As some of you may know, we lost a family member yesterday morning: Basseterre the bunny. I can tell you that he was loved and hugged and nuzzled up until the second he went to sleep, but I can’t tell you why other than that our beloved pets have to hop off heaven every now and then.
I’d had pet rabbits growing up. They lived in hutches outside, played in the backyard, and I’d feed them carrots and pet them. Basse was not like any bunny I’d ever known. Maybe it was because he thrived as a house rabbit or just because of his personality, but everyone would remark that they’d never seen a rabbit like him before.
Mr. M had taken me to pet store on my birthday to pick out a rabbit. I refused, and asked instead to visit the SPCA. The next day, we met this little guy. They had named him Michelangelo, and he had been found abandoned in a track housing area on someone’s lawn. We took him out to play, he let me pick him up, and had a generally good nature. I couldn’t make my decision that quickly, so I put a hold on him, and waited until the next day. When I woke up… I knew I just had to go get him.
We built him a nice 3 story bunny condo from office cubes, and originally had an old dog fence around his enclosure to give him a little bit of extra room. That worked out just fine, until his rabbit teeth allowed him to mold the fence to where he could climb out of it. In fact, the first escape moment happened at 1am in the morning with my pal Michelle and I downstairs. She suddenly stopped mid-conversation and just said, “Um. Rabbit!” He’d escape a few more times, until we just gave up on the fence and gave him free upstairs roaming control.
Basse was a lounger. He loved to stretch himself out as much as he could to relax. We figured he tripled in length every time he did it.
He’d lounge and cuddle to watch the games with us (as long as we didn’t scream and shout).
And he spent most of every night in “his” leather chair. No seriously. He took it over. If you were sitting in it, he’d hop up in it anyway. It was his chair. It was a place to lay down and flop, to watch TV, and a perfect viewpoint for treats that might be coming up the stairs. He’d hop from the arm of the chair to the stairway when you came up just to say, “Hi! You got something for me?”
And then there was his unlikely buddy… Memphis.
Everyone figured that they’d be amicable at best. At worst, the Bunny would win the fight. But instead, they were pals. Basse would actually come up to where Memphis would be sleeping, and just stretch out next to her.
Even on car trips… Basse preferred to snuggle the cage near Memph.
But if there’s one thing we’ll miss more than the soft petting sessions, the little “nudge-nudges” that he’d give as was passing under your feet, or the nose-to-nose nuzzling… it’s this.
There’s nothing cuter and sweeter in the animal world than this little move. (Oh wait, there is that whole cleaning the ears move that’s insanely adorable as well) It’s a bunny sign of utter happiness. And considering he’d flop many times a night, we were pretty certain that he was a happy bunny while he was with us.
I’ll be honest and say that I was holding the tears in until now and smiling through this post as I wrote it. But now that it’s done, it’s just another little sign that he’s ripping an IKEA magazine to shreds somewhere else right now, and I’m sobbing like a baby.
We loved you Mr. Basseterre. And we’ll always remember how much joy your stay with us brought into our lives. We hope it was just as much fun for you as it was for us!