Monday, February 1, 2010

The plight of the Angora.

Today I spent two hours gently and carefully separating a sweet little rabbit from mats the size of... well, another rabbit. We'd never taken in an Angora before, so this was a new task for us. We worked slowly and carefully with a pair of my super sharp papercraft scissors, always keeping fingers between bunny and blade.

The rabbit, little did we know, was easily half the size we thought he was. He's a black Lionhead, and adorable as can be. A sweet little disposition, he knew we were trying to help. As I tackled a single wad of matted fur that went from hip to hip all around his rear (seriously, it took me two hands to hold this monster), he began to manically groom Scot, who was helping me to hold him. He knew we were helping him, and you could tell he was just so damn happy to have someone scratching his butt!

Instead of trying to get away, when I'd let him go for a moment of rest, he'd turn to me, put his paws on my chest and lick my chin or nose.

The task isn't done; there are still portions of mats that I cut through, but are totally hard spots of felted mess against his skin. A few I was able to break up and at least start to pull through, but there are some which just aren't breakable due to their proximity to the skin. The mat in the back had a disgusting amount of dry skin, hay, you name it in it. That area is almost totally clean now. We found two small hairless patches, one with a scab. We aren't sure what those are, so a vet trip is in order, too. Perhaps their staff can finish the job off properly.

Because I'll tell you, a barber, I am not! But the guy is cute as can be anyway.

This left me frustrated with people, and in a generally bad mood. Thankfully, I followed it up with an invigorating meeting to plan what fun things I can do for Petwerks this month, then met with someone for a new freelance project, and followed it up by holding down the bench at the dive shop for about an hour before finally going home.

It was a good day.


  1. Aw, poor fellow. I did this for a bunny when I volunteered at the Humane Society. He was about twice the size of your little guy and his fine fur was literally one giant mat. I spent hours and hours freeing him and in the end he looked so funny but felt so much better. By that time, we bonded so much, I ended up adopting him! Good luck with that cutie!

  2. After living with Vegas for years, I've learned what you learned many times over! One of the best tricks is to do at least a halfway job on any bad mats and give the bunny a day or two and he'll work out a lot of the rest of it. He can't break through the big ones, but if you cut off half a mat, and even separate the rest a bit, his teeth do some awesome work overnight!

    I've learned their skin is SO fragile. Very easy to cut and even tear, and I never think I'm as close as I am but I have gotten too close in the past, and they don't even jump when you cut them most times. Fortunately I haven't had any problems recently and I'm always very slow and cautious.

    The dry skin patches are normal where a mat has been close to the skin for awhile... it just doesn't get enough circulation. Usually after a few days or week it's looking pretty good again once the mat is released.

    I use Fiskars kids scissors, the blunt ones you get for a couple bucks at Walmart. Other than the handles being a bit small, I feel so much safer with the blunt tip.

    I chop off all Vegas' wool to about an inch every two months or so. One time I took pics next to her hair: