I took Alfred Lord Tennyson to the vets on Monday and afterwards I felt alright, I felt happy and reassured but before, oh before. I sat in the waiting room and I considered putting my head between my knees and I looked at the other people with their cats and tubby spaniels and hamsters. I thought about how we project a personality onto our pets and the slow, bumbling voice I imagine my dog would speak with, a voice just like the way he walks, and how almost everything we love about the animals we acquire is a personification, is us taking creatures that are, you know, the opposite of people and putting them in people terms and then saying we are animal lovers when really we are human lovers - we love humans so much we turn animals into them because apparently there aren’t enough humans to love or enough ways to love them.
And I was thinking about this as I carried Alf in to see the vet, who must see that happen every day and who was so capable and clever and proactive that I stopped worrying. At first, I was desperate for her to know that actually, Alf was special and I wasn’t like those other people, except I was because I’d tried it, I’d tried to impose his character on him; I’d wanted a sweet and sensitive, shy and snuggly rabbit and I’d named him after a victorian poet to seal the deal but it hadn’t worked, it didn’t fit. He refused to act the way I imagined him to, the way he refused to act like a rabbit and he was fearless. He’d sprawl out on the sofa like he owned it, like humans were the help and the place was his and he’d approach a springer spaniel that had to be thirteen times his size and he wasn’t afraid, he’d just grunt, explore some more, break out of his cage, wiggle impatiently in my lap when I tried to read him “Maud: A Monodrama”.
I really wanted her to know all of these things, but in the end I only managed to tell her, “he’s so tame and friendly…he’s such a good bunny”. Before she made me feel better, as I walked in and I was worrying about losing him it seemed important for her to know that he was important and not just because I was a person and he was only a rabbit but he was important to me, but independently of that. As we were leaving I thought he would be alright and it stopped mattering but now, of course, it does so much and I wish I’d made it clear that he was special, even if that’s a ridiculous thing to wish, and I guess that’s what I’m trying to do now.
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- historyasmyth said: I kind of like to think he’s gone to meet win and Chester. They’ll look after him :-) he is special!! x
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- theperpetuallycynical said: He is special. There is only one of him. No other Alfred Lord Tennyson. We each are granted only one life to live. ou get to share it him him and he with you.
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