Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Just as we adjusted the kitchen, we also adjusted our lives.

Thanks, everyone, for the kind comments, tweets, and e-mails over the past week. You guys are the best!

I've been keeping myself busy to avoid dwelling. Saturday night after I got the bad news I threw myself into helping Jason finish his final paper for the college class he was taking. I needed to think about something else--even if it meant doing someone else's homework. He got a perfect score on the paper (and an A in the class!), so I guess I'm still semi-good at what I went to college for.

Speaking of that, here's something I wrote in my college journal back in January 2004.

I’ve never been much of a morning person. I would much rather stay nestled under the covers than drag myself out of bed to face a cold, dark winter morning in Michigan. If the sun hasn’t made an appearance, why should I?

Despite my lack of enthusiasm for early morning activity of any kind, weekday mornings find me stumbling down the stairs and into the kitchen for what has come to be known as my “appointment.” If I show up late, I can expect to be greeted with an irritated tilt of the head, a displeased sniff or – in the case of egregious tardiness – a well-aimed bite to my sock or pants.

The party so offended by my occasional lack of punctuality is none other than a four-year-old Holland Lop rabbit. He has the personality of a stand-up comic, the appetite of a truck driver and the vengeance of a shunned lover, all packed into 10 pounds of fluffy tail, white belly and suspiciously long ears. He answers to Velveteen.

When Velveteen moved in during my senior year of high school, it was apparent to my family that he would not be a caged bunny. With the addition of a baby gate, a flannel sheet and my mom’s old bathrobe, our kitchen was converted into Velveteen’s living area. The pantry is now a hay closet, the desk alcove is a cozy place to flop on a pet bed, and the rolling tea cart is a bunny balcony.

Just as we adjusted the kitchen, we also adjusted our lives. As with any relationship, there are expectations involved. Velveteen’s expectation is that he be the center of attention when my mom and I wake up in the morning. Though our schedules vary greatly, she and I always make sure to have a morning rendezvous in the kitchen – an “appointment” cannot continue without all parties present.

I make coffee while Velveteen prances around underfoot, basking in our attention and standing up on his hind legs to request a morning treat. When the goodies have been doled out to his satisfaction and the coffee has been doctored with cream, we open the baby gate and follow Velveteen lippity-lippity to the living room, where we take our appointed seats – Mom on the couch, Velveteen cuddled next to her slippered feet and Heidi sprawled on the floor within arm’s reach.

We are all creatures of habit, and Velveteen has us trained as much as we do him. The bond between the three of us, one little and two big bunnies, is the thing that makes those early mornings bearable, and getting up at dawn worth it.
I miss those times.


JW.BW said...

What a nice post. thanks for sharing. hope you are feeling better.

Samsmama said...

Awww...I'm so sorry! Losing a pet is so awful, and people that have never experienced have no clue just how hard it is. Hang in there!