It's been a while since I've written about how we've socialized out two bunnies - "Indy" & "Chip". The last time I wrote, we had just put the two of them together in the cage for the night.
Now, they've become inseparable. They are wonderful together, as if they've grown-up with each other all along. We've never seen either of them fight.
It's really amazing.
The lay next to each other, something that Indy has never let anyone do for all her life. I've always tried to get her to lay next t me on the floor while I pet her, and she needed her distance. Now the two of them are slammed tight against each other.
They also like their time apart. When we let them out of their cage, sometimes they'll split-up, with Chip being the one that will usually go back inside later on to eat, while Indy will lounge underneath the bar stools at the kitchen counter.
Oh, and Chip is just an eating machine. He's going through food like you wouldn't believe. He's not growing much either, but he's becoming really "solid" compared to Indy.
They're bonding by grooming each other. It's pretty damn cute watching each of them take turns cleaning the fur of the other.
Today, when I came downstairs to go to work, I saw Indy intently grooming Chip. Chip was all stretched out on his stomach, ears back, looking like he was really enjoying it.
Then I heard a snapping sound. I realized that Chip didn't look content - he looked confused.
That's when I realized that Indy wasn't grooming him at all. She had reached over him and pulled a carrot out of the dish and put it on Chip's back. She was eating a carrot off of Chip's back. (I was really pissed that I couldn't get my camera ready quick enough to take a shot before the carrot rolled off Chip's back).
They're just goofy that way.
Since being paired-up, Indy is like a new bunny. Not only has she recovered from her illness, but she's running around and jumping like she hasn't done in a few years. It could be because of some of the weight she lost by not eating when she was sick, or maybe because she's just "happier" having a her own little friend.
She still comes running to greet "Dad" when I come into the room - something I am so thankful for. I've been worried that now that they have each other, they will turn away from Carol and me. She still "demands" time and "lovin's" (petting) from me. It really confuses Chip - he doesn't know what to do. Indy's been around for over 7 years - Chip only 5 months. Indy has a deep-seated relationship with her "parents". Chip is still learning who we are and how we fit into his life. All he knows when Indy comes running to get some "lovin's", he reacts like either he really wants some too (but he's not too convinced) or he's coming over just in sheer jealousy wanting whatever Indy is getting. He does show a bit of jealousy. He thinks he's the man of the pair and he does try to dominate Indy in any way possible, whether it's trying to avert our attention to him, or trying to nuzzle her out of his way as he's eating.
As part of this jealousy and domination, Chip has changed a bit too. He doesn't run and jump as often as he used to. He doesn't directly interact with us like he used to. He's acting more like a rebellious teenager, just getting into trouble. He even shows off his strength: he's picking up objects and trying to push them as high into the air as he can reach. Sometimes it's just newspapers that we're reading, where he'll grab a section and stand up and stretch into the air. He's been picking up and throwing an air deflector that we have magnetically attached to a heating vent in the family room. The other day he picked-up a heavy bunny statue - about his size - and stood up on his hind-legs and threw it around. I'm telling you, when you feel him, he's a solid bunny. He's strong.
I can't tell if he's really happy, although last night we saw him jumping around like we've never seen him before - maybe he's still learning how all of the relationships work.
So, with Chip eating what seems to be all day long, we go through food a lot faster and, correspondingly, the cage needs to be cleaned more often.
Still, they've been great. I still wish I got that picture this morning...