Happy Birthday, little man!

It’s been a while since I’ve written about life with our new lagomorphic housemate, so, in the light of current events – I just had a “aww look how awesome he is” chat with his soon-to-be pet sitter Lucy from Furry Feet Petcare – here’s an update of how Das Rabbit* is doing.

Previously on mightaswell:

As you may know, Geth moved in with us about a year and a half ago – and despite my worries about him destroying the flat and topping himself in the process, he quickly settled and accepted us as the people who bring him his food. After a short while, however, he developed a mysterious sneeze – I wrote about the first few months and the sneeze in a two part post on Dave’s blog.

In the meantime…

A lot has happened since the first 168 days of rabbit. A lot, and not much at the same time. After 7 months of several different antibiotics, both oral and as injections, two (two!) sinus endoscopies (that is, sticking a camera up the rabbit’s nose), two culture & sensitivity tests to grow bacteria, and an x-ray to see whether he’s got anything stuck up his nose (he didn’t, but the x-ray image looked pretty awesome!), and an astronomical vet bill (PEOPLE! GET. PET. INSURANCE.) the sneeze is still there. As the rabbit seems otherwise fit and has a healthy appetite, i.e. eats like a farmer (“aww, just like his mum!”), I’ve given up on doing anything about it. Meh.

On a more pleasant note, Geth has been quite a clever bunny who has learned a few things over the past year or so: He can now do a couple of tricks (hop over my leg and “spin” around himself), he’s overcome his fear of heights and learned to hop down the stairs in our flat (which means the bedroom is no longer safe from him), in the same instance he also figured out how to get on top of the dining table in order to sample the offerings of our fruit bowl, and he now knows that if he wants attention he just needs to flip his toilet bowl upside down. Winner.

One of the other things Geth is very good at is sleeping. Snoozing. Napping. Dozing. Catching z’s. Resting his eyes. And he is very creative in his choices of sleeping places around the flat. Some of these places include:

The window sill.

The book shelf. (He kept kicking out the books, so I gave in and declared the shelf rabbit zone.)

A suitcase under the bed. He blends in perfectly with the black suitcase. Camouflage bunny.

In the middle of the kitchen floor. Posing like a mini lion.

Under the coffee table.

Under the dining table. One day, he just started sitting on one of the chairs, so I put a cushion on it. It’s an official bunny zone now, including the “oh no that’s Geth’s chair” warnings for visitors. Yeah. I know. I am that woman now.

On the rug. This picture was taken after a particularly exhausting session of “destroy the box and spread hay all over the floor”. It’s a hard knock life.

Under the sofa, preferably after I’ve dropped a Big Issue down there for maximum shredding pleasure. See the guilty look on his little face? Yeah, me neither.

That should be enough rabbity catch up for now – but I’m sure you know there will be more rabbit posts soon. On that note: I don’t exactly know when his birthday is, but according to my estimates it’s “some time in autumn”. So:

My dear bunny friend, I wish you all the best for your 3rd birthday, may you be happy and healthy for many more years to come.

* Also known as Gethin, Geth, rabbit, rabs, rabtastico, bun, bunbun, buntzzz, bunster, “the original bunster”, chubster, sweet cheeks, sweetheart, mini-dude, duderino, du-du-duh-dude, mini-donkey, squirrel, sausage, and “NO!!”. 

In other news: Das Rabbit is a pin-up bunny.

The rabbit has joined his famous fellow lagomorphs Captain BunnyWatermelon Bunny, and about a million Christmas bunnies at the heart-attack inducing Daily Bunny with a gorgeous (but tasteful!) picture of his well-shaped backside. I have no idea how he managed to submit his picture to that website.

You’ve all seen the picture already because I keep posting it, so I’ve included a photo of him doing a semi-creepy shrunken head impression.

The Coast is Always Changing: A trip to Somerset & Devon


That’s the sound of me stretching my hands, positioning my chair, neatly arranging that cup of tea in front of me, stretching again, trying to remember the URL of my blog, checking Twitter first, having another biscuit, and finally logging in to WordPress to write… a blog post! It’s been a while, bah bah bah, the usual. But hey, I’ve brought something back from the many trips I made in the past couple of months: Stories. And piktchas. That’s what you’re here for, right?

Now, let’s start in non-chronological order with my short visit darn sarf. We went to the wonderful Butlin’s holiday park in Minehead for the Nightmare Before Christmas ATP (curated by Les Savy Fav, which I ended up missing twice in one day, Battles, and Caribou, just in case you’re wondering) at the beginning of December, and, being the ueber nerds we are, somehow did not spend the  whole weekend getting drunk and chasing seagulls (and by that I mean making out with Dutch girls) like my German friends. In fact, we got up early every morning and went on excursions around Somerset and Devon to see some more of the South than just the inside of the chain restaurant and arcade games lined Butlins pavilion.

On the first day, we tried to explore the rather magnificent looking Dunster Castle near Minehead, only to find that it is closed to the public over the winter months (it’s okay, I only cried a little). A short walk around the ‘medieval’ (for some meaning of medieval) village did not bring up any more interesting sights and so we returned just in time to watch the first set of Battles.

The next day, we stretched a little further and simply drove as far west as we could, finally landing in Lynton/Lynmouth on the north coast of Devon. As expected, the town had already gone into winter hibernation – except for the big and cold Arts & Craft centre, where we interrupted the reading pleasures of a lady in a thick winter coat. Back outside in the pouring rain, we followed signs to the Cliff Railway, just out of curiosity. Much to our surprise* the cafe at the top of the cliff was open for business, and we did our best to support the local economy by purchasing coffee and stale apricot cake.

And this was my breathtaking account of a spectacular holiday. The highlight of the weekend was when I got a text of my ex-housemate, who kindly agreed to look after the rabbit: I had dropped the wrong set of keys into his letterbox, leaving the rabbit locked into our flat for the entire weekend with quickly dwindling supplies of hay and water in his cage. Images of the rabbit doing this while trying to survive on a diet of newspaper cropped up in my head. Thanks to our landlord however, the situation was quickly resolved, the ex-housemate got into the flat to feed the rabbit, and all three of them (including the rabbit) just sigh and roll their eyes a little bit whenever my name is mentioned.

* I must apologise for the number of clichés I’ve used in this blog post. This is what happens when you only write scientific papers for months. You lose all ability to communicate and default to clichéd language. Just like all those scientists that write for the Daily Mail. Q.E.D.

In other news: 168 days of rabbit

When I’m not busy ranting, I spend a fair bit of time looking/chasing after the furrier one of my flatmates. Dave (aka the rabbit person) over at “Do a Barrel Roll” asked me to write a guest post about my life as a rabbit owner and it got a little out of hand. Hop* over to his blog for the rather epic three part rabbit diary, 168 days of rabbit. It’s like 500 days of Summer, but with more poop and bite marks.

Part 1 – Day 0 to 27

Part 2 – Day 31 to 96

Part 3 – Day 97 to 168

Update: In only just noticed that the rabbit has his own tag on Dave’s blog. I told him that he’s famous now. He nibbled on some cardboard and ran off to celebrate.

* Yeah… I know. I’m sorry.

brb science.

I’ve been busy doing groundbreaking research, training for the Manchester 10k run and playing with Gethin in the past couple of weeks, please excuse the lack of posts. Normal services will be resumed next week.

Here’s a few rabbit action shots to cheer you up. You know you want it.

Bunny likes to climb things. And people.

We tricked him into posing with some cherry blossoms for Easter cards by pretending they were tasty. He totally fell for it. Ha!

One day, his nosiness will get him into trouble.

Tug tug tug nip nip pull pull tug bite bite chew bite lick tug tug tug tug nip nip.

The fact that something is on the floor which usually isn’t on the floor gets the bunny madly excited. ‘Dude…it’s…it’s a backpack! On the FLOOR! How crazy is that, man?’

Is it just me or does he look like a guinea pig/horse/cat crossbreed sometimes?

Paws and slippers.

I sowed some cress in a plastic tub, as a present to him on Easter Sunday. He had a little nibble, probably just out of politeness, then went back to destroying our furniture. Ah well.

Pet Sounds: There’s a rabbit in my house

I’ve been a little bit quiet lately, which has been mainly caused by a series of Manchester Girl Geeks events, partly also by my new flatmate. Little Gethin is 18 months old, black, furry, and goes absolutely crazy for coriander*. This may sound weird to some of you who have been growing up with cats, dogs, and plenty of other animals surrounding them, but I am genuinely excited, almost ecstatic, to welcome my first ever pet to my house.

I adopted the rabbit from a friend who was going to move house and couldn’t take him with her; and to say I was a little worried about doing everything right would be understated. I spent hours bunnyproofing our flat, sticking cables into plastic tubes, removing books from the bottom shelves, reading up on ‘how to look after your rabbit’, their diet, how to keep them entertained, and generally panicking about coming home one day, finding the rabbit had rioted in our flat, turned his cage upside down, peed in my flatmate’s bed, pulled apart his 1st edition copy of Robinson Crusoe, chewed through our £200 solid wood coffee table, eaten several bars of chocolate before attempting to electrocute himself with the Playstation 3 cable and eventually drowning in the loo.

When Geth moved in, I made sure I spent a lot of time just sitting on the floor, talking to him (trying very hard to avoid babyspeak) and resisting the urge to go all ‘ooooh cuuuuteeee bunnyyyyyyyy, wanna  cuuuuudddlle’ on him. Having previously looked after him for a couple of days, I expected the rabbit to be quite timid, ignore me and go about his own business. I was surprised to find that the excitement about his new environment had made him rather inquisitive and bold, overlooking my cage cleaning activities, hopping over my legs, following me into the kitchen, and even jumping onto the sofa next to me a few times. In fact, while I’m writing this blog post, he’s on a tour across the front room, squeezing through a tunnel, trampling over  jars with candles and jumping onto his cardboard box (I’ve called it ‘the bunny fort’). My flatmate, who is mildly allergic to rabbits and can’t touch them, has figured out that Geth seems fine being stroked by his feet, as he proudly demonstrated one night – while I appreciate his attempts to show the bunny some affection, I’m not sure if I  agree with the whole foot stroking thing yet.

After a week at our place, the rabbit is still in good health, the furniture looks okay(ish), the cables and wires haven’t been touched yet, the litter tray is in use (well, including the general area around it), he eats and drinks like a champion, and he’s accepted us as his new friends. I do very much hope he doesn’t start hating me once he finds out that I’m going to have him neutered…

Oh, and while we’re at it: the RSPCA Manchester and Salford have lots of rescue bunnies that are waiting for a nice person to adopt them. Have a look at the adorable little furballs on the RSPCA website.

*  I’m keeping a list of things he does and doesn’t like to eat. So far I’ve found that he’s into coriander, bananas, carrots, sugar snaps, parsley and pak choy, but only the green bits. Fussy eater.

[Photo by Matt Orlinski, model: the beautiful Mr Gethin himself]