Natsu was our rabbit and he died yesterday. At seven years old, he was the most grizzled, surly old guy you could hope to meet. He was thoroughly set in his ways and brooked no sass from anyone. He was also fearless and the only rabbit I’ve known to have an undying affection for climbing up furniture. He had a flat-footed vertical jump of, I swear, four feet. He favored the dining room table, if at all possible. He wasn’t much of one for petting, though he did like a nice rub around the ears. He spent his afternoons lounging on a round cat-furniture thing in the sun and probably sharing secret rabbit knowledge with my equally old, equally lazy, sun-basking cat.
Natsu-bunny came to us when he was accidentally hit with a weed-eater as a baby (long story, not worth retelling, full of dubious legality). He had cuts to his face and a hind leg; he subsequently lost sight in one eye. His name was originally Natsuko, until he matured and we found out he was male. Oops. (Rabbits being notoriously difficult to sex when young, I probably should have picked a more neutral name.) Apart from the eye, which deteriorated over time, his wounds healed and he had full mobility and function all his life.
Natsu died quietly and with no signs of a specific illness. The recent heat had been hard on him and, for the past year or two, he had been obviously showing his age, but all indications are that he simply died of old age, which is a comfort. We’ve had such a rash of untimely and horrible deaths the past couple years, it was almost nice to have someone who just lived out their allotted time.