The artist behind Pepper's Warren is Kia Seppa, born in Finland and emigrated to United Kingdom in 2001.
She has always been artistic, drawing blue prints in her childhood, inspired by her always-building-a-house-father. It is from her teacher / mechanic / sculptor father that Kia's artistic flair derives from, with an added craftiness from her maternal grandmother.
Kia completed a private art school as well as artistically centered high school, but life took over and day jobs involved very little creativity.
In 2006, after her paint brushes had been gathering dust for years, Kia was introduced to Salt and Pepper, the two Dutch bunnies that started this all. Over the years, Pepper inspired Kia to explore her talents once more and, although still tied to her day job, Kia produces drawings and paintings of pets on commission and as inspired by "the warren".
Animal welfare and especially the sad state of rabbits as neglected and underestimated pets in the UK, is a major motivator in Kia's artistic career.
Pepper, the Queen Bunny, 12.02.06 - 13.04.14
Pepper was a brown and white Dutch bunny. She came home from a pet shop in Leeds along with her Sister, Salt. The girls played together and investigated the flat we were at at the time. One day in the summer they went to stay with a petsitter and Salt got to know a local buck, called Pops. He was a grey Netherland Dwarf and they got on really well... As a result Salt came home slightly heavier!
Pepper watched while Salt gave birth to six kits and decided it was a good time for her to move to another hutch, just while Salt was doing all the mothering business. Pepper got to know the does first, Chilli, Saffron and Curry and was the best Auntie in the world to them. Sadly, six weeks later Salt lost the fight to GI stasis as did one of the bucks, Barley. It was a difficult time for everyone, but Pepper soon took over looking after the kits.
Since then Saffron and Curry were rehomed and Pepper became the Queen of her gang, keeping Mint, Honey and Chilli in check.
Pepper liked to sit or lie down comfortably, nibble on the grass in the garden and put her head down to get cuddles. She would lie on her mama's tummy for hours getting stroked and appreciated a raisin whenever she'd done something well. She was a confident, calm rabbit.
Pepper had an excavation going on in the garden; she figured the space between a shed and a plank of wood propped up against the shed would make a brilliant burrow. So when it wasn't raining, that's where she could be found, digging...
April 2014 update:
Pepper, my loyal companion, muse and inspiration went to the Rainbow Bridge in the morning of 13th April. It was a major loss for all of us and we miss her enormously. Her spirit lives on xxx
Chilli, 28.08.06 - 20.12.14
Chilli was born 28th August 2006 to Salt and Pops. She looked most like her Dad, compared to her brothers and sisters - Chilli had shorter body and shorter ears and looked a bit chubbier than the others. Her front paws pointed inwards a little and she had a white speech bubble on her shoulder.
Chilli used to be Pepper's favourite, but that changed when they were spayed. After that Pepper gave her a hard time sometimes, chasing her around the garden and grunting at her when she thinks Chilli is getting a raisin and Pepper isn't. But then, in the evenings, the girls settled onto their little mattress by their cage, side by side, and Pepper let Chilli clean her nose and occasionally returned the favour. Chilli since learnt to keep out of the way when Pepper was on the war path and preferred to sit upstairs among the hay with her nose poking out, looking down from the cage at Mint and Pepper.
When handled Chilli needed a lot of reassurance, but she was quick to climb on you at the vets when she had her jabs or her teeth were being looked at. When the vet was done with the bunnies, Chilli was most likely the one to thump in the carrier, telling us she's not happy and watch out, other bunnies!
According to some sources Chilli was the best bunny and she sure was absolutely adorable.
December 2014 Update:
Chilli went over the Rainbow Bridge on 20th December 2014, aged eight years and (almost) four months. She is survived by Ronnie, who grieved for a week and then became the most demanding bunny ever, asking for cuddles and treats. Chilli now lays next to her Auntie Pepper under the raspberry bushes and we all miss her her so.
Mint, The Flying Bunny, 28.08.06 - 14.03.12
Mint was the caring brother of Chilli and Pepper's favourite nephew. He was the friendliest bunny, allowing you to handle him whenever and however and always willing to come to you or stop when the word "no" was hollered at him.
Mint was also known as the Flying Bunny - if there was a wall to climb or a chair to get onto Mint would do it and then jump off as if flying through the air was his second nature. He could be seen in the garden flicking his heels, jumping and turning in the air and then reassessing the height of the pile of bricks... and of course the pile was always climbable! He took care of his Auntie Pepper to the extend of pushing humans out of the way as if saying "okay, I can handle the cleaning of her forehead, you just leave it to me". Mint was not so keen on receiving cuddles himself, but occasionally he'd let you stroke him when he was half asleep. Mint had a habit of sitting somewhere nice and warm and then throwing himself sideways on the floor and stretching out.
Mint was a happy, healthy bunny and all his life acted as if he was six weeks old! He went to sleep under a cherry tree on 14th March 2012 and we all miss him still.
Ode to Honey, 28.08.06 - 27.03.10
After three and a half years of being part of the gang, Honey passed away at the weekend and Pepper, Chilli and Mint had to cope without him. Pepper knew he wasn't well and went to sit with him before he was taken to the vet. Earlier that day she cleaned his face while they sat out in the garden and made sure the others didn't bother him.
Honey was the "gay bunny", he used to hump Mint like there was no tomorrow! That changed with the appropriate procedure done on both of them and Honey calmed down a lot. He would still run around with a rag in his mouth, though. Honey's coat was the smoothest of them all, it was a shame he didn't care for cuddles. Only at the vet would he climb up as if to say "It's scary, I'd like a cuddle now please".
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