I never wanted a rabbit. Lucy had gone shopping for her wedding dress with her family and called me midway through the day. The last thing I was expecting was for her to ask to buy a rabbit but I agreed on two conditions – that she stayed outside and Lucy would do everything for her. It sounds harsh now but at the time my friend was in a relationship with an absolute terror of a girlfriend and their flat was turning into a some bizzare menagerie. They had a whole room dedicated to free roaming animals and it smelt rank. That was not going to happen to me.
Juno obviously moved into the house after a series of key events. Firstly we felt sorry for her. Seeing her nice big hutch getting battered by wind and rain felt a shitty way for a pet to exist. Secondly I was getting tired of hearing Lucy scream every time she found a spider whilst cleaning Juno out – a sound which would require me to get off my arse and root around in inches of bedding to find fuckhuge spiders with my finger tips.
The final straw was seeing Juno with a centimetre of her ear missing one day. A fox or cat had likely attacked her in her sleep whilst her ear was hanging out of the edge of the cage. We agreed Juno would become a house rabbit.
And you know what? It was a great decision. Juno was a feisty little bunny to start with and did not seem to know her boundaries. But she litter trained quickly and only destroyed two cables in her nine and a half years of adorable existence.
Everything changed for Juno when the dog arrived. Monty, in classic puppy curiosity, wanted to play with Juno. Juno, being prey, probably wanted peace and quiet. What we got was the oddest of couples who somehow loved each other in their very different ways. Juno would tolerate Monty’s stupidity with zen like measures of patience and Monty would nudge her to make her poop and then try and eat the results; essentially a pez dispenser for those with a disposition for coprophagy.
And in many ways that is how things continued until the day she died. Juno and Monty, chilling out in the house together. Juno joining us on the sofa to snuggle up against a leg, a lap and eventually even the dog got a look in. When we moved to Devon she finally got a garden that was suitable for her to run around in properly too. In her final time with us she got to stretch her legs amongst the long grass in the back garden and feel the sun on her face whilst Monty, Lucy and I chilled with her. It was, in many ways, perfect.
She even died at the perfect time. Juno was hopping out of her cage less and less and her breathing became more rapid in the last week she was with us. On her final night Lucy and I had just come back from a night out with friends and Lucy just knew something wasn’t right. Monty worked overtime licking the tears off our faces and took his place just behind us as our friends looked on in support. In the end Juno died just outside her cage, stroked by her mother and father and laying on an old beach towel that had travelled around the world with me. We buried her wrapped up in it with some flowers from my parents garden.
Juno was the perfect rabbit and I honestly don’t think she could ever be replaced. The house is hollow without her presence. As I write this her empty cage is in the corner of the room and is a brutal reminder of her absence.
I will miss you Juno. You were the rabbit I never wanted but became the pet that stole my heart.