The Pet Directory Small Animal Article - Why I Thump
Is It a Slipper?

Why I Thump

By Beau Cae as told to her person Nicolle Rae Parsons

Thumping is one of many behaviours that only rabbits have.  It can mean quite a few different things.  I hope my story will help humans understand a little more about bunnies.

Silver Fox Doe

My name is Cae and I am a two and a half year old Silver Fox doe, living with my human family that have loved and cared for me since I was two months old.

Each morning, just before day lightens, I hop outside to visit my best friend, Benjamin. He is a four and a half year old British Giant buck that keeps me company. I cannot resist all those delicious smells that tickle my nose, the feel of dirt and grass under my feet, the birds that whistle and sing in the trees. Some noises frighten me, so I thump my foot on the ground as a warning to Benjamin that there could be danger. But he doesn’t pay attention to strange noises.

In the morning, I like to dig a shallow trench in the garden bed, then roll around in the dirt and catch the warmth from that big bright thing in the sky. Sometimes I cannot wait for my chaff breakfast, so I go hopping back up the stairs, nudging open the cat flap door, and sprinting down the hall into a room where my human family are still asleep. I make as much noise as I can to get their attention. I am very excited when they sit on the floor with me. I just have to show my happiness so I shake my head and my ears flop all over the place and jumping for joy and just for fun.

My motherly instincts became stronger and I was filled with love and tenderness as well...

Cae and Benjamin

Before I came to live with my human family, I remember my mother would thump her back feet when she wanted to be fed, but I don’t have to do that as there is always plenty of food here. I eat straight from the garden that I play in so I am not really hungry. I just like to spend time with my human family, especially when they scratch all the itchy spots that I cannot reach. It feels so good!
Something I have always wanted, since I can remember, was a family of my very own. I tried to encourage Benjamin, but he has not shown any interest in having a family, which frustrates me a great deal. I keep trying with him.

One day, however, I had decided to go inside to the big cave where my human family lives to visit them. Outside the sky was grey, and wind was blowing rain all over my coat, so that I had to spend the morning cleaning. I could smell my meal in the air – endive, celery, camellia flowers, lavender and much more. So I dashed down the hall way, into my room, only to discover another Silver Fox sitting in my food tray.

He smelt so good, but I did not like him in my space, so I told him so with a loud thump of my back leg. I opened my mouth wide to show him how cross I was and made a dash at him, but he didn’t budge an inch: He just sat there and gave me a big sniff. I flattened my ears backwards, waiting to see what he would do. He seemed to like me – I could tell – as he started to lick me all over, which excited me no end. I fell in love immediately, giving him the sign that I would like to start a family with him. He was very obliging. After a few minutes together, he flopped backwards onto the floor, whilst I laid down kicking my legs into the air. We were so relaxed we couldn’t contain our happiness. He stayed with me for a few days and we mated, ate, drunk pineapple juice and water together. Then he disappeared suddenly from my life.

After that I would spend a lot of time digging tunnels in the garden, which, for some reason, would be filled in the next day. I did not give up, however. I kept digging those holes, until, after the next full moon, I started to place soft grasses and leaves around the base of my latest tunnel, and then started to layer it with my own soft fur. It looked very comfortable.


On a bright, cool, sunny day in winter, I gave birth to three squirming babies. My motherly instincts became stronger and I was filled with love and tenderness as well. For a few days I fed my babies, cleaned them and kept watch over them in my burrow so as to keep them safe from harm. After just three days, tough, my little ones were moved by my adopted human family to their large cave, into my room and into a hutch there. I like this as I had grown up in this room so it was easy t keep on feeding and loving my babies.

When the kits were three and a half weeks old, they were climbing out of the hutch to explore everywhere they could. When I needed to gather my kits for a feed, I would lightly thump the floor to call them to the hutch to be fed. All of them would come scampering over me and into the hutch so that they could be the first to be fed, fighting over the best position for a drink.

After a few minutes, I would leave the babies full and asleep and head on back outside to spend time with Benjamin as we would lay down together and soak up the richness of the day with all its familiar smells that make this garden our own special home.

Finally, I have my own family. I am very content to watch my little ones grow and explore their surroundings. Life could not be better on this warm spring day, and my eight week old babies frolic, gaining new experiences. I will feed them for a little while longer before they go to their new families, where the whole process will start again.

I hope you have liked my story as I have had many adventures with a lot of stories to tell.

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