But I had been concerned about Mimzy of late. Just before I got Fiver, he seemed to be, the only word I can think of is, depressed. He is moving, eating and going to the bathroom normally, and I've continued to try and bond him and Pip. But something has been off.
As both of them have gained weight and are rather on the heavy side (at least Pip is) this is obviously becoming uncomfortable for Mimzy at this point-because Pip uses dominance behavior on him and he is most often under her, very squished. There's also been fur flying and I have to keep them from nipping at each other every once in awhile. They will eventually sit together and she will groom him to a point, but he just doesn't seem as happy as he appeared when they first got together. The dominance moments are getting more frequent and longer drawn out. I was too eager to get them comfortable to notice that this seemed to be stressing Mimzy.
He definitely seems to enjoy his mini xpen moments better, as he doesn't have to deal with her.
So this morning, distressed by his pouty attitude, or whatever it was, I decided to take him from his night pen and just try to cuddle him a bit. Maybe it was me and I wasn't giving him enough attention. Last night when I removed him from the xpen, he got very wiggly with me and he is just NOT enjoying being held. This morning, he struggled with me and tried to get to the bed (I'm a little gun shy there, he peed on it last week when Fiver first got here) and actually nipped at my arm. He's also been growling at me quite a bit when I put a (clean) hand in to dust out his pen or retrieve him for playtime. Forgetting that this had been going on before Fiver's arrival, I thought it was just because of the new bunny...but what happened next turned the bulb on.
I insisted he sit with me at first, and with much cuddling and cooing, he settled finally. (I wasn't immediately whisking him off to the xpen.) So when he calmed down enough, and I'd checked him for any injuries (worried he might be hiding a pain that is getting too hard to conceal) I let him down on the bed again. Fiver is in his night pen, right next to the bed.
He wanders around a bit to make a quick mental map...and then goes RIGHT UP TO FIVER and...wait for it...they begin sniffing each other and pressing noses together through the bars! 0_o Not just once, but multiple times.
So I get struck by the second lightning in the last two days...there is no peeing going on, there's no thumping, no grunting or growling, no signs of aggression whatsoever! Now I know it's only the first few days of meeting and this could just be primary pleasantries but...
Mimzy was abandoned with two other bucks. He got along with them swimmingly, despite the fact that none of them were neutered and all were reaching sexual maturity.
Could it be that Mimzy doesn't want a mate so much as he may want a brother? Or heck, just someone who doesn't appear to be ready to turn him into a pancake?
The two of them never showed a bit of starch towards each other while he was out. He even jumped up on top of Fiver's pen (I got him down quick, there's loo-loo of a step on the other side) and not a bit of cross word or deed came from either of them. After a bit more sniffing and exploring, Mimzy gave a dig at the bedclothes and I know that means he needs to pee. So I put him back in his pen quickly and...no struggling! I tapped the litter in the box and he went right to it and squatted. I was thunderstruck. Needless to say, I gave him praise, a treat and much head pets.
I have to admit, Pip has been decidedly more rough with him. I think now he was struggling with me because he didn't want to be put in with her. Now there's no guarantee that he will enjoy Fiver's company any better, but their little meeting here has definitely got me thinking.
At worst, I may have to find a way to exercise all of them seperately. It's difficult, but not impossible. But I just thought I'd throw this up here and ask what other bunny parents who have bonded may think of this new situation?
I'm going to try it again when I think Mimzy is ready for it. Fiver too. But since Pip seems to be perfectly happy with having a pen all to herself, I think the experiment with bonding Mimzy and Pip may need to be put on hold.
If Mimzy and Fiver DO wind up bonding, this may be easier when it comes to keeping them together at all times, as Fiver is a smaller bunny and may actually house well in the same night pen with Mimzy, and this will give Pip the run of the mini xpen eventually. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Pip and Mimzy never enjoyed sharing a night pen. It was always a lot of jumping around, posturing and general craziness...Pip just seems to be VERY claustrophobic.
I am both dumbfounded and confounded. So...opinions please. ^_^