Sometimes, the brightest things in life burn out far too fast.
Archimedes was a rabbit I waited a long while for. I never chose him; he was chosen for me. I had already picked out a buck to join my girls when I received a phone call from the “rabbit lady” at PACT Animal Sanctuary. She said he was 2.5 and that the moment she saw him, she thought of me. After much discussing, I agreed to take him, sight unseen.
I like to think that is because he found his way to where he wanted to spend his very last couple of months. He wanted love and that was what he got, what he deserved. Of course, the moment I saw him, it was love at first sight. However, it did take me until the very day we were going to go and pick him up to settle on a name that suited him – both in his dignity and his awkward goofiness. He had some lameness in his hind left leg, but that didn’t deter me.
I loved him.
He bonded with Elphie and Galinda surprisingly quickly. They were my first successful bond – and a trio to boot. A trio that was bonded within the space of a week. Artie liked them both and helped smooth over the rough edges that had prevented me from bonding them successfully during each attempt in the past.
Throughout June and early July, Artie discovered new food, ate hay with gusto, and enjoyed pellets. It was a far cry from his alleged prior diet of museli and digestive biscuits. He loved it and thrived. With more space and not one, but two girls to keep in check, his hind leg improved on a daily basis. It almost got to the stage where it was nonexistant and I was so proud of him.
He was the sweetest little thing ever. He would nuzzle under your chin if you held him, or in the crook of your arm. If you let him sniff your fingertips, he’d give you little love nibbles – not bites – just gentle nibbles on your fingertips. If you hovered the palm of your hand over his forehead, he would nudge it upwards with his nose to demand that you gave him noserubs. He never thumped, never grunted, never growled. He was always sweet, docile and tolerant, even to his very last day.
When he started to turn downhill, he was brought indoors. He was bonier, his hind legs were a little worse and most importantly, he just looked somewhat sadder. Whilst indoors, he perked up for a couple of days, which gave us hope. He loved the metacam, but would roll away like a hedgehog when trying to give him metacam. His favourite medication, though, was recovery food. There was no need to syringe with this little chap, he just woofed it down straight from the jug and got the stuff all over his chops. It was delightful to see him eat with such enthusiasm and enjoy these long cuddles which he had my full attention for. It was then, when I realised it didn’t just love him, but was head over heels for him.
On the 4th, after coming home from visiting a friend early because of a migraine, I went to check Artie’s weight as I had been for the past couple of days. I had been pleased that he was more or less beginning to gain. This time, however, I didn’t even get as far as weighing him. His bottom was so mucky and he’d been hiding away in his little loveheart cabin for most of the day.
He went straight to the vets. He’d given us so many gifts already. His love, his trust, his sweet goofy self. He had managed to get my two sister rabbits back together after three years apart. He’d taught my mother just how special rabbits are and can be. But it was getting so close to the time when we had to give him the final gift and final dignity that he deserved.
Charlotte was just as dismayed to see him in such a state as the rest of us were. He was humanely euthanised at approximately 6.15pm.
My poor little man.
My brave little soldier.
I still can’t believe you’re gone.
Archimedes: arrived home on 01/06/15, passed on to the Rainbow Bridge on 04/08/15