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Bunny Love

By Audrey Pavia, Urban Farm Contributor

Monday, June 6, 2011

Rex rabbit

Photo by Audrey Pavia

After years of living with me, my Rex doe Prudence finally showed me her love.

It’s wonderful being surrounded by so many animals all the time, but let’s face it: It can be hard to spend enough time with all of them when you are busy working and doing chores just to take care of them. My animals have learned that if they want my attention, they have to ask for it.

But today, when I was sitting at my desk working, I found myself with an empty lap. The cats were off sleeping somewhere, Nigel was off with Randy, and I had no fur to stroke as I searched the Internet. So I decided to grab one of the two bunnies I share an office with.

I started with Smokey, who is much more comfortable being held than Prudence. Smokey relaxes when you pick him up and seems to actually enjoying cuddling. So, I put him in my lap and petted him gently as I went back to work.

But it was only a matter of time before Smokey started to act up. He likes to be held, but he also likes to run around and chew on the cords under my desk. He started “digging” in my lap and, when that didn’t get the desired reaction (he wanted me to put him down), he nipped me.

Back in his pen he went. After putting him down, I started to walk back to my desk feeling forlorn. That’s when it occurred to me to try Prudence. She hates being held, but I thought I might get her to relax if I just let her sit in my lap.

Prudence was incredibly tense when I lifted her up. She relaxed a little bit when I sat down, and then buried her face into the crook of my arm. Her eyes were huge, so I knew she wasn’t completely comfortable. But I decided to hold onto her anyway, for my own selfish reasons. I absentmindedly stroked her ears, scratched her gently on the back of her neck and smoothed my hand over her face.

I was completely absorbed in my work when I suddenly felt Prudence stretch out on my lap. Her back legs went out behind her and her front legs draped over my thigh. I looked down at her to see that her eyes were half-closed. I couldn’t believe it; she was completely relaxed.

And then it happened: I felt her soft little tongue lick my arm.

I remembered back when I was researching my book Rabbits for Dummies and read somewhere that the ultimate sign of love from a rabbit is a kiss. I had never been kissed by a rabbit before; it was something I had only dreamed of. But here I was, holding my 8-year-old Rex doe, and she was kissing me.

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Wow, I envy you! We never had a rabbit long enough to be trusted by it. Besides, the young ones seems to be mishandling them, like squeezing them. Although, the kids says they just want to hug the bunnies. They do feel huggable.
Dante, Hyde Park, MA
Posted: 4/15/2014 8:39:15 AM
Audrey, it does make the heart soar when pets show their affection. Doesn't it? I had two pet rabbits for many years for the kids. I don't know that they had any kind of pedigree but they were really big. There names were Amos and Andy. We finally gave them away when we moved to a different house. They generated a lot of fertilizer for the garden that I had. I don't know that they ever got relaxed when being touched by a human.

Our cat Casey Mae had an eventful encounter with Andy. She decided to check out the cage one day while I was cleaning it. It so happened that Andy was in the cage. The next thing I knew Casey was flying through the air as Andy had taken his back legs and booted her out of the cage. Casey was definitely a curious cat and it got her into many comical situations.

All the pets over the years have indeed generated some great memories.
David, Omaha, NE
Posted: 6/15/2011 6:27:10 AM
love this post! i've had 2 pet bunnies in my life, both grumpy buns (as many are), and it took years with both of them before i was able to "win them over". it's such an endearing moment when they finally approve of the love!
Angela, St. Louis, MO
Posted: 6/9/2011 9:05:42 AM

About the Blogger

Audrey Pavia
Keeping farm animals in the city can be a real hoot. Follow freelance writer Audrey Pavia's adventures in Southern California with a yard full of urban livestock, including horses, chickens, a Corgi and an urban barn cat. She somehow manages all these silly critters while working full-time, with no one to help her but her husband, Randy, a born-and-raised New Yorker. And you thought "The Simple Life" was out there?

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