OK, that’s it. I give up! Who am I kidding? Control is nothing but an illusion. Especially when you apply the word “control” to living beings.
With the exception of Truce, the Lagamorph Lover from Down Under, most of my readers are probably not familiar with the whole convoluted process of trying to get two rabbits to get along together. Of course, you simply couldn’t throw two unrelated rabbits together and hope for the best. Nooooooooooooooooo. You have to have “bonding” sessions with them where you take them to a neutral space, and for a very small amount of time they have to share that space while you sit on the floor with a water pistol ready to shoot the first one who shows any aggression. And then you wait for vaguely lagomorphic signs of accepting one another. Each day you increase the amount of time they are together until, eventually, they start grooming one another, which I guess, is the rabbit equivalent of a marriage ceremony (and rabbits, being big advocates for equality, believe in gay marriage). Some rabbits have very short courtships, others can go on for months, and others are simply not meant to be.
By the time I get home in the evening, one of the last things I want to do is act as a rabbit matchmaker. They share a space that is divided by a pen, so they can see each other, smell each other, even touch noses if they so desire. I mean, is my sitting on the floor with a squirt gun really going to help matters? They are pretty happy buns. They both get a good amount of free time, and their pens are pretty spacious. I’m was starting to think that this may be as good as the arrangement gets.
That was until last night around midnight. I’m about to fall asleep when there is a sudden racket coming from the rabbit area. Wha? Huh? I get up to investigate only to discover that Peabody has found a way to jump the barrier. Mr. Binkles meanwhile is scurrying up to hide in his loft while the intruder moves into Mr. Binkles bunny condo (which is a fancy name for a cardboard box with doors cut out of it). Great. So, I open the gate to extract Peabody and both rabbits charge out of the pen and start chasing each other and even the odd cat or two. I manage to lure both rabbits back to their pens with carrots and go back to bed.
This morning the same thing happened, except this time it seems a bit more playful than threatening (but then doesn’t everything after a good night’s sleep?) I release them to clean their pens and chaos ensues. Cats and rabbits tearing through the house, skidding around corners, leaping over each other and various obstacles. Is this fun? Is this fighting? Where is my coffee?
After putting them back in their separate pens, I had no confidence that Peabody would stay put. There was the distinct possibility I would come home to two injured bunnies. Despite being possibly the cutest creatures on earth, rabbits fight really fiercely. Scary fierce. But, on some level I felt that the worse case scenario was that Mr. Binkles would be left to hide in his loft, under his bankie (yes, he pulls a bankie over him when he sleeps, and yes, it’s insanely cute). Still, when I came home I was very relieved to find them both just chillin’ in their respective pens.
So, tonight, while I relax in the living room, I’ll try letting them both out at the same time and see what the hell they decide to do. No courting circle, no squirt gun, just two rabbits who are going to decide whether to be friends or not on their own.