As if allowing two long eared fuzzy ingrates in the house wasn’t enough, I eventually relented to us hosting a temporary visitor. A particular bun from the mean streets of Melbourne got picked up by a cop and needed a home for a short while so he could get fixed and make his way to the greater Orlando rescue group. I was expecting an ornery skittish bad bun. What I got instead was an incredibly sweet creature. Someone either lost him or kicked this guy out. Either way, they are losing out big time.
I have never been much of a pet or animal person. Herbie changed how I feel about keeping animals a bit. Every time I would open up the back door he would be pawing at the edge of the cage for pets. I could scratch his nose, rub his ears, pet his side, and he would just lean in for more. I was sick while we had him and sat in his cage quite a bit. He came over and gave me lots of love and attention that helped take my mind off the cold.
This story ends in tragedy though. We were supposed to have him for a month. A few weeks to recover from his street injuries (a few bad scrapes on his side and back), a quick neutering from the vet, and then a few more weeks of recovery before going off to the main Orlando group. Though he appeared quite healthy and healed from previous injuries, he did not survive the neutering operation. Rabbits are very delicate and sedation for surgery is touchy. Maybe he had other issues we didn’t know about. Maybe he was very old. Maybe we just got unlucky. We will never know.
In the two weeks we had him he completely nuzzled his way into my heart. I was even starting to think of a way we could keep him along with the other two we are beholden to. In the short time he earned himself a few nick names. Herbie was the name he came with, but he also went by Herbacious, Herbie The Love Bun, Herb-a-licious, Herbert Hoover (when food was around), and Herbert J Whiskers (when he was feeling formal). Honestly I probably forgot a few at this point.
Though we never got him to a forever home, we can still give him a final resting place. We had him cremated and collected his ashes. I thought it would be fitting to build a little box for the occasion.
Something this serious calls for the family wood. These walnut pieces have been in my family for decades. I cut a chunk off and decided to go for a bandsaw box. I have never made one before, but thought this was a good time to try something new.
I didn’t make any layout marks, just went went with my gut and cut out the first things that came to mind. First the overall shape is cutout, then the back comes off. With that set you can cut out any number of drawers you please. In this case, just one. A similar thing happens for the drawer, only you need to cut a front and back before carving out the central drawer cavity.
Cutting and glue-up went smoothly. I did only minor sanding and didn’t bother with finish. A wealth of off cut pieces gave me plenty to make a drawer pull in the shape of an H.
After a few weeks of waiting we got his ashes back along with a few paw imprints in clay. We laid him to rest in his little hand made home under the orange tree in the back yard. Maybe we should call it the Herbert J Whiskers memorial orange tree.