Death of a Bunny: The Event Itself

Having recently obtained the rabbit I currently own and not quite being satisfied with it as outlined in my previous post, by a strange twist of fate I came to be given temporary guardianship over another rabbit, a young bunny that could not have been more than a month or two old. It was a rainy autumn day, the day that we had originally planned on covering the in-ground pool for the year, but the inclement weather did not stop until it was almost sunset and by that time nobody wanted to bother until tomorrow. Nonetheless, my mother decided to take a look at the pool to see if the storm blew in enough stray leaves to warrant a cleaning before the next day’s closing. Immediately she noticed the small bunny in the pool, trying desperately to stay afloat and climb its way up the corner of the shallow end. She fished it out with her hands and brought it inside.

The poor bunny was shivering terribly and we tried to dry and warm it, but its shiver did not cease. It also could not really move its body around properly, its legs stuck out and twitched randomly. We were worried that it was suffering from secondary effects of drowning. As it so happens, we lived just down the street from a vet, but as it was the weekend they had closed early so we could not take the small bunny in until the next day. After having dried it off, we did not know what else we could do. We tried putting it in the cage with Dowy, the rabbit we owned, so that he could keep it warm and watch over it, but just as he did not take to us, he did not like the new crippled visitor in his cage and he refused to go anywhere near it and quite frankly we feared he may crush the thing seeing as he, being a fully grown Holland Lop and the bunny being a baby hare, was nearly ten times the size of the thing.

The cage being out of the question, it was decided that I would watch over the bunny which was wrapped up in a cloth and rested on my lap as I browsed the web and played games on my computer. While it was sunset around the time we had found the bunny, I was just waking up at the time. My sleep patterns are horribly irregular and at the time I happened to be completely nocturnal. Conveniently, that meant that I was capable of watching over the bunny for the whole night.

I became enamored with the small dying animal. Like most rabbits, its eyes were like large black marbles, a bit glassy as this one was so close to death, but beyond the massive black pupils was a ring of light blue iris. I had never known that rabbits could have blue eyes, let alone that they could be so wonderful. The bunny lay on its side on my lap, it was not quite able to get itself up and whenever I flipped it over to its belly, its legs would flounder about wildly until it was put onto its side once more. For the most part it did not move around too much, buts its squirming did bring it to the edge of my legs every fifteen minutes or so and I needed to center it on my lap before it would fall off. There was a point where it peed itself, right onto my lap, but its bladder was small enough that it was not too much of a bother to wash off and I did not hold it against the poor thing.

Around three in the morning, the bunny closed its eyes and stopped moving around as much it still was breathing at that point so I assumed it was just falling asleep. Not wanting to wake it with my movements, I took it off my lap and placed it on my bed wrapped in even more blankets. An hour later, I checked up on it. It had not moved an inch from where I had placed it. Pulling off the covers, I could see that its chest was no longer expanding and contracting to signify breathing. Its body was room temperature.

At that point, I knew it was dead, but still hoped it may be alive. The whole time I knew it was dying, but had hoped it would pull through. I left the rabbit there on the bed until sunrise a few hours later. I checked on it again, its body still cold and now its limbs gone hard and locked in place as they stiffened from rigor mortis. Sleeping animals always look so cute, and there is just something tantalizing about seeing the peace of an animal that has recently found eternal rest. The event is still somber nonetheless. I wrapped the corpse in paper towels and placed it inside an empty cereal box which happened to be Trix, featuring an image of a happy, silly rabbit. I thought of burying the box, but that seemed a bit too unnatural and so I just left it outside for as a meal for some predator to enjoy, and sure enough within an hour, I did not see what claimed the prize, but I saw the paper towels blowing around torn from the now empty box.

I wonder if that bunny was the pet that I was somehow meant to have. I liked it far more than Dowy and it came into my life so suddenly at such an opportune time, yet inopportune as well given the circumstances in which is was found. I wonder if I was meant to go the extra mile and look for a vet opened 24/7, at the time I never bothered looking for one, but now that I have dwelled upon it and done more research I know that there is one that is an hour and a half drive from my home. I wonder if it was too cold on the bed and I should have kept it on my lap and if that would have made its sleep only temporary. I wonder if looking for meaning in anything is even worthwhile to begin with or if it is all just pure coincidence. I wonder why I cared so much about a thing I had only known for a day, and why I still care when even today I have a family member that I have known my entire life terminally ill going in and out of the hospital constantly and yet I can forget about them for weeks at a time, and I wonder if that is just heartlessness or perhaps just my way of coping. Maybe because it was all so sudden. Maybe because it was so short. Maybe because it felt like there was some more I could do, the question of whether I actually could or whether it was within reason for me to do aside. Perhaps it is just something best to forget about. There are more important things going on in my life. Even so, I believe I will hold onto my memories of that hare for quite a while longer.

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