Friday, October 29, 2010

Rabbit Separation Anxiety?

It’s been a recurring observation in my last few posts – Walter’s been more snuggly lately.  And while I’m loving this side of my rabbit, I’m wondering if maybe he’s going a bit too far.  Last night, I got home from work at a reasonable time and let Walter out of the cage.  From that point on, Walter was beside me for almost the entire night.  If I went into the kitchen, he followed.  If I sat on the couch, he sat by my feet.

I sat on the floor with him for a little while, since I am trying to discourage him from hopping onto the couch.  Walter used this opportunity to squeeze himself between my back and the couch that I was leaning on.  If I moved, Walter gave me a disgruntled look.  Finally, he moved next to me instead of lying behind me and I gave him some forehead scratches while I read my book.  If I stopped for even a split second, the rabbit let me know he was mad.

What happened to my independent bunny?

I didn’t really think anything of it until later.  I got up to use the restroom and shut the door behind me.  Walter, suddenly aware that I was no longer with him in the living room, darted to the bathroom door.  I could see the shadow of his floppy ears underneath the doorway and then heard his frantic scratches to be let into the room with me. I’ve been keeping Walter out of the bathroom because he keeps chewing the door frames and my bathmats, so I thought his scratches were simply because he wanted to play in the bathroom.  When I went to exit the bathroom, I left the door open long enough to allow the rabbit to sneak inside the room, but he didn’t take the opportunity given.  Instead, he followed me right back to our spot on the floor in the living room.

It reminded me of a parent who brings her child to daycare or school: the child kicks and cries for his mommy, not able to bear the thought of being apart.  So, is this rabbit-style separation anxiety?  Or is this a one-time rabbit behavior?  Walter’s gone through some changes recently; we moved to a new apartment and he's now down by one "parent."  I’m not trying to go all psychology on my rabbit relationship, but I know rabbits are sensitive animals.  Is it a stretch to think that Walter’s snuggliness and over-attentiveness is related to making sure there aren’t any more changes coming soon?

Okay, even as I typed that last sentence, I realized it sounded silly.  That seems a bit intense for a little bunny.  Maybe he’s just grown out of his crazy baby phase and is settling into an adult personality of being a calm, affectionate pet.

In other news, Walter’s racing and jumping around the apartment has hit new levels of hilarity.  I will try to take some videos this weekend and post them here.  Happy Halloweekend, everyone!

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