Of Batum, Bunnies And Banfield
By caseyholdahl Posted in: NicolasBatum
Nicolas Batum just turned 22, so he doesn't have to strain his memory too hard to remember his first pet.
"My first pet was a rabbit," said Batum. "In French, I called "Cerise" -- that means cherry-- because she was all white with red eyes like a cherry. I was six or seven. It was my best friend."
Young Nicolas would play in the yard with Cerise, confiding his thoughts and hopes and fears to his fluffy little best friend albino. Just Nic and Cerise, two curious, wide-eyed companions growing up in the north of France, her white fur contrasting against his dark skin.
But there's a reason why albino animals rarely survive in the wild: they stick out like sore thumbs. There's not many ways for them to blend into the background, what with the pink eyes and snow white fur, so when an intruder entered the yard that served as a play space for Nic and Cerise, there was nothing the garçon petit
could do to keep nature from teaching a cruel lesson.
"She died, tragically," explained Batum. "A dog came into my garden. So I was very sad. I cried for two, three weeks. After, when she died, it was so sad, I couldn't get a new one. I don't want."
Given the circumstances, one could understand how Nic would be wary of owning another rabbit and of dogs in general. And while I don't know if Nic has ever owned another rabbit, I do know that he's come to love and appreciated dogs, which is why he, along with the Trail Blazers, donated 1,000 lbs. of pet food, much of it dog food, to Banfield Pet Hospital
Tuesday afternoon to help promote the Season Of Suppers
campaign. It was the second time in a month that Batum had taken time out of his schedule to lend an assist to our four-legged friends (he participated in an event in which he exchanged his signature for donated bags of pet food on Nov. 21).
Though he describes himself as a cat person (he has two), Nic still has plenty of room in his heart for canines. He has a 10-year old dog that lives with his mother and sister in France and his girlfriend has a Yorkie (which makes perfect sense if you've ever met her) which I assume he's happy to consider his own.
"(Pets) love you every time," said Nic. "When you come home, they make a party. 'Ah, you're home!' That why I like dogs, because they love you. They do some bad things sometimes, make some poop on the carpet sometime."
Nic is willing to overlook the slaughter of Cerise and the occasional misplaced bowel movement for two reasons. First, he's a forgiving person. And second, he too needs the unconditional love that only pets can be relied on providing.
"When you need somebody and you're sad, you know they're going to be with you," said Batum. "That's why I like pets."