Astrid’s primary school has an ‘enviro-centre’ which is set up to teach environmental science. The enviro-centre has several resident animals, including chickens, guinea pigs and a rabbit.
The guinea pigs and rabbit go home to families on weekends and during the school holidays, for care and extra cuddles! During term 2 we had put our name down on the home care roster, and were allocated Stewit the rabbit for 1 weekend towards the end of term.
Despite the fact that we have 2 cats, tropical fish, a pigeon (that insists on living here despite my protests) and 2 backyard alpacas, the kids were beyond excited about the prospect of minding the rabbit for the weekend. I always had rabbits as pets as a kid, and adore them. However, we have no plans to add a rabbit to our menagerie, so borrowing one for the weekend only, seemed like a good deal.
After school on the Friday we went to pick up Stewit from the enviro-centre. He was all packed up in his travel cage with his supplies and instructions for the weekend. Now, I’ve never seen Stewit before. I was warned he was big, well he is enormous! I’ve always owned quite petite rabbits (including very cute miniature rabbits). There is nothing miniature or petite about Stewit.
He is definitely a well-loved school animal and he got dozens of pats as we were walking through the school with him, and endless kids wanting to say hello. He is also the most docile rabbit you’ll ever meet. Probably a result of being cuddled by about 300 kids per week!
Our allocated weekend happened to be very wet and miserable so Stewit got to spend the whole weekend inside hopping around our family room, and being fed delicious snacks of fresh vegies! All of which he seemed to thoroughly enjoy……
He was in general very well-behaved, aside from occasionally trying to eat our indoor plants. He mostly did a few laps of the family and kitchen area, and then laid down for a nap or pat. He is so big, he couldn’t really fit under or behind any of the furniture!
When the cats first spied Stewit, they were ready to exert their cat status, but backed off pretty fast once they realised he was bigger than either of them. From then on, Stewit got free reign of the living area and the cats just stayed out of his way!
Stewit also came home with a brush, for his rabbit grooming needs. It’s a great way to bribe the 2-year-old to comply with any request…… do ‘x’ and you can brush the rabbit!
When we were out, and at night Stewit was happy to sleep in his cage. It was rather wet and miserable outside so he got to sleep in the family room and enjoy some late night TV with the adults (which he seemed to entirely nap through).
Stewit certainly seemed to enjoy his stay with us, and was patted, cuddled and loved fiercely for the whole weekend.
On Monday the cats breathed a sigh of relief when he was packed up and delivered back to school. A group of the older kids were ready to settle him back into his hutch for his work week, before another weekend retreat the following weekend.
The kids have requested another Stewit visit later in the year. Hopefully next time he comes to stay the weather might be good enough that he can meet the alpacas!