And then Tuesday was my last day in the office and last full day in New Jersey. I did consider briefly whether I could take the train back to New York and put in a Superleague appearance, but that was just that little bit too ridiculous. Mostly because the train would leave a few minutes too soon for me to feel comfortable getting from the office over to the Trenton Transit Center. If the train set out ten minutes later I might have done it yet.
It was also a weirdly quiet day; many of the people on-staff were taking their pre-Christmas breaks. The boss was in the office, but after a brief review of the project I'd put together he didn't have more for me to specifically do. We had talked about getting my database stuff hooked up with the enthusiastic/scary database guy's projects, but he was working from home Tuesday so there wasn't much for that. I got miscellaneous little chores cleaned up, mostly little projects that are a little sluggish done over a remote LogMeIn-based connection, and worked out my expense report.
Which was good, since when I checked my e-mail about noon bunny_hugger told me of our lost rabbit's GI stasis episode. She'd rushed him to the vet's and they were starting a course of nutrition and fluids and medications that he wouldn't finish. It was almost what I'd feared might happen, and I spent the rest of the day in a daze thinking: my pet rabbit is dying. But also that he'd rallied so many times in the past year that it wasn't possible he could die yet. I was still thinking about it a lot.
I was thinking of it the next morning, when I packed up, checked out, and went to a diner/family-restaurant that my father recommended for my last meal in the state. It was a good recommendation and I kept getting distracted by the pies they had on sale. I had plenty of room in my luggage, since I'd taken the Silver Behemoth suitcase, but then I had so much space that I couldn't put a pie in there, not without it rattling around far too loose. Maybe next time.
Nothing remarkable about the drive back to the airport or returning that. What was remarkable was an e-mail from bunny_hugger about how our rabbit was doing better: he'd eaten a lot the night before, and had the sort of bowel movement suggestive of a rabbit getting through a stasis episode. I could get on the plane much more confident that things would be all right.
Also that I wouldn't take the Flyer home. bunny_hugger's brother was also flying in to Detroit, for Christmas. He wasn't going to take the Flyer, which goes to Ann Arbor or to East Lansing, because ... I don't know. It's one of those weird little petty things people sometimes do. But he also managed to somehow miss his connecting flight and so get rebooked, and also to somehow have a non-direct flight between New York City and Detroit. The result was to put him in Detroit close to when I'd get in, so it was easier for bunny_hugger to pick us both up. This would have been a great time-saver except that every flight in the world, for some reason, was assigned to the same baggage carousel and we waited, and waited, and waited, and waited for the Silver Behemoth to arrive.
And it just never did, not until after they took my flight number off the carousel board. I went to the United agent and asked if there were any plans to unload baggage from my flight. She directed me to the next carousel over where, indeed, my luggage was sitting.
The ride back to our home was emotionally confused. On the good side were me and bunny_hugger's brother talking about where we'd been and what we were doing. On the bad side was that our rabbit had taken a turn for the much worse. bunny_hugger's parents were visiting, at our home, partly so they could pick up her brother and bring him home. Partly so we could all have dinner together. Partly so they could see our rabbit for a last time.
And he was in lousy shape. He'd not moved since bunny_hugger had left him, not even to notice bunny_hugger's mother. We went out to eat at a nearby diner and kept trying to not talk about how rough he looked. He didn't seem any better when we got back from dinner either.
After her parents and brother left we gave our rabbit his evening medications, including saline and the whole works. And we tried to set out some reasonable, non-emotionally-charged rules about when we might be confident he was suffering too much to keep living.
And the next day was the scheduled veterinarian's visit that he didn't come home from.
Trivia: In 1924 Melvil Dewey, of the Decimal System, complained that as one-seventh of English letters were unnecessary ``one tree of every seven made into pulp wood is wasted''. Source: The Pencil: A History of Design and Circumstance, Henry Petroski.
Currently Reading: Blood Royal: A True Tale of Crime and Detection In Medieval Paris, Eric Jager.