*Continuance of “My Story” starting with Blog #1: When your life flashes before your eyes in a flood gate of memories…
The days of being ill were not easy. I’d wake up in the morning wanting nothing more than to just go back to sleep. But, that wasn’t a choice for me as I had a business to run with a steady growing clientele, and 3 loving pets(2 cats and a rabbit) that were relying on me to take care of them. All these were GOOD motivators to make me get out of bed in the morning!
Mr. Rabbi (pronounced Rab-bie with a long “e”), a Mini-Lop rabbit, had came to us on around Labor Day weekend 2014. His first owner no longer wanted him, so I willingly became his new owner. Our family had raised Mini-Lop rabbits (along with many other animals). I knew how to take care of a rabbit.
When I first got Mr. Rabbi, he wasn’t very friendly. He didn’t want to be touched, picked up, or pet. He’d hop to the opposite side of the hutch when I’d go to see him. Prior to him coming to our home, he was eating store bought rabbit pellets. He lived in a hutch that was spacious at his other home, and his hutch living didn’t change when he moved to our home. What did change was his diet. I’d done research on what a rabbit’s diet could be. I decided that Mr. Rabbi was going to eat an ALL organic diet. This consisted of Dandelions, Kale, Collards, Swiss Chard, Beet Greens, Carrot tops, Apple chunks, Raisins, dried Apricots, dried Cranberries, Walnuts and Pecans.
Mr. Rabbi LOVED his new array of fresh foods! As he’d munch on his food I’d attempt to pet him. It didn’t take long for Mr. Rabbi to enjoy our special time together. Each morning and night when I fed him, he would eat and I would lovingly talk to him, petting him. Within a month’s time, Mr. Rabbi started to greet me when I brought his food to him. He WANTED to be pet, even more than he wanted his food! Eventually, he let me pick him up and hold him! His heart would beat very fast against my chest(this is normal for rabbits), as he nuzzled his head into my neck.
My family and I witnessed Mr. Rabbi’s demeanor change, all because of his diet. I loved the little white rabbit. He grew to love me, too, just like my cats, especially Goofy(my Calico cat who had come to us years before, but more on her later). Each time I went to feed Mr. Rabbi, Goofy would slowly walk behind me. She’d sit a distance away from the hutch watching the rabbit intently. And Mr. Rabbi would do the same from inside his hutch, watch Goofy.
As Mr. Rabbi grew more friendly, I decided that it wasn’t fair for him to have to sit inside a hutch all day and night. We have a big yard with lots of flower beds and cover so he could play and sit safely.
Dad built a little door and ramp for Mr. Rabbi to go in and out of his hutch. When I’d go to feed him in the morning, I’d open up the little door. He’d come hopping right out and hop in circles around my legs. It didn’t take long before Mr. Rabbi was putting his front 2 paws on my legs, wanting to be pet. I’d reach down to pet him and then he’d run in circles in excitement. After putting his food inside his hutch he’d follow me back up to the house, hopping between my legs, often times tripping me up!
Mr. Rabbi had become a completely different rabbit from when I got him. In time, he followed me EVERYWHERE when I’d go outside. And soon after that he started following everyone in our family around when they were outside too.
When Mr. Rabbi first came to us, Goofy, my indoor/outdoor cat, wasn’t keen on having a him around. Now that he was freely hopping around the yard or elsewhere, he was a REAL pest to her! He’d follow Goofy around the yard trying to play with her. She didn’t like having him follow her everywhere, especially when she wanted to go hunting. Goofy had her daily routine and Mr. Rabbi was messing it ALL up!
Over time, I believe Goofy grew to love Mr. Rabbi. It wasn’t uncommon to see the two friends laying side by side watching life happen together. Everywhere they went, they would go together. They were a team, kind of. Pictured below are the two friends.
Somedays, the two would be gone on an adventure, wandering around the neighborhood together. Sometimes I’d have to go out looking for them if they hadn’t come home before the sun was about to set. Other times, I’d find them visiting some of the neighbors, who didn’t actually love animals, but soon came to admire and maybe even love the pair. The two became the talk of the neighborhood, and even to visitors that drove by. Mr. Rabbi loved to make friends with both people and animals.
One time, Mr. Rabbi brought home a new friend he’d met! For REAL! Mom had opened the front door one beautiful, sunny morning and there sat Mr. Rabbi with a small cat next to him. Mr. Rabbi hopped up to Mom, then turned back to the cat and hopped back over, sitting right next to the cat again. (NOT KIDDING!) Mr. Rabbi looked at Mom and then the little white and gray cried out, “Meow, meow.”
“Kelly! Come see what Mr. Rabbi just brought home!” Mom called to me. I walked past her peering through the open door.
“Oh! Mr. Rabbi! You brought home a new friend!” I smiled, laughing. The little cat was in rough condition, with dried blood on it, an ear partly missing, and moisture oozing from it’s eyes. My heart went out for the little cat. Mr. Rabbi excitedly hopped around his new friend. I watched the cat as it hesitantly walked away from us, slowly walking across the road to the neighbors yard, with Mr. Rabbi following closely in its foot steps. No idea where the two went, but Mr. Rabbi came home alone.
Mr. Rabbi was with us for just over 2 years before he passed. During the course our time with him, he taught me a lot. He was a big part of motivating me to get out of bed in the morning when I was so sick and depressed. He showed me unconditional love, in turn, helping me to start living my life more this way. With the simple joy he brought to my life, I really began to learn the concept of “joy in the simple things”. And that was(and is) a life changer.
Mr. Rabbi confirmed to me how our diet impacted each of us, by my changing his diet. He and Goofy, together, gave me opportunities to go on adventures with them. Since I was so sick, vacations away from home weren’t a possibility for me(due to many aspects). But with these two? I could have as many adventures that I wanted, all in our backyard. We soon became known as the 3 amigos. It was a sight to see. We’d go out for walks; a girl with her cat and rabbit. Needless to say, they helped bring out the best in me when I certainly didn’t feel up to it.
Mr. Rabbi, as have all my pets, aided in my health journey, helping promote healing for me in their own unique ways. Mr. Rabbi was a one-of-a-kind rabbit that would have made an excellent human being. His time with us was nothing short of a blessing, a joy, and filled our family and neighborhood with lots of love and laughter.