“During my first semester, I read more about rabbits than for university”

“During my first semester, I read more about rabbits than for university”

Series: Animal style

22-04-2024 · Interview

During her first month at university, there was a rabbit offered in her university group chat. For Patsy Fetzer, master’s student of Globalization and Law, this was a chance for her to finally have a pet.

"Someone was not able to take care of Tequila anymore and wanted to get rid of her", Fetzer starts off, while her rabbit Tequila grumpily hops around the room. Fetzer came from Zürich to Maastricht in September 2020, in the middle of the COVID pandemic. She assumed that Tequila’s first owner bought her during the first lockdown, but soon realized that a rabbit is quite a lot of responsibility.

“She was in a cage that was much too small, and looked uncared for,” says Fetzer. “I hesitated and debated but I just had to take her.” She had always wanted a pet, but because her family moved a lot due to her father’s work, it was never possible.

When Fetzer finally moved into her student housing, she decided to make good on what she had missed out on as a child. Her landlord, a PhD student, thought it was fine, as long as Tequila stayed in her room. Fetzer set up an open cage that allowed Tequila to hop around the room. She did everything herself, except for her parents helping her out financially; having a rabbit is not cheap.

Getting used to each other

Fetzer also soon learned that having a rabbit is indeed a considerable responsibility. “Suddenly, I was together with this creature, who also has its own characteristics and needs, which I knew nothing about. I had to learn how to not only take care of myself but also my rabbit, and in my first semester, I researched and read more about rabbits than for university¨.

Although it took some time, they slowly but surely started to get used to each other. “We helped each other,” says Fetzer. “I gave her a home and she gave me a best friend. It is quite something to move to another country during a pandemic. Everyone stayed indoors, while really, we should have been going into the city to make new friends. Without her, I would most likely have felt a lot lonelier.”


More than three years later, they are still inseparable. Fetzer speaks fondly about her: about how she hops around full of energy, or how cute she is when she flops over in the middle of the floor for a nap. “I never felt anything like that before,” she says, “loving someone or something so much that you would kill for her.” She pauses for a moment. “Well, in a manner of speaking.”

Fetzer is looking forward to the spring, when she can take Tequila out to De Griend on a leash where she can hop around in the grass. “There is nothing better than a picnic with a couple of friends and Tequila in the park. Everyone thinks it’s great when she comes along. It wouldn’t matter to me anyway. I don’t mind being seen as that girl with the rabbit.”

Full house

And after that? Fetzer has almost finished her studies. She wants to move back to Zürich this summer, where her parents live. Tequila will come with her, now that she has a rabbit she never wants to be without. “I see a house before me with a room for the rabbits, and enough space for a couple of dogs and cats. All the animals can live together in my house.”

Where she herself will fit in that house, is something she will worry about later.     

Tim Kobussen

Author: Redactie

Photo: archive Patsy Fetzer

Categories: news_top, People
Tags: animalstyle,pets,animals,students,rabbit,instagram

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