Today we said goodbye to the oldest non-human on the Homestead. Cinderbunny was the first animal I was solely responsible for in my life; inherited from my sister at 15 and has been with me until today.
She was a dwarf lop with a cantankerous attitude. She would stomp her feet at everything, even choices she made. For a year her cage was next to my bed, at bed level. Every day at nine AM she would jump onto my chest, scratch at my blankets anxiously, stomp her little feet and then jump back into the cage. No amount of me jumping up yelling at her would stop this so I had to move her cage. Even still every time she left her cage of her own accord she would stomp.
She was a destroyer of carpets, sweaters, towels (both paper and cloth) and fabrics everywhere. She had a taste for destroying soft things.
She got along well with my dogs, teaching them with tooth and claw not to mess with bunnies, or at least that one. Persy would lay down for her and she would climb onto her with great joy as Persy fought to lie still and not play. She loved to tease the dogs.
When we first got Chopin she wanted nothing to do with him. Later in life they got along much better. She appreciated his company in her ending years.
In our apartment she got free run of the apartment of many occasions; a great joy to her since every floor was carpet! She hated hardwood floors. When we moved here I gave her a carpet all of her own to destroy.
Recently she has been developing health issues. Limping, falling over when standing on her hind legs, not seeing well… She was older after all. Then we found blood in her urine one day, and without a rabbit-savvy vet to see we weren’t sure what to do. She was old already… Not long after our mind was made up for us. She lost the use of her front left leg very suddenly while safe and secure in her cage after months of limping. She began to just drag it under her, not using it at all. It didn’t take long at all, watching her fall on her side with every hop, to decide there was a better place for her. The only other option was amputation. She could no longer clean herself, she could no longer run free through the house, carpet or no. She would forever need her eyes and ears and fur maintained for her. She would have trouble getting to her food and water every day. She could not get in or out of her cage at all.
So we made the call to have her euthanized. We did not want to do away with her like a meat rabbit. She was an old lady, a great companion, and a beloved pet deserving of much respect. She taught me much of what I know about rabbit care. It’s because of her that I got into rabbits in the first place. I will always be grateful to her.
Lots of tears have and will be shed this week for a tragic but inevitable loss on the homestead. A ceremony will be held. Candles will be lit and we’ll burn sage to send her spirit on it’s way. Rest in peace, Cinder. I hope you find lots of dandelions and carpets over the Rainbow Bride.