Recently, with the time flying by and my baby having just turned one, a familiar feeling has come over me.
I have tried to suppress it and pretend that it’s not there, but I just can’t fight it. It’s that maternal, maybe even broody, urge to once again have something small and cuddly to look after. I am longing for a tiny little helpless being with big eyes and incontinence issues to need my mothering skills to keep it happy, healthy and safe! I’m going to say it – I want a pet.
I am aware that this thought is completely illogical. The truth is I know that I don’t need any more mouths to feed, poop to clear up or jobs to do. As my husband quite rightly says – “why would you buy yourself more jobs to do?” I have three young children aged 1 year, 2 years and 8 years, and I hold the middle one solely responsible for this sudden return of my maternal instincts.
A few nights ago she was fast asleep, tucked up in her little bed, when we suddenly heard her cry out “No Daddy! Put it in the kitchen.” In the morning I brought her downstairs and she headed straight for the kitchen and started to look for something. “Where is it mummy?” She asked sadly.
“Where is what?”
“Where is the bunny?”
“The one Daddy put in the kitchen. He was brown with green eyes. He was so fluffy!”
I proceeded to explain to my now crying toddler that she had dreamt about the bunny and that it wasn’t really in the kitchen, but she didn’t believe me and carried on asking about the bunny for the rest of the day. This was the trigger. That was it, now I wanted the brown fluffy bunny with green eyes too. (And possibly a little companion for him.)
We have always had pet rabbits ever since we moved to a house with a garden, and long before the arrival of our children, so we both know exactly what this would entail. Our rabbits lived in the most luxurious hutches you have ever seen complete with insulation, upstairs bedrooms, outside area and decking! All hand crafted by my clever husband.
Sadly we lost our last rabbit a year ago and with a new born baby to look after we decided that, for now, we had enough to cope with. But our baby is now growing up and starting to walk and is really enjoying being outside! So things have changed haven’t they?
It has come to my notice that I am not the only one to have experienced this urge to get a pet once the decision has been made that the family (in people terms) is complete. Lots of my friends have experienced this same phenomenon.
Just a few months ago I was having the exact conversation with Louise as I am now having with myself, listing endless reasons why she did not need to add a puppy to her already hectic life! I compiled a long text message with 10 reasons why a puppy would not be helpful at this time of life – not least because she is allergic to fur! I am now thinking that I should revisit my own words. Although a rabbit is not quite such a huge commitment as a dog, there is still a lot of work involved and a lot of time to be spent outside, which is lovely…in the summer.
I have tried several tactics to help me overcome my maternal urges; Like standing by the back door on a cold, dark rainy night and imagining having to venture out to check that the rabbits are warm and dry.
I’ve considered the stress of trying to get to the vets with three children and two rabbits for vaccinations and check-ups (only for the rabbits!)
I’ve thought about cleaning out hutches and buying the food and hay and sawdust. But hey it’s all good for the compost.
All of these tactics have been somewhat undermined by secret little trips to various pet shops with the children and visits to the local RSPCA website ‘just to see’ if there were any little bunnies who needed a loving home. Guess what – there were lots! (And they are all so fluffy!)
For now I have not caved in, but I suspect it is only a matter of time. And with Easter just around the corner who can say whether the Easter Bunny might visit…and move in!
The very kind people of the RSPCA Isle of Thanet have allowed me to use their photo for this blog and have asked that I add a few useful pieces of information to anyone who is considering getting a pet rabbit.
- They would be so pleased if you would consider rescuing a rabbit (or two) from one of their many centres across the country
- Rabbits can live for 12 years
- Rabbits are sociable little creatures who like to be kept in pairs. This prevents boredom and loneliness.
- The RSPC Isle of Thanet branch are having an Easter fun day on Friday 25th March. If you would like more details here is the link to their facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/events/843834505726713/
Thank you again to Clive and everyone at the RSPCA Isle of Thanet for all your help.
Image by RSPCA Isle of Thanet