Thursday, May 01, 2014

How to Let Rabbits Take Over Your Home, Part 2: Orca the Rabbit that Peed (But Is Really An Awesome Bunny)

Before I tell the tale of Orca the Rabbit That Peed (But Is Really An Awesome Bunny) I should tell you that I have never fostered an animal in my entire life, largely because I could never wrap my head around "But I have to give it back?". Obviously I did not bring Orca back to Red Door, since I am about to tell you how he ended up living with us all the time forever.

So. The tale of Orca the Rabbit That Peed (But Is Really An Awesome Bunny). 

Orca waits for lettuce to fall from the sky
After adopting Squid in March 2013, I thought I'd offer up some fostering space in my home to give a Red Door bun a break from shelter life. Liz and Toni were super stoked; "Rayn Man" was a shelter favorite and had a very rough start when Red Door found him.

Rayn Man was Easter Bun #4, found in late April after Chicago received an absurd amount of rain, hopping around in Gompers Park. His weight was low, he was dirty, but worst of all were his feet and the underside of his body: Rayn's feet were blackened and burnt by a chemical or hot asphalt and those burns affected some of his genitalia and belly. He was in so much pain.

Poor little guy.

Was he even going to survive? Red Door wasn't sure. But after several visits to Chicago Exotics, cold laser therapy to his injured feet, and many oral and topical meds later, Rayn Man started to improve. In August 2013, after Rayn had grown most of the fur on his feet back (yay!!) and he had his neuter and was healed, he came home for a spoiled vacation with my family. He was friendly to everyone who visited with him. It was clear he loved people. When we had to put cream on his bald hocks he let us trance him to treat his feet. Wow - so easy!

Orca's first day

But then there was his pen, which after the first 24 hours was soaked in pee. He was using his litterbox too, but in his brain I think he was under the impression that the entire pen was his litterbox. And anything else soft, like carpet, was also a litterbox. And people were his litterbox. In short, the entire world was his litterbox. So we changed the blankets and cleaned up the vinyl and cleaned the carpet. No big deal. New living space, new territory to mark. I get it. I'm just glad that humans don't pee on things to establish themselves. Ew. Anyway.
How to make sure no one steals your food: stand on all of it
My husband left town for 4 days for work. In the 4 days he was gone, I went from being completely overwhelmed by Rayn and his pee (and jumping out of his 3' pen when he heard a bag of treats shaking and not being able to trance him on my own to get his foot cream on and cleaning up pee after pee after pee) to asking my husband over the phone if Rayn could become a permanent rabbit in our home.

Rayn Man is now Orca Kenpachi Rayn Man, because of his black and white coloring, his [secret] intelligence, his size, and predatory drive for food. He has gotten loads better about using his litterbox exclusively. It is still funny when I hear "ORCAAAAAA" from the other room because HE HAS JUST PEED ON MY HUSBAND, but it is not so funny when he pees on me. Despite his accidents he is my only rabbit that understands "go potty"; he will jump in his litterbox and pee or give you a look kind of like a 2-year old does when he/she doesn't have to pee. He juices lettuce, is a little green around the mouth sometimes, and then makes Jackson Pollock paintings on everything in my home with lettuce juice while he air drums his paws dry. 

Have you ever seen a green rabbit? Well now you have.

Orca has zero rabbit etiquette and has [unfortunately] been rejected by both of my other rabbits as a suitable penmate. However, Squid has decided that he is ok to share her living room with, so they can both be out together, even if she's poking him in the butt with her nose every few minutes (I secretly think that she does this to provoke a giant Orca pop-straight-up-in-the-air binky, which happens every time).

Squid thinks, "Dude, you are such a mess."

We're not exactly sure if Orca is a rabbit. It is very possible that he is an alien like the Disney character, Stitch. It's ok though - he is the best snuggler, he will periscope to kiss your nose, and he is the most expressive rabbit in our warren. Despite his resilience to, well, almost everything, he is still terrified of thunder [most likely from spending all that time outside in the storm], and he loathes the screech that cardboard boxes make when you are folding the sides of them in.

Stitch and Orca: separated at birth

So I failed with my first foster. That's ok, right? Because he got a furever family? Maybe I'll try fostering again someday...
Orca today - cleaner than ever with his trademark green chin



Awesome. Thanks for giving him a forever home. <3

Jael said...

Irresistable. Thank you.

brooks said...

This is wonderful1!!