Holly Rising

Seven days ago today, I laid to rest my pure, innocent, loving little white rabbit, Holly.

She gave almost no warning.

Ten days ago she seemed to be acting a little different. Didn’t want to come out and play.  When she eventually did, she hid under the bed–for days.  She finally went back to her cage, but still seemed a little off.  Not being much of an authority of rabbits, I thought maybe she was going through some kind of spring blues thing.  Or maybe she’s mad at me because she’s lonely. I haven’t been able to spend as much time with her the last few weeks.  Angel has been a handful of dementia issues since we went to Windom, and wrapped around my full time work I literally run up and down the stairs to spend time with each of them, and try to find time to add in Coco too.

‘Maybe she’s mad because I’ve been sleeping downstairs on the couch near Angel instead of up in our room.’

‘Maybe she misses me sleeping there.’ Maybe, maybe, maybe….maybe I need a qualified opinion.

When I checked on her the next morning I decided if she wasn’t better and acting normal by the time I got home from work, we’d go to the vet for advice. I softly rubbed her little nose bridge, and caressed her cheeks. “ I’m worried about you Holly baby.  What’s wrong with my honey bunny?”  She leaned into my fingers, loving the gentle touch.  “I’ll see you soon, baby, and we’ll have the doctor take a look at you.”  We touched noses.  She loved to “kiss” by touching noses.

That was our last kiss.

Even though I raced home from work and ran up the stairs to our room as fast as I could, I was too late. Her warm, limp body told me she had just let go of this earthly life and ascended.

The tears came hard and fast. Shock. Regret.  Sadness.  Bewilderment.  How could she just go?  Just like that? Nine hours ago she was upright and alive! The heartbreak was profound.

I had failed my pure hearted, love bunny.

Rabbit care is a totally different relationship than having cats and dogs. The only thing I ever knew about rabbits was that Hasenpfeffer is darn tasty and I have to admit, I’ve taken quite a few out of the wild for meals over the years, and, quite a few out of the garden to save my plants. How I went from that to keeping one as a pet is still a head scratcher to me.  Everything happens for a reason.  Guess there was a lesson in there.

Rabbits are surprisingly smart, protective, clean freaks, devoted and a little OCD. They are touch-o-holics, too. House bunnies are totally dependent on you for what you do for them.  Holly came into my life as a “rescue” in January of 2016.  It took her awhile to warm up to me, and having a life with me.  It seems she may have been a cage rabbit until me.  She just upgraded to a much bigger cage. She seemed to immediately be drawn to things like light cords and plastic containers. I protected her from any potential canine brigade threat. Then I rabbit proofed my master bedroom and gave her the run of it.  That earned me many points.  And yeah, I forgave her for chewing off 2 of my 4 bedroom lamp chords, and six pairs of my crappy fake leather shoes.

One of her favorite things to do besides have me pet her face, was chase around after one particular pair of pink pajama bottoms of mine. They quickly became “hers”.   We’d play “jammies”.  I’d stand and dangle the jammies near the ground and circle them around me, with her hot on the heels of their lace bottoms.  Around and around she’d run after the jammies, trying to catch them.  Clock then counter-clock wise, weaving between my legs, around and around.  Then I’d capture her into the ‘butt’ of them, and wrap the legs around her body.  She would sit for a few seconds all tucked in, then roll over onto her back, relishing the feel of those soft jammies around her fluffy body like a swaddled baby.

Next, she’d wiggle out of them and I’d quickly capture her into their waist, and we’d play “Where’s Holly?”. She would tunnel her way down a leg, and pop her little head out as if to say “here I am!” We could play those games for hours. And often did.

Perhaps the most adorable quirk was her dashing to her cage to go potty in the middle of us playing. Holly was the cleanest sweetie ever.  She would even run to her cage to eat her treats. She would dump her food dish when she was not happy with the selection of goodies.  She would throw her hay dish into her potty box when she thought it was too soiled. She would show me how high she could jump (to my dismay) by leaping up onto the bed or dresser in one move.  She knew when I was taking a picture and would strike a pose for me.  To my surprise, the joy I experienced developing a relationship with and playing with my bunny is indescribable. I was blessed to be able to add her sweetness to our family.  She brought so much happiness to my world.

Her world, was filled with treats, toys, and cubbies to hide in to entertain herself when I couldn’t be there. But we always began and ended each day with jammie time, gentle face rubs, and kisses.

As I’ve sat here the past week, shaming myself for not doing something sooner….not acting sooner….not having all the answers or getting home sooner….as my heart holds heavy with sadness and regret… a little voice in the back of my head tries to tell myself that she had a good life for the last 3 years and 5 months.

I don’t know what her life was like before me. Or how old she actually was.  I only know Holly opened her heart to me and became my honey bunny.  She let me be her human.  It changed my world.  And I miss that little fluff ball and all her silly antics like crazy. She gave me unconditional trust and love, and taught me a thing or two about pure gentleness of heart.  Why she suddenly had to leave so soon, I just don’t understand.

On Friday, May 31st 2019, my friend came over with a shovel and dug. Dug through the toughest roots known to man to create a heartfelt resting place. I wrapped Holly in her favorite pink ‘jammies’ for the last time, and gently placed her soft fluffy body deep into the rich black earth of my back yard, right along the wild bunny path that is heavily traveled in the early morning hours. After a soft transition chant, I stepped away from my Holly girls resting place, filled with love, gratitude, appreciation, and great sorrow at the loss of this precious life.

Rest in peace, sweet Holly. Rise up into the eternal white energy light.  May your spirit be free to run with the wild ones.


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