I will never disappear
Said forever, I swear
So I will be there
Tyler Shaw – Love You Still
It's Luna (my bunny)'s 1st Birthday next week, but I wanted to do something special now... So, I thought I’d turn over to you and asked you all to send in your bunny-related questions! I had vowed to answer all of them but having such a big audience now; I maybe shouldn’t have said that! So, I’ve had to pick my favourites – which was so difficult because I honestly loved them all…
Why a rabbit? And what made you pick Luna?
So, when I was little I had two rabbits – Happy and Thumper – and when they had babies myself and my family made the mistake of handling them so the Mum killed them (something which is quite well known in rabbits). This memory led professionals to believe that when I started to hallucinate rabbits years later, that was the influence.
After a lengthy (two and a half years) psychiatric hospital admission and medication, the hallucinations stopped for some time and when they came back in 2017, I was so terrified that if I told someone I’d be put back in hospital; but I knew that I needed to talk about it in order to get help. So, my Mum and I were in Pets At Home, and I had this unexpected and overwhelming idea to hold one of their rabbits. My thought behind it was that perhaps in feeling a very real bunny, in having their fur against my skin and feeling their heartbeat, maybe I’d feel some sort of courage and comfort that would leave me able to get help for the hallucinations return.
When I picked this fluffy Lionhead to hold and started to cry, I knew I had to have her in my life. And so, I went back to the store the next day and bought Pixie. A year after getting her, my first cat (Dolly) died and so we went to being a family of two and that really intensified our already special bond because it was like we could go through the grieving process together and lean on one another when things got hard. Fortunately, we didn’t struggle like that for too long as I bought Emmy with the week, and she instantly cheered up Pixie (and me!).
Getting Emmy as a kitten meant that she really knew no difference than growing up with a rabbit in the house and so when Pixie was put to sleep in 2021, she was pretty distraught. I mean, I’d argue that she was a bigger mess than me! But this time, it felt a lot more difficult to decide to get to another rabbit, so it wasn’t for a good two/three months that I started looking on Pets4Homes (the site I’d used to buy Dolly).
The first Mini Lionheads I saw, I ended up actually going to visit them – and thank goodness I did so before buying! – and discovered they weren’t at all that breed/size, and they were all being kept in horrible conditions (particularly in terms of the size of the hutch for the mum and her kits). So, I found another breeder who was much closer and just fell in love with the picture of Luna on the website! Plus, my Mum had been cautious and sceptical of the idea of getting another rabbit, but when I sent her Luna’s photo she was like ‘ah Aimee, she’s the one!’
Why did you call her Luna? And does she get any nicknames?
Firstly, I googled popular girls names and ‘Luna’ was somewhere near the top. Then, when I saw she was white and black I thought it was kind of symbolic of the moon and dark night sky!
Most used nickname is probably ‘Looney Tunes!’ – I know it’s a strange one!
Is Luna a house rabbit? Where does she sleep?
With Luna being a mini-Lionhead and weighing only 1kg, I’d be terrified to let her into the garden! I mean, it’s enclosed, and Pixie used to go in it, but she was four times Luna’s size/weight! I just have visions of letting Luna out and a seagull picking her up and carrying her off!
So, when I’m in the house, Luna has the run of the place and can go in any room, but when I go out and at night-time, she’s shut in the kitchen where her hutch is on the floor and open so she can come and go in that. And since she’s shut in the kitchen when I’m in bed, I have no idea where exactly she sleeps, but I do know she likes a spot under the dining table, and she loves being in the pot and pan storage under the cooker!
During the day, when I’m up and she goes around the house, she tends to nap under Emmy’s scratch post/climbing furniture – I think because it’s fluffy and near the radiator.
Which Vets do you take Luna to and what do you think of them?
Luna is registered with St Clair Veterinary Care and to be honest, she and Emmy are with them because Emmy was at another Veterinary practice who made a few mistakes and in a desperate attempt to get proper care for Emmy, I rushed her to St Clair’s and found them to be incredible. They really care about animals – you know some Vets seem to prioritise the business side of things – and will go the extra miles for them and their humans!
Ok, so I have two…
When they first met:
When they first met:
How did you introduce your cat to Luna? Do they get along now?
So, I kind of ignored all of the professional advice about putting something of my cat’s in with Luna and letting her get used to the smell and then gradually allowing them to be near each other. Although, what I did do was allow Luna the day and night in her new hutch without me or Emmy bothering her. Then, the following day, I had her on my bed and Emmy came in from outside, sniffed Luna (who just sat completely still) and walked off.
I think that Emmy’s immediate acceptance of Luna was partly because she had been brought up with a rabbit (Pixie) and so, if anything, not having one was unusual for her. However, that’s how it worked for my pets, others can be completely different and so I wouldn’t exactly recommend doing the introduction the way I did… But I would say to trust your instincts. Do it the way you believe is best for your pet because you likely know them better than anyone else who will provide recommendations and instructions based on the animal in general and not as an individual.
Emmy and Luna are pretty much best
friends now. They’ll wind each other up with Luna sneaking up on Emmy when she’s
lying down or Emmy tapping Luna on the head for no reason. But now that Luna is
bigger (still only 1.8kg!), when Emmy goes outside through the bedroom window,
she follows her to the windowsill and watches out of the window until Emmy
comes home! It makes me so happy to see them together.
Where do you find is best to buy Luna’s necessities?
I use Pets at Home for her food because they do the most reliable and recommended brands, then her sawdust and hay and most of her toys and treats are either Amazon, or Wilko because they’re so much more affordable.
Favourite personality quirk or habit of Luna?
I love how much she makes me laugh! Like, she doesn’t even realise how funny she is because it’s mostly just accidental or due to her reacting to something in some way. Sometimes it’s the way she interacts with Emmy or even just when she rubs her chin on something. Watching her makes me smile. And I love that.
Least favourite thing Luna does? And least favourite thing about having a rabbit?
The mess, I guess. There’s constantly sawdust everywhere and she’s nibbled a few cables (the broadband one was the most annoying!) but those things don’t even come close to counteracting how much I love her and how much she means to Emmy, and me and my mental health.
Have you seen what she’s like around children?
No but I can imagine her being very nervous and reluctant to engage with a boisterous, noisy child. If the child is calm and quiet, then she’d probably come over to have a good sniff!
Top tip for getting a rabbit?
ü Do your research on bunnies and on deciding on a breed
Emmy and Luna have an Instagram account too (with four times the following I have on there!) if you want to check that out for more photos and videos: