Category Archives: Paris & Rome

My Bunny Rules Over Me

Have you every heard a bunny growl?

I can’t believe that I’ve been so easy on my Rome rabbit that he now has the audacity to growl at me!

How rude!

Both rabbits have been growling at Tony for a while.  Paris growls at Tony because he attempts to pat him while he’s eating.  The growl is to say, “My food!  Get away and stop bothering me while I’m eating.”

Rome growls at Tony every time he takes his shoe away from him.  Yes, Rome acts very much like a dog in many ways, one of which is he enjoys chewing Tony’s shoes.  “Not your shoes.. MY TOY!!”

They didn’t growl at me unless I was attempting to groom them (they hate the brush) and get annoyed at my persistence but even then, it was more like a grunt than anything else and it was only after many attempts at dodging and running away from the brush.   The lunge is usually at the brush, not at me.

That is, until yesterday.  Paris is still the same, he still grunts but that’s as far as he goes with us.  I used to think this was pretty bad but not anymore.  Not after Rome’s behaviour yesterday.

Rome thinks he’s top dog, alpha wolf and yesterday, his grunt turned into a growl and what sounded like barking!!!  How very dare he!

Rabbits live in a hierarchy and it seems that Rome has nominated himself as the head.  Tony and I who he once held in high regard (he used to lick/kiss our noses) have now dropped down to the bottom rungs of rabbit existence.  We no longer get kisses or any form of affection and instead get demands.

Whenever we ask Rome to do anything he doesn’t want or tell him off for doing something we don’t like, he vocalises his anger at our insubordination.

I find it a bit scary.  These bunnies are so weird.  I’ve never had vocal bunnies before.  I’ve never had bunnies willing to bite me to put me in my place either but these guys will lunge, bite and growl just to express their displeasure and believe me, it’s not due to any kind of anxiety from mistreatment or abuse.  They just like to throw their weight around and show dominance.

Speaking of which, Rome is a 1kg ball of fluff.  I am 50 times his weight.  I could sit on him and crush him and yet, he lords over us.

After he eats, he likes to get groomed.  So if you don’t groom him after he’s eaten, he bites on the fence to get your attention.  Once he has your attention, he gives you a look.  The look is “I’m ready for my pat now.”  and he’ll wait patiently for you to turn up to sit next to him in his area.  Once you’ve done that, he walks around and picks a place where he wants to plonk down.  He will then sit there and expect you to pat him.  You then pat him until he doesn’t want a pat anymore which he will indicate by sitting up and walking away.

That’s the process.  If you stray away from any of this what you will get is incessant fence biting and depending on how annoyed he gets because you made him bite the fence for ages / sit and wait for ages, he’ll either bite your ankles to reprimand you, make you pat him for even longer, or both.

That’s not all.  You MUST feed him, pet him, play with him FIRST.  You are not allowed to pay any attention to Paris beforehand.   It’s ok though because Paris knows the procedure and sits patiently waiting for his turn.

If you don’t go by these rules, Paris gets antsy (hell hath no fury like Rome’s scorn and Paris knows it) and Rome gets vicious.  Rome’s fence biting becomes loud and he’ll push and pull the fence violently which scares Paris and he will just keep doing this until you go to his area.  After which you get the normal punishment – he will bite your ankles or make you sit with him and pat him for ages or both.

Stick with the rules and feed him / groom him first and nothing happens, he’ll happily chill out while you spend time with Paris.  Sometimes he’ll bite the fence as if to say “OK I’ve changed my mind, I want more patting before you go and feed Paris… HEY!!  It’s still my turn!!” but if you ignore him at this point, he’ll understand you’ve gone by the rules and will stop biting the fence and just go and sulk.

Have you seen a rabbit sulk?  Rome is genius at it.  He even gives you a look and turns his back to you before lying down, pretending to lie down and love life but really he’s keeping an eye on you to make sure you see him doing it.  Amazing.  There ain’t no sulking like a Rome rabbit sulking.

So why did he bark yesterday?  Because he ran under the bed, his new place to hang out.  It was all fine until he decided to bite under the bed.  He’s done this before.  I yell “HEY! Stop it!” and he does.

Yesterday however he didn’t.  I yelled “Hey! Stop it!” he stopped for all of 1 second and went straight back to biting the bed.  “HEY!!! ROME!!! NO!!” STOP IT!!”  to which he stopped to look at me and then continued to bite the bed.  “ARRRGHHH!!!! STOP!!! NO! No biting the bed!”

At this point I should explain that he is actually under the corner of the bed that is up against the wall and therefore difficult for me to get to.  I had to jump onto the bed and put my arm between the bed and the wall to get to him and you know what he did when I did that??

He lunged at my hand and barked.  Yes.  He produced 3-4 loud, deep guttural sounds one after the other then lunged at my hand and I got scared (and then angry).  I had no idea what to expect but felt that it was the warning before a bite.  I couldn’t believe he actually threatened to (and he would follow through if I persisted) bite my hand.

That was going too far.  Even dogs don’t lunge at their human companions while barking.  We don’t ever hit them so threatening to bite me is very insulting.  I growled back at him which didn’t stop him from biting the bed or scare him in the slightest.

So I got the vacuum cleaner out and turned it on to scare the crap out of him.   It’s the only thing that got him out from  under the bed.   I’m annoyed that I had to resort to the vacuum cleaner.

It’s very inconvenient to pull out of the cupboard and carry around to where he is and then plug in.  By the time I do all of that, God knows how much damage he’s done to the bed.  I can’t see because the damage is next to the wall underneath the mattress.

Where did I go wrong?  Maybe I’ve been too gentle on him and now he thinks he can get away with anything but where’s the half way mark with discipline when he ignores yelling?

I make loud noises sometimes by thumping, clapping or hitting the floor or bed to startle them but he just ignores me.

I remember one time back when I was a kid, our pet rabbits got under the fence, ran over to the neighbour’s yard and ate all their flowers.  When my neighbour came out and saw them, he took off his shoe and started whacking them, he managed to whack one rabbit on the back, one on the bum and another right on the head.

The one that got hit on the head never let anyone touch her ever again and would run away from all humans.  😦  It did however, get the job done because the bunnies never ran over to his yard from that point on.

I don’t want to do that.  We never hit our bunnies.  Paris has responded to my yelling.  Now I don’t need to yell at all.  I just have to say “Paris, I’m watching you!” and he’ll stop but Rome is something else.

He is combative, vocal and dominating, all 40cm of him including his ears 😉 and he knows we wouldn’t hurt him so is taking full advantage of this.

It’s now clear to me that I haven’t given him clear and appropriate (for him) repercussions for his bad behaviour.  So I’m not letting him in the room anymore for starters.  Give them an inch and they take a mile.

This cheeky one needs to learn some manners and I now have to start getting creative with how I enforce boundaries.  I must somehow convince him (and myself) that “He’s not the boss of me!!”

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The Boys Turned One!!

It wasn’t much of a hooha, I didn’t even take pictures of them.  What kind of a furbaby parent am I?

It’s because Rome’s birthday coincided with the boiler maintenance and I had to clean the house and keep the boys in the hutch for most of the day.

Paris’ birthday was a couple of days later but he was in a mood.  He kept getting scared, ran away from any inkling of a pat and wanted to be left alone ALL DAY!!

I did give them a tonne of treats though, enough to make them super fat, obese even, if it weren’t just for a day.  I think they must’ve thought they won the jackpot when it happened.

I really thought rabbits would stop eating when they got full but these boys scoffed down those treats like it was nobody’s  business.

I also introduced them to new things like apple snacks (dried apple sprinkled with thyme according to the ingredients) and I accidentally bought and gave them some snacks which I thought were Alfalfa because they were called Alfalfa snacks but when I looked at the ingredients (after I gave it to them whoops!) it was mostly wheat and sugar!!! argh!!!

Needless to say, they LOVED it but I’m going to consider those snacks, the equivalent of a birthday cake and won’t give it to them ever again, well, maybe next birthday unless I find something healthier or make my own!

Rome was just like a kid.  He couldn’t decide if he wanted to run around or eat so, he’d run around as fast as he could, come back, take a bite of his treat and then run off again.  When I say as fast as he could, I mean FAST with skids, dodges, high jumps and everything.  He was happier than happy and really loving life on his birthday.  It’s as if he knew and was celebrating being alive!  Either that or the treats made him hyperactive 😉

Paris wasn’t the same.  He was more shy than ever which makes me think he must have had a traumatic birth OR it wasn’t actually his birthday when we thought.  He actually withdrew so much I felt really rejected because all my attempts at giving him affection were flipped off.

He’d take his treats and run away with them, to eat them in private, or wait until I wasn’t around before he’d come out to eat them.  He was so disconnected, neither Tony nor I were able to pat him for the entire day and so, he spent his birthday alone.

Although that makes me sad because I never think one should spend their birthday alone, if he got to spend the day how he wanted, then that’s what mattered.

He seemed pretty happy the next day and he’s been really  happy with being petted every day since.  Maybe the sugar in the treats made him tired and grumpy?  Go figure.

I’m just happy that they’ve learned to eat fruit!!  They’re now eating dried pineapple and papaya too!

Anyway, they are now 1 year old, fully grown adult bunnies with funny and uncannily opposite personalities.

Ah the dichotomy.

I can tell you that we love them both just as much as they hate each other!  (in other words, for life!) ❤

Why Bunnies? Why Two?

When we tell people we have bunnies for pets, we actually get asked, “Why bunnies?” and when they hear about the crazy things we have to deal with, they will ask “Why did you get two boys?!”

I’m going to explain here so I don’t have to repeat myself over and over.

I had rabbits as pets when I was younger, I found them to be super intelligent, very loving and quite cheeky.  Other than the chewing and the occasional digging, they are quiet.  They can also be litter trained and they clean themselves so you don’t have to wash them, they run around themselves so you don’t have to walk them and the extra bonus is that THEY ARE SO CUTE AND FLUFFY!

Why boys?  Because boys in my experience were always nicer and more accommodating.  The girls were fiercely territorial and quite violent (lunging at and biting you and other rabbits) in comparison.

What I didn’t remember was that my experience was only of what bucks (male rabbits) were like with the does (female rabbits) and humans, not with each other – I’d never had 2 boys!!

Tony has never had pets in his life and wanted a dog so we went to Battersea Cats and Dogs Home to see if there were any suitable companions.  All the dogs were HUGE and the little ones were so energetic they might as well take up the space of a big dog.

Also the little one that was there kept pissing everywhere in its excitement and I wasn’t really looking forward to having to clean up piss from all over the floor constantly.  Little did I know I’d end up with that situation anyway with 2 boy rabbits!

Our place isn’t that big so we knew it just wouldn’t suit to have a dog cooped up inside.  I hate going outside in the freezing cold but I know if there was a dog, I’d be the one to have to walk it outside every single day for a couple of hours of play.  I’m alright for this in the summer but definitely not in the winter.  No yard means compulsory and multiple outdoors visits in the cold for me too and I wasn’t keen on that at all!

I’d settle for a cat.  Except, well, I’m allergic to cats.  On a good day, I’d get the sniffles after many hours with them.  On a bad day, I find it hard to breathe with only a tiny bit of fur (not even the cat) present.

So rabbits it was.

We picked them up and they arrived in our home on 31st December 2016.  They were 3.5 month old boys.  They are not brothers but they were kept in the same play area together and looked like they got on.  They were the only two in their play area and were snuggled up to each other.

Thinking of getting only one, we decided that 2 were better together so they could play and keep each other company and snuggle together when they needed more warmth.  We also didn’t want to split up their friendship if they’d already made one.  So, we got them both.

The advantage of having one bunny is that because they are social animals, the one bunny will want to interact and so the bond between you and the bunny will grow quite quickly.   You can then dedicate all your time to this one bunny and train them to do little tricks.  Rabbits learn very quickly!

The disadvantage is that if you are not around to give it the time and interaction and affection it needs, the bunny will get quite lonely, bored and depressed.

Rabbits are very social beings, if you think about how they live, they live in warrens of large groups.  They are used to having company.

If you keep a rabbit by itself, you have everything else in your life including it but… all it has in its life is you and you don’t even speak its’ language!

As much as we think we’ll be enough, I don’t think we are ever going to be the same as another bunny friend.

When there are two bunnies, they are great emotional support for each other and can encourage play and confidence in each other plus they get to display normal bunny behaviour with someone who understands their language perfectly.

They have each other as well as you, so psychologically and emotionally, it is much better for them.  Though, bonding and interacting between you and them can be slower.

What I didn’t factor in however, was that having two also means the possibility of them fighting and not getting on at all, as they got older,  which is what happened to us.

This is more painful than having one, on any given day.  Now you have 2 individual rabbits that need your time separately!  So, this is when the whinging and all my stories of fisty-cuffs comes in.

We’ve managed quite well living with them for 8+ months now.  The fights started in the beginning when their hormones kicked in so we separated them.

They fought again when we tried to make them friends (after neutering) and put them together (forced bonding) but when we realised it wasn’t going to happen and they’d rather kill each other than live together, we’ve kept them apart and it’s all been very calm and peaceful.  They’ve been quite happy binkying about in their own respective areas.

That is, until the other day when Rome got through the fence, intruded on Paris’ area and they fought, unsupervised because we were out of the house at the time.  We came home to a lounge room full of clumps of fur everywhere and drops of blood.

I think it’s fair to say, ours our now enemies for life and will fight to the death if they ever get together for long enough and especially when we’re not around.

Needless to say, we’ve been extra cautious with the fencing and have been watching them when we see them both on either side of the same fence.  They’ve still managed to inflict injury on each other that way.

SO…. if there was any advice I’d give to anyone considering getting a rabbit, I would still recommend getting 2 but I would suggest that when you get them:
a) they are already neutered
b) they are already bonded (after neutering)

I must stress that you choose bunnies who have been neutered FIRST before being bonded.  We chose rabbits that bonded before being neutered and there is a risk that the bond breaks once the hormones kick in and they start fighting for territory or dominance.

It turns out that fighting happens with any sex combination so it doesn’t matter if you get girl-girl, boy-boy or girl-boy combos, when the hormones kick in, anything can happen.  You could be lucky and they remain bonded but it’s hard to tell beforehand what will happen.

If you’re getting them young, choose siblings from the same litter otherwise, just get one rabbit, get it neutered THEN take it to a shelter to go bunny dating, so it can find its own friend/partner for life (preferably one that is already neutered as well).

If I could do it all again, that’s what I would do.

As mentioned, rabbits are quite territorial but females tend to be very protective of their territory (must be the instinct to protect their nest) so I would get a male first, get it neutered, then take it to a rabbit shelter to get a female companion.

When they meet, it will be in neutral territory at the shelter.  They’ll be introduced to several different bunnies but one at a time, to see which is the best match.  When a match is found, they usually stay overnight at the shelter together for a couple of days just to make sure that they really do get on with each other, before you bring them both home.

When you bring them home, the male will be more easy going with welcoming the female into its home territory than the other way around which is why I suggest getting the male first.

We don’t regret getting the two we have though.  Even though they’ve turned out to be more work having to do everything twice and buying 2 of everything and spending time separately with them, they are beautiful boys and it’s been a real pleasure getting to know them.

Paris is lovely and well behaved.  He doesn’t bite anything or go anywhere unless he has permission (except when he’s planning his revenge on Rome).  He will sit for ages and bunny purr when you pat him.  Sometimes however, he’s so shy he won’t let you touch him at all so he rejects all your attention and spends a lot of time by himself just lying around in his hutch.  He takes a lot of coaxing to stick around and would rather hide than play.

Rome is more outgoing so will always greet us for pats but with that personality also comes the need for a lot of attention.  He is ultra curious and will test all boundaries by chewing, pushing, biting, scratching at, jumping over, through, under anything and everything.  It is very entertaining but it also tests our boundaries and sometimes, we end up wanting to strangle him.

They are polar opposites of each other which is why it’s so hard for them to get along but how are you to know this just by seeing them at the pet store cuddling side by side?

Now that we know their personalities, we’ve pretty much realised that you can’t force them to be together if they don’t like each other.

We’re also struggling with the decision to let one go and replace him with a female.  How do you choose?  They’re pretty much family now and both have good and bad qualities about them.

So instead of choosing between them, I dream that one day they can meet their life partners and I daydream that maybe if they had partners, they’d be kinder to each other and their partners would help dissipate any bad blood between them and they could all actually get along together.

That would however, mean having 4 rabbits… like I didn’t have enough work as it is!!  For that we need a bigger place.  Ahhh… nothing like kids/furbabies to get you taking on a larger mortgage hey?   It’s either that or choosing between them!

Have you seen that clip where someone offers $100K for people’s dogs?  Every single person said no.  I feel like this is one of those decisions… hmmm I say I love them but how much do I really love them?  LOL

Long time no post

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything and this is because we’ve had quite a bit going on.

The boys got neutered and we’ve been waiting for their testosterone to die down before introducing them to each other again.

We attempted after 6 weeks but resulted in both of them fighting with each other within 3 mins and getting very cranky at us both for even thinking of putting them together.

Their 3 mins together put them both off and unsettled them for a whole day.  It was the first time I’d seen neither of them binky or eat much.  They were both very upset.

So they’re separated again and have been so for almost another 2 weeks and they’re back to their normal happy selves.  We do allow them to see each other through the fence though so Paris comes to visit Rome every day and they spend time with each other next to the fence.

They seem fine that way for the most part and on occasion attempt to bite each others’ noses through the fence.

Paris has an advantage at this because his head is wider.  This means only Rome can put his nose through, the fence effectively turning into a muzzle but giving Paris plenty of nose to bite.  Result?  Rome spends a lot of time sitting with a screwed up face (because he’s in pain after Paris has bitten his face) and his nose has many scars.

Rome doesn’t have to put his nose through all the time but he does and even when we put space between the fence, these two push it all back together again so they can reach each other.

I don’t think I could put them in the ring together again.  It was like Furbaby MMA but with zero rules.  We will have to take a different approach to get them to be friends.

Meanwhile dramas work-wise for both Tony and I means our focus has been on things other than telling stories of bunnies or otherwise.

We’re enjoying time with the rabbits and although they’ve destroyed much of our skirting boards and door frames and created a lot more work and less sleep for us both, life is full of smiles and high pitched “OMG he’s so cute!!!” squealing when they’re around.

Here is a picture of the latest thing.  They’re malting / shedding.  Apparently they do this once every 3 months with the changes in season.  This is shedding the winter coat for Spring and this is just Paris’ fur and barely even half of what’s fallen off.

Just put a couple of ears and eyes on it and we’ve got another rabbit!

This picture pretty much sums up our lives with the bunnies at the moment.  Sweeping, cleaning, picking up fur and hay.

Paris is black and his undercoat is white, this is why all the fur together looks like  a big grey dust ball.  Their fur is clumping up and rolling around the house like tumbleweed.

Our home is the Wild West of Bunnyville with clumps of tumblefur rolling around everywhere.

Our kitchen drain (which is attached to the washing machine) got clogged a number of times in the past couple of weeks due to so much fur being stuck on their blankets (no matter how much sweeping / vacuuming is done prior to washing).

And Tones wonders why I haven’t made time to blog… geez!!

 

The Week of the DIY

It all started 2.5 years ago  when I made Tony some hair pomade for our anniversary.

It lasted a little over a year.  It didn’t cost me much to make.  Probably all of £3.00 if that, for 300g or maybe more.  I don’t know ’cause I didn’t weigh it.

He looked at store bought pomade recently and it costs £32.00 for only 250g which is about half the size of my jars.

Truth be told, he loves my homemade pomade so much, he requested I make more when he ran out (instead of going to buy some).  He preferred what I made to the gels and waxes he’d been using previously.

Why does he love it?  Firstly, because it works but more importantly, when he sweats in yoga, it doesn’t sting his eyes at all and lastly, he reckons it makes his hair softer and cleared up all dandruff.

I love it because I can make it smell different each time.

I also love it because every time he bends over to kiss Rome, Rome will actually lick his hair!

It puts me at ease knowing that although it might be slightly bad for a rabbit to consume hair pomade (mixture of oils and beeswax), at least it’s all natural and even the rabbit isn’t put off by licking it!

Anyway, first it was hair pomade, then it was tooth paste, next thing you know, I just started DIY-ing all our products, as and when we ran out of them.

Usually I only have to make one item if at all, in any given week.   Depending on the product, I could be making it every 3 weeks, every 3 months or in the instance of pomade, just once every year and a bit.

This week however EVERYTHING ran out.  So each day, I have been making a DIY something or other.

I don’t mind.  In fact, I LOVE knowing that we’re slowly but surely removing all harmful, toxic and unnecessary chemicals from our home.

The less chemicals we’re exposed to, the better!!

So what have I made this week?

  1. Face Wash
  2. Dish Washing Detergent (for hand washing dishes)
  3. All purpose cleaning spray
  4. Laundry Detergent
  5. Body wash
  6. Hair Pomade
  7. Tooth Powder (instead of toothpaste)

To be honest, I can’t actually believe we’ve eliminated all store bought items of the above and I’m impressed with how easy they all are to make.

Best of all, they work better than the store bought ones AND whatever goes down our drain, isn’t feeding chemicals back to nature.

This is a real photo of our stove before and after I used my all natural DIY cleaning spray.  All I used was the spray, a scourer and a cloth.

Our stove before and after using my DIY all natural cleaning spray.
Our stove before and after using my DIY all natural cleaning spray.

I really should have timed it but I’m pretty sure it was done in less than 10 mins.  I don’t think our stove’s ever been cleaner.

Tony did some of his own DIY-ing too after I told him off.  There’s nothing like the motivation of a grumpy wife to get you going especially when your motto is “A happy wife is a happy life!”  😉

The rabbits (ie Rome) have been chewing on their hutch at 4am and it echoes through our very quiet flat like a thunderous hammering on wood.

He (Tony) sleeps right through it.  I don’t.  The nights where I have slept through are the nights where the exhaustion of an accumulation of multiple sleepless nights has taken over.

At first, I was waking up because the rabbits were fighting.

These days, since we separated them, for the most part, we go to bed at 2am, I wake up at 4am because Rome has woken up and started biting the hutch and biting and pulling the cage bars back and forth to say “let me out!”

I then stay awake listening to all the wood-chewing and digging but cannot go back to sleep because of Tony’s snoring to go along with the rabbit noises.

Next thing you know, planes are starting to go overhead, birds  are tweeting, neighbours are waking up and walking around getting ready for work and I’m still awake.

Tony gets out of bed at 7.30am-8.00am and that’s when I fall asleep from exhaustion and then am up again by 9am ready to do it all again.

I’ve been operating like this for weeks – a total of 3 hours broken sleep every night and by the Saturday that just passed, I lost my patience.

You see, Tony had purchased some metal frames to go onto the inner frame of the hutch a week ago.  He was supposed to glue them on top of where the bunnies gnawed the wood so they wouldn’t be able to bite those areas of the hutch anymore.

He’s had these metal frames since Monday but he never glued them in because they were slightly too long to fit.  He needed to trim the ends off and couldn’t find a way to do it.

He was going to get them cut at a local hardware store but they were closed when he visited.  In the end, having a grumpy me encouraged him to find a different solution.

Turned out, all he had to do was cut into the metal with a blade and then snap the ends off (which is actually what I said to him on Monday – it just took him all week to figure out how).

He managed to do it though and on Sunday night, we had our first ever quiet night in the flat after 6 weeks.  SERENITY AT LAST!!!

The bunnies couldn’t bite the metal and had to resort to biting their chew mats which are MUCH QUIETER!!

Although we went to bed at 1am, I woke up bright and bubbly at 7am!!!  There’s nothing like sleeping through the night and getting twice as much sleep as normal to make one happy!!!

For a person who likes to sleep 8 hours.  I can’t believe I’m saying that 6 hours sleep straight is FANTASTIC.

The Mouth Guard
I finally got my mouth guard.  All £300 of it.  It better last forever!!!  I grind my teeth so  hard at night that I’ve chipped 2 teeth and keep chewing holes through my mouth guards so the dentist suggested something a bit stronger and hence, more expensive.

I picked it up on Monday afternoon from the dentist and on Monday night I had my first ever night’s sleep where I didn’t grind my teeth.

I have been grinding my teeth (that I’ve known of) since I was in my teens, that’s over 25 years of tooth grinding!  Even my previous mouth guards allowed my jaws to clamp and chew against the guard.

This one however, stops my back teeth from meeting at all.  EVER.  Result?  I didn’t sleep well.  It was weird not being able to clench my teeth.  Tuesday night however, I completely passed out.

I actually think it’s helping with my backaches.  It’s as if relaxing my jaw while I sleep has allowed the rest of me to relax too.  Will keep an eye on this as the weeks progress, it could just be a temporary result.

Valentine’s Day
Vday was spent with Tony bringing home a bag of Ruffles (my favourite), me making him his hair pomade and us eating a Chinese takeaway dinner.

Don’t worry, the romance never died.  That’s just how we roll.

V-day’s never been a thing for us and I hate that anyone spends money on flowers whose prices have been jacked up 3 fold just for the day.

WTF?  Show me you care by saving your money!!  Buy me flowers any other time, just not on Valentine’s day!!

We had a favourite Chinese place that closed a couple of years ago because the owner went back to live in Malaysia.  We have never found another Chinese takeaway to replace it in standard and taste since.

So, we continue to try various places through Just Eat and Hungry House.  I think we’ve found our close second last night.  It’s called Man Ho!! LOL.

So now I can say we both had Man Ho for Valentine’s.

Paris & Rome
If I’m not talking about the bunnies, there’s something wrong.  They are definitely my babies and consume the most part of my life.

I read up on everything rabbit each and every day, just so I can understand them better.

This week I learned that there are studies to show that the exact same places in a woman’s brain light up when she looks at pictures of her children as when she looks at pictures of her pet.

It seems the body does not know the difference and will trigger all the same emotions and hormones for motherly love for a pet as it does for children.

I think many pet owners who have loved and lost a pet will know what this is about because they’ve experienced it themselves.  Pets really do become your best friends, your children, your family.

Apparently some people have actually said that they love their pet more than they do their partners!!!

Anyway, Paris & Rome are continuing to be happy bunnies and are still binky-ing.  Though their hormones are making them a little irritable and unpredictable.  If anything, I think the hormones exaggerate their personalities.

This week Paris has been more moody.  One day he’ll be all ok to be around you and have you pet him (FINALLY) and the next day he is running away again, jumping in fright at every sound, hiding under the couch and avoiding every touch.

Rome has started to chew the skirting boards.  I tell you nothing looks more stylish than some mangled skirting boards.

He cannot stop chewing and breaking things.  I’ve given him cardboard, the chew mat, a quilt, more boxes, a chew toy but he continues to prefer to destroy the skirting boards instead.

I’ve given him hay and nuggets but they are only very temporary distractions until he’s breaking the skirting boards again.  He managed to pull on one so hard, the nail came out and was sticking out dangerously sharp.  I had to put him back in his hutch so I could hammer it back into the floor.

He also chases us when we go into the bathroom and starts digging at, biting or tugging our trouser legs as if to tell us we are not allowed to touch ANYTHING while in the bathroom.

Either that or that’s his way of telling us to get out.

I think he’s had enough of our cleaning up his poo.  It’s ok though because he’s done very well with the litter tray and there’s not much territorial poo around.

This week, I bought an array of different kinds of hay to see which they like best.  We’re spending money on their hay like we spend on superfood.  Getting a bit OTT.

Forget the grass, get them the gourmet feeding hay with 3 types of plants for extra variety and nutrition! *part sarcasm*

Yes, I actually bought a bag just to test it out and am cringing that I have become one of those pet owners.  God help us if we ever get a dog, I’ll probably cook all his food for him.  None of that canned shit… he’s getting gourmet!

Anyway, back to the rabbits.  I was trying to get away with some cheap stuff but most of it is dust at the bottom of the bag and they just don’t eat it all.  In fact, they dig it, find the best bits, leave the rest, then poo and piss all over it.

We end up throwing most of it when they’re supposed to be eating it!

Not sure how this new hay will compare.  It looks and smells better to Tony and I, it’s even green (as opposed to yellow) but it seems the bunnies think differently.

It costs twice as much but the bunnies are still treating it the same way as the cheap stuff.  In fact, it looks as if they are not eating as much hay since the introduction of the new, more expensive stuff.

They don’t use it to pee on but they’re not eating it either.  They kind of just leave it there.  I wonder if they’re waiting for it to go yellow.

The bunnies seem to starve themselves (or eat skirting boards and cardboard boxes) until I give them nuggets.   Still something to monitor for the coming months.

Perhaps they just need time to get used to the new flavours.  Rabbits are actually very fussy eaters!

We also got them a new feeding toy which I’m more excited about than they are.  You hide their treats in it and they have to learn things to get to them.

For example, they must lift a lid or push it aside to get to the treat.  There are 3 different levels of difficulty.

Play time has never been more fun for me!  Tony has caught me eating my dinner super fast just so I can go and play.  I didn’t know I was doing it until Tony mentioned it and laughed at me for being such a kid.

Not the same for the bunnies though.  Now they’re probably ok with it but at first it frustrated them… I could see it when they started biting the toy really hard, picking it up and slamming it down.

“WHY IS IT SO HARD TO GET TO AND EAT MY GODDAMNED TREATS??!!!”

They’re fast learners though so they both worked out the first level in under 5 mins.  Actually, watching me attempt to put the thing together had Tony questioning if the learning toy was for rabbits or for humans.

The 2nd level they both figured out in under a minute.   It takes me longer to put all the treats in and set it up than it does for them to eat.  They’re like mini vacuum cleaners.  They just inhale.

I’ve taken videos but  doubt you’d want to watch 5 mins of a rabbit figuring out how to get to a treat so editing is required.

Yet another thing to add to my things to do.  Let’s see if I can ever get a clip up of this “exciting” play time with the bunnies.  No promises.  I can barely even get a photo up of them.

Speaking of which…. this is another picture of when they used to get along.  This is how rabbits hang out and chill together.

Arghhhh they’re SO CUTE!

Paris & Rome Hanging Out Together
Paris & Rome Hanging Out Together

I am just waiting for the day they can both be together like this again.  We’ve got some neutering and re-bonding to do first…. furbaby parenting goals.

Has it been a week already?

When you’re young, a day feels like eternity but it seems the older you get, 1 week goes by in a blink of an eye.

Highlights of the week:

Ada’s Visit
A friend from Australia that I hadn’t seen for over a decade visited.  She was in London for less than 24 hours but still managed to squeeze me in for a catch up.

I chose a restaurant near where she was staying.  It was the German Gymnasium at Kings Cross.  They serve… German food.  Ha!

Anyway, it’s in a Grade II listed building and named German Gymnasium because the building was the first, purpose built Gymnasium in England with funding coming solely from London’s German community.

The building was built in 1865 so we ate dinner (I had a German afternoon tea) inside a 150 year old building.

Yin with Sharky
Yoga which has been my life for so long, was pretty non-existent because – January.

You have to book ALL your classes in otherwise they’re all full due to all those well-intentioned New Years Resolutions people who disappear by Feb.

I managed to book classes from mid Jan through to Feb and thought by February for sure, the classes would start being freer but it wasn’t to be.

So I have spent many days not going to yoga because the classes have been booked out and I hadn’t booked myself in, in time.

Can you imagine?  Attempting to book yourself in 2 days in advance is still not long enough.  FARK!

I did manage to get to one of Sharky’s first Yin classes and I loved it.  She did a different method to the other teachers and allowed time for “rebound” between each posture.

Rebound is a savasana in between every posture to allow whatever released in each posture, to move through and exit or integrate into, the body.

The result?  I ended up getting really teary and emotional.  I actually felt emotions releasing from my body and I was so grateful to be able to feel them so I could let them go.

It only lasted a few seconds though because as soon as Tony saw me looking teary, “WHY ARE YOU CRYING?” came out of his mouth and it was so abrupt and harsh, I immediately cut off all emotions and went back to thinking mode.

I got skillz like that.

Actually, he managed to say it just like my mother used to.  I know he said it out of concern but I heard it the way my mum said it which meant “Stop being a pussy, you have no reason to cry and if you don’t stop I’ll fucking give you a reason to cry.”  That’s the mild version. 😉

So I stopped.  IMMEDIATELY.  I’ll just have to find a way to cry at times he’s not around so I can release emotions in peace.

Paris & Rome
Another week in peace.  Both boys are really happy and binky every day.

Paris does the cutest binkies ’cause he’s so chunky like a bulldog and bottom heavy.  So he looks more like a jumping goat or ram when he binkies.

Rome has started to jump on my arm and shoulder.  Last night he sat on my shoulder and every so often would turn to lick my face – cheek, eyelid, eyebrows, temple, forehead.  Then he’d jump down and jump up onto my other shoulder and tug at my hair.

I know he’s just looking for a way over the fence and using me as a viewing platform but I like to think we’ve developed a good bond plus I’m loving all my bunny kisses!  He loves kissing my nose.

He’s still incredibly mischievous, spends a lot of his time in meerkat position, listening out for what Paris might be doing and he’s completely chewed up the skirting board instead of the chew mat we gave him because he thinks breaking the skirting board will help him escape the fence.

We keep him fenced because although the more loving of the two, he’s also the trouble maker.

He is so curious he gets himself into all sorts of trouble – biting things he shouldn’t, falling off things he shouldn’t have jumped on in the first place and starting fights by annoying the crap out of Paris by not letting him have space.

The other day he fell down the stairs 3 times in one day (that I saw)all because he kept standing on 2 feet on the edge of the step and then leaning backwards.  Don’t ask.

He’s been contained in the hallway with plenty of run space including the stairs and the bathroom but it doesn’t stop him from attempting to  break the fence and looking for FREEDOM!!!

I’m also having a battle of the bathroom with him.

After a week of watching Tony and I go toilet (he’s in the hallway so we have to pass him every single time and sometimes he follows us into the bathroom), he stopped pissing and pooing anywhere but the bathroom!

He just chose to go in the shower because he can’t reach the toilet.

Unfortunately, we have to keep clearing his poo and pee before we have a shower and he gets very frustrated with us because every time we clean it, we’re effectively saying he’s not allowed to pee and poo there, and therefore he has nowhere to go toilet.

So then of course he’ll poo and pee outside of the shower as well as in the shower, using the entire bathroom floor as his toilet which makes it difficult for us to go in there and use the toilet ourselves.

I put a litter in the bathroom for him and it’s taken a couple of days but I think he’s coming around to the idea that this is his new place to go toilet because there is much less poo anywhere but the litter.

Although the chew mat I bought is completely intact for Rome, Paris’ is almost completely torn apart and non-existent.

Paris actually only chews the things we give him to chew and he knows EXACTLY which is for him and which is not.

A perfect example is that he has a cardboard box he chews on, we give them cardboard boxes a lot.  Yet, I’ve left cardboard boxes full of my eBay stock out right next to his play area without any fences.

He can walk right up to them and start chewing on them, pissing on them, whatever he likes really and he leaves them untouched!

He has identified what is ok for him and what will get him into trouble and he really has behaved himself so we’ve removed the fence and he’s running “free range”.

He actually just stays in his area!!  He’s recently started to explore under the couch but he has steered clear of the hallway and gone nowhere near the only fence that keeps him apart from Rome.

So far so good.  Unsure how long this will last but we’ll see.

Paris has also started to approach us more and nudges us for treats which is much better than running away!

Still hates getting patted but he tolerates it a bit more before running away.  He also has no problems standing on our feet when he’s begging and asking us for treats.  We didn’t teach him, he just does it.

Overall we have 2 very happy bunnies and we’re finally starting to understand their personalities.

Because only their scent is on their stuff, they’re not marking territory as much as they used to.

That means there’s barely any poo outside of their litter and hutch and they’re not pissing outside of their designated litters at all.  I knew they were supposed to be easy to toilet train!!

All they needed was to be separated and feel safe about what is THEIR space.

Our house no longer smells as bad (either that or I’m used to it) and I’m back to normal amounts of laundry.

That makes 2 good weeks in a row with them out of 5.5 weeks together.  It was a hectic start but we’re getting there!! YES!!

Last thing… last night I attempted to feed them rocket (again, I think it was my 3rd attempt at feeding them rocket, probably the 15th time to attempt to feed them some sort of fresh veg) and THEY ATE IT!!!!  That was their first ever fresh vegetable they’ve eaten.

And to test trust, I held the rocket with my mouth and had them eat it from me.  BOTH of them did it which means they’re both cool with sharing food with me.

YES!  After many weeks of rejection, I finally got acceptance.

I can’t have asked for more.  Patience, persistence, trust and love. That’s what these boys are teaching me.

And restraint… I’m learning restraint.  Sometimes I wish I could just SQUEEZE them and smother them with kisses because they’re so damned CUTE but that’s probably why they don’t let me hold them!

Here is a picture of them when they used to get along:

Paris & Rome

 

 

This is them in rapport even when separated.

sleepy-paris
Sleepy baby Paris
Sleepy Rome
Sleepy baby Rome. Notice the completely intact chew mat next to him (on the right) and our chewed up door frame (on the left). That’s just paint on the door snake.

 

Seriously, Tony skyped me one pic while he was with Paris in the lounge and Rome was doing the exact same thing while with me in the hallway!  In rapport, even when apart – there is hope for them yet!

Nothing to report – life is good!

Since we separated the bunnies, there have been no dramas.  All peace and quiet with lots of bunny kisses each day from Rome.

We bought them toys and chew mats, gave them little cardboard boxes which they use to chew, jump on and sleep in and bought them tubes to play in.

Yes, we had to buy 2 of everything so they each have one in their separate spaces.   We ended up having to get them each a separate hay rack and water bottle.

We also bought them boxes that they can jump in and out of, dig in and use as litters.  We also put hay in there so they have an incentive to jump in and out.

Overall I think they’re happy.  I know Rome is.

I can’t work out if Paris is or not.  He doesn’t do nearly as many binkies (a binky is their jump for joy, it’s a sign of their love for life), he still stays away from us and he likes to spend a lot of time in his hutch even when the door is open all day for him.

I let them out at 9am and don’t put them back in their hutch until 11pm.  They’re supposed to get a minimum of 4 hours play time outside of their hutch.

These boys get 14 hours free time, though they do spend a lot of that time (from approx. 12-6pm) sleeping.  The difference in personalities is amazing.

Even with 14 hours out each, Paris spends all his free time inside the hutch and doesn’t care if we close and lock the door.  Rome wants out IMMEDIATELY and looks like he really wants to get out of jail.

I can’t tell if the wanting to stay in the hutch is Paris’ personality or if he is holding a grudge and really doesn’t like us.  This boy is seriously hard to read and sure seems moody.  Should have named him emo.

As for me and Tony, we’re good.  We attend yoga occasionally and are not so hard-core about it anymore.

I’m loving the yin yoga.  Since my whole being is very yang, yin just ensures I feel more balanced.  Tony’s loving the vinyasa because it’s building up his arms.  IMHO, his arms have never looked better!

Not going out so much ’cause I’m trading our going out money for buying the rabbits everything they need money.

It’s ok though ’cause we’ve had plenty to eat given Christmas and then Chinese New Year happened within a month of each other.  Gong Hei Fat Choy 😉

And it’s ok we haven’t gone out much ’cause we’ve re-established order and stability with a lot more love at home.

It took 1 month.  Not bad for a major change!

And that’s it.  Life is peaceful, calm and simple again.