This is a good-bye to my lovely furry friend Fergie, who came into our lives almost exactly seven years ago and who left us this past Saturday night. She has made several brief appearances on this blog and was well-known to those who loved her for her excellent disapproving rabbit face, her penchant for bumping you with her nose when she wanted whatever you were eating (this happened a lot), and her joyous hops in which she liked to change direction in mid-air. Also, she used to lick Scotch off my husband’s nose whenever he drank it, and she once ate the eyes out of a jack-o-lantern we left on our kitchen table because we forgot to push all the chairs in to block her ascent.
She was an awesome rabbit who behaved like some sort of cat-dog, giving us the best of both worlds and the annoyances of neither because rabbits are quite clean little animals who don’t make any noise. When I was pregnant, I would fall asleep on the couch almost nightly and awake to her sitting by my head, just in case I needed her. Every night when my boys went to bed, she would hop into their bedroom and give it the once-over, just in case they needed her. Then, typically, she would settle down somewhere on the living room rug to hang out while we read or watched TV. Also, she liked to stand under my feet while I cooked, hoping I would drop something down to her, which I did whenever I had something that was safe for her to eat. I think she ate her body weight in Cheerios, too, by the time my older son was two.
We had her for seven years, but the vet estimated her age at 13, making her older and wiser than almost every human I know (most rabbits only make it to about year 10 or 11). Of course, she couldn’t share her wisdom in words, but her little nose wrinkles were very expressive, and she was happy to stare into your eyes for a long time while you tried to do some sort of bunny-human mind meld, if that was your thing. When she got bored, you’d know because she’d start eating poop, and there is no clearer signal than that.
We used to joke about dressing her up for Halloween in a smoking jacket and little spectacles, or putting a visor on her like she was going to turn into one of those poker-playing dogs. Of course, rabbits are fast and will not allow you to put clothes on them, so these plans never came to fruition. The closest we got was when my husband Photoshopped a Santa hat on her for our Christmas card one year.
We miss you, Ferginald! Wish you were still lounging below my desk as I type this. My office is far lonelier without you.