May 23, 2012

We have a rabbit problem.

Marlie the rabbit has turned this house into total chaos. When we brought her home, the story was that she was a sweet little rabbit who had lost her mate a few months ago. Knowing that her prior mate was female, we figured we’d try and bond her with another female, Butterscotch. Butterscotch is a sweet, albeit skittish, beast who did really well when we paired her up with poor Geronimo a while back, so we figured she’d be open to having a new bunny friend. Bad idea. Marlie and Butterscotch’s relationship started at annoyance and turned quickly into hatred. (People think of bunnies as cute and cuddly, but, like every other creature that inhabits this planet, they can have a cruel and mean side as well.) The fur was really flying, and the cocoa puff poops rabbits produce as a way to impose their scent numbered in the hundreds.

But it wasn’t just Butterscotch who hated Marlie, it was Peanut and Cosmo as well.

marlie

They say a picture speaks a thousand words, and this one is no different. All the characters are there, from left to right: Cosmo, under the desk and ready to pounce if Marlie (brown, center) gets any closer to the litter box. Peanut is in the middle of turning around after hissing and spitting at Marlie behind the security of her fence (she’s really a chickensh*t at heart), Marlie, attempting to aggravate as many rabbits as she can in as short a time as possible, and Butterscotch in the back left corner of her cage (you can barely make out her eye) staring down Marlie if she comes any closer to Cosmo’s and Peanut’s litterbox. It is a trip to watch them.

The fact that Peanut wouldn’t like Marlie was a no-brainer – as part lion-head she hates being petted and despises all females, especially Butterscotch. She loved my sister-in-law’s rabbits “the Beastie Boys” (Sherman and Cosmo) before she met Cosmo, though, but that’s only because they’re males, and Peanut loves males. The surprising thing was to see Cosmo, the elderly gentleman of the bunch, turn on Marlie as well. Now Cosmo loves Peanut, and every time Marlie would get close, he’d hop out from under the desk (where he spends his days idling and snoozing with Peanut) and place himself squarely between Marlie and the litter box, knowing that if Marlie could contaminate their love nest, she would. And if Marlie got close, he’d nip at her. Guess Cosmo’s a one-chick guy…

We thought bonding Marlie with “the Beastie Boys” had a decent chance of success, but they’re also mini-lops, known to have very laid-back personalities. To be blunt, Marlie intimidated the sh*t out of them. It was OK for both sides as long as a fence was between them, but putting them out in the open was something to behold – Marlie aggravating them by charging at them, “the Beastie Boys” not daring to venture outside the safety of their litter box.

So I don’t know where we go from here. We’re going to try and bond Butterscotch with “the Beasties” to see if that’s a relationship that would stick, then we could try Marlie with someone else down the line. But it isn’t going to be easy. Rabbits are such fickle beasts.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 21:46 | Comments (0)
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