The Anarchist’s Rabbit

12 Apr

We decided to get Broccles a rabbit for his birthday. Being a rabbit himself, he’s a sociable beast, and we felt he could do with a companion to snuggle up with. The cats do not consider him snuggling material, owing to his tendency to enthusiastically mount them.

We trawled the rescue websites, and Bunty fell completely in love with this startling-looking thing, which he remarked was the prettiest rabbit he had ever seen.

“Dorita”. (Photo by fairlybelovedrabbitcare.org)

However, the decision wasn’t Bunty’s to make. I called Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care and asked the administrator, Bunny Green, if we could arrange to take Broccles over to choose himself a companion.

“Well – you see,” said Bunny, “we don’t have a rescue centre. All our rabbits are at foster homes.”

This struck me as a wonderfully civilized way to rescue animals – to place every single one into a caring home straight away. This foster network stretches across Scotland and currently cares for around 70 rabbits seeking Forever Homes. The logistics must be a gargantuan challenge.

Obviously, this meant that Broccles couldn’t choose his own rabbit. Bunny suggested we select a couple of rabbits from the website, and these would be brought to our home to see what Broccles made of them. Bunty and I reviewed ones that might be compatible with Broccles, till we had a shortlist of 4 – including the whacky-looking one. You see what’s coming. The only one ready for immediate rehoming was her. Bunty was over the moon.

Bunny Green brought her round on Wednesday. “Dorita” looked very small and afraid in the carrying case. She had been rescued along with 16 other rabbits from a place in Aberdeen. (Details here: http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/showthread.php?353441-Rabbit-rescue-in-Aberdeen )

Bunny recommended that we put the rabbits together in a cage or small enclosure, so that the confines would mean they would have to get along. I suggested the front porch, as then we could sit with them and separate them if they got too fighty.

Bonding the rabbits. This lady changed her name to Bunny to raise money for Fairly Beloved’s fostering system.

Bonding the rabbits. This lady changed her name to Bunny to raise money for Fairly Beloved’s fostering system.

They didn’t get fighty at all. They veered away from each other, and Broccles, who is initially shy of all strangers, attempted to tunnel through me. After a few minutes, his ebullient nature resurfaced and he greeted Dorita. She nuzzled him back. They ate a cabbage leaf together, and all was well.

Half-blind date

We signed the adoption form, paid a donation, and the superlative Bunny Green made her goodbyes, leaving us alone with our house full of animals. Broccles immediately decided to consummate his new friendship, and mounted Dorita’s head. Twice.

Dorita took extreme umbrage and they had a big scuffle, then stared at each other in a sort of Mexican stand-off. Dorita grunted at Broccles, and stamped her foot in the International Rabbit Sign Language for “sod off”. Broccles considered this for several long moments, then stamped and grunted back. As though unsure what to do next, they carried on like this for about twenty minutes.

“Oink.” Thump.

“Oink.” Thump.

“Oink.” Thump.

Thump.

“Oink.”

Bunty suggested releasing them from the porch. I said we were supposed to keep them together in the small place until they had properly bonded. Bunty had been working his way through a cheerful bottle of Viogner, and he replied, “I am an anarchist. I don’t play by the rules.”

I opened the door-gate. Dorita immediately explored the whole house, and established the bedroom as her kingdom. Once she was out of sight, Broccles went back to his usual routine as though she had never appeared. At 4 a.m., he flolloped into the bedroom, as usual, to snooze on the carpet near me. In the shadows under the bed, he came face-to-face with the rabbit equivalent of Gene Simmons.

Gene Simmons

Gene Simmons

I was woken by wild under-bed scuffling that progressed to the living room. I got up to mediate. I found little Dorita standing haughtily in the middle of the floor, with Broccles backed against a book case, fluff sticking out all over his blind side. I sat and stroked them until they were calm and sleepy. Dorita returned to the bedroom and I went back to bed.

Broccles has now realised that having his blind side towards someone doesn’t make them physically disappear. His irrepressible friendliness and her irrepressible curiosity means neither can ignore the other for long, and early the second morning I was again woken by their skirmishes. I stroked them again, and they moved their faces very close together. Dorita began grooming Broccles, starting with a thorough gentle cleaning of his missing eye region, and moving to his cheek, his forehead, and the insides of his ears. He melted into the floor, looking blissed-out. Then she oinked and chased him around the room. I think she will make his life very interesting.

14 Responses to “The Anarchist’s Rabbit”

  1. El April 12, 2013 at 4:47 pm #

    As long as she doesn’t spit blood and breathe fire at him, I’m sure they’ll get along.

    • Snailquake April 12, 2013 at 4:53 pm #

      He’s friendly enough that that might not matter.

  2. Brianda Domecq April 12, 2013 at 5:47 pm #

    I am soooooo happy for Broccles!!!! b

  3. barb19 April 12, 2013 at 11:34 pm #

    After a rocky start to their relationship, it looks like they are going to get along! Yaaay!

    • Snailquake April 12, 2013 at 11:51 pm #

      Tonight they’re lying snuggled up together. :)

  4. Bunny Green April 13, 2013 at 7:58 am #

    I really enjoyed reading this, it was lovely to meet Broccles, his Humum and Dad and of course the kitties and guinea pigs. What a wonderful home. Being part of the rescue, all we want is to ensure our rabbits get the best forever homes, and Dorita certainly landed on all 4 paws here. I wish Dorita and her lovely husbun Broccles a very long and happy life together. Bunny, FBRC

    • Snailquake April 13, 2013 at 10:24 am #

      Thank you for popping by my blog, Bunny! We’re really delighted with Dorita. We can’t understand why someone didn’t snap her up the moment she appeared on the Fairly Beloved website, but there’s no accounting for taste – and we’re glad they didn’t. She and Broccles are friends already.

  5. Wazeau April 14, 2013 at 12:04 am #

    She looks like some sort of shetland pony/bunny mutant – but cute! Love the post :)

    • Snailquake April 14, 2013 at 1:03 pm #

      I think there may be some Yorkshire terrier in there too.

  6. Murfomurf April 15, 2013 at 4:29 am #

    Wow! You’ve acquired a new bunny at the same time we’ve acquired new kittehs! Your bun looks like Wazeau says- plus some Norwegian Forest cat! A totally bizarre mix, whatever! I hope all the animiles stay in good health now as ongoing maintenance must be taking a fair bit of the household food budget. Our babies (2 x black, about 5 weeks old) we rescued from a stormwater drain where they were living alone several streets away from us. One of them is still rather feral, but we’ll have her tamed pretty soon. More on my blog later!

    • Snailquake April 16, 2013 at 2:25 pm #

      I look forward to reading it. Well done for the rescue!

  7. christinasr April 16, 2013 at 9:23 am #

    Oh I love this! So happy that Broccles got a companion! Yay :-) And I can’t wait to read more about Dorita! She’s the weirdest, yet cutest, looking thing!

    • Snailquake April 16, 2013 at 2:26 pm #

      All agreement here on the weird-but-cute!

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