I was living alone in Los Angeles and decided I wanted a pet to keep me company. I'm allergic to cats and didn't have space for a dog in my apartment, so I decided to get a rabbit. We had a rabbit in my family when I was growing up, so I knew what to expect and how to care for one. I also knew to get a female because they make better pets.
I went to a pet store in the Beverly Center and found they had several dwarf rabbits. I asked a store employee to help me find all the girls, so I'd know which ones to choose from. I knew rabbits are hard to sex when they're little because their genitalia is hidden and not fully formed, but surely a teenager with a weekend job at the mall would be able to sex this rabbit for me. I brought the rabbit home and couldn't think of a name for it for the life of me, so I figured I would just call it "Bunn" until I could think of a better name.
Eventually I left LA to move north to the Bay Area to live with my boyfriend and his 70 pound dog – a Chow/Lab mix named Kaya. We found a house to rent in the Oakland hills with no traffic, lots of trees, decks, and a huge yard. I figured Bunn deserved a natural life in the wild, even though I was fearful of the coyotes, owls, and other predators in the hills, so Bunn could come and go in and out of the house as she pleased.
One day my boyfriend came into the room and said, "Uh, I think Bunn has reached puberty." I had no idea what he was talking about until I looked down and saw Bunn going to town on his ankle. Bunn wanted to have sex with anything and everything that moved, every second of every day. She would hide behind furniture and wait for us to walk through the room and dive-bomb our feet. Sometimes this would happen in midstep, and I'd accidentally drop-kick Bunn across the room, but she'd always come running back for more.
I found a nice stuffed animal for Bunn to keep her occupied, but it just laid there motionless and didn't keep Bunn's attention. It was about this time that Bunn took a look at the dog and decided she was going to make Kaya her bitch. The dog came running into the room yelping in fear, with Bunn attached to her thigh by his teeth, flapping like a windsock as she ran.
This was getting out of hand.
When you have to personally escort your dog to do her business, in order to keep your rabbit from sexually assaulting her, you know it's time to do something. We went to the SPCA and told the receptionist that I thought Bunn was a girl, but she might be a boy, and either way the rabbit needed to be spayed or neutered or something to fix the problem.
The woman picked up the rabbit and said, "Honey, I don't know how you didn't know this was a boy." She turned Bunn around and my jaw dropped. Bunn had the biggest balls I had ever seen. The rabbit only weighed about six pounds and his balls must have weighed two. The receptionist then asked for his name to fill out paper work. I said, "Bunn."
"No, Bunn. James Bunn."
After Bunn got his nip and tuck, he settled down for a while, but he had already had a taste of freedom. He started crawling under the fence into the neighbor's yards. One neighbor stopped me out of concern to tell me that Bunn had been in her yard. She didn't mind him being there, but she was concerned that her dog might hurt him. I told her I would try to keep him out, but he's such a small rabbit and there's too much fence for him to dig under.
Pretty soon I heard the yelping of a dog again. I immediately looked around for Kaya, but she was right there at the end of the couch. I ran out back and looked up to the neighbor's house, and all I could see in the silhouette of the porch light was this large Labrador running up and down the stairs with this little rabbit chasing him. Bunn got the dog cornered and was about to have his way with it, when I looked up and noticed that the couple who owned the house were standing inside the sliding-glass door holding each other, with looks of absolute shock and horror on their faces.
Bunn's adventures into the wild became longer and longer. I always wished I could have found some way to rig up a "Bunn cam" on him, so I could follow Bunn on his adventures and see what kind of trouble he was getting into. For a while I could tell how far away he was by the sound of a dog yelping in the distance: "Sounds like Bunn is about two blocks away today."
Then one day Bunn left and never came back. I'll never know if something got him or if he just decided to move on in his quest to get some. Whenever I hear the sound of a dog yelping, though, I always think to myself, There goes Bunn. James Bunn.