Yesterday I was at the vet with Nelly. I was very anxious and glared around at the silly barking dogs in the waiting room that scared my little bunny endlessly. When it was finally our turn I explained to the vet in my “high-pitch please-help-my-baby” voice that I had found these “sore red spots”. He looked at my rabbit, who by the way behaved very well, and told me:
“Well, we have a very healthy buck here. Nothing wrong with him.”
Me: “What…? … A buck? Why, I thought she was a doe.”
Vet: “No, no. See this red ‘spots’? These are his testicles. He is definately male.”
I was so embarrassed! The vet found it pretty funny and I took my bunny and went home. I was very confused. My little beloved Nelly was gone in a way. I looked down at my rabbit and he just looks so girly. I still think so. But as soon as we arrived at home and I had put him to Bingley again, who consoled him instantly, I sat down next to their cage and promised to “Nelly” that I would not love him any less now that I knew he was a buck. I would only need a night or two to get used to the idea and he blinked with his big pearly black eyes at me and hid his nose in Bingleys fluffy fur.
In my agitation I had to tell somebody about it, anyone. Since Julia and Alex were not at home I went to Lisa and told her the strange story. She was not astonished at all:
Her: “I suspected as much. Did I not say so to you earlier?”
Me: “No, you did not.”
Her: “Oh, I am sure I did.”
Grrr… She did not!
Me: “I cannot call her Nelly anymore…”
Her: “Why not?”
Me: “It is such a girly name.”
Her: “It is just a rabbit anyway.”
Mind your heads, here comes a low, thinly-veiled insult!
I phoned my brother.
Me: “I was at the vet with Nelly and guess what!”
He: “It is Nelson (he was joking about Nelly being a buck for months calling her Nelson).”
Me: “How do you know?”
He: “Is it true? I was only joking as usual.”
Me: “How shall I call her… him now?”
He: “You can still call him Nelly, like this rapper, you know.”
Me: “I don’t like this rapper…”
I called my mum some hours later.
Me: “Mum, I told you I wanted to go to the vet with Nelly…”
Her: “You mean Nelson.”
Me: “Did Th. (my brother) tell you?!”
Her: “Yes, he did.”
Me: “Oh, what a blabbermouth!”
Her: “Well, you told him that I had painted the kitchen yellow in this absence.”
Me: “I only meant to prepare him. I told him so feign surprise…! So what am I to do now?”
Her: “Just call her Nelson.”
Me: “But I don’t like the name Nelson. It reminds me of this obnoxious boy from ‘The Simpsons’.”
Her: “Wasn’t there a historical person named Nelson, too?”
Me: “I do not call my rabbits after historical persons but after fictional characters…”
You see I have my little problems coping with it. Although I must admit that I like calling my bunnies “my little fellows” or “my boys” now. Anyway Nelly seems to be a late-developper and for now I do not plan to castrate him like I did with Bingley (which I thought neccessary for him to live together with a doe). This morning I thought about calling him “Jamie” now. I need a new name somehow, although everyone tells me to keep calling him “Nelly”. When I thought of the name “Nell” or “Nelly” for my bunny I wanted it to be associated with Eleanor Harris (called Nell) from the Aunt Dimity books by Nancy Atherton. To separate my bunny from this inner picture is hard and maybe too hard for me when I really want to think of him as a buck.
It does not seem to bother him though. He still sulks because I took him to the vet and does not react to me calling him anything, neither “Nelly”, “Jamie” or “sweetheart”.