Pet Project: Living Simply with Animals

A year after my dear Niels passed away, we decided to open our hearts to another sweet rabbit. Meet Bonnie!

Bonnie

We adopted this girl from the Los Angeles Rabbit Foundation, where she had been “in the system” (foster care, shelters) for two years. We were shocked! Not only is she beautiful, but she’s calm and gentle. I think her main issue with getting adopted was just that she’s a bit shy.

I’m so proud to live in a city that doesn’t allow commercial breeding for pet store sales. I got my first rabbit, Niels, from a pet store in a mall. He had health issues from day one, and I always wonder if his breeding conditions had anything to do with it. 

So here’s my rant on adopting vs. buying pets: you should probably adopt. Here’s my rant on spaying and neutering: you should fix your pets, including rabbits. Especially rabbits.

But I didn’t know these things at first.

Rabbits are simple pets…right?

I got my first rabbit because I thought he’d be a simple, straightforward pet. I thought he needed a cage and pellets and water.

Fast forward to today:

Rabbit Setup

 

The rabbits have taken over our living/dining/office space. There’s hay and food and litterboxes everywhere. It’s not usually this bad, but right now they’re in the bonding phase so need to have separate cages until they can go without fighting.

Rabbits are not simple pets. I know many people who had them growing up, and they claim their rabbit was so happy in its outdoor cage. Truth? Rabbits thrive as indoor house pets. Like, practically cage-free indoor house pets. (I have to cage Rory at night because he likes to eat paint from the walls). Their diet includes veggies, pellets and tons of hay. They require exercise and vet care. Exotic animal vet care. Crazy, right? I’ll stop ranting again, but if you are interested in getting a rabbit, this video is a great introduction.

But bringing a new pet into our home got me thinking about the complexities of adding a non-human mouth to feed. Whether it’s a cat, dog, rabbit, bird, reptile or even one of those giant millipedes, you’ve got to be willing to expand your lifestyle to include them.

No pet is simple

Even an aloof cat needs “stuff” to keep it healthy and happy. They need time and money and a level of patience that isn’t always easy.

For example, Rorschach has destroyed 3 computer chargers and countless phone chargers/headphones with his chewing. Silly rabbit.

We’ve tried to keep it simple by using moving boxes as hiding places, secondhand dishes for food and water, and by making toys out of anything that could be interesting.  Some things, though, can’t be simplified – pet carriers for vet trips, litter boxes, cages, and all the consumables that come with pet ownership.

So why would anyone trying to simplify want to double their bunny trouble? Because the value I get from caring for these little furballs far outweighs the costs of supplies, time, vet care and storage needed to keep them around. And because rabbits are often happier in pairs.

But the lifestyle I write about on this blog isn’t about getting rid of everything you own. It’s about getting rid of things that are no longer necessary or valuable in your life. And if you have a pet that’s adding value to your life, then carry on. Because at the end of the day, I’d rather get rid of extra shoes and bathroom supplies than give up on this:

My question for you

So, to bring it all back to simple living. I’ve been struggling with all of the clutter these bunnies have brought into the house recently, despite my affection for them. I need storage solutions!

I usually tend to explore the “get rid of it” solution before the “store it” solution, but this is a special case. I need something that either looks great or serves multiple purposes. I’ve been thinking of small storage stools or discreet drawers.

Do you have pet supply storage recommendations? How do you handle the extra necessities that a pet brings to your life?

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5 thoughts on “Pet Project: Living Simply with Animals

  1. We have two cats and a dog and some days it feels like a zoo! The cats stuff is in the computer room and we are looking to get a small bench where we can hide their litter box inside and create storage for books and stuff on top. For the dog, the bf built a fence to contain our property and keep her running happy around the yard. And some days it’s a task keeping all of their toys and fur contained!

  2. Pingback: A Simple Wedding Anniversary | Minimal Millennial

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