In search of a honey for your Easter bunny? These city rabbits turned to speed dating to find their perfect hare
- Last Updated: 3:10 PM, April 8, 2012
- Posted: 8:22 PM, April 7, 2012
Just like rabid New Yorkers on the hunt for true love, rabbits also resort to seeking companionship through unconventional, out-of-the-cage methods.
Rabbit Rescue & Rehab has been holding free rabbit speed-dating sessions for 20 years. Experts say while spending time with their owners is great, rabbits crave companionship from their own kind.
“I met many rabbit owners who assured me that while life with one rabbit is wonderful, life with more than one is even better,” says TriBeCa resident Natalie Reeves, who brought her adopted bunny Mopsy to an event to meet a mate.
These speed-dating sessions allow bunnies owned by a pet parent to test the waters with adoptable bunnies — usually two-to-three at a time. And their reactions during these short, 60-second meet-and-greets run the gamut.
“Their responses range from absolute hate to instant love,” says Rabbit Rescue & Rehab founder Mary Cotter.
During these introductions, volunteers keep a close eye on bunny body language to determine which hare pairs are best suited for each other.
Mopsy proved to be quite the charmer at her session, playing nice with five potential mates.
“She was quite bold on all of her dates and showed no nervousness whatsoever,” says Reeves. “She certainly didn’t play hard to get or cower in a corner like I thought she would!”
She paid special attention to Robin — “she scuffled with a couple of the others and ignored the remaining two” — and Reeves took him home that night.
But as Reeves quickly learned, a speed-dating session is just one stop on the lengthy road to lasting rabbit love.
That first night together Mopsy attacked Robin.
“She didn’t even want to share airspace with him,” recalls Reeves.
But after months of at-home dating sessions, which involved putting them in an empty bathtub to play for a set period of time and moving their cages close together, the two have fallen head over foot.
Speed dating has also proven effective in mending a broken heart.
“He started to withdraw into himself,” says Yorkville’s Tim Kemp of his white lop buck Gilbert who lost his companion Grace last summer. “He just wanted to lie under his favorite chair and eat.”
Gilbert started to gain weight and developed a chronic sneezing habit. It was clear that he needed to find love again.
A speed-dating session held at the Petco in Union Square was the answer. Gilbert came face to face with three rabbits. The first two introductions were lukewarm, but the third time proved to be a charm; Gilbert fell for Flower Pot and her shiny gray coat. The two even touched noses and were grooming each other by the end of the session.
Kemp and his wife, Susan, renamed her Truffle and took her home.
“Truffle has rejuvenated Gilbert. We were as devastated as Gilbert was when Grace died, but Truffle has made our family whole again,” says Kemp.
If all goes well, they’ll follow Mopsy and Robin’s lead, and become so close that they sleep side by side — no matter where they are.
“If Mopsy has started her nap without Robin and taken one of his favorite spots, he’ll sometimes wake her up and steal the spot back,” says Reeves. “But she loves him so much that she’ll happily cuddle up next to him rather than being annoyed that he woke her from her slumber.”