She’s fluffy, she’s saucy, she’s hyper, and she never ever stops pooping.
She’s Dolly, my English Angora rabbit.
Dolly came into my life due to an unhealthy adoration of all things knitted. When you knit as much as I do, buying yarn week after week gets to be mighty pricey. I started looking for alternatives a few years ago. While it is, strangely, legal to keep backyard sheep in our city, I knew that endeavor would have to wait until we move onto more land.
I did momentarily consider spinning the abundance of wooly fur that comes off our dog Nico every Spring, but then I remembered that she likes to roll around in dead animals and made a quick pass on that idea.
Then one day I was skimming through Instagram and came across a photo of the most fluffy faced bunny on planet Earth. A little time on google showed me that it was an Angora, and that the wool they produce can be spun into yarn.
That was all it took.
I went directly from google to craigslist and put up a want ad for an Angora rabbit.
Within three hours my inbox was full of messages from people looking to sell their Angora. This should have been a red flag, but my brain was clouded with fluff that day.
Several potentials sent me photos of their little fluffballs.
I saw this face and simply couldn’t resist.
We arranged to meet the very next day at the thruway stop halfway between our cities. I hastily set up a “cage” in our sunroom for my new little friend. It consisted of a very shallow, long bin, with a four sided wire enclosure around it. The wire enclosure used to be part of a bird cage, so it had several little doors all around the sides. Doors I thought a rabbit could never fit through.
When I arrived at the thruway stop there were three other rabbit raisers there as well. Apparently this little stop on the thruway was the Angora rabbit trading post of upstate New York. The cars were all filled with cages full of little fluffballs.
One woman was going on and on about how she had to get rid of her Angoras because her husband was allergic. He was there too, staring at the ground and looking thoroughly uncomfortable by the whole thing.
She offered me one of her male Angoras for free.
My heart said yes! They could have adorable Angora babies!
My brain, however, said no, and today I’m very glad that it did. One Angora is plenty trouble for me.
We completed our transaction for the little white puffball that would be mine, and started the long drive home.
My giant fluffy passenger caused quite a lot of puzzled looks on the way. The people at the gas station were straight up staring at me. They were actually afraid to speak to me because I was clearly a witch with some sort of magical creature in my car.
On arrival home I announced on our Facebook page that we had a new addition in our ever growing farm family. I asked the lovely people what to name a white fluffy rabbit and the best response was Dolly Pop, after a Dandelion gone to seed.
I installed the newly named Dolly in her “cage” in our sunroom and went about my business.
She performed her first jailbreak about an hour later.
I put her back in, puzzled as to how she could have escaped in the first place. An hour later, out again. It took three more times before I realized she was jumping the four feet over the top of the enclosure to get out. So I put a roof on it.
Hah! That’ll stop her!
She just used her rabbit genius to figure out how to open the doors. So I locked them with safety pins, which she promptly scratched off.
We struggled back and forth for days before I gave up and let her have the room. It was supposed to be temporary but weeks turned into months which turned into years.
She became a wild woman.
Her hobbies included knocking my window boxes full of lettuce and spinach off the ledge, then eating all the vegetation and taking a dirt bath in the remains. She came to recognize that room as her domain (which let’s face it, it was) and would attack anyone who entered.
She would run at me full force, grunting and lunging, nipping and scratching. My husband quickly gave her the name Bunnicula, but I felt she was more like the killer rabbit from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
She decided to make my amazing vintage orange couch into her demon lair, and scratched out the seats until there was nothing but springs, then promptly pooped all over them.
She used the whole room as her toilet, even though I had given her a bin full of nice clean pine shavings to do her business in, and trained her how to do it. She did well for about a week, but then decided she’d rather make a bed out of the pine shavings and use the rest of the room to do her business.
She also decided she no longer liked rabbit food, and decided instead to devour a paper mache sculpture my husband was storing in the room.
That did it.
She could destroy my couch and my floor and my sanity, but she could not destroy priceless pieces of art.
I bought her a proper cage, moved her to our back porch, and renovated the rabbit room. I stripped the floors, scrubbed the walls, floor, and ceiling, installed new flooring, and set up a hammock where my brilliant orange couch used to sit, may it rest in peace.
It probably would have been easier to burn the room down, but alas, now we have a nice place to read.
Dolly now spends her nights sleeping in her cage in the back porch and spends her days running wild and free in the backyard.
She digs holes, torments Nico, and eats weeds to her hearts content.
When it’s time to go back inside she still gets the pleasure of driving me insane by making me chase her to every corner of the yard before finally submitting to be returned to the safety of her cage.
She’s happy and we’re happy.
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