To the uninitiated, rabbits seem totally quiet since they don’t bark or meow. For those in the know, rabbits rumble doing the Bunny 500. You had also better beware the guinea pig like grunt. The growl sounds cute, but could be followed up with a lunge and bite that won’t be so cute.
We have also learned to listen for sounds of bunny misbehavior. It is amazing that we have become attuned over the years to the differences in a bunny who is eating or chewing a safe toy and a bunny who is consuming the house and furnishings.
With careful bunny parent training to fine tune our hearing observation, we can now identify bunny activities by sound. We can hear the difference between a bunny who is chewing on cardboard, paper, or toy chews from one who is chewing the carpet, furnishings, baseboards, and yes even the plaster and drywall! As we are in other rooms from Tigger and Shadow, one of us will often suddenly jump and run yelling to head off the offending rabbit.
I know some people will think we should never yell. We usually need to with Shadow who will chew and quickly swallow things. Household paint, pillow and furniture stuffing, sheets, and carpet are all very bad for a rabbit’s digestive system. Human parents will yell to warn and try to stop a child in danger as they race to get to the child. Since rabbit’s warn each other of danger by thumping, we yell and we thump our feet to try to try to distract and stop them as we are moving to reach them to prevent them from swallowing harmful things.
Shadow in particular seems to feel he is a bunny goat and can eat anything he can sink his little teeth into. In the cartoon Futurama, one of the characters picked up an alien pet animal she called Nibbler. When people weren’t looking, Nibbler would consume whole planets. Had we seen that character when Shadow was a baby, we might have called him Nibbler.
More about Shadow the bunny goat later today…