austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

A photograph with a smiling face, a cigarette stubbed out on the fireplace

This may sound heartless. But after striking our pet rabbit's area and notifying the people who must know first about his death we went out. We had chores to do. We had cards to mail. We needed to eat, and I felt we'd be better off having someone else cook and clean for us. We needed to shop. I hadn't finished getting things for Christmas; I had always trusted I'd finish things off at the bookstore where bunny_hugger works in her spare time. When we had started out for the day we'd supposed we would do that and come back to give our rabbit attention on what would probably be his last night. Now it was something to do because ... Well, as someone wise has said, action is the antidote to despair.

And we had stuff to do. Presents to get. Pieces to get for Silver Balls, the pinball tournament bunny_hugger had scheduled for Tuesday. She'd dedicate the tournament to our pet rabbit, and it's now picked up his name as part of its official title. Between the appointment and recovery and eating and buying things we need we were out to the evening and dark and the time that, if we had made a different decision, would have seen him getting his evening medications shoved into his protesting face.

We're sure we did as best as we reasonably could for him. We were able to afford, in money and in time, all the care he got. We can think of things that we did wrong and for which we'll feel guilty, particularly in not starting from the trolley design rather than wasting time with the cart that didn't work. More exercise sooner might have helped him be more comfortable longer. But we can't tell. He had a heart flutter, his last emergency vet visit revealed. He had fluid in his lungs, his final quarter-hour revealed.

If we'd known what the 22nd would bring him we probably would not have bothered with the ear drops that tormented him and the eye drops he didn't much care for, that made his last month one of watching us to see what we were inflicting on him. Why make him suffer so? ... And the reason is the same one we ever have for inflicting this on an animal. It's because it's the right thing to do every time but one.

And now there's just that weird bundle of feelings. We knew this year would likely be his last, especially after his crash in May. But it's still hard, I suppose because after so many amazing recoveries and being so caught up in his ups and downs it's hard to have nothing there. And there's all this space that we've had to walk around because it was his for so long, that now is just free to use as if it were normal. I suppose at some point I'll stop thinking about what our rabbit needs, food or medicine or whatnot.

We had some thaws, making icicles drop off our roof. One falling icicle knocked the cover off my car's side view mirror, something to come home from the vet's to. They've been falling since as the temperature gets just warm enough. The thundering crash of the big things hitting the ground keeps giving me ghost haunts. It sounds enough like our rabbit crashing into something, the way he did when he was younger and healthy and a bit clumsy for his size but fearless about getting up high.

And we're still finding stuff of his around the house. Of course we will. Fur, particularly, and droppings. They just get into everything. We probably won't have them all cleaned out until we have a new rabbit and do the sorts of deep cleaning that holidays and big parties and the like demand, and we won't be able to tell whether they're pieces of our rabbit or his successor.

And surely someday we will have another. It's impossible to think our days of having a rabbit have ended. It's so hard to imagine having another this special, though, this wonderful. Everyone who met him remarked on it. They remembered him far longer, far better than they had reason to. What other rabbit could be that extraordinary? But then what were the chances we would know this one?

Tags: rabbit
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