ode to joj.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

 I had to make one of the hardest decisions of my life this past Monday and said goodbye to my one and only love-bun, Jojo.

In October I brought him to the vet because he was having some issues going to the bathroom. Seeing as he was acting 1001% normal otherwise, I didn't think much of it. In a perfect world he would have been fine--the explanation being that he'd gotten into the cat food more than I'd noticed. Unfortunately, we learned the worst: he had a cancerous tumor in his abdomen that was taking up, at the time, almost one entire side of his body (thus making it impossible to operate or really do anything). Both the vet and I were stunned: Joj was jumping around the office as if nothing in the world was wrong. And he acted exactly that way until a few days ago.

A lucky shot caught mid ear-shake

I noticed that Mister Joj not only stopped drinking water but was hunched over a lot. I hung out with him the other evening and, after a few minutes, noticed that his jaw was moving as if his teeth were chattering (which I found out online meant that he was in pain, something that bunnies instinctively try to hide). I don't think I've ever seen him so immobile or uninterested in what was going on around him. It worried me a lot; it really wasn't like his usual curious self at all.

Post-bath looking like a Koosh ball
By Monday morning his water bottle was still full, his eyes were watery and deep-set and he was hopping lopsided, stopping after only 2 or so jumps, and didn't even want to leave my room (something he does every single morning without fail). Although it killed me to do it, I rang the vet, told him what was up and made an afternoon appointment to bring him in and see what we could do. Despite the good wishes and optimistic thoughts from my parents and friends, I knew deep down that there wasn't a fix.

The vet didn't have a long term solution to offer, just a lot of prolonged suffering on Jojo's end-- and ones that wouldn't even last a significant amount of time. I'd watched my pet Moosh disintegrate over the course of a few months last year with medical treatments that were supposed to help him live longer and regretted that we didn't set him free from his pain and suffering sooner. I definitely didn't want Jojo to suffer at all, especially like that.

Frank and I stayed by him, as his bunny parents, til the end and said goodbye for the last time on Monday around 3:45pm. I have never been more heartbroken. He was the first ever pet that I brought home, that was mine.

Despite knowing that it was the right thing to do for him, my heart is still terribly broken-- he was my buddy and roommate for the past 5 and a half years. I used to love coming home, walking into my bedroom and screaming, "Joj!" or the spliced "Helloj!" and watching his ears perk up. Or watch him go crazy over bananas and apple skins. Or see him lounging about around the house-- sometimes in places he knew he shouldn't be-- making messes and eating things he probably knew he shouldn't have.

My usual view of him
He was a mini furry explorer who enjoyed sitting and listening to pop music in the morning with my parents and running around with the cats. He'd stick his hands in his bowl when he ate and make a monstrously large mess for such a small rabbit. He'd beeline it towards the cat food the second he high-tailed it out of my room (or as I liked to call it, gained his freedom) and even pushed my cat out of the way for it once. And he pooped little cocoa puffs everywhere in my house. I'm not even kidding. I'm more than positive-- as I told him at the vet before our final goodbyes-- that I'll be finding his poop until the day I move out.

In his humble hang out/part time abode
I'll miss his little pigtail-looking ears and watching him hop around my house from behind (which always looked a little bit like he was leap-frogging it). I'll miss the clanking of his water bottle and the funny banging noise he'd made whenever he'd awkwardly hop into the cage. But mostly I'll just miss him being there and watching him go about his business. He'd hang out in his little area in my room and do his thing while I did mine and sometimes we'd just hang together on the floor. It was a great, calming feeling that I'll really, truly miss sharing with him on a daily basis. 

Mister J & I in January 2012
My only hope is that he enjoyed himself all these years and that he's now off enjoying a gigantic banana up in the sky, splitting catfood with Moosh (who, hopefully, isn't running away from him anymore) and being best friends with Frank's dog, Max, who was his housemate when he first became a part of the family. To the greatest Holland Lop-eared beast and best bunny friend that I've ever had and that ever lived-- I don't think I could have loved a bunny more!

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