn't do that! Just sayin'.)

He's the "person" who's there when I get home at the end of the day. He doesn't really require much from me, but he gives me a whole lot. He's who prevents me from being that crazy girl who talks to herself. Clearly I'm not talking to MYSELF, I am talking to my BUNNY. Obvs. He's really nothing but a cuddlebug. He never makes noises, he doesn't smell, he doesn't need walked. His manners are outstanding if I do say so myself! I tell him all the time that he's God's favorite bunny. Because how can that NOT be true? :)

As the words on the wall in his room (yep) say:

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