monday 16 may 2011

This friend was a rabbit; the first rabbit I’d had since Peter II had died so young several years before. Though Silky lasted a bit longer than Peter did, she was fated also to die too young.

I got her in the fall of 1987 to be a companion for a white guinea pig whose older black guinea pig pal (Smoky) had died in the spring. I’d seen the pet shop housing young rabbits and pigs together, so I decided to try it. I decided to go from black and white in the same cage to white and white. The only markings Silky had were some small, very pale grey patches on her ears, mouth, and a couple of her feet. While all rabbits have soft, smooth hair, Silky’s was unusually so — I’ve never felt a rabbit so soft — and that’s why she got her name.

When her first spring came, Silky got sick. I took her to the vet, the vet said she was in her first heat, and that some animals do get sick at that time. We pulled her through that one with antibiotics, yogurt and some additions to her diet. But she came into heat every month through spring and summer, and every time, we had to pull her through. If rabbits come into heat in the winter months, they do so at a much less intense level, and Silky was, for her two falls and winters, as healthy as any other rabbit.

But in 1990, the spring of course came again, and Silky in her second spring got much sicker than she had in her first. We couldn’t get her through it that time, the vet and I, and she died when she was less than two years old.

I had her such a short time that I feel, these long years after her death, that I hardly had her at all, hardly knew her. That’s one of the objectionable things that time does. I have to console myself with the knowledge, yet again, that while she was with us, I did indeed know her very well, even if now particular memories of funny things she did, and naughty things she did, and spats that she and Snowball (the white pig) sometimes had, are all faded and I can’t report them here with any detail. She was so soft. Even the vet said when she met her that was she was unusually soft, and that her name fit her.


read…   All my stars…     Stolen stars…    Mugsy’s book

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