Melissa Kite

Real life | 21 February 2013

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The new rabbit is turning into a bit of a slob. The other day I caught her trying to order a takeaway. I had opened the rabbit enclosure to let the two bunnies run around the kitchen and when I came back a few hours later, there were no fewer than 18 takeaway menus scattered across the floor.

They had been tucked away at the back of a shelf but Wendy Pink had pulled them all out and was sitting among them perusing, by which I mean she was very deliberately picking up a menu from the pile, setting it to one side, looking down at it for a few moments, then repeating the exercise with the next menu.

She was trying to decide between Lebanese, Cantonese, two different Chinese, three Indian, a Nepalese, seven pizza places, Japanese, and a list of Flavas fried chicken meal deals. I fancy she was about to go for the Flavas mega offer: ‘two pieces of chicken, two chicken burgers, two cheese burgers, two regular fries and four spicy wings.’ It might have been the free Haggen Daz (sic) with any order over £14.99 that clinched it for her.

(I don’t know what ‘Haggen Daz’ is, exactly, but I’m guessing it either pertains to washing powder sold at the Haggen retail grocery and pharmacy chain in Washington state, or else is something to do with ice cream.)

But I’m not going to be contemptuous of Flavas, because I did once go to this bastion of misspelt fast food where I enjoyed a terrific meal. I admit I used to be somewhat prejudiced against brightly coloured fried chicken shops advertising crazily cheap food on the basis that they were probably the lowest outlet in the food chain.

But I was desperately hungry one night as I drove back into town from the country and as I hit the bright lights of Balham I suddenly became aware of the fried chicken emporium on the corner that I had studiously ignored for ten years.

All I can say is that the service was excellent, the food arrived in 30 seconds flat and the chicken was so delicious I have been back for more many times since. Indeed, I would go further. I would go so far as to say that my skin itches if I don’t have a bucket of Flavas fried chicken quite regularly, which is pretty impressive when you think about it.

But back to this rabbit. It was, if you remember, passed off to me as a girl. But it has been wreaking so much havoc I’ve been starting to doubt this.

As well as ransacking the kitchen for takeaway menus, it charges around its cage, leaping on top of little Tinkerbell in a most insalubrious fashion.

I can’t be sure if this leaping could be called mounting in a romantic sense but I thought I had better have it checked out. Especially since my friend Hannah, who gave me the bunny after a gender-bending unplanned bunny pregnancy disaster of her own, told me to keep checking its undercarriage in case at some point it morphed into a boy.

This is what happened to her when her ‘two girls’ suddenly produced a litter. It happens, I suppose. And I wouldn’t mind, really, but Hannah’s vet is supposed to have sexed this particular bunny. He declared it a girl so definitely that he painted a pink nail polish stripe in its ear. I took it home and called it Wendy Pink.

Then Hannah said casually: ‘Oh, by the way, you need to keep checking that rabbit just in case it grows a pair of…’

You can imagine my consternation. I made an appointment at my vets immediately and rushed the little critter over there in its carry case. The silly veterinary assistant did her most annoying ‘look at the ’ickle wabbit’ voice when I walked through the door. ‘Helloooo! Awwwww! Is this Wendeeee?’

‘I don’t know,’ I said, in a stinking mood.

She looked back at me vacantly. ‘I’m sorry?’

‘Well, that’s what I want you to tell me, isn’t it? I mean, is it Wendy, or is it…oh, I don’t know…Wendell?’

Hang on, I thought. Wendell, pronounced Wen-day-yell — would actually be a really good name for a rabbit that slobs around the house rowing with his girlfriend and ordering takeout fried chicken.

In fact, the idea grew on me so much that I was really looking forward to taking home Wendell Junior the Third, and possibly even fashioning the world’s first mini rabbit trailer so that Wendell and Jamie-Lynn (née Tinkerbell) could live in it, when the vet turned the bunny upside down and said, ‘It’s definitely a girl.’

‘Oh,’ I said, disappointed. ‘Come on then, Wendy. Better get you home and order you some Haggen Daz.’