The differences between Bubba and Daddy are great. Bubba is highly social and loves the attention I give him. You can see it in his mannerisms when he comes to sit in my hand to get a walnut piece. Last night I was very close to Bubba as I could feel his 10 little toes relax in my hand while he munched. Daddy showed up and I saw just how different they were in their personalities.
Daddy’s face was purely predatory. His eyes were shiny and large jet black, focused simply on getting a walnut and wanting nothing to do with me. Bubba on the other hand looked up at me, noticing my eyes and smelling the air. Bubba wants to be close to me, otherwise he wouldn’t climb up on me while I’m sleeping. He desires to inspect me. Daddy wants nothing to do with me. All Daddy thinks about is how he can beat up on Bubba to make him drop a walnut and that’s exactly what Daddy did.
He’d sneak up behind Bubba, as close as he could without getting too close to me, and then pop up in the air, startling Bubba in the hopes that a tiny walnut would be dropped. Daddy’s face was a one-track-mind. He didn’t pay attention to any social cues like me smiling at him or talking in a low voice.
Daddy did the sneaking trick a few times before Bubba finally gave up and hid under the fridge. It was no use trying to eat anymore. Daddy was just too intense.
Daddy will never get close to me. I’ve written on the fact that each mouse has their own personality. Daddy is the kind of mouse that even if I was still enough that he could approach, he’d be so hyper that he’d end up biting me in a race just to get a piece of food. It’s not about bonding with me. It’s about food.
This is why only certain mice bond with humans. They are all wild to be sure but some of them just have a more curious and social desire. The fact that Daddy is the alpha isn’t lost on me. While some see it as a great evolutionary example, the fact is, he’s so brutish that he doesn’t eat. His alpha traits cut him off from some resources that are definitely going to give Bubba a distinct edge.