Funny thing, pets.
The first time you cast your eye on the little fuzzballs your heart melts and and the inevitable ‘awwwww’ slips out. You spend every living minute with them, neglect your human partner for some atavistic fuzzy therapy, produce 500 pictures per day and pretty much behave like the parent of a newborn human.
Then come the teenage years, with some significant arguments about chewed MacBook cables, holes in the carpet, arguments about bedtime and general complaints that ones rabbit spends far more time having sex with their mate and somehow they start blending into the house like the furniture: you hardly notice them at all and take them for granted.
But then the times comes when they are getting older and less sprightly, and one day a little messages arrives via the ether that the little fuzzball that you carried around with you is no more and has joined the great rabbit orgy in the sky. And bugger me, it hits you harder than you would have ever expected.
Karlchen was the first and last of our little rabbit tribe. Joining us as a bloke in 2005 (and having a rapid conversion to femalehood after 2 unexpected litters) she spend hours and hours with us, racing around our little house, jumping off sofas, falling asleep on the furniture and for some weird reason always wanting to play on the laptop keyboard. A dominant little fuzzball, she made life for her more docile partner a constant annoyance (all he wanted was really lie down and sleep).
After leaving Kiwiana (not before exploring Singapore Airlines policy of taking pets on intercontinental travel) we were fortunate to have her adopted by friends with an enormous garden and two more rabbitts for her to bully, and the last time I saw her she was gregarious as ever, even though she was hitting pension age.
So today I heard that she has finally succumbed to old age. 7 years is pretty good innings for a rabbit and I couldn’t thank my friends more for looking after her.
But: Why would you ever want to buy another pet when you have to go the heartbreak of losing the little buggers every few years.