Sunday, August 26, 2007

A Rabbit Named Lucy

The little lady at left is Lucy. Lucy has been an important part of my life since early 2001.

She's accompanied me from California to Las Vegas and finally to Texas, and has never failed to be an amusing companion every step of the way.

She is curious, playful, amiable, and a very gentle little soul.

Rabbits make fantastic pets if they are neutered or spayed; I like to say they're like cats that don't go "meow" all the time. Like cats, they are very clean, don't smell, and can be trained to use a litter box (it's natural behavior for them, since they reserve a corner of their warrens as a communal bathroom).

Rabbits have some fascinating behaviors. One is how they love to be rubbed on their heads, and Lucy insists that I do that to her. She will hop up to me, stick her head forward (called "presenting" the head), and grunt at me until I gently rub her head some (she prefers the area between her eyes!). Another behavior is how they will rub you with the undersides of their chins. They have glands under their chins which secrete a smell they can detect, and do so to mark their territory. When Lucy rubs her chin on my foot or hand, she is saying, in effect, "you belong to me!". And Lucy will also lick my hand, much like a dog.

Lucy can make herself comfortable almost anywhere----at left, you can see her resting atop my Drake R8B shortwave radio. She also likes to rest on my chest, extend her head forward, and have me rub it.

There is something very relaxing about rabbits. Their fur is so soft and their manner is gentle; it's impossible to be angry or upset when you're holding a rabbit. Lucy has been a big comfort during my cancer treatments, and I'm thankful she's a part of my life.