We have another member of the family who I have yet to mention on this blog; Avril my year old bunny.

Avril arrived as a Valentine’s present from my fiance last year. Trips to pet stores were a regular occurance for us and, like many animal crazed individuals, I always liked to have a wander round and look at the small fluffy pets. It was just before Valentines day last year that I first saw Avril. There was, what could only be described as a small black furball bolting round the rabbit enclosure like something posessed. On closer inspection, he had one white foot and a white nose. Best of all, he had a wicked mohican hair-do made of of black fluff. Now, crazy animals always appeal to me. THIS was both crazy and fluffy. While all the other bunnies were chilling, this one was leaping in the air, skidding around the enclosure and jumping ontop of unsuspecting bunnies.

“Ohhhhhhhhhhh my god! Hon! Look at the rocker-bunny!”

Rocker-bunny was the best way I could describe him. If this rabbit was human, he would have been the lead singer of a metal band.

“No'”
“But loooooooooooooooooooooooook”
“No!”
“But?”
“No”

So that was that. I got dragged out of the store being told that we didn’t want more animals. Clearly after spending an evening with me whining and protesting about rocker-bunny, my other half changed his mind and went to buy the rabbit. At this point, Id decided he would be called Coby (after Jacoby Shaddix).

While waiting for my boyfriend to arrive how with the bunny next day I was, quite literally, like a kid before Christmas. A few weeks prior to this, Id adopted a pheasant that myself and the dog had found out on a walk; clearly she’d been hit by a car. As it was snowing, I decided I absolutly had to take the pheasant home to stop her freezing. The pheasant, soon to be calle Filly, soon took over the whole of our lounge. Indeed, we lost complete use of it because she clearly didn’t like human company and would hiss and get upset if anyone went in. Sadly, Filly eventually (and predictably) died. I need something new to look after

On his arrival with a small cardboard box and a rather huge cage, my other half told me it wasn’t quite what I wanted. I immediatly paniced thinking my rocker-buns had been sold but upon opening the box, it was very much him! Cue massive amounts of cooing and huggling. The “problem” he was referring to was that the bunny was a girl. There went his name. Shortly after, bunny became known as Avril.

Now, when we decided to make the move back to Denmark, a few conditions were put forward from my side. ALL the animals were going with us. That accumulated to two dogs, one horse and Avril the Rocker-Buns. We ended up driving across Europe with the dogs and the bunny and Jack travelled seperatly with a transporter.

Fast forwarding somewhat, just before Christmas, it became obvious that Avril wasn’t well. Avril had been suffering with runny eyes and I assumed this was a dust allergy. When we were both woken early one morning by a strange rasping sound and realised it as coming from the bunny, we rushed to the vets. The one thing I’d been telling myself was that at least we had a house bunny; we couldn’t be looking at myxomatosis. Imagine my devastation then, when the vet said that’s exactly what he suspected. In addition to that was another slight surprise. While examining buns, the vet decided to take a look at the tummy area, and I saw something which initially paniced me. Two lumps and immediatly I was thinking cancer.

“Well, shes a he”
“A what?!”
“She’s a he”
“Thats not what the pet store said!”

We came out of the vets with some strong drugs to try and sort the myxomatosis, information suggesting the likelyhood was that bunny would die and the news that she was now a he.

Once again, we’ll fast forward a few weeks and my darling bunny is now well again. Indeed he’s back to his normal and slightly hyper active self. Since he’s been sick, Ive naturally been more observant about him and I was frequently commenting to my fiance that he often made me think he was dead. He’d lay in the strangest positions, eyes closed and completly out of it. Yet everytime I’d wander over or call his name, he’d jump up and act normally.

This lunch time was one of those times but to an extreme! I was making lunch and glanced over at the bunny’s cage. We’d changed his bedding yesterday so he now has a nice fluffy straw bed. I could see his white foot stuck in the air… He was layed flat out on his side, slightly closer to being on his back, legs in the air, head resting flat out and eyes closed. I could, however, see him breathing. At this point I called my other half over to take a look. He wandered over to check and sure enough, once the bunny could hear you, he jumped up and was fine.

Five minutes or so later…

“Its the dead bunny flop”
“Excuse me?”
“Thats what they call what he’s doing! It’s the dead bunny flop and a sign of contentment”

I decided I needed to investigate this further and did some googling. Sure enough, there were pages popping up all over with the titles of “Oh My God! My Bunny is Dying!!!” followed by answers detailing this bizarre bunny behaviour. Still somewhat disbelieving that there was actually a known behaviour called the Dead Bunny Flop, I carried on reading sites about bunny behaviour.

So here I present the a-z of bunny behaviour

The Binky:-

This is a display of happiness! When the bunny can no longer contain his or her delight, it may leap in the air, kicking it’s heels together.

Bunny 500s:-

Here the bunny leaps into the air and does a 180 degree turn.

Chinning:-

This is a terrotorial type behaviour where the rabbit will rub his or her chin over objects or people to say “mine!” Mine does this rather frequently when out of his cage… and over pretty much anything he comes across. While hes certainly layed claim to me, he hasn’t yet attempted this with our Siberian Husky.

The Dead Bunny Flop:-

As mentioned above. This can occur quite suddenly and unexpectandly and often, bunnies will make a rather large banging noise as they flop over. Quite literally, it looks like they just flopped over dead. Fear not however! This is another sign of contentment and relaxation from a bunny comfortable in his or her surroundings

Thumping:-

Either a demand for attention or a scolding of something he doesnt like. Bunnies may do this when wanting food or attention from their owners. Alternatively, they may resort to this when you have done something they dislike such as clipping their nails.

Tooth Purring:-

In this instance, a bunny will gently grinding their teeth creating a slight nibbling sound. This is a sign of happiness and contentment.

So there we have it. The first animal I have come across that literally does a death scene through happiness. I’m pretty happy that horses can’t do this thats for sure. My bunny is on the large side by bunny standards and creates a pretty lound noise when he flops, imagine the minor earthquake a horse would create. Avril should certainly get an oscar nomination for the number of times Ive been caught screaming “Avril?!!?!!?!? Are you dead?!”

In other news, I have repetitive strain injury from using the laptop too much. Ive suffered with this before, mainly due to my refusal to sit in anything vaguely resembling a good posture when using the PC… and I use the PC a LOT. I seem to have a real aversion to sitting correctly. I like sitting with my knees up or tucked underneath me. Since the arrival of the new laptop I’ve emigrated from the computer tables to the coffee table allowing me to sit in the arm chair and watch TV at the same time. The result is RSI! Ive got to say, its the strangest pain Ive had though. My shoulders and arms feel somewhat like they’ve been burned, then had a million needles stuck into them… they’re actually quite numb until I try to move and then I get a bizarrre prickly sensation. Ive been told to rest… So naturally, Im blogging about it 😉

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