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19 January 2010 @ 09:27 am
Rabbit!  
I don't know why people keep rabbits as pets, seems all they do is escape - back in the summer we had our neighbours-across-the-back-fence's rabbit get into our garden several days in a row, spent ages (with them) trying to get the blasted thing out from under the shed & back into their garden. They got rid of it, tho - bumped into her in the street & she said they'd got guinea pigs instead coz they don't jump over the edges of the pen! So we thought our rabbit chasing was over.

But no! Looked out the window as I was serving up Sunday lunch and there was a large, stupid looking, grey & white rabbit. Argh! We decided to eat lunch then worry about it, and it had vanished by the time we went to look afterwards. So I just posted something going 'grr argh' on identica/twitter/facebook & then we went out to the cinema & forgot about it.

And so I was annoyed to glance out the window yesterday morning to see the blasted thing bounce off the bins a few times and dance around outside the back door :/ It even tried to investigate the catflap! So I shut that, went out and got the cat (who was starting to look very very interested) and locked him in. I don't, to be honest, think the cat realised this was ambulatory food, but I didn't really want to take the chance on having to tell someone their pet had been eaten by mine ;) And started trying to work out whose rabbit it was - no signs of hutches in any of the gardens we could see, except the family I was sure had got guinea pigs now.

There had been a note up in the co-op about a missing rabbit, but it wasn't the right description from what I remembered & anyway when I walked up there it had gone, so I couldn't even double check it. Neither of our neighbours was answering the door (tho the small kidlet in the house we're joined onto was screaming up a storm at one point - weird). In desperation I went round to Back Hamlet to the people with the guinea pigs & she confirmed they didn't have a rabbit (and never would again! ;) ), but she suggested I put it in our cat carrier which I hadn't thought of.

So I was gonna do that & then ring the vet & see what I could do about it. This whole wandering around fretting had taken over an hour, and during the whole time the rabbit sat there in the back garden. Gently ambling around, cleaning its feet, eating the grass, just chilling out. Even when I went out to check on it, it'd just look at me & go back to its own business. So I figured it might be quite easy to catch ... went, got the cat box, came back out ... rabbit takes one look at the box and legs it into one of the back corners of the garden behind a big bush and vanishes!

And I've seen no sign of it since. I'm hoping it went back where it came from. I'm really hoping it didn't die of hypothermia behind the rosemary, as that'll be unpleasant later!
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Fortune depends on the tone of your voicebopeepsheep on January 19th, 2010 09:35 am (UTC)
Rabbits won't die of hypothermia unless you've two feet of snow on the ground and no evergreens around. And unless it's a very small and timid rabbit, I'd be surprised if your cat could eat it. :D Rabbits can give as good as they get, to most cats' surprise.

We had rabbits throughout my childhood (the last one died when I was 18) but none of them had a pen they could jump over. I have no idea what those people are thinking. Rabbit runs, if not attached to hutches, should be enclosed (chicken wire) with locking doors. This, admittedly, did not stop our last rabbit from figuring out how to undo the locking door on his hutch and get out to run round our garden and torture my mum, but we had a walled garden by that stage so he wasn't bothering the neighbours.
Margaretpling on January 19th, 2010 10:22 am (UTC)
Good to know we're unlikely to have a rotting rabbit corpse around ;)

The hutch/pen/thing in our neighbours' garden was fairly inadequate I think, but it did have to push the roof around to get out (jump up onto something, shove the roof off, jump over and off it went!), so I think they'd thought weighting that down would work ... it didn't. And then fences are too easy to dig one's way under as a rabbit ;)
Fortune depends on the tone of your voicebopeepsheep on January 19th, 2010 10:35 am (UTC)
Ah, the kind with a loose/removable roof. Never liked those. The side-opening kind look at first like they'd be easier to escape but providing the lock mechanism's good they're much harder for the average rabbit to suss out.

RABBITS IZ SMRT. Well, smarter than they look, at least. :D
Margaretpling on January 19th, 2010 10:49 am (UTC)
It's probably as well for the species that they're smarter than they look, most rabbits seem to look pretty stupid to me ;)
John: thoughtfuljarel on January 19th, 2010 11:09 am (UTC)
The cats around where I grew up seemed to regularly dine on rabbits - though admittedly these were wild rabbits, which may be different (they're certainly smaller than this one).

Mind you the cats were wilder too ;)
Fortune depends on the tone of your voicebopeepsheep on January 19th, 2010 09:54 pm (UTC)
Yea'm, ol' woild rabbuts be small buggers.

Farm cat and wild bunny - between fair fight and carnage. House cat and domestic bunny - between fair fight and bunny walkover. :)
Jonbigme on January 19th, 2010 09:45 pm (UTC)
seconded. I had one that chased the neighbour's cat out of the garden.
Fortune depends on the tone of your voicebopeepsheep on January 19th, 2010 09:52 pm (UTC)
One of mine (the last one, mentioned above) had a fabulous relationship with the neighbourhood cats. He guarded a litter of kittens (born in an inaccessible space formed by the corners of his hutch and the garage, and the garden fence) as if they were his own - scared off other cats by growling, poked bits of vegetable through the wire at them when they mewed, only ever stopped sitting guard when their mother returned from hunting. When any other cat appeared in the garden when he was out of the hutch/run, however, he boxed their ears/nose and sent them flying. One cat, later, took to poking at him through the chicken wire of his run, so he put up with it for a week or so, always getting a bit closer to the cat as he was poked at. The last day, he bit the cat's paw. It never came back for him. :)