Maria Meets Luna
So here is how Maria ended up coming home with me.
I had been planning to donate my cage and bunny care items for awhile, and so when the SPCA put out a notice for a holiday "toy drive", I gathered up Peter's belongings and headed over. As soon as I entered the small animal section I knew I was in trouble. I was feeling pretty vulnerable to begin with and it took no time at all for Maria to soften me up. I petted her lovely face for a little while and she licked my hand in response. I befriended the woman who was caring for the bunnies and returned several times over the next couple of weeks. I hadn't planned on getting another rabbit, but the more I thought about Luna and her quiet solitude, the more I was convinced that we needed to renew our little family. And Maria was so sweet!
I did some research into rabbit introductions and I followed some good advice from the shelter staff. I set up the cage and items in the apartment before I brought Maria home in order to get Luna used to the presence again. She took to it immediately! She was purring and rustling around in the bedding, and I was certain at this point that she was very interested in having a bunny again! What I did for Maria, was simply to visit and pet her, and have her familiar with myself and my scent.
The evening I brought her into the apartment, I placed the carry cage on the floor and gave her some time to acclimate to her surroundings. Eventually Luna caught on that she was there and sniffed through the cage, all the while purring and rubbing herself against it. She was so excited!
Her reaction was so positive that I admit I got a bit ahead of myself. Maria was just very quiet, frightened by all the excitement I'm sure. I put her into her cage and praised both of them. She was a bit standoffish and gave a few thumps but it didn't take her long to get comfortable.
The moment I allowed the two animals to meet face to face, Luna kissed her brown nose and Maria responded with a rabbit punch in the face!
Oh no! I was crushed! It was like watching your child be bullied on the playground!
My poor lonely kitty!
So my expectations were obviously too high to start. The cat ran off to hide and Maria began to make herself at home.
Shes been here almost two weeks and she is happily bouncing and exploring and receiving love and attention from humans, but she is setting clear boundaries with kitty. She is the dominant of the two and my submissive little cat slinks around watching her explore...and backing off quickly when Maria comes near. They are fine in the same room together but Luna likes to be up high and out of reach. When Maria is in her cage, Luna will come up and sniff her. I believe they will be friends but it is a new relationship and they are taking it slow!
Maria seems to have accepted Luna and at this point I actually think that she is the one who would like to be close to the cat - but now Luna is nervous of her antics.
The most successful trick Ive used so far is to give them treats side by side. It seems that food overrides any other concerns, and they happily gobble up whatever I give them and at a very close proximity. Afterwards there is usually a little sniff of one another and then retreat.
All in all, things are improving and developing daily!
More to come!
Labels: Episode 1: Katie's Chronicle