Last August, we acquired a young Himalayan rabbit. I had taken Jumble up to the local kennels before setting off to Crete – and the owner asked me if I wanted a free rabbit. They had found it wandering in local woods back in June – and, despite advertising locally, no owner had come forward.
I went to look at it – and was captivated immediately. Long story short, the day after returning from Crete, my son and I picked the rabbit up and took it straight to the vet to get it looked over.
It turned out – after a certain amount of very unwelcome attention down the hold end of the lapine ship – to be a she, about a year old and in good condition.
We got her a hutch. My son constructed a run in the garden. She became Pippa and part of the family. She is lovely, so sweet and gentle. She loathes being picked up – something I gather is common in rabbits – but, once snuggled safely in a supportive pair of arms, she settles down and sniffs and twitches her long whiskers and loves the attention.
Last night, my son brought her upstairs into my Study. Bless her, she was a little nervous initially and then inquisitive. But the best part came when she was placed on my lap, as I sat in the armchair (an item of furniture which has a touching and rather wonderful past!), and for AGES cuddled Pippa, stroking her soft white fur and her chocolatey ears, feeling her whiskers tickling my left hand and her heavy warmth (thanks to an overdose, on our part, of brown bread, she is a fine figure of several Himalayan rabbits and may well have to go on a diet!) a welcome weight on my lap. I could have purred, so happy was I! And Pippa? Her pink eyes closed by degrees and she fell asleep!
I have this effect on people too!!
But, for that brief stretch, I was content and warm and cushioned against pain by the affection and physical sweetness of an animal.