My pet rabbit passed away back in October. At the time, I was still suffering from morning sickness and wasn't in a bloggy mood. I was reading a blog by Queen of Fifty Cents (my personal hero, by the way) and she mentioned Joe the Rabbit (not to be confused with Joe the Plumber). That reminded me that I never did give Licorice the Rabbit a proper eulogy.
Licorice was a good rabbit. I got him back in 2000, and at the time he was one year old. I adopted him from the House Rabbit Society. In order to adopt a rabbit from them, you have to agree to keep the rabbit indoors. Rabbits are people too, and they deserve a nice warm home, not a cold wire hutch! (What do you mean rabbits aren't people?! Licorice was pretty sure he was a person). The House Rabbit Society even did a home visit like they were Children's Services or something. They wanted to make sure I indeed had him inside and was treating him right.
I've had five rabbits in my life. Our first was named Pugs, then came Cuddles, and then Rocket (got him on the fourth of July), and then Marble. Those were all family pets growing up. (Licorice was my pet I got in college). They all lived long and happy lives. Pugs wasn't an indoor bunny (I confess... we did the hutch thing back in the mid-80s). Cuddles started out as an indoor bunny but when he chewed a hole through my 4th grade cheerleading uniform, that was the last straw. He then had to go outside to live in Pugs' old hutch.
Rocket and Marble were 100% indoor bunnies. We actually had them at the same time. Funny story. We already had had Rocket for a year, and my brother wanted to play one of those games at the fair where you can win a rabbit. My mom said sure since she knew he wouldn't win. Wrong. First try and we're bringing home another rabbit. They died several years ago, both at the age of eight. My mom had them cremated, and she keeps the ashes in urns in her bedroom. I am not kidding.
Back to Licorice. He started out being caged because in college, my roommates had two dogs and two cats. We only let them out to be together when we were around. I realized this too was cruel and so when we were out of school and into our current house, I got rid of the cage and he had free reign of the kitchen.
It was like that until the day he died. His death came quickly. He had been having some hind leg problems for some time, however one night I came down to the kitchen to find he had fallen over and couldn't get back up. I stayed up with him instead of going back to bed for awhile and kept petting him and talking to him. I figured we'd go through that stage for awhile and he would keep falling over, and I would keep putting him back on his feet. The next morning he was tipped over again, but this time he could not stand on his legs, even after I put him upright. He was very lethargic. I called off work, balling my eyes out to the secretaries, and took him to the vet. She said his condition was severe. His heart-rate had slowed way down, and she said he was basically giving up. She said I could try some lifesaving measures but there was no guarantee that they would work, or she could euthanize him. I decided that he had lived a good life and that the humane thing to do would be to let him go. His back legs were a constant pain to him, and he wouldn't have to be in pain any longer. I tearfully kissed him on the nose, and she took him away. She brought him back in a little box with a Lily on it. Jason buried him in the backyard, and we put a tombstone-looking bunny statue over his grave.
Are you teary eyed yet?
Well here's a funny story about him that will make you smile. A couple years ago, our garbage disposal broke and my father-in-law came over to install the new one I bought. Since Licorice lived in the kitchen, he felt the need to investigate the tool box. He kept hopping in it, and I kept shooshing him out. Finally I gave in and let him sit in the tool box. Turns out, he just wanted to pee in the toolbox! Luckily my father-in-law is used to pets and so he didn't really mind!
One more funny story before I call it a night. Licorice had a baby gate to keep him in the kitchen, however sometimes we took it down. He still knew that he wasn't supposed to leave the kitchen, and when he did all you had to do was look at him and he took off running back to the kitchen. One day I was drinking a glass of ice tea, and I sat it down on the steps for a minute. Next thing I know I see Licorice with his little head shoved down in my glass of ice tea! When I yelled, "Licorice!!" he took off running down the stairs and back into the kitchen.
What a little stinker!
Licorice, I miss you, you naughty little rabbit. May you rest in peace in your clover field in the sky.