The pecking order


Being as I am the only one in my household who possesses opposable thumbs and a debit card, I think it’s fairly clear who is in charge here. Despite their attitudes to the contrary, my four critters do respect me for my ability to open a can or pour food into a bowl.

For the longest time, the second in command was always the cat with the most seniority.  Both Nomie and Alaska knew how to work their household status to their own advantages, and rarely was there a question as to who was the Alpha Cat.  Usually, Alpha Cat status meant they got their choice of sleeping spot on the bed, as well as being the first to chow down.  However, when it came Sasquatch’s turn to assume that mantel he really couldn’t be bothered.

You would think by the sheer number of Sasquatch’s toes – two extra on each paw – that he could make those thumbs oppose if he really wanted. And with opposable thumbs and his sheer bulk, he could challenge me for head of the household. But, no, my gentle giant has no interest in being in charge.  He just wants to chill.

Into this leadership void, a most unlikely candidate has stepped up to the plate.  The smallest of my crew, weighing in at just four-and-a-half pounds, Mr. Binkles has asserted himself as Alpha Bunny.  Granted, I probably shouldn’t be too surprised.  When he first entered my life two and a  half years ago, Binkles and I battled mightily for household dominance. He laid claim to my couch, my reading chair and even made a play for my bed.  I never really understood what completely nasty little creatures these sweet cuddly-looking bunnies could be until I let Binkles into my home. It wasn’t until I got him neutered and then got him a girlfriend that all the bad behaviors finally subsided.  Now, with me, he’s my sweet little guy.  He’s even a bit of a momma’s boy (much to the annoyance of his girlfriend, Mrs. Peabody).

Yet, it was only the other night that I realized how much the Binks lords it over the other creatures.  I mean, I knew he was dominant over Mrs. Peabody.  I’ve seen how he sweetly grooms her ears only to turn around and mount her head too many times to know who is in charge in that relationship.   I didn’t know, however, how much he bosses the cats around.

Tangerine, my formally feral now just really skittish indoors cat, has come to love this little round fleece nest that used to belong to Alaska.  I’ve placed the nest in my bedroom and when she is not curled up with Sasquatch, she sleeps there. That is, unless Mr. Binkles is out and about. When I come home in the evening, I let the rabbits out  of their roomy pen for their free range time.  After a few laps around the house, usually they settle into their spot du mois and just relax.  Binkles has decided that his new most favorite spot in the whole world is Tangerine’s nest.  I’ve seen him bully her out of her nest and then just take over – stretching out as big as his little bunny body can be.   In theory, they could both fit into the nest, but no, Binkles needs to take over the whole thing.

And when he isn’t hogging Tangerine’s nest, he’ll be in the dining room chewing on Sasquatch’s beloved cardboard box. Sasquatch really enjoys sleeping on cardboard, so when I got a large fairly flat box, I put it on the floor and Sasquatch claimed it as his own.  That is, unless Binkles wants to be there.  If Sasquatch wanders into the dining room chances are he’s heading over to his box for a nice nap. But, if Binkles is there, he just walks by and heads over to one of his other sleeping spots. He never challenges the little bunny even though Sasquatch could totally kick his ass if he wanted to.

No one seems too bothered Mr. Binkles claim to dominance.  They have managed to work it all out between themselves without any intervention from me.  So, now all I have to do is kick back and enjoy the show.

10 responses »

  1. That’s quite a surprise! Also cool to know that bunnies & kitties can co-exist. I would have thought the cats would be thinking “food!” all the time when they see rabbits 🙂

    • Hi. I discovered your blog by accident. Please tell me what happened or is happening with the turkeys of Point Richmond. I hope they are still alive.


  2. that iz quite a menagerie you gots there LB ~ personally I always prefer my friends to groom my ears BEFORE they mount my head ~ thother wayround just duz ent kut the mustard for me.

    Thanks everyone for respecting my preference.

  3. That is too funny! Great story. I guess I haven’t been keeping up on the buns — last I remember Mr B & Mrs P weren’t so happy to coexist. Glad that has all worked out.

  4. I’m not even surprised. Cats and dogs – even, I suspect, komodo dragons – stand no chance against a determined bunny.

    They’ve probably all seen Watership Down..

  5. Christina – Actually bunnies and cats are a pretty easy match. I think bunnies are too big to be seen as a meal. But, it’s dogs you have to be careful with around rabbits. The ol’ hunting instincts sometimes kick in and the result isn’t pretty.

    AnotherQ – Binkles is indeed a character. And he’s been such a revelation into what interesting and intelligent pets rabbits can be.

    BBG – Yes, having cleans ears is a must if you’re going to get your head mounted. Besides, I mean, come on, having someone clean your ears is such hot foreplay . . . ewww

    tmc – I enjoy deluding myself. But, I must have some kind of authority because without me none of them could afford food (and I’m including the boyfriend in this), right? Right?

    Janine – Mr. B & Mrs. P have been bonded for well over a year or so. You might be thinking of the drama that surrounded bringing a Visitor Bunny into the picture a few months ago. Mr. B and VB basically wanted to kill each other. Fortunately, VB got adopted out to a very nice home.

    Trucie – Hmmmm. I was wondering why I got Watership Down sent to me by Netflix. I really need to change my computer password. Clever wabbits!

  6. You’re right about dogs. We had to work on Edie in particular, not to torment Molly when we moved her in. Now Molly has gotten used to them and moved upstairs (near dogbeds) and even though she is 1/6th to 1/8th their size, that little cat now stands her ground–we had a kerfuffle the other day and I found her crouched and ready to pounce.

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