The Story of FooBar

FooBar was our first house rabbit. He was born on June 24, 1990, and he came into our lives in August of 1990. He spent seven and a half wonderful years here with us and his friends Zowie, Zippy, and Izzy. As you will soon learn, during Foo’s first years, we learned all about having a house rabbit the hard way.

Chapter 1: Foo’s First Year

I’d recently graduated from college and was now a grown-up in my own apartment with my future husband, Carl. I’d always had rabbits as a teen, but my parents always resisted having them come inside. Now that I had a place of my own, I was going to have a rabbit my way: Living inside with us. I was living in Cambridge at the time, but I came all the way to California to pick my new bunny out. In the picture above, he is sitting in a sewing basket that I used to transport him back to Boston on the plane.

FooBar was a tiny little thing, he fit in the palm of my hand. In fact, he was so small, I decided the best way to get him back to California was to hide him in my pocket as I went through security, and put him back in the sewing basket I was using as a carrier once we were at the gate. Rabbits weren’t officially allowed on flights three decades ago. It seemed like the safest way to be sure he made it on the flight with me. We made it through without an issue and he was soon back in his little wicker sewing basket. But not for long.

Right before the plane took off, a stewardess came down the aisle and said, “I’m sorry, all items must be stored in the overhead bin!”

Before I knew what had happened, she took the sewing basket from my lap, flipped it on its side, shoved it in the overhead bin, and slammed the overstuffed bin shut. A few seconds later the plane took off with a deafening roar, and I couldn’t get out of my seat to check on Foo until we’d leveled off about 10 minutes later.

When I opened the overhead bin door, I noticed that the sewing basket had opened, and there was no FooBar inside! I was panic-stricken as I rummaged around in the coats and jackets, looking for Foo. I soon found him snugly nestled in the arm of a man’s overcoat. He spent the rest of the trip safely sitting on my lap.

After our in-sky adventure, FooBar settled in quickly to our one-bedroom apartment in Cambridge. While we were away during the day, we kept Foo in his cage to avoid mischief. We let him out to roam the apartment when we returned home at night. While we were sleeping at night, he would often jump up on the futon to say hello, waking us at all hours of the night. We figured this was a fair tradeoff, as poor Foo spent the time we were away at work alone in his cage.

We tried to provide Foo with many toys, fun objects, and places to explore. Halloween was approaching, so we bought him a pumpkin. We thought he might enjoy eating it, or at least pushing it around. This photo was taken in late September or early October of 1990.

One of FooBar’s favorite places to hang out was under our futon bed. He would sometimes chew on the fabric that held the futon frame slats together. He also liked to chew on popsicle sticks. You can see one to his left in the photo.

Another place he liked to explore was underneath the comforter that covered our daybed/couch. The comforter was loosely tucked under the mattress at floor level, so it made for a great bunny burrow and tunnel. Often we’d wonder, “Where’s Foo Bar?” A quick survey of the apartment would turn up nothing. Then, after a few minutes, we’d see a small lump moving along the bottom daybed, and realize Foo was in his burrow

Another photo of FooBar under our futon with a popsicle stick.

Foo Bar was our first house rabbit, and at the time we didn’t know very much about bunnyproofing. During his evenings and weekends of freedom, Foo Bar explored. Much to our dismay, he made his way into the baseboard heating elements several times! There was just enough room for him to hop on top of the metal flanges that gave of heat. He didn’t hurt himself, but it didn’t seem like a safe place for a bunny. We quickly covered the ends of the baseboard heaters, but then he was on to new adventures.
      We learned the hard way that keeping electrical cords away from rabbits is important. Late one evening we were relaxing and watching TV. All of a sudden we heard a zap!, saw a puff of smoke, a bunny flying backward, and then the lamp went out. I quickly rushed over to find a dazed Foo and a chewed-up lamp cord. Thankfully Foo did not appear to suffer any permanent damage. The only sign of his trauma was a black singe mark across his two upper teeth. After inspecting Foo, and unplugging the lamp, I let Foo down to be on his way. Can you believe the first thing he did was return to the unplugged lamp and start chewing on the cord again? At this time, we realized some major bunny proofing needed to be done.

Of course, once we had all the bunny proofing done, it was time to move. In December of 1990, we moved to a new larger apartment in East Cambridge. Foo thought this was great. He has much more room to explore and hop around. Strangely, though, he spent most of the hours of the day sitting on top of a large dog carrier, under a wooden table. It’s quite amazing that he was able to jump up to this spot, as the kitchen floor was a slick ceramic tile.
      I think he liked it in this special spot because it was a small and cozy space, high off the floor with a great view of everything around him. Sometimes I’d come along and rouse him out of his spot, thinking he might like to play, but if it was during the day, he’s invariable hop back up again and doze off for a bunny nap.

FooBar was a very affectionate bunny. In this photo you can see him reaching up to kiss my fingers.

FooBar also enjoyed just sitting near us in the front room while we read or watched TV. We could tell he was lonely, though, and felt that by the time he was one year old that the best thing would be for foo to have a bunny companion to hang out with.

This is Zowie at the age of six weeks. In October of 1991 on another trip to California I picked out Zowie as FooBar’s companion. This picture was taken the first day Zowie was with me while at my hotel room in San Jose.

This page has been a part of since 1996. Here is a wayback page from the 1990’s.

  • Paige K Parsons

    Paige has been a house rabbit educator for over 25 years. Her education efforts began when she designed and created in 1994. She is currently a live concert photographer and previously was a user experience designer. She lives with her husband, Carl, and her two house rabbits, Moe and Mimzy.

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