Stuffed Animals

Now she’s on waiting lists

for three apartment houses

one where she knows for

sure her cat won’t be

allowed–the others, she

doubts he’ll be allowed–

which means the only

animals she’ll be able to

have will be

stuffed animals.


When this time comes she

worries about what will

become of her "baby"–

which has owned her (you

don’t own a cat–a cat owns

you) for nine years and is

14 years old–she knows it’s

hard to find good homes

for older cats–the way it’s

hard to find good jobs for

older people and disabled

ones like herself. So she

dreads the day she’ll need

to take him to the pound

where no wonder how

much she wishes she were

able to keep him and what

a lovable pet he’d make for

someone else, they’ll tell

her he’ll have to be "put

down." Were she not so

shy she’d ask, "Yeah, and

do we put people down

when they’re older than a

certain age? I mean, even

criminals on death row are

treated better than–until

the order comes to execute

them or they die naturally."

But she’s not good enough

at thinking on her feet–as

well as too shy–to make

such a speech–and even

if she’s lucky enough to

find a good home for the

little guy on her own–she

knows how traumatic it’ll

be for him, being torn from

her that way and maybe

never seeing her again–

figuring since he’s so old

he’s set in his ways–as

well as the fact that she

herself will miss the comfort

of his soothing purr as he

curls up in her lap while

she pets his soft furr as

she relaxes over a good

book. So the prospect of

giving her "baby" up makes

her very sad–she’s been

giving him all the love and

attention she can–for who

knows when an apartment

will open up–and to prepare

for the a petless life

she’s started collecting

stuffed animals–


Small, inexpensive ones like

the Beanie Babies she found

on sale at the neighborhood

grocery store two/$10.00–she

bought a pug and another dog

gray all over except for a

brown left ear, area around

the right eye, and tail–not a

breed she can recognize, but

cute–oddly though she’d

much rather have a cat as a

companion animal because

it’ll purr and cuddle and

snuggle in her bed and in

her lap, she prefers dogs as

stuffed animals–


because of all the different

distinctive breeds she thinks

they look more interesting–

thinking about only being

allowed to have

stuffed animals–


takes her back to her

childhood up to the time

she was nine–when her

family got their first cat–

before that, all she had were

stuffed animals–


And then she was away in

college in the western part of

the state–pets weren’t

allowed in the dorms–

she could only have

stuffed animals.


Now she hopes there’s

plenty of time before all

the pets she can have are

stuffed animals.


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