Saturday, September 4, 2010

Bunny Bar Mitzvah

Walter’s reluctant co-owner is my boyfriend, Paul, with whom Walter and I both live. Despite Paul’s hesitation to fully embrace rabbit-ownership, he still refers to himself as Walter’s “dad.” And, like any split-religion family, claims half-ownership of Walter’s religious orientation. My boyfriend is a self-proclaimed “quasi-Jew,” which means that he’s not religious by any means, but was raised amongst the Jewish culture. This means that Walter is half-Jewish. I mean, he does eat Kosher, after all.

In Judaism, a celebration is thrown in honor of a person’s thirteenth birthday. For males, this is called a bar mitzvah and, according to tradition, is the moment when a boy officially becomes a man. In the rabbit world, from all I’ve read, this moment can be equated to the day a rabbit reaches its seventh month of life.

Today is Walter’s bar mitzvah. He turned seven months old today and earns the title of “rabbit” instead of “bunny,” though I told him he’d always be a bunny to me. In celebration of this occasion, I bought Walter two new toys: a willow ball and a timothy lounger:

The ball was intended to entertain him by rolling on the floor and making fun noises. Instead, he’s already chewed it apart and made a giant mess of willow sticks on our carpet. Alternatively, the timothy lounger was meant for being chewed, and Walter cautiously puts his front legs in the lounger while taking a few chomps, but is a little tentative about committing to full-on lounging inside the toy. At any rate, I consider a toy to be successful for Walter if he plays with it for three consecutive days. He has some serious toy-related ADD.

Part of me feels like something magical should happen when a bunny reaches his bar mitzvah: he miraculously stops chewing wires, digging our hardwood floor, and going to the bathroom on the couch. But as I type this, I’m watching him hop around the apartment, eyeing the baseboards for an afternoon snack. I just heard him scratching the floors underneath the couch. I guess it takes more than a bar mitzvah to make a perfectly-behaved rabbit.

Happy seven-month birthday, Walter. And, of course, Mazel Tov.

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