It took two weeks of caring for my wee baby bunny, Frankie, to realize a couple of things:
1. I am a rabbit person.
I love dogs. I tolerate cats (allergic to most, with the exception of Maine Coon Cats). I am obviously not a cat person (before anyone gets all knotty in the britches, I like cats if they belong to other people. I just don’t want felines of my own.) I am surprised to find out that maybe I am not a dog person either. I am a rabbit person.
2. Baby rabbits have boundless energy. I do not.
3. Having only my one kid (the human one) has been gnawing at me forever and as I have been closing in on forty it has been gnawing less idlly and more with the ferocity of a beaver on a dam mission or a wood chipper on a past it’s prime Christmas tree.
4. No. 2 has helped emmensely in coming to reasonable terms with No. 3.
Still, No. 2 kept needling at me kind of in the way Frankie’s tiny baby bunny talons do as he climbs all over me like I’m the strategy board for his future takeover of everything that is and will be.
I read up, like the diligent autodidact I am and came to realize that the guinea pigs were a gateway pet and now, to preserve sanity (mine) and improve the life of my newest little one, I would have to find a suitable, Lagomorph life partner for Frank. Also, playtime with the piggies wasn’t cutting it (though it was adorable as there was a definite kinship and the piggies followed him around with the glee of toddlers after an older sibling, complete with adorable waddling and urinating during play) and as Frankie started physically eclipsing Oliver and Dave, the safety of the pigs was becoming a concern (guinea pigs are extra delicate when challenged by the strong hind quarters and boisterous boinging of a bunny).
There were many considerations. Most of them had much to do with avoiding the conception of a billion baby bunnies in my condo. As I was planning on having Frank, and any additional rabbits, neutered/spayed, I decided another boy bunny would be the best partner for him, unless I could find a snipped cougar bunny and fast as he needed bunny companionship to help meet his energy.
And then this showed up on Craigslist:
There was a note on the listing saying that the last rabbits would have to be sold by 5pm or those baby bunnies would be heading for “Freezer Camp”. The picture is of the blue Silver Fox buck/boy. He was the same age as Frank. FREEZER CAMP.
I knew I was in trouble. I knew I, even though I am not a vegetarian, would not be able to withstand the burden of knowing this particular creature was killed because I didn’t take action. (Don’t fret, herbivore friends, I battle with my own hypocritical thoughts and behaviors each and every time I slip on my shoes or raise a physician prescribed nibble of flesh to my lips. I do.)
I talked to my kid about it and read him the craigslist ad.
“We need to go get that bunny, Mama.”
So we did.
We put Frank in his hamper, hopped in the car, and drove up to Port Charlotte to meet Otis.
That’s when we learned that Frank is a really tiny, possibly dwarf, rabbit.
Otis is a meat rabbit. READ: very large. Frank: 1.5lb Otis: over 8lbs. (Frank has since grown quite a bit but is clearly the racing model to Otis’ utility/tank/steamroller body type).
Here’s Otis, at home, the first week.
There is more to the whole Otis tale, but it just dawned on me that I have gone completely non-linear. I think I failed to post anything about how I went to go get hay for the Guinea Pigs and there were baby bunnies and I put my hand in their enclosure and this little black and white bunny, who looked kind of like a Boston Terrier and a bit like a French Bulldog with bigger ears, immediately started licking my hand. I asked to hold him. I did. And an hour later Frankie was settling into life at home and I was frantically reading everything about rabbits.
Here’s baby Frank:
And fast forward a couple of months…
Before you are pummeled by the irresistible cute of a baby bunny, please please please do your research to prepare for their needs. They are a joy and require very specific and constant, involved care. One fantastic resource is the House Rabbit Society.