Connor has always been skiddish, scared, easily startled. I was never sure if it was his breed, size or personality. But since he entered our lives, he always startled easily. I mean, we got him when he was 6 weeks old. There was little time for ill treatment, right?
Regardless, we were delighted to have him. Ive never seen a smaller rabbit than Connor. He fit in the palm of my husbands hand.
Enterer a room? Connor would run away.
Wear a slipper Connor has not seen? Connor would run away.
Move too quickly off the couch/a chair/in the spot you are standing? Connor would run away.
Wear a hat? On no no no! Thats not a familiar shape. Connor would run away.
Lean in to pet Connor? Connor would run away....
Change the litter box while Connor was in the same room? Connor would run away...to a different room, under a bed and stay there.
This went on for some time...business was as usual. When we walked by, we would try to pet him, give him a treat. We would try to play, show him we weren't a threat. I mean, after Wiggles, Connor was a walk in the park.
It was gradual, but I honestly remember one specific day, just this week actually when it finally dawned on me that Connor is not the same skiddish bunny he once used to be.
I was changing all six litterboxes at once and in auto clean mode. Grabbing the litter from their room, collecting the litterboxes while Wiggles and Connor both were enjoying their cereal as I was stepping over them heaving a heavy bag wearing a toque with my new winter slippers.....wait...I just walked by Connor and he didn't flinch.....he didn't even stop eating...what just happened here?
Thats when it dawned on me...Connor has changed! A lot!
I began to realize he had not in recent memory run away from our approach. He greeted us by turning head first in our direction with the expectation of being petted. He no longer ran away at unusual noises. He stayed put when I pulled the curtains shut. We could walk by him and he would not get up and run into a corner. He now recognized us with a toque and shoes on!!!
It was such a small and gradual change that it was a shock when it dawned on me.
Connor's skiddishness was really put to the test a few days ago when my husband and brother in law were playing a racing game in the living room and Connor stayed in the same room with them the whole time. Not only that, he was sprawled out on top of the heating vents, relaxed as can be.
This is not the same scared little rabbit that we brought home. Connor is a new bun.
Some rabbits are naturally scared, untrusting of their surroundings and need to be proven they can trust you. Well, I think we got to that point with Connor.
Just tonight I had to comb his little fur. Its shedding season and being a half angora Mister Cooner tends to need grooming a bit more that the others. He does not like being picked up let alone combed. But he was a trooper. He let me comb him and after I put him down, was waiting for his reward, a raisin.
If he keeps this up, he will soon be king of the house.