I believe that I may have previously mentioned that Tara and I foster small animals – mostly rabbits, occasionally guinea pigs – in association with Porsche’s Small Animal Rescue.  We’ve been doing this for about 8 months now I guess. We’re also the lucky slaves to a Russian Blue cat called Ivana, a regal and dignified lady of great beauty and even greater rotundity. Previously we shared our house with a Siamese cross called Saba, who sadly left us a couple of years ago after reaching a fine old age. But the very first four legged friend we had the sad duty of saying goodbye to was the first rabbit we’d ever given a home to – a cute little brown lop we called Frodo.
We took Frodo in just before Christmas 2004, and I was horrified a few short weeks later when Tara rang me at work, in tears, because she’d just arrived home to find Frodo stiff and unmoving in his hutch. We think he probably died of fright after being stalked by the neighbour’s unkempt, unrestrained & uncared-for cat, and we lovingly laid Frodo to rest under a shade tree.
People who don’t take the time or make the effort to treat animals well really make me mad. Cat lover or dog person or rodentophile or snake fancier or bird whisperer or whatever you may be, make sure you act responsibly with any companion animals you may have. If they’re a naturally predatory species, like cats or dogs, have them desexed and keep them from wandering. If they’re a social beast, make sure you make time to spend with them and try to open your home to more companions as well, for their mental well-being & general happiness. Feed them good quality, natural food – not excessively processed commercal crap. Exercise them. Clean up after them, keep them parasite free and treat them kindly. I don’t like to use the word ‘pet’ because that indicates a superior-inferior relationship. To me, a household animal is a companion, even a family member, and just like having a child or a younger sibling, its not about ownership but about being a provider & protector for someone who will return care and affection with trust and love.

Little Furry Guy

Our little friend in his brown suit
Soft and furry, warm and cute
Easy to love, but hard to seize
At rest eternal near the trees.

One ear up, and one ear down
Thump-thump-thump upon the ground
Apple eating, rattle toss
Keenly yet we feel your loss.

You were not with us very long
But the bond that grew was strong
Licks replaced by memories sweet
Of twitching nose and fluffy feet.

Frodo, in your snuggly sweater
No rabbit ever treated better
Broken hearts and teary eyes
Have fun in Bunny Paradise.

Rest In Peace
-Frodo-
12/01/2005

© Darryn Roberts 2005