This has been a very hard time period for me. One morning my husband came in from outside and said "your rabbit looks dead". My response was "what?". She was fine last night when I saw her. So my husband and I proceeded out to Thumbelina's cage and there lay a very stiff dead rabbit. My husband reached down to pick up Thumbelina and I saw blood, which was unusual since she was in a self-contained cage with a lid to protect her from various creatures while still having access to the outside. As my husband picked up Thumbelina I saw three little creatures wiggling underneath of her and I croaked out "what are those?". Those turned out to be three baby rabbits from my two "girl" rabbits. Sigh. I had my suspicions several times when Cadbury had shown "her" love for Thumbelina, but several people that I knew that had raised rabbits had assured me that Cadbury was a girl. I couldn't care less about my rabbit's sexual orientation, my concern was babies. I didn't want baby rabbits especially knowing how fast rabbits multiply. So now I had three baby rabbits with no Mama. I used a lifeline to call a friend, two of the girls I work with are phenomenal with animals, of any domestic and some exotic species. So after advice about the delicate nature of rabbits, especially baby rabbits, and the fact that they probably wouldn't survive per my rabbit experts and that I am more comfortable and knowledgeable in the field of geriatrics than pediatrics, I began my struggle. I picked up Kitten Replacement Formula and a hooked oral syringe on the advice of a coworker who had to nurse baby hedgehogs on one occasion. Between my husband, myself, and a coworker of mine we were able to keep the babies alive for four days. There was no sign of trauma, no signs or symptoms of infection noted, and the heat had always been consistent with the babies, but for some unknown reason the runt of the litter died first and the two other babies followed suit very shortly. Given the sensitive nature of rabbits a mother rabbit is required in my opinion for baby rabbits and could give the babies something that I as a human replacement mother could not. This was even with nursing them every two hours a little bit, and since their digestive tract didn't function at this point, a warm washcloth was used to wipe down their body to stimulate it to excrete the waste from it's digestive system. My best assessment is that something triggered the runt's death and the others passed away from failure to thrive where they simply gave up the desire to live.
To end this post on a positive note I share with you a poem that I wrote when I was feeling very happy recently.
Painting The Sky
If I could, I would paint the sky with every shade of happiness. I would paint it with little children's smiles and laughter, with sunlight to brighten the sky and the warmth of the first day of Spring after a long Winter. I would paint the sky with all the colors of the rainbow from pale pastels to rich, vibrant hues. I would create a beautiful melody for my sky highlighting the sky with a harmony sung only by the angels. I would color it with all the blooms of the world, breathing in their heady fragrances. I would paint it for you, for all my friends and for myself. I would paint it so that you might understand and share my happiness.