April 19, 2007

marblerabbit Yesterday, Tracey and I bid a fond and sad farewell to Marble, our 8+ year old rabbit who died of stomach cancer. It was something that came on quite quickly (his symptoms only manifested themselves a week ago), and it wasn’t until last Thursday that we realized something serious might be wrong. Fortunately, outside of several days without being able to relax or sleep, he didn’t suffer much, and he passed away quietly in an incubator in our vet’s office before we had the chance to do the awful, but right, thing and have him put down.

Marble was our first rabbit. I still remember that March day in 1999 when, after playing some baseball with my friend Jerome and chatting with him outside our Louisville apartment, Tracey and her friend Jana came back from the pet store where they had gone to buy cat food. Before we even saw them, I could hear Jana saying, “Don’t blame me – I told her not to do it!” Seems that, while walking by the open pen where Petsmart kept all their rabbits (conveniently placed near the front of the store, BTW), Tracey had stopped to look in and extended her hand to pet the baby rabbits. When she did, all of them scattered, except one, who came over to her and hopped right into her hand. Needless to say, it was love at first sight! When Tracey asked the cashier what kind of sex and type of rabbit it was, she was told it was a dwarf female. Well, after a few days, it became apparent Marble was neither female nor a dwarf, as he kept getting bigger, and bigger, until reaching a whopping 16 lbs. in his prime.

When we brought our first female rabbit (Pepper) home, we were aware of the need to keep Marble and her apart, as Marble hadn’t been neutered yet. And we thought we had, but evidently not enough to prevent a brood of seven baby rabbits from appearing in December of that same year. It was from this brood that Marble Jr. (one of our three remaining rabbits) came. The others – Marshmallow, Half n’ Half, and Li’l Pepper (driven to Emporia, Kansas in a 22-hr. marathon round trip from Louisville), Mocha and Bandit (given to a local petstore), and Marble Jr. Jr. (adopted by our priest’s wife) – were left to carry Marble’s seed to whatever destinies awaited them, good or bad.

Marble was the only rabbit who proved worthy of our trust to always have the run of the house. As most rabbits do, he went through his chewing phase, and dangling phone cords soon became a favorite target of his. But whereas the females we have had have never gotten over their propensity to chew everything in sight (Marble Jr. in particular, has left a particularly wide swath of destruction in her path through three residences in her life), Marble happily carved out his own space in an area near his open cage: seems an open bag of timothy hay, his water and food dishes, a towel to rest on, and a litter pan to flop into and relax in was pretty much all he needed to achieve bunny nirvana. And, once he told us where he wanted his litter boxes to be, he used them pretty religiously to the very end.

Wherever Tracey was, you could usually find Marble somewhere nearby. All he ever wanted was to be petted, hugged, and fed. The world – well, at least his own little corner of it – was his oyster. In addition to his usual rabbit food, he loved the tiny amounts of pasta and pizza crust we would give him. When he wanted something from the refrigerator, all he had to do was come thundering down the hall (he had a very heavy foot) and poke his head around the corner, knowing a handful of parsley or a leaf of lettuce would soon be there to devour. Most of all, he loved Tracey, and would follow her around the house in the morning begging for attention before she left for work. They were soulmates, and, as hard as it was for me to say goodbye to him last night, I know it was far harder on Tracey. He was a larger-than-life presence wherever we lived, and the house, even with three other rabbits remaining, seems cavernous and empty in his absence.

Having pets is a two-edged sword. You love ’em to death, and hate it when they have to depart. Some people find this hard to do and therefore avoid having them, but to us, even with the pain and sadness we feel today, we wouldn’t trade our time with Marble (or with Pepper, our three cats Rascal, Sparkle, and Bandit, or our two parakeets Ferd and Bird, all departed and still missed, for that matter) for anything in the world. Tracey always believed that in Marble’s eyes you could see all the trust and love that God has for each of us, and she may be right. I always said that, in the grand scheme of all things rabbit, Marble caught the gold ring and knew it. He lived his bunny life to the fullest, wanted for nothing, and gave as much love, affection, and joy as he got. May we all be so lucky.

Rest in peace, Marble rabbit, you were a part of our lives that we will never forget and always miss.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:00 | Comments (5)
  1. My condolences to you and Tracey. Having had an especially beloved cocker spaniel named Mike, the first pet of my marriage that lived with us for 13 years before he was killed by a car, I understand the grief at the loss of Marble. I also feel like I knew Marble even though I never met him because of hearing stories of his exploits. I agree with Tracey that some animals are definitely a reflection of God’s love. I’m dog sitting with one of them today! Elmo, my boss’s Golden Retriever. Love and peace to you both. Dona

    Comment by Dona — April 19, 2007 @ 3:36 am

  2. So sorry to hear this news, GWS.


    Comment by Rob — April 19, 2007 @ 12:41 pm

  3. […] it comes to rabbits, the good old days were not that long ago. There was Marble, the king of the house and all rabbits, who was both soul mate of Tracey and tormenter of our cats, […]

    Pingback by GoodBoys Nation - Archives » Meet “The Beastie Boys” — February 18, 2010 @ 10:53 pm

  4. I miss you my Marble – the greatest love affair of my life……..

    Comment by Tracey Richard — November 29, 2012 @ 7:14 pm

  5. I still miss you my Marble…

    Comment by Tracey Richard — April 19, 2018 @ 8:52 am

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