Photo by Audrey Pavia
It’s wonderful being surrounded by so many animals all the time, but let’s face it: It can be hard to spend enough time with all of them when you are busy working and doing chores just to take care of them. My animals have learned that if they want my attention, they have to ask for it.
But today, when I was sitting at my desk working, I found myself with an empty lap. The cats were off sleeping somewhere, Nigel was off with Randy, and I had no fur to stroke as I searched the Internet. So I decided to grab one of the two bunnies I share an office with.
I started with Smokey, who is much more comfortable being held than Prudence. Smokey relaxes when you pick him up and seems to actually enjoying cuddling. So, I put him in my lap and petted him gently as I went back to work.
But it was only a matter of time before Smokey started to act up. He likes to be held, but he also likes to run around and chew on the cords under my desk. He started “digging” in my lap and, when that didn’t get the desired reaction (he wanted me to put him down), he nipped me.
Back in his pen he went. After putting him down, I started to walk back to my desk feeling forlorn. That’s when it occurred to me to try Prudence. She hates being held, but I thought I might get her to relax if I just let her sit in my lap.
Prudence was incredibly tense when I lifted her up. She relaxed a little bit when I sat down, and then buried her face into the crook of my arm. Her eyes were huge, so I knew she wasn’t completely comfortable. But I decided to hold onto her anyway, for my own selfish reasons. I absentmindedly stroked her ears, scratched her gently on the back of her neck and smoothed my hand over her face.
I was completely absorbed in my work when I suddenly felt Prudence stretch out on my lap. Her back legs went out behind her and her front legs draped over my thigh. I looked down at her to see that her eyes were half-closed. I couldn’t believe it; she was completely relaxed.
And then it happened: I felt her soft little tongue lick my arm.
I remembered back when I was researching my book Rabbits for Dummies and read somewhere that the ultimate sign of love from a rabbit is a kiss. I had never been kissed by a rabbit before; it was something I had only dreamed of. But here I was, holding my 8-year-old Rex doe, and she was kissing me.