I'd kept a rabbit as a child and then a few in early adulthood but hadn't done that great a job so made the usual assumption that they were fairly uninteresting animals (when, in truth, I wasn't keeping them properly and therefore wasn't seeing them at their full potential). I had no plans to get into keeping them again but I had an empty ex-chicken house at the end of the garden and knew that their were tonnes of rabbits in rescue so thought why not at least do some fostering.
And so, in December 2005, arrived Kitkat and Shadow. They had both been in rescue pretty much all their lives. Shadow had been rescued from a terrible breeder where he had been crammed in a hutch with a large number of other bucks, Kitkat was born in rescue and was just born grumpy! No-one wanted them because Shadow was black and Kitkat was such a grump bag! Me, I love a bunny with attitude so they came to me while they waited for that special home. Thing was they needed someone experienced with bunnies but with no other rabbits since Kitkat didn't like other rabbits, and they needed a big house which meant they wouldn't need to be lifted in and out of a hutch. Of course it dawned on me more than once that actually they had everything they needed here, but the plan was to get more chickens one day and they were occupying the chicken aviary.
Anyway, I finally admitted defeat in August 2007. There had been very little interest in these two, they were happy here and getting to the point where it seemed like they didn't entirely hate us! We'd even managed to stroke Kitkat's nose!!
In January 2008 Shadow started to have health problems. He had a skin condition which we kept clearing up but then it would return every time they went to live back outside. Eventually we decided to keep them indoors and this worked well until one Saturday morning in September when I found that Shadow had passed away in his sleep. Kitkat went into mourning so we quickly found her a new friend in the form of Ginger.
Introductions went pretty smoothly and they were soon devoted to each other. Kitkat appreciated having a friend who was as naughty as her and seemed to be training him up to be her evil sidekick!
Sadly Ginger hadn't been well cared for in his life and, as a result, already had advanced dental issues. These claimed him in May 2010. Kitkat was bereaved again and never truly recovered. We immediately found her a new man in the form of Wynston.
They were happy together but Kitkat began to lose weight. In July 2010 she was diagnosed with kidney failure and E.Cuniculi. We did every test, tried every treatment possible, spending hundreds of pounds to try and keep her with us. The close care she needed did wonders for our relationship and, by the time she finally lost her fight in October, we were close friends.
Wyn had shown himself to be a lively, adventurous, curious rabbit so we wanted to find him a lady friend who would be a fun accomplice. Furry Friends said they had just the lady and so Maggie arrived.
Sure enough, she is every bit as norty as Wyn, if not more so. She loves to interfere when I'm cleaning cages, stealing things, throwing things round the room or just randomly biting me for the sheer fun of it!
The rabbits have free range of the majority of the animal room, with a sleeping area underneath the guinea pig cage.