Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Calypso Spots is Five

It has occurred to me that, right around now (maybe a month or so ago, but in the spring, certainly), Calypso Spots has attained the age of five.
Now, I would unquestionably like to celebrate this birthday on any account, but especially as a pre-Easter announcement about rabbits.
Calypso Spots made it very clear early on that she is nobody's Easter Bunny. She did this by immediately getting sick on Easter when I made an untoward remark on the subject. I had to take her to the emergency vet, where she had her first set of X-rays, and she didn't recover her health and spirits for several days. When she did, I might note that she expressed her joy by being even more affectionate and cuddly than usual.
The estimable Ms. Spots did not come into my home as an Easter Bunny, but as a teenager. Penelope had recently succumbed to a thymoma, and George and I were feeling very glum and miserable, especially as we had moved into an apartment without air-conditioning. I didn't think I was ready to get another rabbit yet, but I suddenly had the feeling I should find the local humane society and take a look. I did so, and spent an afternoon acquainting myself with the four available rabbits. Two of them seemed like possibilities, so I brought George along the next day. George was in the kind of mood where only petting and carrots were of interest to him, so he sat in his carrier munching. The little spotted character came bouncing right in (fortunately, male rabbits aren't as territorial as females) and sniffed the carrier with great interest. After exploring the room a bit, she also sniffed George quite a bit.
The upshot was (I am shortening this tale considerably since a good many people have heard it in full detail and many others are doubtless not interested) Ms. Spots came home with us.

Within a day or so, she was taking naps with George, a gleam of triumph in her youthful eye. George still looked sad, but he was clearly pleased to have her around.

It had been awhile since I had had a young rabbit, and Ms. Spots quickly got into lots of mischief. One of her favorite tricks involved pulling open this closet door (which didn't shut properly) so that she could go inside and chew on various items therein. For example, it wasn't until I unpacked and put on the dress I was wearing to my uncle's funeral that I discovered it had been shredded around the hem. I believe we were able to safety-pin it together at the last minute.

Jumping on the chair was never forbidden, but Calypso Spots was always gleeful about sitting there. She didn't go up there very often, which I suppose allowed the exercise to remain really special. I hear she has only jumped onto the parental furniture once or twice.

Jumping onto the table, however, was much more exciting. Her excellent intuition told her that sitting on the table was not really permitted, but the thrill of jumping onto a chair and from thence onto the table (where flowers, candles, books, and papers could be nibbled) had to be experienced. Quite a few times. In fact, pretty much any time something provided a means of jumping onto the table. Whether she has lost interest in this sort of pursuit or simply realizes that my parents will have an undesirable reaction, I'm not sure. I'm afraid my reaction was always to snicker and go get the camera.

Her tastes are wide. She does not like one to make macaroni and cheese or Indian food without giving her the leftovers. Gingerbread from Whole Foods will be bitten into before it can be removed from the grocery sack. Chocolates, cookies, and Reese's Peanut Butter cups will rapidly be stolen and devoured. She adores yogurt and baby food. And she has trained my parents to feed her crackers in the evening.
I don't claim that all of these things are actually good for rabbits. On the other hand, she is particularly fond of timothy hay, which her vet recommends as a dietary staple. She gets fruits, vegetables, and the other things in limited doses, although she did try to get Kristen to give her an entire container of yogurt a few years ago. Yogurt is good for rabbit digestion (particularly important when a rabbit is on antibiotics), but we think there should be some limit to how much is eaten at one time. Ms. Spots disagrees.

The Spotted Character felt that my bedroom ought to be hers as well. Since my bedroom door didn't close fully, she had to be barricaded out. Most mornings she took up the role of spotted alarm clock and called for my attention at the door. Frequently she jumped over the barricade and either leaped onto the bed (where I naturally petted her) or began getting into mischief on the floor. Since I like having rabbits on my bed, perhaps we can work something out when I return, something that will involve keeping papers and such out of her way. Then again, now that she is five, she is not so chewy as when she was two or three.

Ms. Spots is exceptionally fond of her nap.

She prefers to nap (or invite petting) in her full Flopsy-Bunny mode.

Calypso Spots also believes in investigating new household items, such as quilts in progress.

Despite the fact that George was not very mobile when we got Ms. Spots, she found him quite enchanting. She remained intensely attached to him for the rest of his life, but I gather was better able to accept his death than the rest of us. She is now exceptionally happy with Orion.

The moral of this story is that rabbits are not disposable Easter Bunnies. They are intelligent and highly social creatures, can be splendid companions, tend to get into mischief during the first few years, and are adoptable year-round from the House Rabbit Society and most shelters. Calypso Spots and Orion are two of the luckier rabbits on the planet, and they know it. Perhaps some of my readers can give another lucky rabbit or two a good home. If so, spend some time with several rabbits, pick out the right one, and make sure he or she gets neutered or spayed. And have some of those chocolate rabbits for Easter.



Anonymous Swobodin said...

Pictures make me hungry }:-)
Ups! sorry, could not retain myself. Ok, I will keep away from your pets :-(

March 28, 2007 10:55 PM  
Anonymous Amy said...

I really enjoyed the photos! A very timely post; it's unbelievable that the horrible Easter rabbit tradition could still exist.
I never knew rabbits were so cool until meeting you. The facts about her adventurous palate are really interesting. I think she outdoes most dogs we've had when it comes to her broad tastes.
It's good to hear that Orion and she are getting along so well. Happy birthday to Ms. Spots!!!

March 29, 2007 12:41 AM  
Blogger Rabbit Girl said...

Those are some nice pictures of a very self-possessed rabbit! Calypso Spots is very photogenic young lady. Are the litter boxes actually located in the fireplace?

Happy Birthday Ms. Spots

March 29, 2007 5:59 AM  
Blogger Kristen said...

Happy Birthday, Ms. Spots!

March 30, 2007 2:31 AM  
Blogger Princess Haiku said...

Now, that is one fine rabbit. Enjoyed bunny's photoblog. :) I found you via Japonisme.

March 31, 2007 4:51 AM  
Blogger P'tit-Loup said...

They are so beautiful and seem very content!

April 01, 2007 8:39 PM  
Blogger Karla said...

Calypso Spots graciously accepts all birthday and other good wishes. (She will bite anyone who finds her gastronomically stimulating.)

The litter boxes are indeed in the fireplace.

April 03, 2007 12:13 AM  

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