Goodbye Jenifer, Hello physical agony

Goodbye Jenifer, Hello physical agony

Unfortunately on the 4th September 2011, my little rabbit Jenifer hopped over the rainbow bridge. Firstly I will post a story I wrote about Jenifer a while back before she died:

I was 15 years old when my little bundle of black and white fluff came hopping into my life. We called her Jenifer, which was quite fitting as the name means 'white wave' and, being a Dutch, Jenifer had a white wave across her back! I knew from day one that little Jenifer was going to be cheeky because when we saw her in the garden centre she hopped over and glared at us through the glass!

Initially, Jenifer was hard work. Although I could pick her up, she protested, usually giving me a nip or a kick. I persisted though and eventually me and Jenifer had a bond that could never be broken. As a kitten, Jenifer started coming into our house as a semi-house rabbit. Jenifer soon made her mark on our house; eating the carpet, shredding the sofa to pieces, digging the floor, chewing the net curtains, jumping from the arm of the sofa, grabbing the curtains with her claws and teeth then sliding down ripping them and weeing on the carpet. This last one was originally solved using a litter tray, however Jenifer decided she would rather go on the carpet, so pulled the litter tray from the corner and went behind it!

When we moved into rented accomodation, Jenifer was no longer allowed in the house. This caused me great distress as most of our bonding happened within the lounge. What caused me the most distress, however, was when I was packed off to a residential special needs college for a year. A whole year when I wouldn't be with Jenifer. The seperation obviously took it's toll on the now 5 year old Jenifer as well as she developed a serious case of GI stasis. I came home to be with her and the vet told me to fear the worst as she was really unwell. Jenifer decided that she wasn't ready to go yet and ended up bouncing back to health, with a little help from our wonderful vets of course!

Over the next year, the GI stasis recurred quite often. Each time the vets warned us this could be the end, but each time Jenifer fought her way through it. She was stubborn and we knew it! Aged 6, we were told that Jenifer was officially geriatric and a new vet diagnosed possible kidney stones as the cause of the recurrant GI stasis. Now, armed with the knowledge that my little kitten was becoming an old lady, I went out and bought mature feed, which has added ingredients which can improve kidney and joint function. After her diet changed, the bouts of GI stasis lessened and she became more active again.

Her bad luck wasn't over yet though as during the winter she developed pneumonia. She had been ill with the snuffles previously and was on antibiotics but instead of getting better she just got worse until her breathing sounded like a drill. The antibiotics were increased and once again my little wonder bunny fought off the illness. This time though, her nasal passage had become scarred from the pneumonia and Jenifer was left with a permanent 'rattling' sound in her nose.

This year, Jenifer turned 8. She now has a boyfriend called Ralph who she sees through the fence of her run every day. She now suffers from arthritis and needs at least 10 minutes of exercise a day. This is easier said than done as she is quite content to flop in a corner of her run for the entire day! She can no longer groom herself due to the discomfort so she comes out for a daily brush. She can't reach her scut either so I have to cut the fur from her tail when it becomes matted to avoid flystrike. Yes it's hard work, but Jenifer has been my loving companion through the good times and the bad times. She kissed away my tears when I cried and curled up next to me when I was scared. I think it is about time I returned the favour.

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So basically Jenifer has had a brilliant life overall, despite being 'played with' by my brother who thought it was funny to make her dance to J-Lo...

I am grieving, as should be expected. Also expected was an increase in severity of my tics. Most of them have decided to centre round my breathing (not sure if that was because of Jenifer's pneumonia... That's what I keep thinking about so maybe) but one of them is trying to make me scream like she did when she was in pain. It's the most horrible thing because just the thought of doing it makes me well up, so when it eventually does come out, I start crying again.

As well as a sudden increase of tics, another less expected condition returned. I had noticed a tension down my right side again for a few weeks, then two weeks ago had a dystonic storm (when all of my muscles go into spasm). I had been deteriorating slowly over the past few days before Jenifer's death but now I can barely walk again and my leg is locking itself into a strange twisted position once again. I hate hemi-dystonia :(

Despite all the doom and gloom recently though, I have finally got an appointment to see Dr. Stern in London. It turns out that I was misinformed about the appointment times ONLY being at 9:15 and I have now got one for 11:30 which gives me plenty of time to travel into London and to the hospital. I can't say I am looking forward to this appointment really because who does look forward to a hospital appointment? I'm glad it's happening though.

4 Replies

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  • Sorry to hear of the loss of your good friend Jennifer. You should be pleased you managed to keep her for such a long time for a bunny, through lots of T.L.C. Maybe in time you could get another rabbit,not as a replacement but as another friend as it sounds like it did you good, if not the furniture & carpet. Take Care & remember the good times.

    Debs

  • It's quite easy to see now why you get so called ecentric elderly ladies who have lots of pets, I WILL be the dotty old lady with a house full of cats, you will be the dotty old lady with a house full of bunny rabbits. They're our baby substitutes.

  • It is starting to look that way! I'm not planning on getting another rabbit though. I am just going to spoil Ralphy rabbit rotten! I looked into my finances and it just wasn't right having two on the small amount I get because everything had to be rationed. Now Ralph is getting all the things he wants and needs, so he is a happy bunny. Maybe I'll get another one in the future if I ever get a job!

  • So sorry for your loss. I hope Jennifer meets up with our rabbit Benji who we lost last year. x