He's never been one to chat away endlessly, demand a lot of attention or make any unnecessary fuss. Big-noting and bragging was never his style; he prefers to sit back, observe the scenery and wait for any interested parties to approach him.
His small size has never stopped him from being all the man he wanted to be - athletic, energetic, perpetually curious and the outdoorsy type with the uncanny ability to survive a variety of death-defying situations that would make mincemeat of many males twice his size - abandonment, starvation, deprivation and disease.
When he's safe at home with us he always seems content enough with his lot but mostly remains utterly oblivious to the shabbiness surrounding him. Comfort is always more important than style. To the rest of us however, it was starting to become apparent that things weren't as good as they could have been.
He needed a pick-me-up; something to lift him out of the rut of the mundane, the dreary, the barely acceptable. A modest makeover, some updating, a series of subtle-but-effective renovations no matter what they cost. He was worth it, after all.
Put simply, Skipper's second-hand hutch was no longer cutting it. Besides, the floor was caving in and Milly was able to shove her snout between the smiling chasm and gleefully snort up his rock hard bunny beans.
Skipper is as soft as a kitten but completely silent. There's no purring or even audible yawning so when I cuddle him, I'm still not sure if he's enjoying being held or if he hates it with the white-hot heat of a thousand suns but is cruelly unable to verbalise it. Perhaps I should hold him a little less tightly and see if he scrabbles and scratches his way to freedom and the floor.
Despite his audible indifference, I could see from his disapproving face that he too was starting to tire of his ancient home that was being shielded by a golf umbrella that was a gift for spending $600K on a house sold by our real estate agent.
Said house has a work shop, but our decision to deliberately downsize means that we didn't want to spend all of our free time on home maintenance or handy-man projects when there were more important things to do like sleeping in, shopping at the Queen Vic Markets with our nanna cart, driving Sapphire to various birthday parties and playdates and slumping in front of the telly with wine, chocolate and chips.
We decided that my first payment from The Age would go towards Skipper's new hutch. I just hoped the little bugger'd appreciate it because deep down I was hankering for a Sing Star instead.
D-Day (delivery day) arrived and thank god it was in a flat pack that could easily fit through our Gates of Hell. Love Chunks got out the allen key and set to work with mercifully less time and less swearing than usual.
Being the only person in our house who can pick up Skipper without suffering asphyxiation and total cardio-vascular breakdown due to allergies (LC) or having her arms shredded to bloody ribbons in panic for being too small (Sapphire), I gently placed him in his new home. On the top floor. Yessirree Bob, this little pest had moved into a real little Rabbit Townhouse. It was even written on the box and everything.
I'd like to think that he loved it, was ecstatic about it, clicked his furry little heels in glee as he clambered up and down his groovy little interior ramp, but who the hell knows?
What I do know is that he prefers Saturday's 'Drive' section of the newspaper for sleeping on and the Sports pages for blasting out his butt beans.
'My Career' and 'A2' sections are nibbled for a day or two before being dragged out onto the inner ramp and pissed on. How that translates into the internal thoughts of a rabbit will forever remain a mystery but he is nice to look at and even nicer to hold. And unless he can tell me different, Sapphire and I will continue to do just that.