I can’t believe it’s been nine years since the pimply teenager at PetSmart put you in a cardboard box, slid you across the price scanner and sent you home with me. In honor of your ninth birthday, I wanted to share nine of my favorite memories of time spent with you.
- When I found out you’re a girl. “Definitely a miniature male,” the teen at PetSmart told me. I took his word for it because, truthfully, bunny nether regions are still somewhat of a mystery to me. It wasn’t until we went to the vet for the first time that I found out I needed to change your name from “Fitz” (named after F. Scott Fitzgerald) to “Fitzi.” I apologize for all those months I made you live as a boy and hope it didn’t create any identity crises for you.
- Remember when I left the toilet seat up and you accidentally hopped in? I had one of those little tablets that turned the water blue and your pretty white fur had a blue tint to it for a while and you smelled a little bit like pine. There really was a learning curve with us those first few months, wasn’t there?
- When Mom, Dad and I were choosing a bunny, you scaled the front of Dad’s hoodie and sat yourself in the hood. I loved your spunk and decided right then and there that we were meant to be together.
- When Mom and I went on vacation to Hilton Head, we left you and Hemingway with Dad. You two hadn’t bonded yet, but when we came back, you were inseparable. It was the best “welcome home” gift ever.
- When Hemmer passed away last year, I brought his body back into the apartment and put him in your pen for you to see. You stood vigil next to him and wouldn’t let me take him away until hours later, after you had said your goodbyes. I knew your heart was broken, as was mine, and I was so moved by your love for your mate.
- A while after Hem passed, I took you to Red Door to see if you might be interested in another boy. You played along with it and even acted friendly toward Paddington – until we got home, when you made it clear that he wasn’t going to be getting any snuggles from you. You left the door open for Alex to make a move – and she did! I look back on it and think you were playing matchmaker. You little minx!
- When you were so sick a few months ago, I couldn’t bear to be away from you. I even slept next to your pen. That scary weekend drained my bank account (and likely my tear ducts), but it made me realize there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for you (though I’d prefer to not have to give you Critical Care very often since you have an uncanny ability to hold it in your mouth and then spit it back on me).
- You have no fear and are blissfully unaware of your place on the food chain. I love that about you. Whenever my parents’ dog, your “Uncle Payton,” comes to visit, you bare your teeth at him and chase him around to let him know his place – and then you allow him to lick your ears. You are the HBIC (Head Bun in Charge) and you aren’t afraid to let others know it.
- This isn’t a memory, but a thankfulness for what we’ll share in the future. Every morning, I’m thankful to see your sweet face and hold you in my arms. I love when you make that little “perka-perka-perka” noise that sounds just like a coffee pot when you’re happy. Just thinking of you brings a smile to my face, my sweet girl.
Happy ninth birthday, Fitzi. Mama loves you so much!