Shadow was like a goat for two reasons. Like a mountain goat, he liked to bounce around up, down and around everything. Nothing was much of a barrier to him. He was incredibly sure-footed and very athletic. He loved the heights.
There were times he would begin the Bunny 500 around the living room without ever touching the floor. Shadow would hop up on the sofa, run the length and make the leap three feet over to the top of the cages and then run across the loveseat which was beside the cages. Then he would hit the floor and sometimes fly up and down the stairs and then do the highland trek across the furniture again.
Like a goat, Shadow seemed to feel everything he sunk his teeth into was consumable. There simply wasn’t anything he didn’t try to chew up and eat. For years to come there will most likely be things we will come across that will have teeth marks and the percentages say that it will be Shadow’s work.
Over the years, I read a lot of articles about whether rabbits should be caged or completely free range. All I can say is with a rabbit like Shadow, the only way to keep him safe was to have him in a fully enclosed cage when we were not there to supervise him. Even with us there, over the years, he learned a very sneaky almost silent chewing. We had to be very alert when Shadow was out to where he was and what he was doing. We kept scolding him, telling him he was going to really mess up his tummy. Honestly, with everything he chewed, I don’t know how he managed to stay as healthy as he was. It truly seemed he must have a stomach like a goats.
We also had to discourage his tendency to want to switch things up from mountain goat. Sometimes we would find Shadow on the very top of the sofa walking along the back. Once before we could get to him, he leaped off and spread his legs out just like a flying squirrel. Not being equipped with the weblike wings like a flying squirrel, he of course dropped like a rock four feet down to the floor. It knocked the breath out of him, but not the desire to try it again. We had to be really vigilant to grab him the minute he would make a leap for the sofa back.
Shadow had greater strength and athletic ability compared to Tigger. He was a bit bigger when full grown which could have made the difference. Being a different breed could have played a part too. He also got a big head start. Tigger had to learn what she could do on her own. During the first two months we had Shadow, while they had separate run and play times until being fixed, Shadow was able to see everything Tigger had learned to do. It really jumpstarted him and he was doing the sames things at a much earlier age than Tigger. It was clear Shadow learned quickly and easily by following her example and then he surpassed her abilities. The one advantage Tigger had over Shadow was speed. She was much lighter and faster while running. When Shadow tried to speed up while running, he wouldn’t take the turns as quickly and smoothly as Tigger and would sometimes clip the walls.
In later years, we had to rearrange furniture to keep Shadow from making the bunny goat leap from the sofa to the cages. The spirit was still very willing and wanting, but he started to not quite make it well enough for maintaining his safety.
Coming tomorrow, bunny jaws …