WLIB: 4, Death: 1

Posted by Pete DeMola on 9. Jul 2010

BEIJING, JULY 9 -- It is with heavy hearts that we announce that WLIB team mascot Fluffy the Second, formerly of Beijing, China, unexpectedly passed away this morning after a brief illness.

He was a rabbit. Our rabbit.

Fluffy the Second, born somewhere in Hebei Province in Dec 2009, spent a large part of his life in Jinxiuyuan Apartments, Bldg A, before moving to Jinxiuyuan Apartments, Bldg B in March of this year.

The majority of his life was spent playing underfoot and resting in an enclosed porch eating timothy hay and pooping, a factor that may have contributed to his premature death at the age of eight months.

Beijing has been gripped by the highest temperatures recorded at this time of year for nearly a half-century, reported Xinhua on Monday.

While the city's meteorological center issued the summer's first code-orange heat alert Monday as the temperature hit a high of 40.6 C, temperatures this morning were expected to drop to a more tolerable 30 C.

"I came here in the morning and had a cup of coffee," said developer Ted Östrem, 23, describing the the last moments of the beloved team mascot's life.

"At about 10:30am, the maid came in and told me that the rabbit was going to die soon," he added.

Östrem said that the maid returned about 30 minutes later and told him that "the rabbit is dying -- it's not eating or drinking anything."

Adverse to death, Östrem continued drinking coffee and working. "It was obvious that we didn't even to look at it because it was going to die anyway."

Returning an hour later, the maid -- whose name and address is unknown -- told Östrem "it is crying and dying" and quickly departed the office shortly afterwards.

Östrem and Creative Director Ole Marius Løset, 25, entered the porch to find Fluffy the Second laying motionless on the floor. "I saw a bunny angel ascending to heaven in the reflection of the glass," said Løset.

"We told its owner two times," said Løset while recounting his experience. "He didn't give a shit."

"I'm in denial," said the rabbit's human caretaker, a visibly emotional Joakim Lund Rangel as he rubbed his eyes. "Fluffy jumped joy into this office and I love Fluffy so much."

Rangel described frantic efforts to save Fluffy's life, but to no avail. He was pronounced dead at 11:40am.

Relatives and friends may visit with the family after 6pm Friday at the WLIB Offices. While a Viking Memorial Ceremony was held at 12:30pm on Friday, internment plans are undetermined at this time.

Possible options include packing his remains in a shoebox, lighting it on fire and setting it adrift in Houhai -- a surefire route to Vahalla -- or the more traditional approach of unceremoniously discarding the creature in the non-recycleable partition of a public trash receptacle.

"He is not even cold yet," said Rangel, citing the need for privacy. "I will miss him."

In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to the Beijing Human and Animal Environmental Centre.

He was preceded in death by his predecessor, Fluffy the First, in Jan 2009; the whereabouts of his siblings are unknown.

We'll miss you, buddy.

Image by Kent Løset.

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