That’s what we called them.
Monday is my husband’s day off, and when the rare Monday came around that Michael’s pastoral vocation allowed him to be home with us, he would. Just the three of us: me, Michael, and Boo Radley.
“It’s Monday with Michael!” I would holler as I trotted down the stairs, unlocking Boo’s cage and setting free five pounds of furry fluff. Boo seemed to understand what those words meant, for he would kick up his heels in a series of adorable binkies at the announcement and race around his rug.
Then would ensue some of my favorite in-home sensory memories: the sight of my husband on the couch with a book in hand and a rabbit on foot; the earthy smell of barns mingling with living rooms as my husband replenished the rabbit’s stash of Timothy hay; the ridiculously soft feel of Boo’s fur against my cheek and the simultaneously sharp sting of one of his fine hairs landing behind my right contact lens; the loud, staccato rim-shot of my husband’s laugh reverberating up the stairs as Boo hopped, flopped, and plopped his way around the room; the gentle, muffled bass line of my husband’s murmurs as he told the rabbit what was on his mind.
Pets are confidants. They are keepers of our secrets. They listen attentively and love unconditionally through tear-storms, shouting matches, and fits of skulking. They snuggle us when we smell, kiss us when we have bad breath, greet us when we are grouchy, celebrate us when we don’t deserve it, and wait by the gate for us to come home.
Pets are gifts from a merciful, loving God.
And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good (Genesis 1:25 ESV).
God saw that Boo was good, and we are so thankful to have been able to share in his little life.
For this past Monday with Michael was Boo’s last.
Our sweet bunny had been declining for months, but by yesterday morning, Boo was no longer able to stand upright for very long on his own. He kept falling onto his right side and was unable to get up without our assistance. We had thought perhaps he had an ear infection, and though the medicine was keeping the infection somewhat mild, his mobility problems were getting worse and worse. The vet confirmed that it was time, and my husband held Boo while he died.
We are sick from missing that little buck, but we are also grateful. While we were his caretakers, he in turn cared for us. He also managed to inspire a book, snuggle entire communities of people, comfort hundreds more, and bring laughter and cheer to thousands. If you are one of those thousands, then I am so sorry for your loss. xo