Palma: A pet misunderstood

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This is a weekly installment of Amanda Palma’s column series, “Hop Into It.”

Rabbits are often misunderstood. They are not a pet you can just leave in a cage, stare at and pick up whenever you want. If you are looking for a pet that fits that description, I suggest getting a fish — if you’re the type of person who likes to pick up a fish.

Simply put, “Rabbits are a good medium between a dog and a cat,” said Theresa Mazzei, chapter manager of the House Rabbit Society where I adopted Mimi.

And she’s exactly right, that is the perfect way to describe rabbits.

“They are more friendly than cats, without the maintenance of a dog,” Mazzei said.

While rabbits are timid, similar to cats, and yes occasionally will nip at your figures if provoked, I have found that at least Mimi definitely has a more loving personality than other cats I have encountered. She still desires attention, and unlike dogs, you don’t have to walk them and constantly let them out. I mean, you can walk a rabbit, I have seen leashes for them, but in my opinion it would be more odd than walking a cat. I can’t even imagine the amount of time it would take me to put a leash on a cat, let alone my rabbit.

Many people don’t realize that rabbits don’t like to simply stay put. They like to roam around as they are rather curious animals similar to cats and dogs. When adopting a rabbit it is important to become educated on the animal, and any other animal you choose to adopt. I guarantee if you end up choosing to adopt a rabbit you will learn something you never knew about them. Mimi’s personality has definitely surprised me, and I have learned to accommodate to it in order to allow her to feel comfortable and further express herself. She is like a little person.

I’m not saying she is like having a baby or anything, nor did I adopt Mimi with the interest of further taking care of something — I have myself for that. But, Mimi was more of an additive to my life that has since reduced a lot of my stress and anxiety.

Mimi, like a cat, is litter box trained- yes litter box trained because she’s heckin’ fancy and awesome.  So, as a result, I don’t have to clean-up after her as often. I let her run around my room to do her Mimi-thing, and she’ll still go back into her cage to use the litter box. Mimi, like all other rabbits, eats hay, pellet food and occasionally other green vegetables. They seldom eat carrots, which is a common myth many believe. Rabbits have very sensitive stomachs and eating too many carrots and other specific vegetables and fruits can mess up their gastrointestinal tract.

She is a curious little angel who likes to sniff everything in sight. When I come home to my room she’ll run to my feet and sniff and chew on my laces for a few good minutes. I hardly ever put her in her cage because she doesn’t have the freedom she needs if I just leave her in there all day and night. The last time I left her in her cage was last Saturday into Sunday because I went to Atlantic City for the weekend. She hated it. She wouldn’t stop chewing the bars as I was leaving, but who could blame her? Rabbits are wild at heart.

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