Bunny was my father’s pet for 6 years, initially being my brother’s who then passed the rabbit to my father in 2004. Bunny was unlike any other rabbit. It showed the loyalty of a dog, and the characters of a cat. It scratched sofas like cats do to sharpen their claws. Bunny was a huge purplish fur-ball that made it look larger than a Persian cat.
Every morning, upon release from its cage, Bunny would climb upstairs and knock on my father’s bedroom door with its hind legs. When it was let in, it would lie on top of my father’s chest, and would stay inside the room until my father leaves for the office. When my father prayed, it would sit next to the prayer mat and waited for my father to be done.
My father would hold it or carry it in his arms like it was a baby, or a cat. And Bunny would lie there and not move. My father is the only person, other than my younger sister, that Bunny was close to. When my father went abroad for the first time, leaving Bunny for more than two weeks, Bunny did not eat. Bunny only ate after my father called to speak to it. So, every time that my father had to go away, he would call home to find out how Bunny was doing.
Lately, Bunny had not been well. Yesterday, by the time my mother took it to the vet, Bunny was already having difficulty breathing then. And when my mother talked about the possibility of losing Bunny, my father was already sad.
This morning, my mother woke up and instinctively hurried to have a look at Bunny. She found it lying limp, motionless. She summoned the maid to have a look at Bunny, but Bunny was already gone. The other rabbits stayed away. My mother ran upstairs and called my father to come down. He hurried to have a look at Bunny, and lifted Bunny in his arms, like he would when it was still alive.
Apart from shedding just one tear when my grandmother passed away 27 years ago, I have never seen my father cry. Apparently this time he did. My father sent my younger sister a text message that was forwarded to me:
Our dear Bunny passed away this morning in his cage alone where we had put him on the vet’s advice after the vet had said he was not well and was having breathing difficulties. He was supposed to have his drops twice a day but I think he wasn’t in time for his 2nd one. Shortly before 8 Mak was informed and by 8 when I picked him up, rigour mortis was just setting in but his forehead was still warm. It’s 8.35 now and we have wrapped him up in a white cushion cover, his left eye still partially opened. We are now burying him near the gate at the foot of the Kemboja tree. Bubble & Floppy, & even Bubu, have sensed Bunny’s death. He returns to his Maker after giving me so much joy. Can see him sitting erect beside me as I pray. Can hear him banging his head against the door wanting to come into the room. May he rest free of worldly pains.
I know how he feels right now. I lost my pet cat 33 years ago, and can still feel the pain.
Thank you, Bunny, for keeping my father company when things were bad between us siblings and he. Thank you for giving him the joy and love when you were around. You will always be part of the family.
Where Bunny was buried on 101010