it looked like she had seizured during the night but she wasn't recovering from it and it was time to help her to peacefully pass. spiffy was 7 yr old.
i have been caring for multiple rabbits in a shelter environment for more than a dozen years..but the thread connecting marilla (one of my first) and spiffy has taught me more about the secret lives of rabbits than anything else has.
first there was marilla (who lived free in my bedroom)..and then came clover and then maple, marilla nurtured them both so lovingly. when marilla passed away from this earth...clover and maple began nuturing pouff, puff and spiffy...when clover and maple and pouff passed away... puff and spiffy nutured wee billy and when puff was gone and ray joined billy and spif, they welcomed him lovingly too.
spiffy was just a baby when steve our handyman captured her and her two sisters. there were 18 wild domestic rabbits breeding and dying on this property when saints first came...and all we managed to save were spiffy, pouff, puff and simon.
the rabbits and i have an odd relationship..one that is born of my profound respect for their unique species. i believe rabbits make lousy human pets..for two reasons..one they are far too easy to neglect and abuse and dump out in the bush...and two you will never convince me that rabbits actually like being held and humans want to be able to hold and cuddle their pets.
to me rabbits are prey animals born to be victims and this they can never forget. cats and dogs will come to us and ask to be picked up and cuddled..but most rabbits don't. if they think someone is about to pick them up..they almost always run. they get easier to catch as they get used to it..but it is never something they actually seek out and ask for. how many bunnies do you ever see bouncing around someone's feet asking to be picked up please?
not many...they are earth creatures..they like solid ground under their feet.
having said that i do believe you can have deep and lasting relationship with rabbits if it is built with respect for their unique needs as a sentient species. marilla and i spent many hours laying forehead to forehead on the floor and playing fetch with her favorite toys. to this day i miss her and the joy that she gave me...she was an incredible girl.
and today as i watched spif gently pass away..i thought about not just the loss of her suffered by ray and billy but also how much joy and caring that spiffy and billy and ray had shared as a family. spiffy was a kind and gentle soul. the unbroken thread of kindness and caring that began with marilla stayed strong and true to spiffy. she had a good life here... a good home, good friends, good family and she was allowed to have them on her terms.
it would have been nice for me if even on just one single day...spiffy had bounced around my feet asking for me to pick her up... but she never did. what she did ask for was kindness and comfort and safety and respect from us AND love and companionship with her own kind....and that we were able to give to her.
rest in peace spiffy, you were a very sweet little girl, tell marilla she taught all of us well and keep an eye out for ray and billy, they miss you.
to all the humans who cared for her so well over the seven years of her life (then and now)..i know spiffy says thank you...her life was full of everything she wanted and needed, because of you...she had a good life.