CabBits Blog by Cadbury

Cadbury offers insights into the world of house rabbits.
The Romance Continues

We met Ivan in late July after he lost Charlotte, the love of his life. In neutral spaces at the Foster Mom's house, Ivan fell in love with Bluebell. I had not problems with that as long as Bluebell continued to groom me on demand. My human companions call me the "Surfer Dude" or "Hippie" bunny because I am so mellow and easy-going with everything that comes along and I share my love all of the time. I guess you could say, I glow with joy 24x7!

Ivan is somewhat territorial but I think if Bluebell would stop playing "hard to get" he would give up being the dominant rabbit of the house to receive grooming and snuggle time from Bluebell. At first, he would push the pen we were in from all three sides in the dining room. He would tug, push, lift it up with his teeth and drop it with that metal clatter that would bring human companions to see what he was doing. Our "Dad" human companion had to add an additional mesh around the bottom 1/3 of the pen to keep Bluebell and Ivan from biting each other on the nose. Eventually, they just glared at each other.

Over time, Ivan became an intent observer of Bluebell. He watched us groom each other, watched her groom herself, how we ate, drank water, tossed our hay and all. Human beings might call this stalking behavior. However, his observations were love and curiosity. In a few weeks, he began to do things he has never done before. Charlotte and Ivan were once treated so poorly and fed all of the wrong things that they were morbidly obese and could not clean themselves at all. It took them one year to be rehabilitated at the House Rabbit Society in CA. There new home allowed them to run, jump, and reduce their weight to become healthy, flexible rabbits. They never learned to do anything but groom each other or rely on humans to bathe, comb, brush, and groom them. So, Ivan was trying to learn what we were doing. In the rabbit world, mimicking other rabbits is a sign of affection or desire to be friends and join a group. Since September, Ivan has learned to wash his ears, face and body on his own. I am so proud that Bluebell and I were able to give him lessons and this is love of Bluebell motivated him to mimick our grooming habits.

Our human "Mom" was thrilled. She is such an observant person and notices all of the subtleties of life and behavior. She told "Dad" that Ivan is really learning to do the grooming for himself but still misses Charlotte. She tries to mimick Charlotte grooming his head and ears but Ivan soon realizes it is not that lovely, soft tongue of a rabbit but a rougher finger of a human, dipped in water. He puts his head down and the grooming begins. He closes his eyes and thinks of Charlotte but when our "Mom" (the human one) tries to groom his cheeks, neck and back he realizes it is NOT bunny love and runs into his condo to hide. Mom is sad. I think that she is doing the best she can to help Ivan complete his mourning.

Next time, I am going to go back in time to tell the story about how and why Mom became a human that is in love with rabbits.


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