My wife and I had a chocolate-colored dwarf rabbit for over eight years. In June of 2006, Thistle Bunny died, and after a couple of weeks of trying to feed treats to an empty room, we decided we needed another bunny. We were kind of torn between buying or adopting (there are so many rabbits in need of adoption...), but as fate would have it, a woman in our neighborhood had an "oops" with her pair of rabbits, and now had a brood of kits that were too many for her to handle. So after some various mechinations, we now have a pair of new bunnies!


Thistle's cage was actually in need of replacement to begin with, and since we decided we wanted two bunnies this time (partially for our amusement, partially so that the bunnies could have a more constantly available playmate), we decided to get a new cage. After searching the local region for suitable housing, we decided upon this one:

This is the new bunny home. It is rather larger than Thistle's old digs, just over four feet long and a little over two feet deep. It has two compartments, a larger wire floored section, and a smaller enclosed all wood section. There is a large door that becomes a ramp to the enclosed smaller section, and a smaller wire door that opens to the large compartment. It should hold the babies fine while all of us adapt to the house rules. I figured that the wire gate was too high for them so they'd probably stick to the ramp. HA! And thus was born.. MONKEY BUNNIES!

Introducing the new critters: This is Apricot, an apricot colored long-eared bunny with a little white glove on her left front paw (a trait she shares with her sister). She is about 6 weeks old, and fearless. Took her minutes to explore the entire living room before she was out the door and into the hallway. She is quite energetic, likes to run and pop, and luxioriously lounge (see below). She also really likes to eat, and I fear at this point she may reach 8-10 pounds, earning her the nickname "Appy" (short for Apricot or Apetite).

This is Peanut Butter Cup, so named because she is kind of peanut butter colored, with darker chocolate colored fringes (though she too has the one white glove on her left front paw). She is smaller than her sister (almost looked like the runt of the litter, actually), with a narrower skull. While not quite as fearless as Apricot, she definitely is far more mischievious, and is the origin of the Monkey Bunny appelation. From what I've read, and my own limited bunny experience, bunny tend not to go up - they prefer more level terrain. Not PB (as she's been nicknamed)! No, any place she can fit her skull is viable exploration, and anywhere she can CLIMB to (not just jump up on, but literally almost squirrel-like scurry up) is fun. And of course the more forbidden it is, the more she tried to get there. It has become an interesting battle of wits to try to keep her out of more dangerous places (like behind the television where the cords are, for example), which sadly I have to admit it has taken me days to defeat. Wily rascals! She is also quite affectionate, though, and likes to be cuddled (note the "bonking daddy's feet" game has already begun).

Apricot loves to eat! PB joins her, and of course, gerbil-like, the only food worth having is the bit the other bunny has! So we are treated to interesting antics of bunny spaghetti matches! Here they chow down on parsley. PB looses interest fairly quickly though, and is back to playing hide and seek with Paul.

After a long meal, however, Apricot likes to find a quiet, but visible, corner to stretch out in and lounge. It took much longer for Thistle to get this comfortable. These guys are very quickly right at home!

A demonstration of monkey-bunnydom! PB has leapt up onto the couch. She ran around that a bit, got bored, and then scaled the back. That wasn't even enough so (2nd picture) she climbed up on one of the Shawn's (the sheep) and perched there. She even contemplated whether it was feasible to climb up on the bat'leth (the Klingon sword over the couch), but decided against it. This time. Then she merely hopped back down onto the couch, and then down to the floor.

Both are now regularly hopping up onto the couch. They've discovered that a sleepy Steffy has "treats" in a bowl there in the morning (her cereal), and rapidly join her on her lap when she sits down!


The bunnies increasingly became problematic as they decided to get into every possible corner of the room, mostly to chew whatever they found there. Since our house is rather small and we have stuff piled into every possible corner of it, this proved to be an issue. We found ourselves perpetually chasing the bunnies out of places they "shouldn't be" and it started to become unpleasent. The worst location was under the futon couch, as I had boxes with instruments under there, and it was extremely difficult to get them out again. Finally, after Apricot decided to start pulling books off the shelf to chew (we have a LOT of bookshelves in our house with a lot of expensive art history and academic texts), some action had to be taken! So I took to trying to bunny proof the living room! Using 2x4 foot masonite boards, I more or less lined the edges of the room.

Started with under the couch. Took the instruments out from under the couch, and cut boards to exactly fill the space, using black cloth tape to hold them in place.!

The next wall was the first wall of bookshelves. That I simply leaned a number of boards overlapping against, braced at the bottom with hand-weights and at the top with little loop strings.

The space around the art supplies table proved more difficult. The 2 foot high barrier was not an impediment, as the medieval tent lives here, so it provided a convenient launching point onto the table (and repeated scattering of random art supplies) for PB and even Apricot. Repeated attempts to discourage such activity failed, so I simply raised the height of the barrier to 4 feet. Not even PB can get over this one now. Not that she hasn't tried...

The space behind the TV and the cage was blocked by 2 foot high pieces. PB has figured out she can use the tiny ledge of the crosspiece of the bench legs as a waypoint to getting on top of the TV wall, but there isn't anywhere to get to on the other side of that barrier, so she hasn't showed too much interest. Apricot really wants to jump over the one behind the cage, but she can't quite get over it (it is extremely comical to watch her try). Note also the wooden bar in front of the cage - PB STILL can fit under there if she squeezes really hard, though now she mostly gets halfway and gets stuck. So I removed the temptation.

The far side of the cage houses the luthier tools and projects. This barrier is fixed into place.

However, despite even these extraordinary efforts, the bunnies STILL manage to get where they aren't supposed to. Here, PB has leapt the barrier onto the luthier tool chair. They still cannot be left without supervision to run around.


The bunnies like to snuggle together in various places about the room (including cuddling with me on the couch), but they mostly gravitate toward the bookshelf wall area.

Sometimes it's head to head, often cleaning each other.

More often there is a desire to be in the exact same spot, so they end up on top of each other.

Heraldric bunnies! I wasn't sure if they were mad at each other, or just hot. Usually in "bunny language" deliberately turning your back to another bunny indicates irritation. These guys were sound asleep, so not sure that was actually the case here.


The bunnies have now more or less grown up. It turned out that Appricot is actually a male, so we had to separate the bunnies (because we didn't want MANY bunnies) until at least we could get Appricot neutered. Peeb's got her own house - a two story job which has been referred to as the "condo" (the original house is the "manor"). We had a couple month spate of letting them out in shifts, but that has now ended and everybody is back to getting along and being snugglebunnies again. So here are some of the adult bunny adventures of an evening!

Appy is "bunny in bag!" Appy likes to crawl into the bag and chew it from the inside. This did result in bunny being lifted up in a bag several times, which was very amusing to the human...

Monkey-bunny Peebs demonstrating that she is STILL faster than the human and getting out of frame faster than I can take the picture. As you can see, everything, including the Manor, is a chewtoy. They will grow out of this a little bit, but the younguns will chew.

Much like Thistle, Peebs especially (Appy somewhat, but less so) likes to play with cloth and paper. One of their best toys this past Christmas was the tissue paper (the last remnants of the red paper are visible in the corners of these pictures) which they happily shreaded and scattered all over the place. Peebs likes playing with the cloth, pulling it over herself, chewing on it, and tugging and digging it.

And like any "kid," she gets tired of having the camera in her face, especially with the flash going off.

More snugglebunnies! We tend to end up with "petting chains" with me petting a bunny and that bunny grooming another bunny, etc. In this first one, Appy is getting it from both ends as Peebs grooms the head whilst I scratch the back. Bunnies indicate a desire to be groomed by lying flat before you (presenting to be groomed) or by ramming their nose under the other bunny ("You're on top - you groom!"). Sometimes the getting under each other game can be very amusing to watch. The second picture shows Peebs pushing her nose under Appy for grooming. They also will lay side by side for joint pets from the humans. Oddly enough the condo has become the preferred "shared" space, especially the upper floor. So often both bunnies will congregate there and snuggle and groom each other for hours.

Part 5: THE CONDO!

Not a lot here in this set, but just to display the "other" house that is Peebs. Peebs is the more urban of the two bunnies, so she hangs out in the condo, shown here. This has a footprint that is smaller than the "manor house" of Appy, but has two stories. Generally speaking, the lower level is "private space" as it is only viewable from this particular angle, and even then not very well. Without the flash, it's pretty dark in that corner. The upper level is the "public" space, as from there Peebs (and visiting Appy) can see the rest of the room rather clearly and be seen as well. It's also where I tend to put treats (like carrots, parsley and such). The white box in front holds scrap hardwood pieces. When the rabbits were mature but not fixed, we needed to keep them separated. Appy would run over to Peebs' house all the time and sit there. When Peebs was on the upper level, he'd jump up on the table next to the cage where we didn't want him to go. To allow him the height to still see Peebs, I put the box next to the cage to let him be "with" her. And it's just kind of stayed there ever since.

The rabbits have generally decided that the condo is the preferred "shared" space. Both rabbits kind of think of themselves as "dominant," sort of. Generally speaking, rabbits determine a strict social order amongst themselves. Peebs is the more aggressive rabbit, and generally is more dominant, though Appy tends to think of himself as being more dominant than he is. I think the confusion creates tension when they are in Appy's house, as that is "his" space, and he feels more likely to exert his "false" dominance over Peebs, so they tend to kind of scuffle more a bit. In Peebs house, Peebs is in charge - there is no question at all, so they relax more knowing exactly where they stand, so to speak.


Peebs can jump rather high for her size, but she generally will not jump unless she can see what is on the other side of what she is jumping over. Appy isn't quite as athletic (being bigger) in his vertical leaps. He tends to leap up and try to pull himself up with his forelegs. This worked when he was a wee kit. Unfortunately for him (but fortunately for us), he is now a pretty big adult sized bunny, and his forearms are no longer strong enough to haul himself up. So he usually ends up dangling a moment while scrambling for purchase with his back legs until just dropping down. However, for some unknown reason, Appy has developed a strong fascination with getting out into the hallway from the living room. He constantly is sitting in front of the barrier to the hallway, trying to figure out how to get past it. It has earned him such titles as Achillies before the Walls of Troy, or the Pict before Hadrian's Wall, or Gengis Khan before the Wall of China, etc. Here is some of Appy's story...

Appy sits, contemplating the Wall. There must be some way past this thing...

He studies it intently. Hmm, he thinks, I think that wooden beam there with the rope might be acting as a buttress...

If I can just pull that down, perhaps the wall will collapse! Unfortunately, the buttress (and associated objects) collapses on him, scaring him away, but the wall still stands.

Hmm, thinks Appy. That didn't work. What else can I try?

Meanwhile, Peebs is happily playing with the red cloth scraps on the couch. "This is the best stuff ever!" proclaims Peebs!

"Really? Is it magic?" replies Appy. "Maybe IT will work!" After consulting with Peebs about the best selection...

He takes a scrap of the cloth and carries it over to the Wall.

He carefully lays down the totem cloth, and stares intently at the wall. Nothing happens. Hmmm, thinks Appy. That doesn't appear to work either. (As a side note, he actually did do this - after staring at the Wall, he came over to Peebs' cloth pile, "stole" a piece, and for lack of a better term "offered" it before the Wall and stood there waiting for something to happen. I have no idea what was going on in that strange bunny brain...)

"That didn't work" says Appy, relaxing with Peebs. "I just don't know what to do!" "Well," replies Peebs, "have you tried going over it?"

Appy stretches as far as he can, but his nose just barely reaches the top edge of the Wall, and he can't see over it. "Nope, that doesn't work." Side note - after the bring-everything-down-on-his-head episode was repeated, I added another barrier to that corner to keep him from grabbing all of those objects and hurting himself - thus the smooth barrier next to the Wall shown here.p>
"What about under?" offers Peebs. "Have you tried that?"

"Under! Why didn't I think of that?"

Scrabble dig dig dig scrabble dig dig dig! "Nope," Appy calls back to Peebs, "that doesn't work either!"

Appy looks up at the Wall. I just don't know what to do.

Appy settled back in the far corner. This is going to take more thought.

To be continued...


These are just pictures that don't really have any storyline behind them, but are representative of the random bunny activities.

As they have matured a bit, the bunnies have taken a liking to fresh fruit. Their favorite is bananas, the sight of which will cause them to start practically vibrating in anticipation in their house. Here are some shots of the bunnies "sharing" a banana (note Peebs trying to push Appy out of the way...)

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