Contemplating the rabbit


Sudden imaginary rains come pouring down before my eyes. I can hear my bunny pattering around the room, his little feet thumping  rhythms, now fast, now slow, as he hops and sprints alternately.

Bunnies change direction constantly. They twist first one way and then another in a complex, slightly arbitrary pattern meant to throw off predators. Though sometimes the twisting freedom simply expresses a bunny joy of movement, a happiness that comes from being a free-range bunny going about its own special business.

In its more quiet, contemplative moments the bunny sniffs at things, rubbing its chin against things to “own” it, or grooms itself by systematically licking itself – paws, back, chest, haunches. Not quite as flexible as a cat, there are some parts they miss. But generally rabbits are clean creatures, and there’s nothing cuter than a bunny washing its face and ears. They let down their ears and use both paws to “comb” them, licking them with their tiny pink tongues, looking like little maidens brushing their hair in the evening.

I am absolutely besotted with my bunny. I eat faster at lunch break so I can spend an hour with him at home, letting him run free around the house, scattering his little pellets.

Sometimes I scoop him up and place him on my chest, lying down so he has firm footing, and stroking his little head and ears while he clicks his teeth approvingly.

There is so much joy to be had in having a bunny. They are independent minded creatures, never aiming to monopolize your time, and sometimes contemptuous of your attempts to snuggle.

Momo is active, curious and insatiably hungry. He wanders the house in search for my stashes of bunny food, and it is only because he hasn’t discovered how to open drawers that I don’t have bunny food spilling everywhere.

As he gets older – he is only a few weeks old at present – he grows larger, stronger and sleeker. The short nose and “chibi” face of babyhood is giving way to an elegant, aquiline nose, more streamlined body and powerful hind legs.

It is an incredible joy to watch a bunny bound from one end of the bed to another in a single leap, sometimes twisting in the air in a binky. It speaks of strength, power in propulsion and pure joy.

I do not generally allow animals on my bed, or to nibble on my lower lip, but bunnies are my soft spot, and I allow Momo to do both. As he has gotten older he has come to understand that peeing on the bed is not okay (at least that’s what I hope he’s learned), and neither is attacking his human.

Somehow one’s threshold of disgust is lowered when it comes to a creature one loves. What I would have found revolting – animals on the bed or animal saliva – just seems a natural extension of the furry bundle that I love and accept. Perhaps I see my bunny as an extension of myself. Love is a mysterious thing indeed.

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