Hazel is better! Thank God. After a week of not touching his pellets, he has finally started eating them again--although it seems cardboard is tastier to him at present. I put the egg carton he was munching on back into the recycling bin so he wouldn't swallow too much of it, but he kept fishing it back out, and even took it into his cage.
At sunset, I was curled up on the couch, taking a nap. I woke to the sound of Hazel demolishing yet another cardboard box. A second after I lay back down, plop! Hazel dropped onto the couch, in the curve of my body. What a delight! It had been a week since he jumped onto the couch, and he had never before placed himself in a spot where he would be so easily grab-able. Initially alert, with enough ear-rubs and back-scratching, he closed his eyes. Resting his chin on my arm, he snuggled down into the blanket and leaned against me.
It was a moment of pure tranquility. Looking into those beautiful rabbit eyes just inches from my own felt strangely like looking into the face of God. Blasphemous? I don't mean it to be. God spoke through a donkey's voice once; he can speak through a rabbit's face. In that twilit moment, the rabbit was the face of peace and trust. All the wrestling to force the antibiotics down his throat hadn't ended his affection for me. In this time when O. is so far away, I am not alone. God even provided me with a cuddling partner!