Khanyiswa Mogotsi

I recently got two new pets, a kitten and a bunny, and I already know what you are thinking. “What a random pair of animals” and four weeks in, I am starting to realise that I might have made a mistake.

My kitten, Marcus, is just a little over eight weeks and Marcel, the bunny, is around two and a half months and before I got both of them, I might have romanticised how fun it would be to have both a kitten and a bunny.

I would daydream about how cute it would be if they cuddled together, groomed one another other and even played together and I have slowly started to realised that in order for all the cute stuff to happen, I am going to have to wait a lot longer.

I got my bunny first and a week later, I found my kitten in a drain and decided to rescue him. In the beginning, I thought that housing both of them in my room at the same time would be a great idea. My logic was that that way, they would get to know each other a lot better and they would learn to feel safe around me.

A few days into it and I started to notice that my very young and very impressionable kitten started thinking he was a bunny.

He started copying everything Marcel did. That included hoping, sleeping like a bunny, eating vegetables, gnawing on my cables and going to the bathroom in Marcel’s litterbox instead of his own.

It became very clear that Marcus probably started to think of Marcel as his parent. I would separate them during the day and only have them both in my room at night but as Marcus started setting into his new environment, instead of trying to hang out and play with Marcel, he started hunting, biting and basically bullying my bunny.

Soon enough, I started to notice how irritated Marcel would become because there was always this small creature following him around everywhere. Marcus would sleep in Marcel’s hidey-hole and he would sleep very close to him and every time Marcel would try to run away, Marcus was right behind him and in a form of what I believed to be rebellion, Marcel would ruin everything in his path.

He chewed through two of my iPhone chargers, one laptop charger and gnawed through one extension cord. He would also throw his hay and pellets out of his litterbox and whenever I got too close to him, he would thump or kick his back legs at me.

I decided to separate the two permanently and move Marcel to my little brother’s room because it is a lot more quiet and peaceful there and I decided to keep the kitten in my room because I am the only one at home that would provide him with everything he needs growing up.

I am a little upset that Marcel isn’t in my room anymore because seeing him hop around and entertain himself in my room used to be the highlight of my day, but now I know that having a prey and a predator animal in one space was probably not the smartest of ideas.

The lesson I learned from this was that I need to stop romanticising cute animals. Although bunnies and kittens look similar, they are different species and can probably only be cordial once they are both old enough.

I also learned that I should do more research on my pet choices and prepare better. Still, the love of pets is a good thing especially in these trying times.