Butterscotch and Goose's Bunny Blog

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Anna R.

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I can completely understand where you are coming from Butterscotch. My female rabbit that suddenly passed at the age of 6 was the devil herself. She was the cutest sweetest little thing. Loved to be cuddled and play. But, she completely DESTROYED everything in her path. My rabbits are not spayed, so she only got over destructive behavior at around 2 years old. By that time she had completely chewed the carpet and the pad clear down to the subfloor in her room. Chewing every fleece blanket I gave her (I buy them at a thrift store to save on money). She also refused to ever be liter box trained. Even up to her death at age 6 she WOULD NOT USE A LITER BOX. I tried and tried and tried. Putting liter boxes everywhere in the cage, only to find them thrown out of the cage and turned upside down with all the bedding hay or whatever I put in it tracked all through their play area. She just simply refused. She would only pee and poop in her cage; but NEVER in a liter box. My other rabbit that she was bonded with always used her liter box and still does. I had several melt downs, SEVERAL. She drove me crazy; but, then she would look up at me with her cute little face and it all melted away. I was convinced she was Karma for all the bad things I had ever done in my life. I did get through it. I promise you will too. I know it is frustrating, so I understand. However, they are baby rabbits and it is what they do. But, I do feel your pain. :) Even through all of it, I loved her so very much.
Then, what did I do after I lost her? I adopted two more babies. I guess I am a gluten for punishment. The good thing is, they have both been complete angels. They are like your little gray goose. Well behaved. Just consider yourself blessed that you only have one terror on your hands. I liked J-Bun's advice though, it is good. All rabbits are different, so what is best for one may not be best for another.
But, just know we all know what you are going through. We are all here to listen to your rants, as we have all been there. Hang in there, it's these times that will make you appreciate when they are older and well behaved. :) In the meantime, we're all here for you. ;)
 

Butterscotch

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Butterscotch actually sounds like a typical rabbit. They are full blown destruction machines, particularly if they are still hormonal(not spayed/neutered), if they are female, and if they are still young. So she's just being a normal rabbit. Now it's your other rabbit that's not as typical.

So the key is learning how to direct and manage this tendency for full blown destruction. There are tricks that us long term rabbit owners have learned over years of having rabbits as pets. First, getting her spayed when it's time. Though this won't always calm destructive behavior, most often it at least decreases it some.

If she is picking other places to pee, add a litter box there, even if you have to have several litter boxes around. If she's peeing next to the litter box, make sure that it's not just her butt hanging over the edge of the litter box and the pee ending up on the floor. If the sides are high enough and she is purposely peeing just outside the litter box and along the perimeter, this is normal marking behavior, especially for hormonal rabbits and when there are other rabbits around as it can increase this type of territorial behavior. Spaying often will fix this. The other reason she is peeing outside the litter box is that she has a nice soft blanket to pee on. Most rabbits love to pee on soft things. My rabbits would pee everywhere if I had a fleece blanket covering their enclosure.

If she is peeing on the cardboard, don't give her cardboard or keep it in a plastic tub to confine the mess so you can just dump it in the garbage. Or make her a dig box instead, made from a tall plastic bin with entrance and exit holes cut in high up on the box to contain the mess but low enough to hop in, and fill with crumpled newspaper. I've found dig boxes to actually be the best thing for channeling this normal destructive rabbit behavior of digging and chewing things up.

As for the blanket chewing, some rabbits love to dig, rearrange, and chew blankets. It's a normal thing for them as it simulates the normal rabbit behavior of building a burrow and a nest. So if you want her to have a blanket then it's just something you have to expect to happen. Or don't give her a blanket.

For myself, I don't give my rabbits blankets for the most part. Just too difficult to manage. I like to have a smooth flooring surface that I can sweep up easily. I do have a fleece pet bed for them, which they pee in and I just rotate it out and wash. My other better behaved rabbits get a small soft microfiber rug, but even then there are the occasional pee accidents. The other group doesn't get a rug as I know they would just pee all over it. So you really have to tailor your rabbits habitat to their particular behavior, but also with a set up that you are able to manage well without it driving you nuts. If her set up is making too much work for you then I strongly suggest making some changes. She's a hormonal female being driven by nature to want to dig, burrow, nest, and reproduce, so she is just expressing these natural behaviors in an environment that is far from natural, with the only things she has available to her. Channel these behaviors to things like a dig box, play box, no blanket, extra litter boxes, etc, so that she can still express her normal behaviors but in a way that you can feel is more manageable.

For flooring I would suggest a cut of textured linoleum. I use foam puzzle mats that are taped at the seams with mat tape. But this may not work for you at this point as she could very well want to chew these. Textured lino is one of the best options for a waterproof barrier that is mostly resistant to chewing, provided the edges are outside her pen area so she can't chew them. Rabbits are also less inclined to have pee accidents on hard surfaces(no guarantee though). Ditch the fleece and if you want her to have something soft to sit on, do a cheap fleece pet bed, small soft rug, etc, that you can expect to be destroyed and peed on, that you can easily wash and replace, but is also a safe material if it is chewed.
JBun, thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am going to put together a dig box ASAP, I think she would absolutely love that! I cannot believe I didn't think of textured linoleum either. That would be perfect! I could still offer Goose his fleece because he never, ever pees on it and I could then hopefully get Butterscotch back on track for litter box training. I am so grateful for this advice and I can't tell you enough how much I appreciate it!
 

Butterscotch

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I can completely understand where you are coming from Butterscotch. My female rabbit that suddenly passed at the age of 6 was the devil herself. She was the cutest sweetest little thing. Loved to be cuddled and play. But, she completely DESTROYED everything in her path. My rabbits are not spayed, so she only got over destructive behavior at around 2 years old. By that time she had completely chewed the carpet and the pad clear down to the subfloor in her room. Chewing every fleece blanket I gave her (I buy them at a thrift store to save on money). She also refused to ever be liter box trained. Even up to her death at age 6 she WOULD NOT USE A LITER BOX. I tried and tried and tried. Putting liter boxes everywhere in the cage, only to find them thrown out of the cage and turned upside down with all the bedding hay or whatever I put in it tracked all through their play area. She just simply refused. She would only pee and poop in her cage; but NEVER in a liter box. My other rabbit that she was bonded with always used her liter box and still does. I had several melt downs, SEVERAL. She drove me crazy; but, then she would look up at me with her cute little face and it all melted away. I was convinced she was Karma for all the bad things I had ever done in my life. I did get through it. I promise you will too. I know it is frustrating, so I understand. However, they are baby rabbits and it is what they do. But, I do feel your pain. :) Even through all of it, I loved her so very much.
Then, what did I do after I lost her? I adopted two more babies. I guess I am a gluten for punishment. The good thing is, they have both been complete angels. They are like your little gray goose. Well behaved. Just consider yourself blessed that you only have one terror on your hands. I liked J-Bun's advice though, it is good. All rabbits are different, so what is best for one may not be best for another.
But, just know we all know what you are going through. We are all here to listen to your rants, as we have all been there. Hang in there, it's these times that will make you appreciate when they are older and well behaved. :) In the meantime, we're all here for you. ;)
I don't know how you put up with that until she was 2 years old. Had you considered having her spayed or did you really feel you deserved the Karma? ;) I am counting on Butterscotch settling down a little after she gets spayed and truthfully she wasn't even really misbehaving, she was just being a normal inquisitive baby bunny. I really appreciate that people here have been through this and understand it. And also that no one has ripped me a new one for getting frustrated. I can't wait until a few years from now when I can read these blogs as I stroke sweet Butterscotch's head while she sits in my lap and I tell her the stories about how both of us barely survived her childhood.....
 

Anna R.

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I know you have waterproof mats under Butterscotch's cage...which is great. Once a rabbit "marks" their territory they will continue to come back and pee in the same spot, as they have marked this as a spot to do their business in. If she continues to have accidents and seems to be going in the same spots over and over you may want to rub it down with vinegar. Vinegar takes the smell of their "marked" spot away and they will no longer want to continue to pee in that area. Whether on carpet or a hard surface, once it is "marked" their scent is there, and is a signal for them that this is the "spot" to go.
Vinegar is also great on carpet if they have an accident there. It will take the urine stain out and smell away. I have fleece down for my rabbits and if they have an accident I immediately take the fleece out and replace it with a new clean one and clean the spot underneath with vinegar so they won't go there again. If you find Butterscotch is going in the same location (even on a hard surface) you might want to try wiping down with vinegar to clean up the scent.

Jbun, always gives such great advice. :) I wish I would have found this site a lot sooner, it would have saved me a lot of heartache.
 

Anna R.

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Spaying them was always an option that I weighed back and forth... I know that it is especially good for female rabbits for the ovarian cancer risk. However, I have always been so scared to put them through the surgery. Just the thought of losing one of my babies was just too much. I was also never sure about breeding or what I wanted for the future. I just could not justify putting them through that just because I didn't like them "being rabbits". And, looking back...it really wasn't that bad. I know I would do things differently after finding this blog. I really wish I had found it awhile ago. Sometimes the internet has so much info. you wonder what is true and what isn't.
I just accepted my rabbits for what they were and really appreciated them out growing that phase!! :) Now they are all angels ;), and I have learned from them too. Through trial and error with them, they are all different. Once you get to know your babies you get a feel for what is right for them and what isn't.
We are all here for each other. Good or bad...it's good to share stories. :)
 

Butterscotch

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I'm going to make a dig box for each of my bunnies today. I'm guessing that Goose will check his out and root around in it for a while and then be over it and I'm betting that Butterscotch will have a great time with hers. It just seems like something she would love. I'll post pics when I'm done with them.

I just received my Petco and Chewy orders and I wonder if my neighbors think I'm operating a zoo in my small condo. When I ordered my rabbit cages they were each delivered on different days while I was at work so there was a nearly 5 foot tall box with a photo of the cage on the outside of the box sitting outside my front door for a couple of hours on two different days. My next door neighbor (who is coincidentally my sister's employee) did ask if I got a rabbit so I invited her in to see them. It turns out her friend has three rabbits! That's also how I found my vet. She asked her friend where she takes her rabbits and now I have a great vet for my buns. So anyway, I had these four boxes delivered, all filled with goodies for my babies. It was Christmas in July at my house this week! For everyone except Captain Morgan, my African Grey parrot. His Christmas will come in a few weeks when he is no longer afraid of his new toys and perches. Allow me to explain. All of my other animals rip into their new toys as soon as the toys are presented to them. Not Morgan. He is deathly afraid of anything new. He has been chewing through his rope perches a lot lately so I ordered him yet another one and even though it is identical to the one currently hanging by only one end in his cage, I cannot give him the new one yet. He thinks it's going to murder him. I have to bring a small table over to his cage (which is 3' x 2' x 6') and place the new items on the table on the side of his cage opposite his food and water dishes. He will not eat if the new items are too close to his food. After a day or so, I have to shift the positioning of the objects and put them on boxes or books so that he can see them a little easier. He will spend the next few days pressed against the opposite side of his cage. When he is venturing toward the side of his cage closest to his new toys, I will then hang them on the outside of his cage. Again, he will spend the next few days pressed against the opposite side of his cage. Finally, when he will pick at the new items through the bars of his cage, I can hang them inside but toward the bottom of his cage. He will spend the next few days pressed against the top of his cage. When I see him eating normally and not paying any attention to the new toys, I can then hang them where he can easily access them and play with them. Then he completely destroys them and I have to start all over. I usually already have another set of new toys on the table by the time he destroys them but this time I was so distracted with my bunnies that I didn't notice he was going to need a new perch until he had already chewed through his existing one. It's a long process that we have sort of perfected over the last 15 years. This bird needs night lights and he cannot have his cage covered at night, he hates being surprised, and he used to get night frights before his vet recommended the night lights. We've found our comfort zone now though.

Back to rabbits. I ordered a whole bunch of toys, some of them old favorites, some of them new. I'm going to add them to the dig boxes. Maybe bury them in crumpled paper. I need some new options for these bunnies because I think they're bored in their small play pens (I would be!!). I let Goose explore outside his play pen the other day but I can't let him go far because I need to maintain as many neutral areas as I can for future bonding attempts. I'm really looking forward to when (hopefully) they can share space. I think we'll all be so much happier then.
 

Butterscotch

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I know baby bonds don't count but I am so hopeful that Goose and Butterscotch will be easy to bond in a few months. They flop next to each other, they share hay through the play pen bars, and Goose is so happy to be at Butterscotch's beck and call. When she hops over to the shared wall of their play pens and puts her head down, he comes over to groom her no matter where he is in his play pen. It has been this way since day one. It truly appears to be love at first sight. I have never seen her groom him though. He has let me groom him many times and I picture that same look on my own face that he has on his when he grooms Butterscotch. I am in love with these bunnies.

They have such strikingly different personalities. Butterscotch is always on the move. She's curious and fearless (rabbit wise) and she's always full of energy. Rattling her cage bars first thing in the morning to get out. Goose is just a quiet, reserved bunny. He's not very active at all. His play pen is much larger than Butterscotch's because his potty habits are much better so he'll do his laps and binkies but then he's back to sitting by the shared wall of the play pen waiting for Butterscotch to want to be groomed. He's never at his cage door waiting to be let out, he takes his time coming out when I open the door. I know that their hormones could kick in any time and all of this affection between them could mean nothing but I am so desperately hopeful that that doesn't happen. Goose gets neutered in a month, Butterscotch's appointment hasn't been set yet but she'll be ready in early October. I'm hoping to begin bonding around Thanksgiving and I'm hoping there will be nothing to it.

I'm dropping them off at my sister's house this afternoon because I'm going to visit our other sister out of state for a few days and I'm worried sick about them. My sister has a big fluffy barky dog that is the sweetest dog I've ever met but will be a very different experience for my buns. She also has 2 young daughters that come over to play with my buns so I'm hoping there's just enough familiarity there to comfort Goose and Butterscotch enough to help them get through the next couple days. I've written out a lengthy care sheet and I'm leaving my credit card with them in case anything happens. I absolutely trust my sister with their lives. I hope everything will be ok! I was tempted to cancel my trip but I also want my bunnies to be good travelers if at all possible. I asked Goose's vet about it and he said it's up to the rabbit and that I have to get to know my rabbits and pay attention to what they're trying to tell me. He said some do get very stressed and some don't seem to mind it. He sees rabbits that are therapy animals and travel all the time. I'm counting on their age to benefit them. They are young and just recently came to live with me so they've been in different housing situations. They were both raised around kids and dogs and they've gotten used to my own dogs and noisy parrots. They will have all their own belongings with them and they will have each other. I just know I'm going to worry the whole time I'm gone. I already can't wait to get home. That's kind of a bummer, I really need this vacation for my own sanity and well being.
 

Alyssa and Bugs♡

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From all the bonding stories I've reading, siblings seem to be easier to bond than bunnies that met as adults. I really hope your process goes well. They're so cute and I can't wait to see them snuggling!
 

Butterscotch

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Butterscotch and Goose are back home now and they did really well at my sister's house for the week. They were only supposed to be there for a few days but I ended up getting stuck out of state for 4 extra days due to car trouble. My sister says that she doesn't want a rabbit now, they're too much work. She had asked me to breed my pair so that she could have the babies but I'm glad I didn't. Goose is getting neutered on schedule, as planned. I've got them settled in at home now and I wanted to make sure they were eating and pooping before I went to bed but I've been awake for 38 hours and I can't keep my eyes open any more. Butterscotch is eating her pellets and Goose is grooming himself so I'll take those as good signs they're feeling ok. We are all home safe! I'm off to sleep.
 

Butterscotch

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I just dropped Goose off at the vet to get neutered! I am SO EXCITED to get these surgeries out of the way so I can start bonding. Butterscotch's spay appointment is scheduled for October 25th. I'm hoping to start bonding sessions sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Then I can get rid of these cages and start free roaming, too. So many good things to look forward to with my babies!

The neatest thing happened at the vet today. I got there a few minutes before they opened to find a man with 3 rabbits waiting for the clinic doors to be unlocked. We started chatting about rabbits and I learned that this gentleman has been fostering rabbits since 1998. He went on to explain what an absolute joy it is to have rabbits but he's too afraid to tell anyone because he's afraid they'll think he's "undiagnosed" crazy. Ha ha! I really enjoyed talking to this guy. He had a bonded pair with him, one was a lionhead and the other was a Himalayan colored Netherland Dwarf and ohmygoodness they were the cutest pair! I'm so used to my tiny dwarf rabbits that this guy's larger rabbits looked so huge! He said he drives 31 miles one way to see this vet because he's such a good bunny vet and he is involved in rabbit clubs and groups. I'm so lucky! I live about 15 minutes away from a supposed rock star bunny vet. I guess I should say Goose and Butterscotch are the lucky ones. They are in good hands with a very rabbit savvy vet. I feel so much better, I was worried about Goose. He should come home about 4-5:00 this afternoon. Now I have to get busy sanitizing his cage and washing his blankets. Does anyone have any advice on what I can do to comfort Goose when he comes home?
 

Anna R.

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Good Luck on the neuter Goose. I hope all goes well. Unfortunately I don't have any helpful hints for you as I have never had a male bunny. Just wanted to let you know someone's with you today. I'm sure it will be a l-o-n-g day waiting to bring him home and worrying. (I would be a basket case from worry, but that's just me) Sounds like he couldn't be in better hands, so I am sure all will go well. How lucky are you to have a great vet so close. :) Little Goose (and Mom) are in our thoughts today.

Can't wait to hear about future bonding with Butterscotch. Keep us posted. ;)
 

Butterscotch

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Good Luck on the neuter Goose. I hope all goes well. Unfortunately I don't have any helpful hints for you as I have never had a male bunny. Just wanted to let you know someone's with you today. I'm sure it will be a l-o-n-g day waiting to bring him home and worrying. (I would be a basket case from worry, but that's just me) Sounds like he couldn't be in better hands, so I am sure all will go well. How lucky are you to have a great vet so close. :) Little Goose (and Mom) are in our thoughts today.

Can't wait to hear about future bonding with Butterscotch. Keep us posted. ;)
Awww, thank you!! I was a bit of a wreck worrying about Goose this morning but after talking to my new friend I am so happy! He has been bringing his rabbits to this vet since 1998. I don't think Goose could possibly be in better hands. Thank you for keeping us in your thoughts! He's going to pull through like a champ, I just know it. I'll update when he comes home.
 

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Goose is home now! He seems to be doing ok, he's munching on his wicker ball. His cage is nice and clean and he has a ton of fresh hay. I'd feel better if he would actually eat some of it but he's only been home for about an hour and a half. I'll keep a watchful eye over him tonight.
 

Lauren Kiernan

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Our buck did well after his neuter. He was quieter, tired. We made sure he was warm and gave him his pain meds. He was quieter for about 4-5 days before he returned to his former energetic self.
 

Butterscotch

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Our buck did well after his neuter. He was quieter, tired. We made sure he was warm and gave him his pain meds. He was quieter for about 4-5 days before he returned to his former energetic self.
That's good to know, thank you! He seems to be feeling a little bit better today. I woke up at 4:30 this morning to him munching away in his litter box, leaving behind plenty of nice, normal looking, equal sized poops. He's doing ok!!
 

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Goose won't eat the greens I continue to offer him but Butterscotch is more than happy to try them all! She is a different bunny since she came home from staying with my sister for a week. She runs up to greet me when I approach her play pen and she lets me cuddle her now. She was very indifferent towards me before. My sister has 4 kids, I suspect that Butterscotch got a lot of attention while she was visiting them. Either that or she's glad to be back home where it's nice and quiet and she appreciates being handled only by adults.
 

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That's good to know, thank you! He seems to be feeling a little bit better today. I woke up at 4:30 this morning to him munching away in his litter box, leaving behind plenty of nice, normal looking, equal sized poops. He's doing ok!!
I laughed when the post OP instructions read that the animal should not jump....I was like....ummm you know he's a rabbit? But he seemed to know he should take it easy and the pain meds they sent us home with helped too.
 

Alyssa and Bugs♡

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Did they give Goose a cone? Bugs had one and imo, that was the worst part of his recovery. Bugs got neutered on a Friday and I missed two days of school the next week to be with him because he couldn't do anything with the cone on. He would get poop stuck to it and it was a disaster. If he has one, I recommend giving him at least a few minutes every hour without the cone on to eat his cecals. Make sure you're supervising this. I also found it important to syringe feed water because he couldn't get a good angle to drink it. Bugs ended up getting a giant clump of cecals stuck to the incision spot and it was almost impossible for him to walk comfortably. It was all over his pen. I took his cone off and he immediately started eating them and didn't bother with the incision at all. I didn't put the cone back on. I would also make sure he's eating something. Good luck to you both during his recovery!
 

Butterscotch

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Did they give Goose a cone? Bugs had one and imo, that was the worst part of his recovery. Bugs got neutered on a Friday and I missed two days of school the next week to be with him because he couldn't do anything with the cone on. He would get poop stuck to it and it was a disaster. If he has one, I recommend giving him at least a few minutes every hour without the cone on to eat his cecals. Make sure you're supervising this. I also found it important to syringe feed water because he couldn't get a good angle to drink it. Bugs ended up getting a giant clump of cecals stuck to the incision spot and it was almost impossible for him to walk comfortably. It was all over his pen. I took his cone off and he immediately started eating them and didn't bother with the incision at all. I didn't put the cone back on. I would also make sure he's eating something. Good luck to you both during his recovery!
No, they didn't give him a cone. Surprisingly, he doesn't seem to be at all interested in his incision. He grooms himself as normal and I watch closely when he goes for his sore area but he doesn't seem to be messing with it at all. I'm glad I had this done over a long weekend so that I can watch him closely. (I'm getting a little bored being stuck at home but it's for a very good cause and it was planned, so I don't feel like I'm wasting a weekend.) He has been eating and drinking a lot more today than yesterday and he did a nice job of filling up his litter box. I think he's doing really good!
 

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So, I have spent the last however long reading all the posts in this thread and I will say, I’m smiling and learning!
Butterscotch, I will confess that I have TWO pair of bonded buns and they can’t be left together for more than an hour or so. They are all cute and curious for that time and then someone gets pissed off...usually one of the females. Both pair are one female and one male.
I will also tell you that my girl Waffles was a total hellion when she was little! She used to violate my poor cat on the daily and the cat would just lay there after while Waffles stretched all out like....ha ha, you my bi**h. After her spat, all that stopped. She was still an energetic turd but the hormonal stuff ended. Now, her brother Butters, is an angel and always has been. Sweet, docile, cuddly and sounds a lot like Goose.
My other bonded pair are Wally and Eva. Wally is the male and he is super sweet too while Eva, the female, is very dominant and just doesn’t like to be touched.
I think the boy buns are just too sweet and the girl buns are....well, not. LOL...
I will say that this November, Waffles and Butters will be 3 years old. I was sitting in the kitchen chair this past week and for the first time ever, Waffles let me hold her while she laid on me and clicked her teeth. I have been able to hold her the whole time but it dawned on me, that very moment, that just maybe she is growing up and much calmer. I have held her every day since then and she has been much better than she used to be. I just love them to pieces!
Waffles and Butters are cream colored English Angoras and Wally is a grey English Angora while Eva is a Rex.
If anyone has any idea on how to bond TWO pairs together I am all ears! I have two living set-ups in the house!
 

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