Saturday, November 6, 2010

Naboon Toky (A Bunny Story) 兔子的故事

checking out her brand new condo
I have called her as "the quiet one", as having been the owner of two cats in a previous life, I noticed how different it was to have a pet that does not "miao" constantly.

But she does make a variety of noises, like the soft content grind from her back teeth touching gently (this is called the "bunny's purr") when I get down to her level to bump noses and rub her chins.  Or the louder, excited quick breath that sounds a bit more like a cat purring when she is picked up but draws to a soft long sigh when she is petted to a trance.  She makes a low grunt noise at the back of her throat when we attempt to clean her condo while she is there eating or using the facilities though often both, an attack warning as a quick pounce is sure to follow.  She whimpers while struggling, so quietly you would miss it if there were any other sound nearby, when she had to suffer through the indignities of getting her nails clipped, leaving my lap covered in dustings of her white hair.

We got her when her previous owner moved overseas.  I had been on the lookout for a bun, having gotten a beautifully drawn up picture and a poem requesting one as a Christmas gift last year, when I saw the posting at the pet store.  Her picture on the posting looked fake, in a porcelain like pose she was pristine white with blue eyes.  But unlike the velveteen rabbit whose back legs were sewn up, she hop hop hopped happily whenever I let her out of her cage.  On the third day of her arrival, she hopped onto the couch next to me and run up my out stretched arm, leaving a trail of scented pellets behind her.  I was later informed that this meant she had "adopted" me as her friend. 

Naboon chewing up my homework
She never did again "adopt" anyone else who came across.  Though her outgoing demeanor had earned universal love.  Kevin, my youngest nephew, declared one morning over breakfast that he'd prefer her over a younger sibling any day, and by my observation,  other humans in general whenever he is in her presence.  The feeling is mutual, as "Nips" (the children named her so seeing her ever sniffing nose) would only take a feeding of the hay by hand from him.   As she is not "caged" normally, my visitors are often distracted from my scintillating conversations at her mere appearance, and if she decides to come up for a sniff or two, I would be suddenly free to go prepare tea or do some other mundane chores rather than having the luxury of keeping rapt attentions of my guests. 

When Tim's friends Kimog and Kinam visited from Korea, we had a lavish breakfast every morning, and Nips was caught several times leaping on the dinning table stealing pancakes, waffles, toasts covered with chocolate hazelnut spread (Nutella) and apples, much to our horror and collected gasps.  Thus came her Korean name: "Naboon Toky".   She was Naboon quite often when my tired friend left her computer chord plugged in at night where she could reached the wire, hanging low like a stray root in the path of her "burrow".  She worked hard on clearing out this nasty "root" until it gave her a strange buzz, no doubt, and my friend had to duck tape the whole thing all over came morning.

When fresh vegetables began cooking in the kitchen almost daily during those months, she was "Naboon" less often.  Being a vegetable junkie, she'd dash to her litter box and sit like a perfect charm school student at the first smell of vegetables or even the sound of the refrigerator crisp drawer opening, or even (eventually) one of us stepping into the kitchen.

Though she hardly lounges on the couch, she visits it every morning on her "patrol" of the house.  Whenever one of the boys had carelessly left a toy, a book, or a project laying on it, she would pick it up and toss or push it off until the sofa is once again pristine.  If I had left a blanket unfolded, she'd push her front paws up and down and back and forth on it, as if attempting to remove any crease, smoothing and flatten it til perfection.  This scene cracked up me and the friends who were watching when we first saw it, but caused a flashback of one of my mother's visits later on.  

We first sensed her loneliness when we spotted her hiding under the bed where Tim sleeps, in between the wall and the headboard, motionless.  Whenever we return from an outing, that is where we'd find her, close to his clothes littered on the floor and his bed.  We learned then that bunny's are very social and they never want to be separated from a bunny with whom they've bonded. Short of that, our bun seems to grieve each of our departure, not knowing whether or when we'd return. She'd chase us until the last possible step, stretching her body long to sniff our shoes or lick the fabric on our pants with her pink tongue one last time, her bunny eyes wondering, searching, forlorn.

3 comments:

  1. It was fun writing this story, and a little sad. I wish I could find a friend for her, but I heard it is very tough at the same time to "bond" bunnies when they hadn't been litter mates. I supposed we are not all that different, can you imagine if someone just showed up in your living room one day and take up residence? We need to arrange "bunny dates", as I was told, with a suitable potential partner...

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  2. When I was young we had a pet cat that was an older cat. When I got a bunny, the bunny warmed up to the cat quickly, the cat took on the bunny like it was it's kitten. It was very cute!

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  3. That's so sweet. I actually did read sometimes it is easier to bond a bunny with a different species, as they feel less threatened and less jealous, taken over by curiosity perhaps. I have seen the cutest pictures of a cat and a bunny nap together. I will definitely keep that in mind when looking for a friend for "nips".

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