Sweet Jesus, am I one pet over the line?*
I think I may have maxed out on my capacity to take care of all these little creatures under my care. At current count, there are five of them – three cats and two rabbits. I think the addition of Mr. Peabody (or shall I call him Mr. Peebody since that seems more appropriate) has finally tipped the scales into the unmanageable.
A year ago, I only had two pets who lived with me – my cats, Alaska and Saquatch. Nomie had recently died, and since Nomie never really got along with the boys, they didn’t miss her much, and were pretty happy with having me all to their selves. And, I was pretty content too. I have always felt that two is the ideal number of cats to have. Any more than that, you start flirting with being a cat lady. There were no plans to replace Nomie, and besides bringing a new cat into the house would probably stress out the aged Alaska.
But, soon a little red Mini Rex bunny literally hopped into my home. The first time I put up signs and made a real effort to find his owners. And they did come, eventually, to reclaim him. But, a few days later, the little bunny showed up again and hopped into my house. Something was definitely wrong. Rabbits are not supposed to be free roaming in the neighborhood, and to let them do so was completely irresponsible. So, this time rather than being proactive in contacting the owners, I wanted to see if they expressed any interest in finding the little guy. They did not. (And later I figured out that it probably was intentional b/c Mr. Binkles turned out to have a pretty nasty disposition.) And I had already fallen for the little guy, so I boned up on bunny care and behavior, and made him part of the household.
A few months later, one of my ferals, Tangerine got into a fight and ended up with a oozing, pus-filled infected wound that needed to be treated. I was hoping the vet would just lance the wound and give her a shot of antibiotics so I could just re-release her. But no, she needed two weeks of antibiotics and warm compresses in order to heal properly. My office became Tangerine’s temporary abode while she recovered. While not crazy about me, she allowed me to hold her while I gave her medicines and tended to her wounds. I didn’t know what was I going to do with her once she was healed, but re-releasing her was definitely an option. That was until the boyfriend left the office door open and Tangerine was free in the house. Great, now I had a feral cat hiding in my house. With the freedom of the whole house she became unmanageable, and no longer wanted anything to do with me. But, soon, Alaska and Sasquatch accepted her and she really liked them. And she had befriended Mr. Binkles, something other cats refused to do. Fine, you can stay.
For the last few months everything has been fine. Sure, I should be spending more time trying to socialize Tangerine, but she is much less fearful, so I figured she’s fine. Alaska’s health is always a concern, and with his digestive and kidney issues, there are a lot of unpleasant cleaning tasks, but it’s all been manageable. That is, until Peabody entered the picture.
He’s a sweet, sweet little bunny. Unlike Mr. Binkles, Peabody doesn’t bite or lunge or chew the baseboards. He’s friendly, curious and hella soft. I figured he would make a good little buddy for Mr. Binkles. Rabbits are very social animals, and when they bond with another animal, it is for life. From what I have heard and read, bonded pairs are calmer, better behaved, and not that much more work than one bunny. That is, once they are bonded. Two unbonded boys, one of whom is a territorial little bastard, has proved to be quite hellish. Did you know that rabbits are fierce little buggers? I mean, fight to the death kind of fierce? Trust me on this, I have the wounds on my legs to prove it.
It takes a lot of work to get a pair bonded, and it takes a lot of work to give them separate but equal living quarters in the interim. And then there is making sure they have equal amount of free roam time, and ensuring the other one doesn’t escape and attack the other. I also need to work on getting Mr. Peebody litter trained. Unlike Mr. Binkles who took to the litter box like a pro, this little guy is not grasping the concept at all. So, keeping his pen clean is also a lot of work. Work, work, work. Ugg.
So, I’m at a point where I’m considering making some phone calls and seeing if I can’t find Peabody a nice home. I won’t take him to the shelter, because most shelters have too many bunnies and he may end up getting put to sleep. And no, I’m not going to list him on Craig’s List. Don’t get me on the soap box. So, I don’t know what to do. I should probably get him fixed before I make any decisions. That may help a lot with the litter box issues and make it easier to bond the two boys.
*apologies to Brewer & Shipley