Tweets by @debruning
A Rabbit's Christmas; Not Everything It Seems
(Not Real, but it could happen...don't let it)
Cinnamon sat in her cage and groomed her foot. She was trying to contain her excitement, but it was so hard! She was to go to a new home today! Some funny, tall rabbits with little hair, just like her adopted mommy, had come in and looked around. They had wanted a bunny for a Christmas present for their 7-year-old son. They looked at all the bunnies for sale, but they had finally decided on her. It was so exciting!
She hopped around her cage a bit, prancing and preening. All the other rabbits were happy for her. She was going to go to a new home where she'd be loved and give love! What could be better?
Soon the funny rabbits came to get her. A little sadly she said goodbye to her mother and siblings, but nothing could really dampen her excitement! They put her in a shiny new cage. It had a brand new water bottle and a sparkling feed dish, too! It even had some toys in it for her to play with! Cinnamon could control herself no more, and she leapt up in the cage, brushing against the top.
They pulled up to a nice house and brought her inside. The boy ran up and exclaimed in joy. He liked her! Oh, she was so happy! He took her out and played with her. They had such a grand time, that Cinnamon didn't want to stop when it was time for the boy to go to bed. She knew it'd be okay though, because now she had someone to play with for the rest of her life!
The first week was wonderful. The boy, Nathan, played with her often and always made sure she had food and water. Then Nathan had to go back to school. Cinnamon understood that he couldn't play as much, but sometimes she really wished he could be on vacation again. He still played with her pretty often, and he always took care of her, but each day he seemed to get less and less interested in her.
She grew into a healthy adult bunny, but now Nathan really didn't handle her much. One day he even forgot to feed her. She spent the night curled up in her cage, hunger making her stomach hurt. She began to think that Nathan didn't love her anymore. He stopped playing with her altogether, and pretty soon it was his parents who came to feed and water her. They never took her out, or even pet her. They just gave her food and water.
The cage that she had thought so pretty became a prison. Her toys had all been chewed up out of boredom. She started chewing on the cage, just for something to do. It became habitual; she chewed and chewed, though she knew she'd never chew her way out. Then, one day she pulled a tooth. Oh, it hurt! She had trouble eating, but Nathan's parents paid her no heed. Her teeth grew back, but they were crooked and overlapped the wrong way now. Eating became a difficult chore, and she only ate enough to stay alive.
Finally the tooth just got to be too much and she didn't eat at all. She lost weight rapidly, going from thin to very bony in just a few days. If the funny rabbits had even noticed, they did nothing about it. Cinnamon grew weak and tired. She had given up on life, and she knew that it'd be over for her soon. She thought of how excited she had been that day; how she thought she'd have fun with the for the rest of her life. She had been so wrong. She wondered if her brothers and sisters had gotten good homes, or if they lay dying in a cage somewhere, alone and cold. Her eyes grew blurry, but she did notice one last thing. Lights. Flashing lights adorned the house, just like they had when she had come here. She closed her eyes and one last breath escaped her mouth.
Cinnamon was a fictitious rabbit, but her story, or one like it, can be found unfolding all across the world. People buy rabbits as gifts, or even for themselves, then when the excitement of a new animal wears off, the rabbit gets forgotten. As breeders, we are responsible for trying our hardest to assure each rabbit gets a good home. We need to spend time talking with prospective buyers, especially around holidays when buyers are apt to think how nice a pet would be for a Christmas gift without thinking about how much care a pet requires. As rabbit owners, we need to make sure that we care for and spend time with our rabbits for their entire life. We need to make sure that if we, for some reason, can't keep them, we find them good homes where they will be loved. Pets are for life. They don't just need care and love whenever you have the time and desire to give it to them. They need it every day, even if you're busy!
Usagi no Tsukiyo Rabbitry