Hey, bunnies are cute. Sweet, adorable little fluffy balls of fun.
Oh yes, and territorial agressive fur-chomping paper-ripping pen-rattling little monsters that'll kill you as soon as look at you. Yeah. That's them.
You may remember that at the age of about eight weeks Augustus decided to assert his dominance over his six-week old companion Snowdon by chasing him around violently and taking chunks out of his fur. We separated them for a couple of weeks before allowing them to be together again and they've been fine ever since, doing bunny-trains around the living room, grooming each other, snuggling up for comfort. Ahh, yes. Bonded, though definitely with a pecking order.
Things were good.
Then about a week ago there was a sudden surge in butt-sniffing and one or two little chases. Snowdon, the slightly younger, was not quite 1500g (the minimum weight our vet considers it safe to neuter at) but he was close enough and we didn't want the bad behaviour to get worse so we booked them in for their little snips.
The day before the operation things kicked off again briefly. No worry - they're booked in to get fixed the next day!
Operation: successful. Laser surgery. They ate well afterwards and seemed fine. For a few hours.
Then frantic chasing and fur-ripping again. We tried separating them for a few hours. Put them back together. Twenty seconds later it kicked off again. Separation. Reintroduction. Fighting.
Did we leave it too long? Augustus could feasibly have been fixed a week or so earlier but we thought it would be better to get both done at the same time, and there were no warning signs to presage the oncoming fury.
The vet says we have to separate them for 3 months (though allowing them to 'visit' through the bars of their respective pens). We alternate which one gets to have the run of the living room and which has to settle for the pen, and they don't like this. Foot-thumping, cage-rattling and Tasmanian Devil paper ripping. Rip rip rip rip rip.
Lots of anger.
The hope (I stress hope) is that after three months when the testosterone currently in Augustus's system dissipates they will still feel the bond they've had until now, though apparently there's no guarantee. The whole point of having a pair of them is that they can keep each other company. Having to keep them separated after that point would be awful. I must say I'm feeling a little...down about this. Not sure what else we can do though.
Here's Augustus B. Bad doing hard time for crimes committed, surrounded by savaged broadsheets.