We got Cookie last June at the Mohawk Valley Poultry Swap. She was tiny and adorable and Tatum fell in love with her immediately.
At first, we built her a hutch that lived in the garage. She had room to hop a bit and all of her needs were met.
Still, while bunnies like to hop, they also need to be able to burrow and dig, and we didn’t want to deprive her of that.
In the warmer months, we would take her out everyday and let her hop around and burrow and dig in the part of the garden that wasn’t planted or at least alongside the parts that were.
These outings were always well attended.
The dogs and the cats would come to see what this
delicious looking adorable creature was up to. Periodically, the dog, cat, and rabbit would meet at the point where the fences come together, each in his or her own sector, and just look at each other. I could see where Gary Larsen got his inspiration for the Far Side comic strips every time.
Cookie was, among other things, a popular tourist attraction. Every visitor to our little farm would invariably end up holding her for at least a little while. Some folks would find themselves carrying her around for ages without a second thought. If it was someone’s first visit to the farm, Sophie would run off, collect Cookie, and thrust her into the arms of whoever seemed the most likely candidate for lapin love.
She was not a high-maintenance animal.
This morning, I looked out the window and noticed that Cookie was uncharacteristically still in the center of her enclosure. Dave happened to be outside at the time and I asked him if she was okay. He walked over and looked at her, looked back at me, and shook his head. Something had gotten her during the night.
My older daughter wanted to blame one of the barn cats.
It’s a reasonable assumption. This particular cat spent a good amount of time camped out just on the other side of Cookie’s fence. We always marveled at the fact that the cat didn’t just hop the low fence and have at it. Maybe he finally did last night–maybe not. We’ll never really know and, of course, it doesn’t matter at all. If Sophie wants to blame the cat, that’s okay with me.
Cookie’s life may have been short, but we think it was about as good as a bunny’s life can be. She got to live outside, while still having a reasonably safe enclosure, food, water, and lots of room to dig and burrow. Her elaborate system of tunnels will, no doubt, be used and enjoyed by future inhabitants.
We have experienced more death in our life as farmers than we’d expected. There are the planned ones (namely pigs and roosters), but then there are the ones that you just don’t see coming (Simon the cat, Cindy the goat, and now Cookie the bunny).
People say you get used to it over time, but that’s really just not true. I don’t think we ever get used to someone we love going away forever. Simply by choosing to keep pets (of any kind) we are knowingly signing up for eventual heartbreak and yet we do it all the time, again and again. I guess it’s just worth it.
Now, let’s go get ourselves another bunny!