I haven’t posted in a while and unfortunately, I’m doing it because I’ve got really sad news. This evening we had to have my best friend, Lettice the Rabbit, more commonly known as Rabbity put down as she had caught myxomatosis.
I know this isn’t my usual book or food related topic, but I thought that this was important news to share, as I had no idea that there is a massive outbreak of myxomatosis in the UK this summer, or that rabbits who aren’t in contact with wild animals can catch this. The vet tells me that this can be spread by insects such as fleas or mosquitoes. Even indoor rabbits aren’t safe. Rabbits can be vaccinated, and the vaccine should last a year, but they’ve had to euthanize animals who’ve had the booster as recently as six months ago, so if you have a rabbit please get it checked and vaccinated by your vet as soon as possible. I’m devastated to have lost my little friend, and I am hoping that by telling people I will be able to help keep their pets safe.
Please pass this message on to anyone you know who has a rabbit. Once they catch it there is nothing the vet can do to save them.
Rabbity Rabbit, you will be sorely missed. Who else will take as much interest in what I plant in the garden, cuddle me as I sunbathe and bite my ankles to let me know I’ve been reading too long and that it’s time to play?
In honour of the Chinese year, the year of the rabbit, my list of my favourite rabbits in fiction are as follows:
1. Velveteen Rabbit The Velveteen Rabbit Margery Williams
2. Br’er Rabbit from The Uncle Remus Stories Joel Chandler Harris
3. Peter Rabbit The Tales of Beatrix Potter
4. Hazel and co. of Watership Down Richard Adams
5. The White Rabbit Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Lewis Carroll
Special mention to Rabbit of Winnie The Pooh fame.
To me, rabbits have always had a certain pluck and are far from the insipid little beasties they always seem to be portrayed as. That might just be as a result of my pet rabbits having bullied me through the years, but I’ve chosen my rabbits to reflect this, with the White Rabbit thrown in for a bit of variety.
I will never forget hearing the story of The Velveteen Rabbit when I was about four years old and how sad that made me. If you haven’t read it yet, then you really, really must. If you’re in the mood to weep over rabbits (well, you never know) one that has the potential to get me going is a poem by Roger McGough Rabbit in a Mixer Survives based on the true story of a little rabbit who fell into a cement mixer.