Thousands of books have been written about dogs and cats but how many were inspired by pet rabbits? As far as I know, not many were. Because of this shortage of bunny stories, I wrote When A Man Loves a Rabbit )Learning and Living With Bunnies).
Gideon, pictured here hurling socks between his legs, was the first rabbit that I adopted after I heard about keeping bunnies in the house like a cat or dog. He certainly lived up to his name. Like a fur-clad Dennis the Menace, he got into everything he could find.
As the years passed, I learned so much about Gideon’s kind. One of these facts is that bunnies can be litter trained. They have a natural instinct that forbids them from fowling their warrens. Rabbits also like to eat as they do their business. Placing hay in one end of the litter encouraged Gideon to use the plastic, rectangular pan that I bought from a pet store.
Rabbits are quite affectionate as well. Gideon loved to lick my hair when I had it cut short. He also loved to be petted. When he felt exceptionally happy, he made a sort of tooth-grinding noise to show his delight. As I searched for freelance work with my computer on the Internet, Gideon often kept me company. I’d often look down to see him loafing next to my desk or underneath it.
Gideon also loved to run what my rabbit-loving friends called the Bunny 500. As I worked on the computer in the mornings, he ran back and forth in the hallway. I could tell that he was having a ball because he didn’t look frightened. Sometimes he would jump up in the air and turn around, landing facing the opposite direction. We bunny folks called that a binky. His playfulness always cheered me up.
My fur-clad lad also loved to hurl rolled-up socks between his legs. I would often pile old socks under the desk in my bedroom and Gideon dug them out. Then he’d spread his front paws apart and push the pile away from the desk. This game helped him get his urge to dig out of his system. He also enjoyed shredding newspaper and chewing up cardboard boxes.
Inevitably, Gideon developed cataracts and a prolapsed rectum. The time came when I had to make the painful choice to euthanize my beloved fur sir. February 16th was a sad day for me. I loved Gideon so much and knowing that he was in pain broke my heart. The church friend who took me to the vet’s also buried my fur sir’s body in her yard next to her dog who also had passed away recently.
When a Man Loves a Rabbit is available at the Bruce Atchison’s books page, along with my Deliverance from Jericho memoir. My most recent book, How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity, is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm.