View Full Version : A different sort of bunny-related problem...

casu consulto
28-09-2007, 09:26 AM
This will be long, but please read it. :oops:

I have two rabbits. Barney is my 2 year old Dutch boy, neutered and - to me - very friendly. For some reason he's always considered me to be 'his' Sarah. I really don't understand this much, as when we adopted him I was very depressed and I can only assume that, because sitting out in the garden with him made me feel calmer, he took this as human-bunny bonding time. But either way, he has always shown the most affection for me. My mum has always felt left out by this, as he doesn't really lick anyone else. Recently I went to London for 5 days with a friend and had to leave both bunnies with my mum - during this time, Barney acted up a bit. I'm not sure if this was because I was not there - she says after a day he seemed to realise he was 'stuck with her' and went really naughty. But he would not let her catch him, and would make grunty noises every time she caught him. This isn't the problem - hearing him referred to as a little monster is more amusing than anything, and a title I can't imagine he'd have anything against if he could understand it.

We got a second rabbit earlier this summer (pft, what summer!) from an RSPCA rehoming centre. Amber is nearing one year old now, and is a spayed lionhead cross. She's honestly the silliest bunny I've come across. :) And I mean that in a very affectionate way. When she first met Barney properly, she kept binkying and binkied herself into a wall, and into him - in mid-air. She's a complete softie, very licky and always seems to eager to please anyone and everyone. Including my mum. I was pleased by this at first - because my mum feels much more confident with Amber. Amber, when we bring the bunnies inside from the garden, runs to wait in a corner for my mum to hold her. I've recently just accepted that I'm barely allowed to hold Amber. My mum seems to want Amber to be 'her' rabbit in terms of holding and the like.

The problem is: this marked preference is annoying me, and I'm sure it's annoying Barney too. Before Amber arrived, my mum would fuss him. Now it's more amber she pays attention to. And I can't balance this out by only fussing Barney when I go out to see them, not only because I could never punish Amber for something she has no control over, but also because she wouldn't let me. :p If I stroke Barney, she sits next to him and licks the hand I'm stroking him with. It's silly things like when it rains, my mum wants to bring the rabbits in immediately despite the fact half the run is covered on all sides, and that I've dagged a large piece of old carpet out to cover them. When I asked why, she says she doesn't want Amber to get wet. It's not just that I point out Amber won't melt if she gets a bit damp, but I don't get why there was never any concern over Barney getting wet. One isn't made of glass. See? I'm feeling indignant on my rabbit's behalf!

She thinks he's behaving worse now that he has a friend - but if he has, surely this could be due to feeling as if he is being ignored by her? Because his 'bad' behaviour is certainly mostly in regards to her. She sends me these funny, narrow-eyed looks when I walk past with Barney licking my neck or up the side of my face in the evening... :shock: I have to hurry past quickly to spare her the sight!

casu consulto
28-09-2007, 03:25 PM
Don't all rush at once! ^-^;

... for once I'd really, really like one of my topics not to sink out of sight without a response. :?

28-09-2007, 03:29 PM
:wave: I've only just seen this.

Hmmm I'm not sure. Maybe you and your Mum could each make an effort to pamper the other bunny?

28-09-2007, 03:36 PM
I would give Amber to your mum for her very own, and get another bunny :D See now you're all grown up, your poor mum is left with no little girl to cuddle, till Amber came along and filled that hole - my sympathy is with your mum :)

Alternatively get your mum a kitten?

28-09-2007, 03:39 PM
What sort of 'bad' behaviour does Barney show your mum?

To be honest :) It sounds more like you and your mum have the issue to sort out than your bunnies do ;) Have you tried explaining to her how you feel. If you can't talk to her easily then write it down or show her this topic.

It sounds a bit like both of you are a little jealous because of the affection the other is getting. Your mum was probably very upset that Barney didn't want to cuddle her even when she was the one caring for him and she's over compensating to make sure Amber doesn't stop loving her and start loving you instead. She's worried she'll end up with no bunny cuddles.


casu consulto
28-09-2007, 03:47 PM
My intention at the start was to enrue that amber liked my mum and I equally - and she does. She's no more affection to either one of us - she's got enough licks for all. :shock: It's very amusing. And I'm fine with my mum claiming amber as her own - despite the fact that I'm the one who deals with the poo and wee side of things. :lol:

She has four cats - if we got another, I expect we'd up our status as 'the mad cat people' another notch. And it'd be unfair on a kitten with everyone out at work all day and stuff. But if a stray one comes along... We seem to 'adopt' stray cats.

Barney's 'bad' behaviour revolves mainly around my mum saying he won't let her catch him. The simple fact is, he likes to give anyone the run around. He loves to watch us spin around after him - it's a game. He binkies to and fro like 'I'm so clever - you're so clumsy!' He grunts at her, which he doesn't do for me. I think she finds this upsetting, but I can't stop him. I've told her many times that Barney does not hate her - at all, and that if he did, he'd be attacking her or ignoring her when he prances around in the hall. He's never, ever attacked her. She's convinced he also tries to bite her, too.. but he sort of nips really, to try and move an arm that's in his way? He does the same to me occasionally.

I'm not jealous on my own behalf - in all honesty, my mum carrying Amber in and out makes bringing the bunnies in of an evening much easier and quicker than it would on my own. But her constant dismissal of Barney, as if only Amber might be cold or wet, or calling him a little devil and Amber a little angel seems unfair to me. I've spoken to her about this many times, but she just says that at least Amber likes her, whereas Barney does not.

28-09-2007, 04:00 PM
Ah well if she's already got 4 cats then you have to write it off as hopeless I think - that's mums for you :lol: Maybe if she fed Barney after catching him up, he'd see it as a good thing? Aren't her cats affectionate at all either?

casu consulto
28-09-2007, 04:03 PM
She's been feeding him after he's in his hutch... She also makes a point of taking the two of them treats throughout the day. I mean, I can understand that it must be frustrating. Which is why I play down any affection he shows me, or try to hide it. I just don't like the way she now shows an obvious preference/concern for Amber, but not for him... Does that make sense? ..; It's like she's decided if one won't love her like the other one will, then he's not worth the effort?

The cats are all quite affectionate really. :) One especially sees her as his mummy.