|Last year our household acquired Dora the rabbit. In an effort to keep her from becoming cat food, we put her cage on a 3-foot-high folding table (not that this prevented the cats from sticking their paws in her cage, but it definitely discouraged them; but after like a week, they lost interest in rabbits as food entirely). This solved one problem, but created another: Whenever we wanted to let her out of her cage to run around, we had to wait around until she hopped in a box that we held up to the cage's opening, because she wasn't exactly a fan of being picked up ("prey animals" such as rabbits don't like to be lifted off the ground because it makes them feel like "prey"). The solution? Use my geekery to build a ramp. My self-imposed requirements were the following:
I've done enough odd jobs around the house to know that I had the ability to build some sort of wooden contraption that would meet these requirements. But I also knew that if I didn't make it exactly right, it would fail one or more of my requirements and be a completely useless eyesore. So I had a plan. I started with some sketches, moved on to computer modeling, then started fabrication. Just to clarify, I'm a geek, an engineer, and a perfectionist. So none of these pictures should be surprising.
- Height: Able to be folded up and slid under the table.
- Width: Not to stick out from under the table when stored.
- Incline: Steep enough to minimize the number of ramp segments, but not too steep for the bunny to slide off.
The final product had a few slight structural changes and the addition of carpeting to minimize bunny slippage. Several months later, with the addition of Max the rabbit, the ramp no longer has a place under the table, though there are no plans to make additional bunny ramp contraptions.
Overall, this project took an inordinate amount of time and money, but (a) it allowed Dora to safely descend from her perch, (b) it allowed me to exercise my nerd muscle, and (c) it created many funny conversation-starters with guests, such as, "You built this? You need a hobby." #nature