My Cottontail Sidey


My pet rabbit literally dropped into my life four months ago, May 2014. I work as a letter carrier and was surprised when a crow flew by and dropped a young bunny in the middle of the road. While I realize the rabbit was the crow's dinner and nature can be cruel, I was horrified at what I was seeing. I scooped up the dazed bunny and put her in my shirt pocket. She was the size of a hamster. The vet I took her to glued shut a quarter size wound. I decided to bring her home.

After two weeks we moved her from a hamster cage to a large cage that sits on our credenza by a north facing window. We have identified her as a cottontail. I feed her Timothy hay, rabbit pellets and supplement vegetables, with the odd piece of fruit as a treat. She loves chard from Farm Boy. As she is my pet, I spoil her.

I am enjoying watching her grow into a insolent youngster. I move her cage onto the floor every morning and allow her an hour run. In the evening she is exploring for hours. She goes in and out of her cage to grab a snack and use her washroom. Yes, she is toilet trained all on her own!

I have watched her over the last few months gain confidence. She use to hug the walls but now rips around the family room and kitchen. She lays on me for a pet. She loves her head stroked. As friendly as she can be, she is very independent and does not like to be picked up. I let her come to me. When cleaning her cage, as I am in her space, she grunts and challenges me.

Everything I have read suggests she will need bunny companions to be truly happy so we have play dates planned with a friend's neutered rabbit. Plans to build rabbit runs that run behind our couch and love seat so that she has more space during the day are in the works.

I had considered releasing her back into the outdoors but fear for her welfare, simply because I have come to know her. I know her personality, likes and dislikes. While I understand she will never truly be domesticated, I believe she is happy. Since she was a crow's dinner when I found her, any type of life has to be better than the alternative. She amuses me with her antics and I believe trusts me.

I love my Cottontail.

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Feb 27, 2016
2016 update
by: Moe

Update February 2016 on Sidey.
Sidey continues to thrive. As she does not chew my furniture, is toilet trained and just a good bunny, she is free all the time to roam the back of my bunny proofed home. I only keep her confined to her cage if we have a large family get together. She loves spending time in her cave that is formed from a blanket hanging off the cage. She loves to snuggle down in the blankets in her "cave." At night we can hear her racing around the room. I purposely made her home in my back family room/kitchen so she would always be around us.

Sidey gets so excited for her early morning feed of greens that she waits on point, on the couch. She even jumped onto the dog's back one time to get closer to her anticipated breakfast.

While I continue to stroke her and talk to her all the time, she is not a cuddle bunny. I would never let children be around her.
I believe she was born in April so I will celebrate her second birthday this April. Her only maintenance regime is a trip to the vets once every few months to have her nails trimmed.

I have pictures and video of her from over the two years and hope to make a short YouTube video of her eventually.

Thank you for your comments. I know some will feel I should have released her before taming her and I still wrestle with that. I do my best to keep her healthy, and happy.

***** Karen Sez *****
Fabulous! Thanks for the update. And no more wrestling over imagined guilt trips, eh? No reason for it, and ain't none of anyone's business except your own. Glad you've chosen to share a little with us. Sidey is one lucky and happy li'l cottontail.

Oct 18, 2014
Update on Sidey
by: Anonymous

Sidey is a girl! She is doing terrific. She was fixed a couple of weeks ago and after a short recovery is bopping around the house again. The vet told me female cotton tails tend to be loners. I will admit she is not a cuddle bunny but we have fostered a relationship where she will sit beside me to be stroked on her head. She will be indoor only with no bunny friends at the vets recommendation.

Her diet is strict. Only Timothy hay, pellets, and kale. The odd carrot, grape or yogurt treat. The vet told me no beans of any kind. I stopped feeding her green beans.

As she is toilet trained I can let her out for hours in the evening. I just confine her to the back of the house as it is now bunny proofed. We have lap blankets on the furniture and chew toys that protect our couches. We put her cage on the ground and just pop open the door. She can visit if she needs a snack or to use her toilet. Her antics are funny to watch. She does quirky, jumpy movements and then will do sprints around the coffee table to run off energy. She is getting bigger every day and my love for her grows along with her.

Aug 19, 2014
bunny friend
by: Anonymous

Please don't let your little bunny back into the wild. She is so friendly, she might get eaten.
Plus she might get eaten anyway, as rabbits seem to be a favorite of many predators.

My cat came home with a full size rabbit that was still alive, so even a cat might kill her.
Just make sure you keep petting her, so she will stay tame.

I do not think she needs a friend. Then she won't be so responsive to you anymore. And it will probably hurt your feelings. Glad she is in your life now.

I raise bunny rabbits for pets, and they have a lot of different personalities. I have heard they live about 8 years or so.

Aug 19, 2014
Wild should be wild
by: Anonymous

I saved a baby jackrabbit when his mother & siblings were killed by a falling tree. I hand fed him kit milk till he was 3 months old. As time went on, I could tell of his wildness wanting to be free. I let him go after he started eating greens. It is best for the wild to be wild no matter HOW much you care for them!

Aug 19, 2014
by: Caliene

I was so pleased to read your story. I own multiple rabbits of varying breeds, but our most friendly one was a baby Snowshoe Hare that we saved from being eaten by one of our cats when it was 6 weeks old.

He now lives in our yard after we turned him loose once he had healed up, now a year ago since he was found by us, and he follows us around the yard and comes up to our front door and begs for some of our rabbit feed. Ironically our three Youngling's named the Snowshoe Hare: Snowey and yes this is how they spelled it so as to not get confused with the word Snowy.

Hope Sidey lives to a ripe old age, our first Doe lived to the ripe old age of 9 years and three months before she passed.

Jul 19, 2014
Awww sweet
by: T Dumas

Super sweet I have lots of rabbits and would have done the same thing. I'm also a letter carrier; I have saved a pigeon and a puppy along my route. We kept the pigeon and re homed the puppy.

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