My last mention of Elvis on this blog was to call him a silly nickname. "Humourless". Had I even a clue at the time that my handsome boy would not live to see himself appear on here again, his life taken by a tumour that was quietly eating away at him from the inside, I might have chosen better words.
"Humourless" was a reference to his real nickname at home, "Chuckles", a somewhat sarcastic jibe at his overly serious attitude towards me. Never have I met another rabbit so stern. Try to stroke his head and, whereas other rabbits would enjoy the attention or move away, he would keep dodging his head out the way but stand his ground. He'd glare back at me as if to say "What the heck do you think you are doing, mister?! I have Jemima to groom me, not you, thank you very much!". If I had to pick him up he wouldn't freeze of wriggle like other bunnies, he would go completely floppy like there wasn't a bone in him. I've heard of animals "playing dead" in the terrifying clutches of predators, but he did it every time I lifted him off the ground, even when I'm sure he knew he was only in for a quick brushing - it was both bizarre and disconcerting.
Human interference aside, he certainly did enjoy being a rabbit doing rabbity things, like digging, exploring and mowing the lawn. Of course he also enjoyed playing and snuggling with Jemima (when she wasn't telling him off). He was a handsome chap, had the most perfectly formed, highly expressive ears and, because life is ironic, the most beautifully soft, strokable fur.
Sometimes visitors to the Rescue seem very hung up on choosing rabbits that are friendly towards people, as if there is no joy unless the rabbits attention is directed straight at them. If those visitors had met Elvis they would quickly have seen the joy that can be gained just seeing a bunny wrapped up in doing their own thing, or even in just watching them watch the world go by from their favourite spot in the sunshine. Some bunnies we love with all our hearts just because they are who they are, no compromise, that is how I felt about by wonderful little Elvis and I will miss him dearly.
Elvis and Jemima were spending some time together at the Rescue as they'd fallen out after his last bout of illness. He'd seemed fine all the first week, but then on the next Monday just seemed to go suddenly downhill. On Tuesday 27th November 2012 at around 1am, following a very difficult 24 hours, Elvis lay in Caroline's arms and eagerly gulped down a syringe full of food. Then, by 3am, he was gone.