Melissa Kite

Real life | 14 July 2012

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Farewell then TT, the two-tone bunny rabbit. Your name was not particularly innovative, but in every other respect I feel you had a good innings.

You were found at the side of the road in a plastic box. Whoever left you had not even put straw in there to make you a bit more comfortable. 

You arrived at the Kite family zoo one Christmas and settled in immediately. That was back in the days when BB, the giant black bunny, was alive. Yes, I have always struggled slightly with the naming of rabbits. 

When black bunny arrived, via a friend who was struggling to cope with how big he was getting, it was obvious that he would need a catchier name than black bunny and so BB it was.

BB grew and grew until he was the size of a spaniel and to all intents and purposes a spaniel he became. He ran to the front door to greet me when I returned home, making happy little grunting noises as he came. He slept on my bed. He loved the garden, accessed by a huge cat-flap which he would crash in and out of day and night.

But the thing he loved most was chasing the cat up and down the hallway, which was a wonder to behold. Louis the tabby was never best pleased about this and it was, in many ways, a blessed relief for him when BB finally relinquished the stage.

I loved BB like a soul mate and was grief-stricken when he crawled under my bed one night instead of leaping on top.

He made a strange sound as he passed, which I took to be goodbye. I’m not kidding when I say that I hope we shall meet again.

TT had only been with us for a few months when BB succumbed to old age. They had bonded, and particularly enjoyed lying stretched out in front of the television on the living-room rug, TT curled inside BB, like his ‘mini-me’.

And so, after BB’s passing, as Louis the cat celebrated surreptitiously, it was clear I would have to get TT a new friend.

A visit to the local rabbit rescue resulted in a strange, small silver-grey fluffball of a creature coming home with me. 

I wasn’t even that convinced it was a rabbit, although the eccentric lady at the rescue place assured me it was. In any case, I didn’t have any choice because it was the only neutered girl she had available and, she assured me, I really ought to get my boy rabbit a girl.

TT had accompanied me to the rescue centre in the cat travel basket so that he could help choose his new paramour, and indeed he was most enamoured with the fluffball.

They cuddled up together in the basket all the way home and when I released them in the kitchen it was as if they had known each other for years.

Fine, so what I mean is, they had a good old go anyway, even though both of them were neutered.

The novelty wore off after a few days and they settled into married bunny life, which is to say they sat in the big dog cage used as a rabbit house in my kitchen, popping in and out to frolic and occasionally burrowing into the cane sofa which BB had made a living artwork of over the years.

He had gnawed through most of one side of it, so the thing resembled nothing so much as a Turner Prize exhibit.

Whilst BB was too big to get inside the sofa, no matter how much he ate of it, TT and the fluffball — now named Tinkerbell, unimaginatively enough — were ecstatic to discover that they could hop inside and spend hours if not days there as if it were a warren.

They would emerge only to eat dinner which I would announce by standing at the door of their dog cage and shaking a cup full of rabbit mix.

Like BB, they were both insistent about the type of mix I served and if the wrong one were poured into their bowl, one or the other, or both, would grab the cup I was pouring the mix from and throw it back at me in a fit of temper.

This married bunny bliss continued, until one day I turned Tinkerbell over to clip her little claws and was aghast to discover that she had an addendum.

Oh no, my girl bunny is a transsexual, I thought, before the realisation dawned: Tinkerbell is a boy. 

Which begs this crucial question: now that TT has gone to the rabbit warren in the sky, what should I get Tinky for company? A girl rabbit, or a boy? Answers on a postcard, please.