We are not getting a rabbit.
Why do we need a rabbit? We have two cats. We're busy. And our apartment is tiny. Where would we put a rabbit?
I posed these questions to Kristin.
"Because they're cute."
"And I want one to cuddle."
As difficult as it was to battle that logic, I held the line for a few months. It wasn't easy. The minute the topic had been raised, it was ever-present, with cousins offering bunnies and tips and tools. Cute, little rabbits popping up on our web browser. Adoption days at the pet store.
I don't recall exactly what led me to giving in (I'm fairly sure the combination of my beautiful girlfriend's hopeful eyes and the barrage of cute bunny photos was too much to handle), but one day, there she was: Sabrina.
A rescue. I don't know for certain what it was she'd been rescued from, but she was a spastic little thing. She flinched at a touch, jumped at any movement that might be construed as "sudden." And she had a way of flipping herself on her back and panicking, apparently unable to remember how to roll herself back over. Maybe she was raised by a gang of turtles.
I think it was her timid nature that drew me to her.
I'd expected to stay away. It was Kristin's rabbit, after all. Sure, I'd finally consented to her presence, but she was Kristin's to feed and clean. And cuddle. She sure did look cuddly.
Vegetables, that's what did it. My failed vegetable garden of 2012 had produced exactly one edible item; bundles of parsley. It was only following through on my agricultural commitments to cut off bunches of the stuff and hand them in to the rabbit. To watch her munch them with her cute little mouth. And that wiggly nose. She does look soft.
Yeah, OK. I was in. I fed her vegetables. I made her houses out of boxes. I built barriers around the living room so she could hop around freely when I was home working on the computer. And I found this sweet spot, right below her neck, where you could gently scratch her for hours while she sat contentedly.
She was a good rabbit. After months of fear and timidity, she'd finally come around. We could pet her. Hold her. Communicate face to face via nose wiggling.
Sabrina died some time last night.
I'd arrived home very late (some may even call it early the next morning) from a concert in the city. I can't recall if I'd heard her movements in her cage as I groggily moved to my bed. It's possible she was already gone by then. I'd seen her last as I presented her with some chunks of celery before leaving for the show. Kristin had left her happy in her cage later on that night when she went to bed. Sometime between then and our awaking this morning, an ill befell her and left her lying peacefully in her cage, her head resting upon Cecil B. Sharkington, her stuffed shark.
Whatever she'd come from, she'd had a good life here. The most recent months had shown her to be quite content with us and her home. She died a happy little bunny, at least, as much as a bunny can grasp "happy". Maybe better than we can. She was content, I know that.
I'll miss that little ball of fur. Rest well, Sabrina-Pants.