I have two female rabbits named Mokona and Yuki. They are at least half-sisters, about five years apart in age.
My first rabbit, Prancer, came from my employer as his daughter had lost interest in him and my dog had recently passed away. Prancer was such a gentleman, patient with me as I knew next to nothing about rabbits. I swear he had been a tailor in a past life as he was always interested in hemlines. He was already older for a rabbit, but I had him neutered anyway because I wanted to get him a companion.
So into our quiet lives hopped Mokona, who Prancer seemed to refer to as “the devil’s spawn”. She was a naughty bun in her youth. And since she was so rambunctious and bouncy, I never kept them together unless I was home to supervise. Several times Prancer was bowled over as Mokona charged around the living room. It’s hard not to laugh when Prancer would be on his back wiggling his leg frantically to right himself. Once he was right-side-up he would glare daggers at Mokona. She even smacked him upside the head once with a cardboard tube she was flinging around. The poor guy really was abused.
How he survived those years is amazing, especially given his poor health, is beyond me. He had digestive issues as well as arthritis in his lower back and heart problems. In the end his body had enough and I had to let him go.
This left Mokona alone with me and we tolerated each other for several long months until my friend told me she had a kit left over from the Easter litters. I wasn’t given much choice, as the next day at work Yuki was dropped off so she could come home with me.
Yuki must have been born with several Mexican jumping beans in her back legs. She binkies all over the place. One second she is just standing there and the next she is three feet in the air. Her hobby in a past life must have been rock climbing as she is forever trying to climb my bookcases.
Mokona and Yuki got along well from the very beginning. Other than me yelling, “Stop humping the baby!” for the first two days, they get along fabulously. I took their bonding slowly (maybe too slowly for their liking). Since Mokona is such a pig and Yuki has more important things to do than eat, I was afraid Yuki would wither away. But after a long time of separating them, I gradually worked up the nerve to put them together 24/7.
Now, let me make one thing perfectly clear: Bonding my bunnies seems to be atypical of the norm. Bunnies can be difficult to bond because of things like personality differences, age, gender, and rabbit culture in general. Many times its a love ’em or hate ’em situation. And even then, rabbits can be extremely territorial if a new one shows up on their home turf. But silly me went through the bonding rituals like I would have done with two dogs. The new rabbit lived in the same room from the beginning as the established rabbit. The established bun had a new neighbor that was young and unspayed so hormones could have played a part as they matured, wreaking havoc on everyone’s nerves. And the biggest mistake (that could have ruined everything, but luckily didn’t) was the few times that one bun had to be rushed to the emergency vet I left the other one home alone.
When Yuki had GI Stasis (bunny tummy ache), Mokona literally freaked out. While I was trying to administer medicine for Yuki, Mokona was running all over the place like a mad woman! She never jumps over the gate between the living room and the hallway. But that morning she did. Once I had Mokona under control and locked in her cage, I rushed Yuki to the vets. I didn’t want Mokona to bang against her carrier and actually hurt herself, so her cage at home was safer. We got home a few hours later (Yuki was fine after a bumpy car ride and IV fluids) and all was well between the sisters. In hind sight I should have just buckled down and tossed (not literally, but almost) Mokona into her carrier and make her come along.