in memory of mr. kiwi bun

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mr. kiwi bun passed on Tuesday, October 28, 2014 around 8pm HST.

On the Friday before that, October 24, he had a series of small seizures. I was still at work, but Cameron’s parents were able to rush him to a vet. Cameron and I went right after work to find out how he was doing. The vet said they were going to do a number of tests, and that they recommended keeping him at the hospital overnight to keep him on seizure watch so they could give him anti-seizure medicine if needed.

The next day we went to visit him and bring him some of his favorite foods – lettuce, apples, grapes. They said he’d had some seizures at night, but he recovered quickly and was still eating normally. He seemed almost normal when we visited, just a little drugged up. He enjoyed his grape and apple pieces very much. But then he tried to scratch his ear, and he fell on his side and was shaking. It was the first time we saw him have a seizure. A few seconds later, he was back up and eating. But then he had another short seizure, so they had to take him back right away and give him some medicine.

Because he seemed to recover so quickly and go back to normal, the vet wasn’t sure at first if they were seizures. He said usually it would phase rabbits more and they wouldn’t normally go right back to eating. The test wouldn’t be back for a couple days, so we decided to keep him at the hospital for more monitoring. The seizures seemed to happen more at night, but for the first three days they didn’t really increase or decrease in frequency. We tried to visit again on Sunday, but they were so busy at the vet’s office that even after an hour we couldn’t see him. We dropped off some more veggies for him and went home.

On Monday night we went to visit him again. He was drugged up again, but still ate two pieces of lettuce during our visit. And he didn’t have any seizures this time, so I was still hoping for the best that he could recover and come home. The best case would be that he had EC (Encephalitozoon Cuniculi), a protozoal infection that could cause neurological symptoms. They already started treating him for that in hopes that if he had it, it might help him get better. Some of the tests came back normal, which was kind of good that nothing internally seemed off, but it also meant that if it wasn’t EC, it was probably some other neurological issue, which might not be treatable.

On Tuesday afternoon, I was at work and the vet called. Kiwi had taken a turn for the worse. He had more seizures and he must have had a more severe one, because he became unconscious. They weren’t sure if he would pass any moment. The vet also said she had consulted with another vet on the blood test results, and they suspected he probably had a brain tumor or some kind of brain lesion. She asked if we wanted to put him to sleep. I called Cameron because he was done with work, and we decided we should put Kiwi to sleep. Cameron spoke to the vet and they said Kiwi was having trouble breathing, should they give him oxygen? They said he might suffer more without the oxygen, so Cameron told them to give him the oxygen and that we would rush over right after work so we could try to say bye to Kiwi before they put him to sleep, if he didn’t pass before then.

I left work as soon as I could and went to pick up Cameron at home. He said the vet had just called, and amazingly, Kiwi was awake again and eating! When we got there, they took us to the back of the hospital. They turned off the oxygen so we could open the door and visit with him. He looked tired, but was still diligently eating some of his kale and pellets. I gave him a lot of pets and told him we all loved him very much. He had two more small seizures, and I helped him back up so he could eat a little more. Then the vet put him to sleep.

I miss Kiwi a lot, but I’m glad that he didn’t have to suffer too long or too much, and I’m thankful that we had a chance to say bye to him. He was in the hospital for four days. The first three days he was having about a dozen seizures a day, but recovering quickly. The last day he suffered more, but it helped us know it was his time to go, and even to the end, he was such a fighter and never gave up.

He was with us for two wonderful years, and I have so many good memories of our time together. He, Fontina, and Fubini lived in their own room. Every morning when I opened the gate, he came racing out down the hallway to wait for his breakfast by the refrigerator. Then he would happily eat his pellets and veggies. Fontina and Fubini get distracted during mealtimes or sometimes eat over the course of a couple hours, but Kiwi would single-mindedly eat up every morsel of food and enjoy every bite. Then he would usually find a nice spot in the kitchen to relax for a while, often right next to the fridge.

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If he heard you open the fridge though, he would come and see if you were getting him something to eat! “Is that for me? Are you getting me a snack? I love snacks!” It was difficult not to say yes, he was so excited and happy to get a bit of lettuce or celery or maybe even a grape! Sometimes we would be cooking dinner, and he would follow us around the kitchen as we cooked. Such a friendly and happy bunny.

He especially loved eating his veggies. Everyday he happily munched a huge pile of veggies away. Pretty much he would never turn down any veggies! And then when he got special treats like apples or blackberries or strawberries, or his favorite, grapes!, he was so happy and messy as he ate them. All the juice would get on the floor and on him, but then he would try to lick it all up and get every sweet drop of it. It was very fun to watch him enjoy all his treats.

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He loved being with his bunny friends too, Fontina and Fubini. They often all sat together in a bunch in bed or on the floor. Towards the end, Kiwi was having more trouble grooming himself, so I saw Fontina and Fubini helping him more, which I’m sure made him happy. He also helped them come out of their shells more. Sometimes they would follow him out to hallway and the kitchen. They started to come out of their room a lot more with Kiwi’s example. Their favorite place now is under our bed. Usually every morning when I open the gate now, they will make sure it seems safe, then hop to our room and wait for breakfast.

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Kiwi loved to run up and down the hallway. He liked to sit in a sunny spot and take a nap in the kitchen. He also really liked sitting under a small table we sometimes have in the kitchen. During the holidays, his favorite spot was right under the Christmas tree. He would sit there all afternoon or night. He really liked spending time in the kitchen and living room with us. If I was home and left the gate open, he usually hung out with me there as I watched TV or cooked or played piano. Mostly just lounging around, but if you looked like you were going to the fridge, he would scramble right up and run over in anticipation.

He was a very happy rabbit, and I’m glad we all got to enjoy these past two years together. I miss him a lot, but I try to remember how he lived life with such joy and how much he enjoyed spending time with his friends and family. It’s been a good reminder for me to make sure to treasure my time with Cameron, Fontina, Fubini, my family, and my friends. Thanks for being such a wonderful friend, Kiwi. I hope you are at peace at Rainbow Bridge and happily eating lots of grapes and veggies :)

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holiday items from fubini crafts

now that the holidays are approaching, i am trying to work on some dinosaur ornaments again, as well as some new holiday cards. it will be interesting to see what sells!

here is a selection of brontosaurus (Apatosaurus) ornaments in a few colors:

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here are the holiday cards i am offering:

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i have a few other ideas for cards, but I’m not sure if i’ll have time to finish them all this year. anyway, time to get ready for the holiday season!

rabbit update

good news, everyone, kiwi is doing a lot better. I have been monitoring his weight, and he is slowly gaining weight. I have been slowly increasing his pellet intake too, since the vet said that will help him maintain his weight. he still has some sneezing, so that will probably still be a chronic problem that may need treatment if it gets worse.

fontina and fubini are also doing well. fubini had some stiff joints at his last vet visit though, so now he is on some oxbow join supplements. he also lost some weight, so I am monitoring everyone’s weight and trying to make sure they maintain healthy weights. sometimes fubini will just eat a little at a time, so I have to keep trying to see if he is hungry. his new favorite spot to hang out is under the bed.

fontina is still a little chubby, but she has lost some weight so that is good. I have been having fubini and fontina stand up to get their veggies to help them get some more exercise. they seem to enjoy it too, so we’ll keep doing that. actually fubini and fontina have been coming out of their room a lot more recently. I have them eat dinner in the bathroom and then they’ll often check out the living room and/or the bedroom. sometimes I’m not sure where all the rabbits are! I think everyone is happy though, so that is the main thing :)

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kiwi

this is my buddy kiwi:

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he is a very special rabbit. I first met him about six years ago. he was my friend’s rabbit, and sometimes I would bunny-sit him and my friend’s two other rabbits when she went on vacation. he was quite friendly and not afraid of strangers. unfortunately he and the other two rabbits did not get along so he had to live alone.

in November 2012 he was in rather bad shape and my friend was going on a longer vacation. he had stopped using his litter box so the floor of his living area was very dirty with pee and poo. he also was not eating hay, which should be the staple of any rabbit’s diet. he seemed to have stopped grooming himself as well so his fur looked matted and dirty. he seemed kind of sad to be honest. he no longer had that happy friendly demeanor that i remembered. he also had a chronic sneeze that sounded pretty bad. I begged Cameron to let me bring him to our house to try to help him get better and also to take him to the vet.

at first he still did not use his litter box and was probably getting adjusted to living in a pen in our kitchen. I tried to groom him a little bit everyday to get his coat to be a little cleaner and neater. also, he really liked pets so I gave him lots of pets and head rubs. I also found out he loved to eat vegetables. he was so excited when I gave them to him, and he happily munched it all up.

i took him to the vet, and he got some medicine to help his sneeze. it didn’t go away completely though, so even now he still sneezes sometimes. it probably is an old infection that is hard to get rid of.

gradually he started to perk up and his real personality came through again. he started using his litter box more, munching on hay again. he started to groom himself again, and his rex coat started to be nice and soft again. i started to let him out of his pen when i was home and found out he loves to hop around! he would run all around the kitchen and if he heard me open the refrigerator, he would run over to see if he could get any veggies! such a happy, friendly rabbit.

i grew really attached to him and was figuring out how to ask nicely if we could keep him. luckily, my friend asked first! she was so happy that he was doing better and that he would have a nice home here.

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the next challenge was to bond kiwi with my other two rabbits, fontina and fubini. i really wanted to help them be friends, especially because kiwi never had other bunny friends as far as we know. having friends helps rabbits be happier and live longer. it was quite a challenge though. fubini and kiwi pretty much got along from the beginning, but fontina was very stubborn and did not like him for a while. i had to sit with the three of them in a pen for two or more hours every day for something like a month. finally they were able to live together! fontina still wasn’t best buddies with him, but at least they could be roommates. fubini was a good friend and sat with kiwi in bed and groomed him. i think kiwi was really happy to have a bunny friend finally.

after a few months of living together, we had a Christmas miracle! fontina and kiwi were sitting right next to each other in bed being buddies. now he had two bunny buddies! i was very happy to see everyone bonded and happy.

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we don’t know his exact age, but kiwi is probably around eight and a half now. he is starting to get old. he has cataracts so his vision is getting worse; he has some foot sores that are common in rexes so i try to make sure he has some towels and beds to sit on; he still has his chronic sneeze that sometimes gets worse and he has to get more medicine; sometimes he loses his balance and falls over; he has some trouble reaching some parts of himself when grooming; recently he lost a lot of weight and had to have blood work done to find out what is going on.

but even with all these things going on, his spirit remains so strong. he still gets so excited to eat his vegetables, he still loves to run down the hallway, he loves munching on hay, he loves getting pets. at the vet he had to get some iv fluids due to dehydration, and even the vet was surprised when right after he was munching on his hay. he is such a wonderful rabbit who really loves life. we are really lucky to have him in our life. i hope we can figure out why he is losing weight and help him get better. hang in there, kiwi.

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introducing fubini crafts!

last july I decided to start an etsy store called fubini crafts. it has been a very interesting experience. I think I’ve always wanted to make crafts and sell them. when I was a kid, I used to make cards and sell them to my mom. i also made lots of things to give away as gifts. along the way i have collected tons of supplies. i may have a problem with buying craft supplies. anyway, looking at my huge paper collection, i decided to try starting an etsy store to see if i could sell anything!

at the beginning i really had no idea what i was doing. i just made a few origami crane earrings and a few crochet items, and threw them up on the internet. not surprisingly, i didn’t sell very many things for a while. there has been a lot to learn about taking pictures, getting found in search, making descriptions, packaging, keeping a budget, etc.

it is also very interesting to see what sells well, what brings in viewers, and what flops. the first surprise seller were some origami dinosaur ornaments i basically made on a whim and listed for the heck of it. i was so surprised when i sold a bunch of them! this year I’m going to try to stock up on them because I’m guessing they will sell even better this year.

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i have a lot of origami earrings in my store, but the jewelry market seems to be a harder market, so i am still working on how to sell more of my earrings.

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a few months ago i decided to try making some origami cards. i thought the card market would also be quite saturated, but my cards are doing really well. they are my best and most consistent sellers. the runaway best seller so far is the father’s day card. it says, “Dad, you are like a dinosaur… totally awesome!”

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anyway, we’ll see where this shop goes. right now i am working on figuring out how to balance this shop with the rest of my life. it is fun, but sometimes it takes up a lot of time to keep up with orders. I also have so many ideas, it’s hard to find the time to make new things!