I‘m not a cat person, but I suspect they’re more like bunnies than dogs. A well-trained dog can be disciplined with a stern voice, a severe look even.
Not so the misbehaving rabbit.
How might a sweet little bunny misbehave, you wonder?
I’m not sure what it is that comes over them, but once in a while a bunny decides to act up and there’s just no dissuading them from whatever it is they’re up to.
For Peeper that usually means eating my books or jumping on and off the couch or clanging things around in her cage in the middle of the night.
I don’t mind the noise-making so much; usually I interpret it as a call for attention, some bunny-specific need that I’ve failed to meet during the course of the day and the banging in the dark is just her way of getting revenge.
Book-eating, though, makes me mad. She knows it, too.
The other morning, she got it in her head that she was going to tear up the dust jacket of one of my books. She was in full view of me as she hopped innocently toward the bookcase. I called her name and she stopped for the briefest of moments, then went ahead and tore off a corner piece. I needed only to stand up from my computer before she was headed in the opposite direction. No sooner had I sat, then she was back on her way to the bookcase.
We went on this way for a bit… me threatening her with my approaching steps and her retreating behind her cage, just out of reach, with a bit of glossy book jacket as her prize. I’d sit and forget about her until she did it once more. Then I’d be up after her again. Up and down. Back and forth. She had that cheeky look bunnies get when they know they’re being bad, and that saucy little way of turning her back to me.
Just plain fresh.
If it were Luka misbehaving, I’d only need to call him over with that voice, my teacher voice, and maybe wag my finger in his face to correct him. But a bunny? What to do?
Putting her back in her cage to discipline her, after the ordeal of catching her, would only cause a Terrible Mad Bunny Tantrum.
So I did what I always do with Peeper… the most awful penance imaginable… I scooped her up and kissed her. Over and over again.
She hates that.
It works though.