With so many people working from home, our pets are starting to become coworkers. Lots of people have dogs and cats. In addition to my Nazi-fighting white shepherds, our house has a bun. As in rabbit. I, very originally, call him Mr. Bunny. And actually he’s Mr. Bunny II. Our first Mr. Bunny was actually named Niall. As in Niall Horan (thanks 2011 thirteen-year old daughter). Like Mr. Bunny I, a.k.a. the OG Mr. Bunny, Mr. Bunny II has a different name. His name is Murdoch.
Mr. Bunny I died five years ago while my daughter and wife were in Amsterdam. We put away his cage and bought Charmander, Breaker of Worlds. Maybe two years ago we picked up Mr. Bunny II.
Mr. Bunny II was owned by the Reinagels, good family friends and animal devotees who own property and raise meat rabbits. They had one rabbit who was very cute and friendly and loved to hop around the family. They brought him indoors all the time. The problem was that this rabbit, as friendly as he was, never really grew that big. Maybe a foot, foot-and-a-half fully extended. He had small ears, too, but the real problem was that he also bred very small rabbits, which doesn’t work if you’re breeding rabbits for meat. It was time for Murdock to become food, perhaps a little snack.
The Reinagel daughters were not down with this idea. While they understood the value and the lifecycle of a meat rabbit, this one was different. They enjoyed having him around and did not want to see him sent to the axe. (I have seen that axe, by the way. It is very sharp and well-weighted – a superb axe.) So while I will always paraphrase this story as “we saved the rabbit from the axe,” I suspect that the family would have found a new home for him somewhere.
They remembered that we had once owned a rabbit and thought that we might like a new one. The crazy thing was, I was thinking about getting a new rabbit. We got Mr. Bunny I at the SPCA, and it turned out really well. I really enjoyed having the rabbit, even if he was large, skittish, and not really into people (I tried many times to lie down in the same room as him. He’d never hop into my lap, but he would eventually approach me and lay down up against me, but the second I turned my face or moved an arm or anything, he’d run away.)
Mr. Bunny taught me a philosophy, though – one that I still have to this day. Unlike Koda the Wonder Dog or Ryder who protect the house, the affinity for a rabbit is that they look cute. A-DOR-able, even. So paying up to $20 for a rabbit, and then up to $50 a year in food, water, and etceteras, they are worth the cost just to have them out and doing charming things like reaching up to the tallest parsley stalks or stretching out on a table.
So at the same time that I was considering my philosophy and thinking “man, that rabbit cage doesn’t look good empty,” the Reinagels were thinking it was time for Murdock to find a new home.
So that’s how we got our Dwarf Netherlands rabbit. (I looked it up.)
For his name, I told Douglas he could name it whatever he wanted.
Me: But you can name him whatever you want. Any name you want.
Douglas: But Dad, his name is Murdock!
I find this all very interesting. It’s like re-naming him, for my son, would have been taking something from the rabbit. So we kept his name rabbit, but as per my habit, I always talk to “Mr. Bunny” or “Mr. Bun.” Hence, Mr. Bunny II.
I really like that name. It always makes me think of Snowballs IV or II or whatever, the poor cat that in The Simpsons, Lisa is always owning, killing, and then buying a new one. I think as long as I have rabbits, I will keep naming them Mr. Bunny III, IV, etc.
Because, after all, what’s in a name? A bunny, by any other name, is still just as cute!