Sunday, 1 March 2015

Mango and Vodka

We visited several relatives yesterday. I was rather excited - because that means we get to see Mango and Vodka! Hmm ... it's funny how I'm more eager to see the dogs than their owners. (Just kidding :P) 

Mango seemed very interested in my bag for some reason ... Hey, there's nothing much in there!

A good picture of Mango. It's very hard to capture a still photo of her, as she's always jumping around!

Real dog or plushie? Look at Vodka's fluffy fur! 

Rolling over his back and enjoying scratches and tummy rubs.

Vodka in a playful mode; he's waiting for his toy to be thrown.

Since Vodka's a male dog, he's starting to ... exhibit sexual behaviour. It's hard to imagine given his plush-like cuteness, even though I've witnessed it firsthand with the same cute and innocent bunnies. One second they're adorable beyond reason, the next they (bunnies) would spray urine or hump on you. 

Vodka hasn't been neutered, but he would when he's older. My aunt told me that if dogs aren't neutered or spayed, they would have a higher risk of cancer. It's the same as bunnies then, I thought. 

Why exactly do animals have a higher percentage of getting reproductive-organs-related cancer if they're not sterilised? Is it because they're domesticated and not reproducing? Just wondering ...  as it is an operation after all.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

CNY Travel

Tuesday, 17th February
We were packed and ready to go. Jippie was flopping and grooming himself next to the washing machine.

"Aww, you're a comfy bunny, aren't you?"I said as I scratched his head. "Oh, but I'm so sorry. We need to go away for a few days. C'mon, let's go."

I had already placed a toilet paper roll stuck with hay inside the pet carrier. Jippie noticed the fresh hay and hopped into it himself. I quickly closed the carrier's door.

"Sorry ... I know you like staying at home but we have to visit other hoomins, Juppie-wup,"I said guiltily as I carried up the carrier and walked towards the door.

And so started the 8-hour car trip.

We weren't really worried about Jippie though, he's a rather calm bunny when it comes to travelling. He would sometimes eat hay even when the car was moving!

Jippie eating Kangkong during our rest break.

Saturday, 21st February
My parents bought someone's homegrown Yin Choy from the market. Jippie loved it! He was eager to have more (or if given his way, the whole bunch) and his eyes were switched to "sparkling and cute" mode, which is Jippie's way of hypnotizing hoomins to give him food.

But Jippie, you ate a few strands already! It's not yet noon for more veggies! 

"I don't care. More."

... Alright, just one more.

"Nom nom nom ... This is yummy!"

In the afternoon, the weather got hotter. I didn't know exactly how high a temperature a bunny could tolerate, and there isn't a room thermometer. And even if there was such a thermometer, I can't be depending on that! What if Jippie suffered a heat stroke?!

I couldn't stand it anymore. I can tolerate sweating all over as I can simply take a bath later on. However, rabbits don't sweat. Their means of cooling themselves were too ineffective in this case, hoomins needed to step in.

When one of my relatives switched on the AC in the living room, I immediately placed Jippie in his pet carrier and brought him out. It would be quite a commotion if I took the whole cage; as my relatives weren't quite the fur-and-poop-are-perfectly-fine kind and that would be inconsiderate of me. Besides, Jippie is a small-sized bun so he still has sufficient space.

In the cool, comfortable living room, Jippie started to eat his hay (I attached the ball to the carrier). It was something he didn't do in the afternoon for the past few days; I guess hot days depresses the appetite... 

After munching on hay for a while, Jippie flopped in his pet carrier and started grooming himself. Ohh, he looked like as if he was in paradise! He even dozed off at one point. :)

Aww, I should have did this days ago if I knew he would enjoyed it this much ...

By late afternoon, Jippie finished his huge ball of hay. Compared to the previous days, his behaviour change was indeed incredible.

Conclusion: Bunnies are sensitive to the weather. Hot weathers definitely have an adverse effect on them, whether to the extent of heat stroke or not.

Sunday, 22nd February
I brought Jippie out into the living room again today. What was different today was that I switched on the AC an hour early. It's gonna be like a sauna soon anyway, so ... *evil laugh* 

Monday, 23rd February
Time to go home! :D

During the car trip back, we got stuck in a traffic jam in the evening. It was also raining and the whole car was chilly. My father switched off the AC. I covered Jippie's back with his clothy and placed my hands on his cheeks and head. He shouldn't be cold but a little cuddling up wouldn't be bad either. :)

Finally, we arrived home at 7:00 pm. Once he was back on proper land and in his familiar surroundings, Jippie hopped out of his carrier and sniffed his beloved yellow rug enthusiastically. He then proceeded to his litter box and munched on some hay. 

At about 8:30 pm, when we had settled down, feeling exhausted and drained, Jippie came into the dining room with a sense of urgency. He hurried around the house, chinning the living room's couch, the corner of walls, the piano, the exercise bike ... almost everything! He had a I'm-on-a-mission look on his face. 

Oh, perhaps his scent in the house faded and he was too tired to think of that when he first got home. Silly bun!

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Decoding Bunny Language: The 5 Resting Positions

Bunnies don't nap and sleep for long hours like cats, but they do spend a considerable amount of time resting:

Bunnies adopt different resting positions depending:
  • on their mood
  • how they feel about their surroundings
  • current health. 
Humans can learn to understand what a bunny is feeling from his/her posture. Here are the 5 common ways bunnies relax:

1. The 'side-leg'
  • The side-leg is a very common position chosen. No particular meaning; the bunny is relaxing.

2. The 'patty'
  • The 'patty' is another common resting position. No particular meaning; the bunny is relaxing.

3. The 'egg'
  • A bunny may assume the 'egg' position for several different reasons:
    • he/she is resting and dozing off
    • he/she feels slightly cold (perhaps it's raining and you have tile flooring?)
    • he/she is lethargic due to illness
  • How to differentiate between resting and lethargy due to sickness?
    • If the bunny hops up immediately and is very enthusiastic when his/her food is presented, the bunny was just relaxing. It is unlikely that he/she was in discomfort.

4. The 'super-bunny'
  • The bunny is rather comfortable with his/her surroundings to completely stretch out. 

5. The 'bunny flop'

  • The bunny is contented, happy and feels safe in his/her environment. Often, bunnies tend to fall asleep in this position. When bunnies sleep, their noses stop wiggling so often and they grind their teeth softly.

Additional notes:
  • No matter the position, if the bunny rests at the same spot for hours without moving much (=not getting up to eat hay or grooming at all), it is likely that the bunny is sick. He/she is feeling uncomfortable and unusually tired.
  • The names for the above resting positions can vary from bunny human to bunny human. These are the words I personally use. You are free to make up your own!

First published on 15/02/2015

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Decoding Bunny Language: The 8 Basics

The eight basic and common bunny behaviours you should know:

1. Eating
Dutchie eating Timothy hay
  • Throughout the day, bunnies spend a significant amount of their time munching, chewing and eating. It is important to make Timothy hay available to a bunny at all times. Timothy hay is crucial in maintaining a healthy digestive tract and satisfying the chewing urge.

2. Grooming
Dutchie grooming the fur on his back
  • Bunnies are neat creatures, they groom themselves frequently and it's a daily-must! Therefore, bunnies practically don't need baths. (Additional note: baths can be stressful for a bunny.)

3. Resting
  • Besides eating and grooming, the third most common activity a bunny does is relaxing and simply watching the world go by. 
  • One thing to note here is that, bunnies don't take long naps like cats. A bunny is constantly alert to various sounds and surrounding movements. 

4. Binkying
Jippie binkying!
  • A binky is a high jump accompanied by leg kicks and head flicks. Occasionally, it is preceded or followed by a lightning-speed run. A bunny binkies when he/she is filled with happiness and joy!
  • This is one of the reasons not to keep a bunny in a cage 24/7. Without freedom at all, how could a bunny be happy? Furthermore, a bunny can't binky without space!

5. Standing on hind legs

"Whatcha doin' up there?"
Dutchie checking out my dad, who was pruning his bonsai-like tree.

  • A bunny might stand on his/her hind legs for several reasons:
    • he/she is exploring a new environment, standing gives the bunny a better view of the surroundings. Bunnies are rather curious creatures.
    • he/she wants to eat something (eg: 'Hey, it's my routine treat time!', 'I want to eat something, please?')
    • he/she notices something up above (such as apples on the kitchen counter), and is trying to get a better sniff and/or reach it.

6. Thumping
  • Since bunnies do not bark, meow or produce any loud sounds vocally, they sometimes thump to communicate. 
  • A description of thumping would be: lifting hind feet and stomping down.
  • A bunny might thump for several reasons:
    • he/she is showing displeasure and dissatisfaction (eg: 'Oi, stop reading that book! Pet me now!')
    • he/she is trying to get your attention (eg: 'Hey, it's treat time!')
    • he/she has sensed or heard something odd or potentially dangerous

7. 'Alert' mode
Dutchie feels that the plastic basket is suspicious

  • When a bunny is in Alert Mode, he/she generally would:
    • tip-toe towards the direction of the object or sound that triggered Alert Mode
    • angle ears towards direction of object or sound
    • jump or run away at the slightest new sound or movement
    • thump his/her feet
  • Alert Mode is generally triggered by:
    • a new object the bunny has never seen before (for example, a new potted plant in the living room.)
    • a sound or movement that seemed, to the bunny, odd or dangerous.

8. Chewing and digging
"Ooh, I need to dig this .. and this ... Oh, and THIS..."
Jippie digging our garden's grass and soil.

  • Bunnies love to chew and dig. It's their nature.
  • On chewing:
    • Chewing is an enjoyable activity that relieves stress and wears down a bunny's never-stop-growing teeth. 
    • Provide Timothy hay to a bunny at all times so that he/she would have something to chew on when he/she wants to. Otherwise, there is a high possibility of your wooden furniture or book collection becoming the bunny's chew victim.
  • On digging:
    • Digging is another enjoyable activity. It also (and generally, hopping around on the floor or grass) helps to naturally wear down their nails.

First published on 12/02/2015.