|Nessie sleeping hard.|
The previous photo was taken two months or so after she arrived, her trust level had reached a security rating that allowed her to sprawl out in the living room and visit dreamland with all her might.
|Bobby Ray and Nessie practice their sleeping skills.|
Above she is engaging in a sleep 'duet' with Bobby Ray. She has been partial to him since arriving but he remains rather cautious around her. Some of his caution, I think, occurs because of her habit of moving toward him very quickly. Fast movement bothers him and cat body language and rabbit body language are different enough that he generally is rather tentative around her.
This final photo below was taken during the only snow we had this year, it fell in February and was not very heavy. Nessie moseyed out, made a small circle to investigate and decided that was enough for her and came back in the house. Being an arctic bunny is not to her taste.
|She came, she saw snow, she went back inside.|
I don't have any grand insights from living with her this past year. The most significant thing I have noticed is that a rabbit is, compared to a cat or a dog, a quiet being. If a rabbit makes a loud noise they are either terrified or they are furious. Nessie doesn't cry out if she is hungry...she might nudge you with her nose or sit and stare at you but being quiet is her usual way of being. Not that a bunny doesn't make different sounds, it is just that they are subtle compared to the sounds of a cat or dog. You have to pay attention to hear the happy honking she does when she plays chase. You have to listen carefully to hear the humm/grunt she does when she is interested in something...but...you don't have to worry about hearing her growling if she is hacked off...nope...no worry about missing that.
This general quietness means that a human has to focus and concentrate and attend to her in a persistent and consistent manner to enter into much of her world....at least that is how Nessie operates. Different rabbits, like different dogs or different cats or different humans, have different styles. Some are boisterous and wild, some are quiet and calm. Nessie tends toward the calm and quiet...but....she has a major temper and doesn't flinch at letting you know when she is displeased. Having a bunny give you the squinty stink-eye is sort of intimidating, having a bunny rip out with a full loud growl when lunging toward you is startling and scary. Nope, she is not a shrinking violet...just a fairly quiet one. And we are honored (pretty much) that this quiet one graces us with her presence. :-)
Rabbits have, partially due to their quietness, come to occupy a curious position in the hodgepodge repository that passes for our collective minds. Many, if not most, people think they know something about rabbits and about caring for rabbits and about rabbit personalities. They might know they hop, they might know they have long ears and they might know they are pleasing to the eye and that they eat plants...but that's about it for most of us. I'm including myself in this collective indictment here. We're, most of us, guilty of that dangerous practice of having a tiny bit of knowledge (e.g. bunnies hop) and confusing that with "knowing about". Few things have been more damaging to rabbits and their position as "pets" than this superficial knowledge being confused for adequate understanding.
This is not the place for a "Rabbits for Dummies" screed, if you want to begin your own education about these beings you might start here. An extended attempt to interpret the lagomorph language can be seen at RabbitSpeak.
You will be way ahead of most of us if you'll simply be aware of the truth that just as soon as you think you "know" about rabbits...then you've exposed your ignorance. Rabbits, like all other sentient beings, are beautiful, smart, complex and worthy of respect and knowing. And knowing one bunny only means you know that bunny...each bunny being...like each human being...is an individual and is unique. But knowing takes time, interest, effort and the slow discovery that the quest for comprehension and understanding is probably unending.
Additional writings along with photos of Nessie can be found here, here, here and here.
Do remember, honoring all living beings (including rabbits) means living as an ethical vegan.