Monday, February 28, 2011

Weekend Update

Walter had quite a weekend! There were guests at my apartment all weekend long, and I’m not sure Walter knew what to make of it. On Friday evening, my friend Stephanie was in town. I didn’t get home from work until just before Stephanie arrived, so I had barely two minutes to spend paying attention to the rabbit.  Steph and I went out for the night, leaving Walter to run free around the apartment. By the time we got home in the early hours of Saturday, my stubborn rabbit was not pleased to be sent straight into his cage without so much as a forehead scratch.

On Saturday morning, Stephanie left and I frantically ran around the apartment, cleaning up as much as I possibly could before my mother arrived. (To my mother, who is likely to be reading this: I’m sorry it was not very clean.) Walter, as I mentioned in an earlier post, usually loves chore day.  But this day, he was still holding a grudge from being snubbed the night before.  He spent most of the day sulking in his box fort until my mom arrived.

Now, Walter is not usually quick to approach strangers.  He keeps an eye on them from his box fort (or, formerly, under the couch) until much time has passed and feels like it’s safe to show himself.  For some reason, this was not the case with my mom.  As soon as she got there, he greeted her with curiosity and pleas for pets.  He started following her around the house. He even showed off some of his funnier hops and running moves!

Still, sadly for the bunny, we had places to go and people to see, so we didn’t have much time to spend on playtime.  Leaving Walter to his own devices, we set out for dinner and some local theater, and didn’t come back for several hours.  When we got home, it was clear that Walter needed some attention.  While my mom set to inflating the air mattress, I spent a handful of minutes scratching Walter’s forehead and rubbing his cheeks.  He seemed pretty content.  Even more so, he seemed really curious about the air mattress.

And that’s when I got the brilliant idea to let Walter stay out of the cage all night long.  I figured I would sleep on the air mattress, and if Walter still needed some cuddle time, he could hang out with me while I was sleeping.  But, as usual, with a rabbit, nothing is ever as easy as it seems.

Walter began our sleepover by running laps all over the apartment.  Then, under cover of darkness, sneaking through his box fort, hopping on and off the air mattress, making tunnels out of my sheets and blankets, until finally settling in for the night and catching some Zzz’s.

He then woke me up in the same manner, only this time he never stopped for a restful nap.  Instead, he turned my body into part of his obstacle course.  Talk about a wake-up call!

Over the course of the morning, it became clear to me and my mother that Walter had been given too much freedom in the past 24 hours.  After a few frustrating hours of deterring Walter from chewing or digging at everything in sight, I finally decided it was time for him to have a time-out in his cage. We locked him up and then once again left the house for food and theater.  Walter had calmed down dramatically by the time we got back, and he was allowed apartment freedom again.  Once out of his cage, Walter set to running laps and spending a lot of time hopping all over the air mattress.  I’m not sure if he loved the bounciness of the mattress, the fact that it afforded him a better view of the apartment, or just the newness of the mattress’s existence, but he had a grand ol’ time hopping on, off, and on top of it.

Seeing that the rabbit was behaving well outside the cage, my mom and I left for dinner and to run some errands.  We were on a mission to get me a new vacuum cleaner. Being a person with allergies who now lives in an apartment with wall-to-wall carpeting, I needed something to help get rid of all the rabbit hair and hay particles all over my apartment.  Lucky for me, my mom picked out the Dyson DC28 Animal Vacuum Cleaner.  It’s beautiful! If it does what it claims, I should be able to vacuum my apartment so well that no one will even know that I own a pet rabbit.  (Thanks, Mom!)

After all of our outings, my mom and I were pretty beat on Sunday night.  But Walter was just getting started.  He hadn’t really seen me in days, and he looked pretty lonely.  So, my mom and I sat on the ground to play with the rabbit, and he immediately came over to me, nudging for some pets.  Two seconds later, he melted onto the ground, eyes closed, and teeth grinding.  I suggested that he get up and get some pets from my mother (a rare treat – ask any of our dogs!), and she replied, “I think he’s got exactly what he wants already.”

And she was right, for two minutes, until Walter got bored and started running laps all over the apartment again.

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