CHAPTER 64 – An Understanding
Late one night, Dad said goodnight to Abigail. He gave her a pet and turned down the lights. Dad headed downstairs to his burrow and Abigail settled into her loaf position and drifted off to sleep.
A short while later, she woke up to a commotion coming from the other room. The lights came back on, and she could hear Dad messing with the washing machine. Dad poked his head into the living room and said, “Don’t worry Abigail, it’s just me.” Abigail thought, “Why are you doing laundry so late?” Dad sighed, “Well, Bentley peed on the bed, so I have to wash the sheets.”
The next night, the same thing happened. And the night after that, it happened again. Dad was exasperated. “Abigail, I don’t know why he keeps doing that.” Dad headed downstairs to have a chat with Bentley. Abigail overheard them talking and turned one ear towards the heater vent to listen.
She heard Dad say to Bentley, “Bentley, no one wants a rabbit that pees on the bed all the time. This has to stop! I can’t keep changing the bed at 2:30 in the morning! Why are you doing this?” Bentley explained, “Dad, I’m just trying to tell you that I love you. And I love this place. I want to make sure everyone knows you’re mine, so I marked you and my territory! But you keep washing it off as soon as I mark it, so I have to mark it again.” Dad said, “Oh, OK. I understand. How about we compromise?”
Dad placed some fresh towels on the bed where Bentley was marking. Sure enough, Bentley marked the towels. Once it dried, he couldn’t smell it anymore, but Bentley could. When he changed the sheets, Dad left the towel on the bed. That way, the sheets and mattress stayed clean. Bentley stopped marking the sheets. Dad would see him hop on the bed every so often to check that his scent was still there. Satisfied that it was, he hopped back off.
Abigail noticed Dad was no longer getting up in the middle of the night. “Is everything OK? she wondered. Dad replied, “Yes sweetie. We worked it out. It was kind of like when you leave little poop markers around the room to let everyone know this is your territory. He was doing the same thing.” Abigail thought, “We rabbits are very territorial. I’m glad you figured it out. Not all humans would be that perceptive!”