Paul Bloom’s rabbit, Eddy, lives a life of leisure. He has a nice litterbox, filled with Carefresh litter. He has four little food bowls lined up neatly on the rug: one for pellets, one for carrots, one for greens, and one for water. He has lots of toys, including balls, a burrow made of blankets, a box full of hay, and baskets to chew on.
What’s special about Eddy’s set-up, though, is that his human doesn’t live anything close to a life of leisure. Bloom, a former jazz musician who is disabled from Legionnaire’s disease, lives in a tiny apartment in San Francisco’s poverty-stricken Tenderloin district. He has no car, no job, and very little furniture. He lives on a fixed income, and every spare penny goes to Eddy’s upkeep.
“A friend of mine saw Eddy at San Francisco’s city shelter and brought him home to me,” Bloom says. “She felt a connection to him, and so do I.” Bloom has read the House Rabbit Handbook and knows the name of the rabbits featured there by heart. He also reads all the House Rabbit Journals, although he pays his House Rabbit Society membership in installments.
Anyone who has rabbits knows the vet bills can be sizeable, and Paul hasn’t been spared this hardship. A few years ago, Eddy developed pneumonia. Paul took the bus out to a vet on the other side of the city, and came home with a bottle of injectableBaytril. “It was really hard to hold him at first, but I got my friend to help. Then it wasn’t so hard. He just recently finished paying off that bill. In addition to having a great knowledge of rabbit medicine and a “remarkable bunny bedside manner.” Eddy’s doctor has been very helpful to Paul in working out a payment program.
Bloom even takes some steps that other rabbit owners don’t. He put up a “Rabbit Safety” sign, alerting potential fire fighters to Eddy’s favorite hiding spots. He leaves extra pellets in another room, just in case “something happens to me and I can’t feed him for several days.” And he made it clear that I should only come during Eddy’s regular visiting hours. “Eddy sleeps until 1 p.m. or 2 p.m. every day,”he wrote to me in a letter. “After that, he’d be happy to see you.” Eddy is Bloom’s first rabbit and now about seven years old. “I will always have rabbits,” he says, “or at least I’ll have them as long as I’m able to. I wish other people had more care and concern for them.
They’re wonderful animals. In fact, because of Eddy, I’m now a vegetarian. Eddy and I are very proud to be members of the House Rabbit Society.”
House Rabbit Journal Winter 2000: Volume IV, Number 4