Monday, June 16, 2008

3 rabbits for 6 hours

This is Cardinal Biggles.

Cardinal Biggles [not his real name, but close enough so that, if he'd stayed with us, he would have answered to it] is a 6-year-old Netherland Dwarf. He's cute, doesn't mind being held and has very soft, tiny ears.

He was in our house because his family wasn't spending enough quality time with him [first one kid, then two, and the mama had huge guilt that the former bunny time was now being spent elsewhere] and they wanted a better home for him. We share a vet, and they made the connection.

So we thought we would give it a shot. We've read and pretty much live by the House Rabbit Handbook, so we had an idea of what to do.

Introductions downstairs in neutral territory were promising, so we decided to continue on. Here's the setup. We have a tiny house, and the only space to safely keep him in was in the room adjacent to Boeing & Squeeze's mansion. He was fenced in and they couldn't get at him. Or so we thought [hint: foreshadowing].

The girls ran around his fence. There was sniffing. There was mutual boy/girl sniffing. [All participants have been spayed or neutered, btw.] For a while, our living room looked like this. Two girls on the left, ignoring little bunny who is hiding in the litter box inside the dog pen.

It was quiet, so I thought we could let Biggles out for a very supervised short run. It ended abruptly when I found Boeing with a tuft of Biggles-colored fur in her mouth. It was not good. I was ready to give up, but hub wanted to give it another shot. I re-read the chapter on introducing bunnies, and realized that letting him out of the cage in their area wasn't so smart, and maybe if we took a step back, we'd have better results. So I agreed. Back in the pen he went to stay. I thought it would be fine for the evening. [Are you starting to sense a pattern here?]

Then, it started to look like this. Multiple times:

Yes, that's Squeeze, humping Boeing from the wrong direction [not that there's a right direction between two girls, but whatever...]. Squeeze does this from time to time, but last night, it was every 10 minutes.

What happened next, I have no picture of, for obvious reasons.

It had been quiet for a while, and then there was scrambling. THREE sets of four bunny paws, scrambling on hardwood floors. Never a good sound.

I look and Boeing and Biggles are trying to eat each other's faces through the bars. EAT EACH OTHER'S FACES, I tell you.

Biggles went home soon afterwards.

What I think we had were THREE dominant bunnies, and there's no way that could have succeeded, especially since we don't have the space or time to devote to a 5-week introduction period. We did try, and it's a shame he couldn't stay because he's adorable on his own.

In fact, I put it out here now. Is there anyone in Toronto who wants a 6-year-old neutered male bunny who loves to be petted? His family really wants to find him another home where he can spend time out of the cage and be part of the family. I'd suggest it be a rabbit-free home [for obvious reasons], but rabbits + cats often get along well together. If you're seriously interested in meeting Biggles, leave me a note in the comments and I'll make introductions.