Monday, September 14, 2009
This Monday brings a tale of my own bun, Silver. It's a "My rabbit is so smart" story. Be warned.
As you may recall, Silver came from Oakland Animal Shelter. She is averse to being held(see photo) but cannot get enough pets. This rabbit will pass up (most) food for pets. I bought a baby sling to put her in hoping that maybe she would be held in the sling. It was a success.
Initially, she did not like the sling, digging at the fabric to get out. Then she changed her mind and sits happily inside the sling until she has had enough, then digging at the fabric to signal that she is done.
Recently, our evening routine of swapping out the old litter/hay basket and feeding pellets, then returning later for some sling has been changed when Silver decided the the sling sit should come first. On the day of this tale, I was doing the sling earlier than usual and decided to sit on the sofa with her instead of the floor.
After quite a while in the sling, Silver eased out and began to walk around on me, then onto the sofa to sniff and explore. She can get on and off the sofa easily but on most days chooses to stay on the floor, so it's pretty unfamiliar.
After looking over the edge and around the room, she did not jump off but came back to me. She uncharacteristically got onto my lap where she began digging at my stomach. She has never done this digging before, except when she is in the sling and done. The message was clear. She was done and ready to go back.
My point here is this: She used a communitcation signal that is not rabbit-language in a different context from the one where it developed.