Let me preface this post by making two points:
- pre-tween girls are difficult to buy for.
- I still feel a little bit guilty about Max the Hamster’s untimely death.
So, when Maddie said that she wanted a rabbit for her birthday. . .I agreed. It seemed so easy: buy a hutch. Insert rabbit. Birthday done. Ten year old girl happy.
And, lucky for me, Maddie is a girl who researches her options. The parental nod toward getting a rabbit sent her off to Google and Craigslist heaven. She read numerous posts about raising rabbits, started searching on Craigslist for them, checked out a book on rabbits from the library, and she consulted with her Aunt Cindy, a mom of a fellow rabbit raiser.
Then she hit a road block: rabbits don’t necessarily breed in the heat of the summer so we’d have to wait for the weather to cool in order to score the breed she decided on: the miniature lop. But, let me tell you, south Texas summers can drag on and on, and for a 10 year old girl who’s already done her research. . .well, her patience does have a limit.
Rex rabbits, though, don’t seem to need a cool day to. . .well, to get it on. Maddie found a Craigslist listing for the Rex rabbit variety and she decided to purchase this rabbit. She named it Hope. Hope, said the man selling the rabbit, was a girl rabbit.
Having done her research, Maddie found that rabbits are social animals, and a well-researched daughter is very convincing, so when another female rex rabbit suddenly and unexpectedly became available, we thought it was meant to be. This rabbit was named Star.
We decided that the rabbits should be in separate cages but placed next to each other–just to get used to each other. That was until Maddie and her sweet, innocent second grade friend decided it was time for the two rabbit friends to cohabitate.
I was on the patio nonchalantly watering some plants when I heard Maddie’s friend say, “Why is Hope jumping on Star’s back?”
Thinking that this was a territory fight–the worst kind: girl on girl–I ran over to the cage and the hutch only to discover that it wasn’t a fight. . .Hope was getting it on with Star.
“Maddie! Grab Hope off of Star!” I yelled, “And put them in separate cages!”
I then ran to my computer and googled, HOW TO TELL THE GENDER OF YOUR RABBIT. Having separated the rabbits, the girls wandered into the house and together we watched a YouTube video of a female veterinarian explaining what a male rabbit looked like–in all it’s rabbit glory. The second grade friend watched with pure fascination. Maddie was aghast, “This is gross, Mom!”
Then we walked back to the hutch and cage and I instructed Maddie to pick up “Hope” and turn her over while I inspected “Hope’s” hinder parts. Sure enough, “she” was a “he”. Or at least I think what I saw was a wee he bunny part.
Scott suggested that we change Hope’s name to Lucky.
All this hanky panky occurred about a month ago and apparently the gestation period for rabbits is about 30 days–which would mean that this is the week baby rabbits could be born. I could take the easy route and pay the $92 to have a vet look at Star to see if she is pregnant and another $92 to see if Hope/Lucky/Mr. Fluffy (the new name) is actually a male rabbit but we have our first orthodontist appointment for the older kids and the office manager at the office asked if I had robbed a bank when I told her I was bringing four of the five in for a consultation. So, we’ll wait to see. . .
If you are interested in a baby rabbit. . .just let me know. We just might have one–or six to give away. This could easily be the epitome of the gift that keeps on giving!