Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Adventures in Adoption

My parents, who had a decided fondness for Gumbo, wanted me to try him with Ms. Spots again, so we did. Whether it was the hot weather, the nap time, or what, this time neither rabbit showed any particular desire to spend time with the other. Polite, determined, avoidance was the mutual strategy. After ten-fifteen minutes of that, everyone was bored and Cami was brought in.
As before, Ms. Spots and Cami immediately expressed interest in one another. Cami was a little more hesitant than before, and Ms. Spots took the opportunity to nip her a few times as though to say “Don’t you dare mount me again,” but in general they were quite content to hang out together, whether right next to each other or just in the same space. The neighbors were all very interested and at times appeared to believe that we were a form of reality TV. The most interested neighbor was a young black Holland lop buck. He was quite delightful and reminded me hugely of Ink and George, but unfortunately he isn’t neutered yet and was therefore not available. I would have to wait a month or so to try him with Ms. Spots, which was not really feasible.
Eventually, we decided that Cami and Ms. Spots could definitely have a bright future together and that it was pointless to keep introducing them during nap time (which is, unfortunately, the only time the Center is open). I filled out the paperwork, arranged to borrow a folding enclosure, and popped both rabbits into the carrier. They were very snug all the way home and made no noticeable protest.
My mother and I then made the mistake of setting up the enclosure right inside Ms. Spots’ personal area. Our excuse was that the house is small and there wasn’t any other suitable place to put it. Cami liked it, but Ms. Spots was outraged. Every so often she flung herself at Cami and tried to bite her through the wire. The fact that she had previously liked this rabbit was forgotten in her territorial anxiety. On the other hand, I have seen worse. She wasn’t constantly enraged, but would make a foray and soon go lie down to recover. After about an hour of this, my father intelligently suggested that Cami be moved to the dining room so that Ms. Spots could have her special area back. We brought in an old cage and set Cami up in that, whereupon Ms. Spots immediately settled down. We hadn’t realized how attached she was to napping in that special place, since she has several favorite spots. Cami was not as pleased, since the cage is smaller and she probably didn’t want to be separated from her wicked new companion, but after I put a cloth on the floor of the cage, she got more comfortable. We can continue working on the bonding and territory-sharing process in the morning.

At the moment, Ms. Spots is resting about ten feet from Cami. Both rabbits seem calm.

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