The Christmas Bunny

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

I have this rule – not to overdo the festive thing. I cannot stand the whole Christmas starting in October malarkey. With a young child particularly it’s downright insufferable to start talking about the jolly season so early on. They latch onto it and the repetitive mentioning begins. “When is Father Christmas coming? How many sleeps?…” No thank you!

But as it’s December Christmas is now officially allowed into our merry household and we’ve been getting rather festive. On Saturday we even bought Gloria (our rabbit) a new doormat to celebrate and some hutch accessories.

This may sound mad but bare with me. Gloria has been with us now for 8 years and 10 months. She is a mad as a hatter beautiful standard Rex rabbit who has a huge personality. By mad I mean bonkers crazy. She will only reside on a doormat in her garage run. She is very picky about where her litter tray is placed and frequently throws it across the floor. She hates the dustpan and brush and punches at it when we try and clean up. The list goes on. 

A year ago the vet told us that Gloria wasn’t very well and that it might not be worth getting her vaccinated as she may not see out the year. We went ahead anyway and 13 months later she is still skipping about in her grumpy way, grunting and telling us how she feels.

I often joke about Gloria with my friends. I didn’t know rabbits were such longstanding pets. I hadn’t realised when we got her that 9 years down the line I’d be nursing a geriatric bunny. But actually Gloria represents much more than just a pet.

We got her in the April before Craig was diagnosed with Myelofibrosis. Looking back he was having symptoms then. Struggling. It was his idea to buy her. He wanted a bit of company while he was working from home. Gloria has been with us through all of our trials and tribulations. House moves. Illness. Babies. She was there for it all.

She’s weary now but there’s something about her that encompasses our family. She has her health issues. She can’t get upstairs in her hutch and is on permanent medication. But as slightly mad, aggressive and quirky that she is – that rabbit won’t give up. She keeps fighting. Pulling herself back from the brink.

And to me that’s like my brave warrior of a husband.

This Christmas marks 8 years since that December when everything changed. By the odds, he shouldn’t still be here. Yet somehow, through a dedication to a cleaner lifestyle, diet and exercise regime coupled with a positive mindset and sheer determination to keep buggering on – he’s managed to make it to a massive milestone in this health journey.

This year his spleen has actually shrunk – that doesn’t usually happen! His bloods have stabilised and he’s managing his symptoms better than ever. It’s certainly not all plain sailing but the resilience and fight I see in our dear friend Gloria is most definitely mirrored in him. 

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