Claudette, my nine-ish year old Hotot / dwarf mix … is, as I was informed by my local rabbit rescue guru, bonded to me. She expresses this via chin rubs to shoes I’ve not previously worn around her (rabbits have scent glands with which they mark territory), a distinct drop-off in the bitchy behavior she demonstrates to nearly all other humans she’s encountered, and tooth-grinding purrs as I stroke her silken fur. We belong to each other.
At the same time, I can’t pretend that the most astonishing bite of food I ate in 2009 wasn’t a smoked rabbit kidney. In my defense, I didn’t order it; it was a gift from the chef of my favorite local restaurant. The rich, gamey, smoke-soaked flavor built in my mouth and did not ebb for many minutes. It made me grateful to have a tongue.
I debated for a minute or two before I ate it, and I apologized to my rabbits (there is another besides Claudette) upon my arrival at home. Yes, I sometimes anthropomorphize, but I felt genuine guilt when I looked into their faces. I take care of these animals. I enjoy and yes, love them. It is truly unnerving to know, quite specifically what is under their fur and how it tastes.
~ Kat Kinsman (February 8, 2011)