Tigger provided baby Shadow with a huge learning advantage. Until both bunnies could be fixed, we kept them in separate side by side cages with separate run times for them. Tigger was two months ahead of Shadow in learning what she could do and get into. Shadow was able to observe what Tigger had figured out and could now accomplish. As a result, Shadow was able to learn by example and get on top of the cages, chairs, beds and everywhere else much earlier than Tigger.
Once they were fixed and had bonded, Shadow would follow Tigger over, under, through and into everything. I remember when we first bought a corner TV stand. I hadn’t really paid much attention to the bottom design of it until Blaine put it together. Then I noticed that the Early American style had a point at the center that flowed up into two curved openings to each side of the point. I told Blaine I thought we had a problem and the bunnies would use those openings to get under the TV stand. Blaine thought the openings were too small for the rabbits to fit into.
Sure enough when the rabbits got out, Tigger made a beeline to the new TV stand and wiggle wormed her way right through one of the openings. Shadow wasn’t far behind. It was a bit of a scrape for Shadow’s behind to fit. It was kind of like watching a cork be fitted into a tight bottle neck. Shadow knew Tigger was under already though and he was determined to follow, so he gave it a bit more force and then he popped through and was in too. Then we had little rabbit noses and eyes just barely peaking at us from the shadows under the TV stand. We had to go in after them when we could hear them starting to dig at the carpeting. After we had them back out, we blocked the front of the stand. Later Blaine had to get a piece of wood to nail behind the openings to block future access.
One thing Shadow tried to copy was Tigger’s adorable kitty style of flopping. She did it so gracefully and without a sound. She would flop so that she was in a perfect position to look at us with melting brown eyes inviting us to come pet her. The first time Shadow tried to imitate that cute side flop, I wasn’t looking at him, but heard a strange oomph sound. I turned to see Shadow on his side with his legs sticking out at all kinds of odd angles with his head turned in a really weird position to his body. He was looking at me with the biggest melt your heart brown eyes. It could have looked like he had a seizure and landed all weird, but the soulful look in his eyes gave it away as his first attempt to imitate Tigger. I ended up laughing myself silly. Shadow in turn moved into his doggie style woe is me look with his head down on his paws. If I could have read his mind, I felt sure he was wondering how that side flop always got Tigger lots of admiring attention while I had laughed when he tried it.
Shadow got much better with practice, but was never as graceful as Tigger and usually did have an oomph sound to his flops. However, I was able to not offend him with laughter after the surprise of seeing his incredible awkwardness that first time. Shadow always seemed to react to laughter as if he was being barked at. He was such a little comedian at times, but never really understood the laughter as a positive happy reaction.
On Friday, more comic relief from Shadow …