For the past two weeks, I've been re-bonding with my houserabbit. She used to live with a friend of mine (long, tortuous story) but when he moved back home, she came to stay with me. Daphne - after the Scooby-Doo character - is just over a year or so old; she's a French Lop. And a proper madam.
At the moment, she's lying, stretched full-length in the living room. She spends a lot of the day napping, dozing and checking her eyelids for leaks. And then she potters around the house for a little while, sniffing everything, checking everything is in place - and woe betide you if it isn't. One of her tricks is picking up shoes and throwing them out of the way - usually towards where they should be lying. She keeps me tidy. But after the exhaustions of shoe-throwing (or the olympic food-bowl throwing, usually held just after I've cleaned her room) she has a little nap.
There is, however, one event which demands stamina. Endurance. Training.
The Bunbun 400.
Dahpne starts in the bedroom, usually against a wall - or saving that, something which gives a satisfying noise when shoved - and charges, full tilt along the length of the corridor. She slaloms through the the kitchen doorway, scrabbling at the carpet tiles and narrowly avoiding the door. There's a sharp chicane around the bottom of the breakfast bar, weaving between the stool legs, and then the sharp turn under the sofa, usually executed by bouncing off the wall. And then back to the bedroom. And then lap two. And three. And maybe four, followed by a brief rest, before starting again.
This is all done at a charge, full of thundering feet, lop ears flapping furiously and white cotton-wool tail punctuating each bound with a wiggle. When turning corners, she binkies - flings herself into the air, twisting wildly as though attepmting to tie herself in knots - and lands with a thump far out of proportion to her size.
And after the race, she flops down again, to groom and shed fawny hair on the carpet before rolling on her back and sighing.