On Wednesday evening my rabbit Lola went off to chase that big carrot in the sky. So this week, instead of blathering on about writing, I’m spending a bit of time sharing some Lola highlights.
I got Lola as a birthday present to myself back in 2007. She was about two years old at the time and had been a 4-H bunny who went by the name of Ruby (she even had a tattoo in her ear to prove it). Although stuck outside in a cage most of her life, Lola settled in quite readily to life as a house bunny. She was one feisty girl who wasn’t shy about jumping on the bed, chasing the cats out of “her” room, and attacking the vacuum cleaner when it invaded her territory.
One of Lola’s funniest antics occurred one day soon after my husband’s birthday. His work had thrown him a party and one of the decorations was an inflatable monkey. We put the thing next to a chair and there Mr. Monkey sat for a day or two. Until Lola decided to do some exploring. Now, keep in mind Mr. Monkey was about three times the size of Lola. She didn’t care. She grabbed hold of him, claimed him as her man, and ran off down the hall with him to take Mr. Monkey to her room. Unfortunately, Mr. Monkey’s skin wasn’t tough enough to withstand Lola’s teeth and, after she tossed him around for about ten minutes, the relationship was over.
Although she enjoyed running up and down the hall, Lola’s love for nibbles outpaced her caloric expenditure and she got a bit portly. Okay, she was getting to be the size of a basketball. I tried to play with her more, make her work for food, but no weight was coming off her fat bunny butt. I thought, “Hmmm, maybe if she had another rabbit to play with, she’d lose some weight.” So, off to the Humane Society to find her a friend.
Which is how we got Hitch (formerly known as Scotty and several other names…he had trouble finding a permanent home). Lola met Hitch at the Humane Society and they got on well so I figured it was a match made in heaven. Then, I got Hitch home. Even on the neutral ground of the kitchen, Lola hated Hitch and Hitch hated Lola. And I don’t mean they ignored each other. No. There was blood. I had no idea what to do, but I wasn’t going to give up…and hey, at least the fighting meant Lola was burning some calories.
I gave them more space to let them approach each other on their own terms. Eventually, they got to the point where they ignored each other. Not exactly what I was after, but it was a start. Then, one day, they sniffed each other without baring their teeth. Finally came the day when they started grooming each other. Success!!
The two became inseparable and Lola finally lost her weight…although somehow Hitch ended up a bit tubby. But now Hitch is a bachelor bunny and is no longer having to share his banana pieces. He’s acting tough, not shedding a tear, but I’m sure he’s just hiding his feelings and deep down, like me, he misses his black bunny.
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TAMMIE PAINTER IS THE AUTHOR OF THE TRIALS OF HERCULES: BOOK ONE OF THE OSTERIA CHRONICLES AND AN ARTIST WHO DEDICATES HERSELF TO THE TEDIUM OF CREATING IMAGES WITH COLORED PENCILS.