24 November 2020

Meet the pets from the RSPCA that made lockdown livable and lovable

| Lottie Twyford
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It’s been a year of ups and downs, and one in which many people made the decision to add a new furry member to the family. Region Media caught up with a few Canberra families who have grown this year to see how their weird, wacky and wonderful pets are making 2020 a little more bearable.

Miguel & Lionel

Miguel and Lionel

Rabbits Miguel and Lionel cuddling up on their bed. Photo: Supplied.

Caroline, who adopted rabbit Lionel in late July/August this year and Miguel last year, describes them both as very well-trained but very cheeky.

Caroline says for someone who works long hours and is allergic to cats and dogs, a rabbit is a perfect pet. In this case, like their owner, rabbits are herbivores, meaning they are inexpensive and easy to care for. Speaking to Region Media she said rabbits are not meant to be outside in Australia as they are not well suited for the climate, and, because there is no vaccine here for myxomatosis, they can get quite sick if they come into contact with wild rabbits.

Therefore, Miguel & Lionel are both indoor rabbits – and very well trained at that. They are toilet-trained, know that carrots come out of the fridge (and will wait to be offered one), and that grass is often brought into the house through the back door (where they will also wait for a treat). They also know when it’s time for bed and will snuggle up together in their dolls beds.

Cheeky Miguel the rabbit

Cheeky Miguel jumps up onto the dining table to retrieve a banana for her and Lionel to share. Photo: Supplied.

Miguel, who is the cheekier of the two, is also unafraid to jump up onto the dining table, grab a banana out of the fruit bowl and then proceed to rip it to pieces on the floor to share with Lionel.

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What’s it all about, Elphie? Unlike many cats, she loves water. Photo: Supplied.

Elphie, according to owner Alana, is a bit of a wacky kitten who acts a bit more like a puppy than anything else. In fact, unlike most cats, Elphie adores water and cannot get enough of it. She will yowl until Alana lifts her into the shower and will spend most of her time playing in the sink or a bucket of water.

For Alana, working from home in April at the height of the COVID-19 lockdown was the impetus for acting on her long-held desire to adopt a kitten.

After spending a fair bit of time refreshing and refreshing the RSPCA page, the second Alana saw little Elphie’s photo, it was love at first sight, and she raced off to go and see her.

Now, says Alana, Elphie has totally changed her life for the better.

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Cheeky Flossie looking cute in a sailor hat (where she is probably not supposed to be). Photo: Supplied.

For Joanna, adopting a kitten was something she had wanted to do for a long time and it had nothing to do with COVID-19 or lockdown at all.

This year, she moved into her new home and as such, was finally ready to adopt. But as so many people had the same idea, it actually required quite a lot of dedication on Joanna’s part.

Flossie, who was hit by a car at four weeks is, according to her owner, an “act first, think later” cat. Sometimes, this means she gets stuck in very silly situations – like climbing up the fly screen and suddenly finding herself at the ceiling without a plan to get down.

Or when during a video-conference for work, Joanna suddenly noticed her kitten hanging off the light fitting above the table, which led to an exclamation of ‘oh my god!’ while she jumped up to retrieve Flossie.

Flossie is also an absolute ‘snuggle-bug’ and she invariably ends up on Joanna’s lap or chest as soon as she settles down on the couch. Since day one, Flossie has slept curled up next to Joanna.

If you’d like to follow Flossie’s adventures, her Instagram is @kittycat_florence.

READ ALSO Puppy love continues after COVID-19 surge, says RSPCA



Fashion-conscious Jersey sure loves her new getup. Photo: Supplied.

Jenny and son Liam adopted Jersey a few months ago after Jenny was “heartbroken” to learn that she was 13-years-old and being taken to the RSPCA. She first saw Jersey’s picture in the RSPCA newsletter and says it was “love at first sight” after they met. In fact, they were able to take her home within the hour.

It’s been about three months now since Jersey has been in her new home and Jenny says they have seen some great improvements – she has put on weight, her fur is growing back nicely, and no longer needs to be hand fed.

One of her favourite outings is to head to the local café where she likes a little slice of ham or sausage.

Jersey joins Charli (Jenny thinks they may be sisters) and both girls are regularly taken to the dog beauty parlour. She also gets regularly spoiled with new pieces of clothing and is very fashion conscious.

If you’re still in the market for a mate, visit RSCPA ACT.

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