24 July 2008

Yet another family funeral

R.I.P. Spike
1993 - 2008

Spike live in my mom's kitchen for 15 years. We got him because our neighbors daughter got what she was told were 2 girl rabbits, but 29 days later it was discovered that they were one of each and now they had 6 babies to find homes for. We got Spike and his brother, Raven, as they only found homes for 4 of the babies and we were a known rabbit family. Once they could be weened from their mother, Spike came to live in our kitchen and Raven became a "working rabbit" out back. This meant his hutch had a mesh bottom so his poops went into a pan underneath and mom collected them for her rose bushes. Spike was a working rabbit too, although litter box trained, and before going green was so hip, mom used all natural litter and would dump his box straight into our double barrell compost bin. Can you tell my mom has some of the best gardens in the neighborhood? Raven also learned to dump his food dish to entice wild rabbits to come visit, so it was quite the rabbit yard in more ways than one.

But back to the rabbits...You could hold them in one hand they were so little. Mom wanted to name them Fluffy and Snowball, but my dad, brother, and I refused. I started calling Fluffy Spike, and it stuck. I wanted to call the outdoor one Mud, as he was pure white and obviously with some angora in his little rabbit lineage. One of mom's sayings growing up was "If you do that again, your name is going to be MUD!" Anyway, dad nixed Mud as a name and came up with naming the white rabbit after a black bird. Yes, we have warped senses of humor.

Raven died a few years back at the ripe old age of 13, and Spike just kept on. He was always gentle having never known anything but kindness. He like bananas, which cracked Natalie up and she loved sharing a morning banana with Spike when we visited papa and grandma's house. When Spike was just a few years old, we had a carrin terrier and my grandmother (Busia) living with us. Carrin's are supposed to eat small rodents, but she didn't seem to mind Spike. Spike was also excellent with his litter box so he got to hop around the kitchen. Then he learned that Busia gave out treats, something the dog knew since she didn't get treats from our table. Next thing you know, there's the dog sneaking off in that way dogs sneak where they don't let their toenails clack on the tile floor, and there's Spike, sneaking off behind the dog, where Busia would give the dog puppy treats and the rabbit some cucumber. We would watch the whole thing quietly so as not to let on that we knew what was happening and would be in tears by the time they came scampering back. It was like having two naughty 4 year olds in the house.

Spike had mirrored grandpa lately - incontinence, falling over, inability to focus...but was still pretty chipper even when we were there last month. Tuesday he could move and didn't want to eat. The really telling sign that these were his last days was when the dog (now a bison frise) started to lick him in, not in that mmm-tasty-rabbit kind of way but in that somethings-not-right kind of way. She'd also lay by his cage and come check on him often. It was obvious he wasn't getting better, so mom took him to the vet yesterday, where a very curious vet wanted the chance to check out what extreme old age does to a rabbit, and it was decided he should be put to sleep. So rest in peace little Spike, up there in the big carrot patch in the sky.

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