So I'm back to work now, which can cause some bunny boredom, but I've been trying to keep Umbra occupied during the day with lots of run time and extra hiding places to play in. After a week of burrowing between the bed and the wall, Umbra seems to be moving on to a new activity: furiously attacking my pillow and mattress. It started a couple days ago when I was awakened by my little queen of escaping, scratching tirelessly at my pillow (which I was sleeping on). Soon she was scratching and biting at the sheets on my bed, and this behavior has continued. I think now that Umbra is satisfied with her "burrow" (which she is very defensive of, I've gotten a fair many nips for peeping in on her as she works) she is going about hiding her entrances. I think she is trying to spread the "dirt" (actually my pillow and blankets) as a wild rabbit would to hide the evidence of burrowing from predators. She even tried to dig my face the yesterday as I was trying to nap and I ended up being kicked out of my own bed and forced to sleep on the couch!
Despite the extra bossiness, Umbra has been more affectionate lately. She's been enjoying lots of petting and I've been enjoying the resulting tooth-purrs. Still, I've been thinking more about trying to find my little queen a king to share her queendom with. I received an email from IHRS about attending a bunny date in two days, but alas I am away from Indy from the summer, and I'm not sure a four-hour-drive followed by bunny-speed-dating would be all that productive. Traveling is stressful enough not to mention encountering a dozen or so rabbits after Umbra hasn't seen a single rabbit for nearly a year. I feel like all the stress would lend to negative results at the bunny-date. So it seems my queen will have to wait until fall to find her prince charming.
On to another topic: I've been doing more bunny-related summer reading since my last post. I read the previously mentioned "The Private Life of the Rabbit" by Mr. Lockley. It might be a tough read for those who aren't fond of non-fiction, but I found it interesting enough to power through it in a week. Essentially, Lockley is recapping his experiments and observations of wild rabbit warrens in England. I found it provided great insight into the mind of rabbits (including our domesticated rabbits who are descended from the wild rabbits of Europe). There are a few sections in the book that may be tough for a rabbit-lover to read. Because the study was meant in part to better understand what is considered a "pest" in England, there is much talk of different methods of extermination. But, if you can get past that I think you will find you will better understand your rabbit as a social animal and see that the rabbit is misunderstood by many. I think rabbit lovers would especially enjoy the last chapter, where Lockley makes some wonderful comparisons between rabbits and humans. Even I was surprised to learn some of the ways that we are alike!
After finishing "The Private Life of the Rabbit", I began reading "The Warren" by Fred L. Tate. Tate's novel tells the stories of a hand full of rabbits, many who had rough starts in life, from the point of view of rabbits that he has owned himself. While Tate does not do as well as Richard Adams (author of "Watership Down"), in capturing in the thoughts of rabbits (which I admit, it is very difficult to write from the p.o.v of an animal and do so eloquently and believably) the stories have good message. They touch on the proper care of rabbits and the hardships that they face when they are misunderstood, mistreated and ultimately discarded. I found myself close to tears in a few parts, laughing at other (mainly at bunny mischief which all bun-owners have experienced) and happy when these rabbits finally find a place they are loved and cared for both my humans and fellow rabbits.