Where I blab about bunnies and encourage your bunny (and other animal) stories.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

She's too cute to punish, but the racket is killing me!

Pea, my sweet baby who's bigger now than her two sisters and her brother and who's stuck in her two-floor cage all night, feels the oh-so-familiar lure of mischief round about 3 a.m. Salads come to the kids right before bedtime (mine). And so I frequently fall asleep to the delicious sound of content bunnies chewing on crunchy veggies. Only, in the past 5 months or so, to be awakened by the raucous sound of Pea tossing her salad bowl against her metal cage, her ceramic tile in her cage, her litterboxes in the middle of the night. Shortly after this started, I went to my favorite pet supply store, State Line Pet Supply (site is work in progress), for a regular litter trip (they have huge bags of Carefresh there for $13.90 -- a good $6 cheaper than anywhere I can get it in Metrowest; so a quantity purchase saves me a lot of money, even when I factor in the price of gas). I saw there a metal dish that you can clip to the bars of a cage (and unclip pretty easily, too) and knew I had to try it. No more would Pea hurl her dish down the ramp and toss it around all night.

Anyone with a bunny can finish this story for me. The clips didn't hinder the girl at all. She just learned how to lift it up and, therefore, unhook the clips from the cage bars and then tossed it around like she's never had a toy before. Freakin' great. Thinking "Well, she usually tosses it downstairs and then leaves it there for a while," I moved the salad, which used to go upstairs in her cage, on the food level, to the litterbox level (the downstairs). I hung it just above the bottom, so it hung on the bars rather than sitting in the litterbox. She thought, for a few weeks, that eating her salad out of an elevated bowl was entertainment enough. Then, as smart animals and people do, she got bored. She had to come up with something to entertain her in the dead of the night, so she reimplemented her old game of unhooking and tossing the dish.

I think she's probably just thrilled with the situation now. At 3:00 a.m., she tells mommy, who's sleeping soundly in the bed 3 feet from her cage, that she has had quite enough salad (read: licked the bowl clean like a starving child) and is ready for her breakfast now. (((RATTLE, CRACK, BANG))) (Read: "Oh, Mommy....") I wake up like someone's set off a firecracker in my apartment and realize my baby girl, sweet and fun at all times except then, is trying to communicate. Loverly. I somehow hobble out of bed, open the door of her cage, take out the salad tin while preventing her to come out to play with the other hand, grab her food dish and put it on the top floor, where she's jumped to by now because she knows what's coming. It all works out just lovely for her. Too bad the girl can't appreciate the desire to sleep for several hours at a time.

Oh, forgot to mention, whichever of my three always-free roam bunnies (Hops, Kayla or Ariel) is paying attention comes hopping over to me, thinking it's morning and raisin time. Nuh-uh! A pet on the head gets the message across and I stumble back to my pillow-laden bed. I'm never awake for long (usually 10 seconds), but I am awake. For a girl who likes her sleep (I can go 15 hours and still need an alarm clock to wake me), I've gotta figure out a way for Pea to not be in control of the middle-of-the-night waking time.

The trouble is, of course, that she just bangs her bowl around until I come feed her. So ignorning her is not really an option. She's done her salad, she's bored, she needs a toy and to tell me she wants her pellets. It's a fine communication method to her, but it's not so much working out for me. I'm thinking I need (another) new dish for her, but where to get one that attaches onto the cage and can't be undone by a bunny (those resourceful clowns)? Suggestions, bunny lovers??!!

Of course, all this will not be a problem once I can bond her with the girls and let her run free all night, too. I hope that'll be about the time she stops chewing on my bookcases, because trusting her out alone is an issue now, too. And I thought having a 4th wouldn't be a big deal. HA!