Monday, November 17, 2008

Monday Mario

Today I'd like to tell Chloe's story.  Chloe is my little Easter Bunny.  I traveled out to Connecticut on Easter Sunday 2004 with Mario in tow to pick out a friend.  I adopted Chloe from Rabbit Allies of CT.  

I sort of went over the early days of trying to introduce the two rabbits in the last Monday Mario post.  As I mentioned, Mario became very aggressive after his hormones wore off.  He seemed to hate Chloe.  He loved to chase her and nip her.  I was on the phone with Rabbit Allies often trying to get advice.  Eventually Mario tolerated Chloe enough to co-habitate with her.  However things were never love songs and roses for the two of them.  At least once a day (and more often a few times a day) Mario would chase and nip her.  I talked to a few rabbit rescuers who all assured me that this was perfectly normal behavior for some rabbit couples.  Do they snuggle and groom each other?  Yes.  Then they're bonded!  So I let them be (with frequent time-outs for Mario when he got too grumpy).

Christmas 2004

My nickname for Chloe was "Care Bear."  She was so sweet and forgiving.  Mario would chase her all day and then at night he'd flop down next to her and ask to be groomed.  And she'd oblige.  Mario would very, very rarely groom Chloe.  It seemed like such a one-way street relationship.  But she never complained about it.  Chloe was less of a people-person than Mario and didn't even seem to enjoy having her head or cheeks rubbed.  Once I picked her up to carry her somewhere and she gave me a little nip to ask to be put down.  I told her, "I can't believe you'll stand up to giant me but won't bite Mario back!"

Chloe was incredibly delicate and dainty.  A real girl.  Mario is sort of big-boned and not so graceful and Chloe was the exact opposite.  She was almost like a cat.  Unlike Mario who you can hear coming, Chloe walked around on silent feet.  She'd leap up with cat-like agility and would do dainty little yoga stretches.  The thing that was really Chloe's was the art of the binky.  She loved to be let out at night and would streak around the room at high speed.  It was almost as if she couldn't control herself.  Sometimes she'd be grooming herself and all of a sudden pop a foot into the air. When she landed she'd have a look on her face like she didn't quite understand what had just happened.  

In November of 2006, I was looking at Chloe and thought she looked a little bloated.  I gently palpated her stomach and discovered that she had a large mass in her belly.  She was eating and pooping like a champ so I didn't think it was any sort of blockage.  I immediately knew it had to be some sort of tumor.

I took her to the veterinarian who at first brushed her off as an over-fed rabbit.  But as soon as we got her out of the carrier the mood of the visit changed.  An x-ray showed that Chloe's entire abdomen was filled with a tumor.  It was biopsied and came back as anaplastic sarcoma.  The veterinarian said that there was no treatment.  Chloe lived a little over a month longer before passing away a few days after New Year's 2007.

I always thought of Chloe as Mario's rabbit.  I had gotten Mario for me and Chloe for him.  I'm not sure if Mario would have been a gentlebun with a different rabbit.  But if he's a grumpy bunny with all rabbits, we couldn't have asked for a better match than Chloe.  She loved him unconditionally despite his mean streak. 

I found this video of Mario and Chloe.  It is actually a rare vision because when they were outside of their cage they never lounged around together.  You can see Mario's "it's all about me" attitude as he demands to be groomed.  I also stuck in a little clip of Chloe doing one of her little hops.  I never got a great clip of her going binky crazy.  She was always either too fast for the camera or did the best of the fireworks before I got my camera ready.


YowlYY said...

Thank you so much for sharing Chloe's lovely but so sad story! She seems to be every bit like our Miss Eve, who will only now, after 8+ months after the bonding, get some grooming from Hugo every now and then. She, just like Chloe, is so elegant and binky crazy, but she is also very much a humans' bunny, as she craves head and ears rubs so very much.
Chloe was a very special bunny, and you must have been devastated when she crossed the bridge - how did Mario take it? Are you considering to open your door to another bunny companion for Mario?

PS: word verification idiom was "bitte" for me...which, as some will know, means "please" in German...and I am now writing from Germany as it happens ;-) coincidences??

Runner Leana said...

Oh, it sounds like she was such a sweet and lovely bunny. The video was adorable and the story has made me all teary-eyed!

bunnygirl said...

Chloe sounds like such a sweet girl. It just doesn't seem fair, somehow. Thanks for sharing her story and pictures. I'm sure she and Tidbit are sharing binkies at the bridge.

Rabbits' Guy said...

Yes, we lost a couple like that too. But over time the ones left found other partners and it is good to see them happy in a pair again.

Anonymous said...

That's a lovely story. Chloe was an amazing character. Although Mario bossed her around, I'm sure he loved her in his own way. Buttons' & Yohji's bond is the same. I've often wondered if it's correct to refer to them as bonded, but as time goes by I see subtle signs that Buttons cares for Yohji, although she does not always show it.

I love Chloe's colour.. I've always loved the Dutch marking. I'm glad she had a good life with you until the end.

ShirleyPerly said...

So cute! I've never had bunnies and didn't realize they had such distinct personalities. Thanks for sharing her story and posting the video.

d. moll, said...

Thanks for telling her story. Rabbits have such amazing personalities and she was such a great binker, wow that was excellent footage.

Erin said...

Thank you for sharing that story! Chloe was obviously very special. Love the binki at the end of the video:)

Mica said...

That's a sweet and sad story all at once, but it's really nice to see that you're such a good bunny owner!

Hope you're doing well and your Garmin is fixed soon!

FrecklesandDeb said...

Chloe sounds like a wonderful friend to Mario (even though he didn't seem to appreciate her at the time!) It's nice to go back and think about our furry friends from the past.

RoadBunner said...

Thanks, everyone for the nice comments.

Mario actually took it very well. I was really worried about him because I've heard of other rabbits grieving when their bond mate dies and the vet even warned me about it. I'm actually sad to say the guy didn't miss a beat which upset me a little. I decided not to get another companion for Mario. I don't doubt that a part of him would benefit from it, but the way he treated Chloe I can't justify exposing another rabbit to that kind of treatment. It's possible with a different bun he'd be a doting gentlebun but I can't take the chance. My plan was actually eventually to separate the two of them and to get Chloe a new, more laid back friend and to let Mario live out his life as King-Bee in his own territory.