July 10, 2020

“‘Tis a bittersweet fact that, from the very joyful moment you bring a new animal into your household as a member of the family, the clock starts ticking down to the sad moment when you have to say goodbye.”

And the hits just keep on coming. Boy oh boy, 2020 has been a very hard year here in the Richard household. In January we had to say farewell to our beloved rabbit Marlie; this past Tuesday we had to do the same to my sister-in-law Tammy’s rabbit Butterscotch.

In rabbit terms, Butterscotch lived a kind of “Forrest Gump” kind of life – meaning, she always seemed to be in the middle of the action from the moment of her birth to the time of her passing some eleven years later.

Butterscotch was originally one of what were called the “backyard bunnies” – some 100+ rabbits discovered in some lady’s Phoenix back yard back in 2010. Evidently, the woman had originally had a couple of rabbits who were allowed to breed and she lost control over the uncontrolled breeding that inevitably resulted to the point where her back yard was inundated with rabbits both above ground and underground, requiring rabbit rescues all the way from California to Texas to help take in all of the rabbits.

It was during this time that one of the pair of rabbits we had adopted from a local rabbit rescue, Ginger, had suddenly passed away, leaving her mate Geronimo feeling sad and lonely. One Saturday, on a trip to Tranquility Trail Animal Sanctuary, I looked at some of the “backyard buns” they had brought in. Amongst a group of rabbits passively hanging out in their cage, I asked Kelly, the curator there, which one of the rabbits seemed to have the kind of passive sweetness that could win over a brute like Geronimo, and Butterscotch was invited into our family.

I blogged about the successful effort to bond Geronimo and Butterscotch together. Unfortunately, she and Geronimo were only together for the better part of a year before Geronimo passed away quite suddenly. We then adopted Marlie the rabbit in the hope of bonding her and Butterscotch together, but that was a doomed prospect from the start: Marlie as a rabbit was very “food aggressive” and better left to a life in solitude. Not knowing what else to do, we offered up Butterscotch to my sister-in-law, and her two rabbits at the time, the legendary “Beastie Boys” Sherman and Cookie, welcomed her with opened paws.

Butterscotch was then there with Cookie when he passed, and she then played a critical role as Sherman’s mate until he, too, passed five years ago. It was then my sister-in-law adopted “the ghurkins”, Midget Lee and Bailey, who looked to Butterscotch as not just their mate, but as the matriarch of the bunny household until last week.

As with so many bunnies, the end came rather quick for Butterscotch. We’re not sure exactly what happened, but Tammy and I think she may have had a series of strokes that first cost her her sight, then her ability to use her from legs. Tam nursed her along hoping that Butterscotch would pass away at her apartment, but she had a very strong will, even when her quality of life had been reduced to practically nothing.

Of all the rabbits we have had over the twenty years since Tracey first brought Marble the rabbit home back in Louisville, Kentucky I don’t think (perhaps with the exception of dear departed Little Half Pint) we’ve had a rabbit with as sweet a disposition as Butterscotch. She was adored whenever we would bring her to the vet to get groomed. And her passing ends an era where she knew (at least in bunny terms) an inordinate number of our rabbits: Geronimo, Little Half Pint, Cosmo, Peanut, Marlie, Cookie, Sherman, Midget Lee, and Bailey. Her passing hurts only because she was just a sweet, adorable thing who, from what was a very rough beginning, caught the gold ring and enjoyed a very interesting and happy life.

Rest in peace, Butterscotch.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 23:11 | Comments (0)
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