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).
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.