Friday, May 23, 2008

Ode to Fluffy

I remember the day I first met him (or at least I remember as much as a five-year-old can--the rest I fill in with my imagination). He was a bean bag mutt. He was not all that different than the piles upon piles of critters that occupied my bed, my bedroom floor, my closet. He didn't move. Didn't make noise. Wasn't particularly soft. Wasn't expensive. He didn't look all that cool. He was just a mutt.

Maybe I got him.

Maybe I related.

Maybe I knew what it was like to not quite fit in. Even at the age of five.

He became my buddy mutt. My constant companion. My best friend. I snuggled with him in my bed. I cried tears into his fur when I was hurt. I talked to him about my day. He loved me. I loved him. If I lost him, my world came crashing down. Everyone suffered until he was found.

My Fluffy. A name that certainly did not fit, but he was mine. And it was his name. No one dared to argue. I was five. You don't argue with a five-year-old.

I was 13. I still remember the day. Fluffy had his spot at the foot of my bed. He sat there every day for eight years (unless he was in a backpack, suitcase, or of course, in my arms). No one made fun of the thirteen-year-old girl with the stuffed puppy dog. Everyone knew better.

Except on this day. My mother was angry. She was steaming. Boiling over. I'm certain that in the midst of my teenage angst I said or did something to cause her to flip out. Between screams and yells, door slams and threats, Fluffy got caught in the crossfire. As a last ditch effort to get through to me, my mother grabbed Fluffy and in only a moment ripped him in half. In half.

Little beads went flying. I fell to the floor and began frantically gathering up the tiny parts of Fluffy. With tears streaming down my face I looked up to see my mother holding what was left of Fluffy in her hands. In an instant she was on the floor, desperately trying to undo what she had just done.

My mom and I made up (tearing apart my nearly life long companion had my mother surprisingly seeing things my way). But Fluffy, sadly, had a very long recovery. I stuffed what beads I found into his limp little body. I took a needle and thread and stitched him up. His legs never quite matched up. The stitches stretched along the side of his little torso and up the side of his head and down to his snout. He looked like Dr. Frankenstein's puppy. Over the next several years the paint on the eyes started to scratch off (until I took a Sharpie to them) and his fur became more and more matted (probably from my tears and Lord only knows the germs that accumulated on that poor thing). I attached an old angel pin when one of the stitches broke open--it has been there ever since. No matter what, I never gave him up. Never. He now resides in the cushy drawer next to my bed--yes, he has a little puppy bed in the drawer (an old receiving blanket). I don't pull him out often. But there are days that I need to . . .

Over the years my mom tried to replace fluffy. She bought me countless upgrades. Some were bigger, fluffier, cooler, cuter . . . but none of them was Fluffy.
The "FLUFFY WANNABES"
The original is in the lower right-hand corner. You can see the stitches on the right, near his ear.

The stitches . . .


The angel pin.

Fluffy isn't so fluffy anymore.

I never thought I'd see this day . . . Fluffy has a new friend.
Fluffy's thinking, "Man, I hope this kid doesn't try to eat me."

34 comments:

Angie said...

Can you imagine (as a mother now) how BAD your mom felt about that incident?

Does your son love Fluffy as much as you, or does he have his "own fluffy."

KEEP BELIEVING

just jamie said...

Oh, Fluffy. Talk about Mommy guilt. Whew. That must have been traumatic for the both of you. Fluffy counseling. :)

Lindsey said...

It is so amazing to me how our parents shape our future parenting.

Oh Fluffy, I'm so glad you have a new loyal and faithful companion.

I'm going to stop giving MM a hard time about all her animals. They are her comfort and her security much like Fluffy was to you.

Kimmylyn said...

It amazes me that I had a very similiar experience.. and I have to mirror what Angie said with I can't even begin to imagine how bad your mom must have felt (esp seeing all the fluffys she tried to get to replace the original).

Kathryn said...

So glad fluffy made a recovery and is now back to being loved again. Yeah!

I almost feel worse for your mom than you in this story. It must have been traumatic for everyone involved.

Misty said...

I can't help it. I'm crying. Poor Fluffy and poor you.....

Immoral Matriarch said...

Dear, dear Fluffy.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

How sweet.

I'm feeling pretty good as the parent of teenagers now--the youngest of 4 is 13 and I've never destroyed anyone's Fluffy!

anglophilefootballfanatic said...

You know how you said we were a lot alike? I still sleep with my childhood teddy. And, my son loves him and calls him by name. "He's Mommy's huggy (his stuffed animal)."

I'm glad to see Fluffy get a new friend.

Beth from the Funny Farm said...

This post is so heart-warming on so many levels. I love that she tried to replace Fluffy so many times!

Mighty Morphin' Mama said...

Aw! What a story, your poor Mom! Poor you!
He looks like a very faithful friend, so nice he has a new child to cuddle with.

Tara R. said...

I had a 'fluffy' when I was a kid too. I called him 'George.' That was more than 40 years ago. He's safely tucked away in my closet. Maybe he'll have new home at the foot of my bed when I'm sent to the Old Folks Home. :D That is so sweet that a second generation will grow up with your Fluffy.

Melinda Zook said...

Whoa, I think I would have some definite deep seated resentment towards my mother is she ever ripped my doggie in half. I have a teddy bear from when I was 5 and that thing is now well preseved and has a big "do not touch" all over all it. I just loved that darned thing. I think Fluffy is now a better dog with all that life experience behind him.

Pam said...

How traumatic!

So glad Fully has a new friend ;)

Karen MEG said...

Oh boy, your mom must have been royally pissed at you to do that to poor Fluffy; I can just feel her pain at that moment, oy! I am not looking forward to the teenage years.

I'm glad Fluffy was able to be put back together; he looks so well-loved and belongs with your little guy.

I love that shot of the Fluffy wannabe's LOL!

BusyDad said...

Oh that is too awesome for words. I had one toy car that I've had since I was 3. I gave it to my boy last year. He took it apart within a week. :(

Colleen said...

J and Fluffy look like they will be best buds. :)

I still have my monkey, Ricky the Raccoon, and Baby.

KATE said...

I LOVE Fluffy! I feel so honored that you shared him with us!

How precious that your little J can play with him now! Just please (so I can sleep tonight) please spray him with some serious Lysol! Sorry, that was the anal retentive germ-o-freak in me coming out!

I'm glad you & your Mom made up! That would have been tragic! I can't imagine killing one of my kids precious little friends!

Tootsie Farklepants said...

I'm just going to ditto what Angie said because that was my thought exactly.

Tracey said...

Let me recommend that Fluffy does NOT become his toy. You will regret the damage that he will do to it, and it doesn't look as though Fluffy could stand up to another toddler/child's love.

painted maypole said...

that is so sweet. well, except for your mother tearing him apart. yikes.

My mother took my brothers old dog and hid him in the basement, and when she thought he had forgotten about him, threw him away. My brother had not forgotten. I can't believe she did that, as just recently she gave me an old doll of mine who's hair I had obviously cut, and I have no recollection of her being a favorite or anything. Why would she throw out my brothers beloved HENRY but keep the old doll?

gina said...

Aw.

gina said...

Although better Fluffy than you. I say as a mom who has had her share of count to ten moments with my oldest and she's not quite 14. ;)

Family Adventure said...

That was a BEAUTIFUL post. It was sweet and poignant and funny. I am so glad Fluffy has a new friend :)

Heidi

Tranny Head said...

I had Jenny - a cat. You know, when I was a kid I had this serious illness that I recovered from, but anyway - I was in the hospital for a few months. And Jenny was there for the whole thing. And the time I went to camp and left her there? They mailed her back. Now she's still in my bedroom.

Amy said...

Fluffy is loved. What a cute story!

Susiewearsthepants said...

What a sweet story! I will grudgingly confess that my "fluffy" was a Cabbage Patch doll. She looked like me, I talked to her, I considered her my best friend in the world. Her name was Sarah. Then when I was 12, she was brutally attacked.....by a marker that wouldn't wash off. I still miss her

Lindsey said...

Awww from momma to baby...how sweet! Happy Memorial Day!

DysFUNctional Mom said...

I love giving my kids my old stuffies. I save them for special moments and I'm proud to say, they really cherish them.
My heart jumped when I read where your mom ripped him in half! Heartbreaking!

Steph said...

What a sweetie and your son too :) I had a white puppy dog called freddy the freeloader growing up and I gave him to my daughter when she was born and he is still on her bed.

Pregnantly Plump said...

Awww! I love that your passing along the Fluffy torch. I had a snowy bear. He's currently in Little Elvis' bedroom, but he hasn't been noticed... yet.
Your poor mom. I can't imagine how awful she must have felt.

Kami said...

Aww, Fluffy lives on!

Great story :-)

Elaine A. said...

Fluffy sounds like he's been through a lot. I bet your Mom felt horrible that day! I can see it from her perspective now. How scary is that??

I had a guy like this. His name was Brownie cause he was brown. Creative, huh? I lost him at a birthday party once and my father had to go back and hunt him down. These days he hangs out in my son's room.

ConverseMomma said...

Oh, you had a lovely. Bug has one. Much to his father's dismay, it's a babydoll. She has sewed on clothes that say Love Bug. He likes to put her under his shirt and walk around pretending she is a baby in his belly. It is so super cute. If I ever damaged Baby Lily, well, there would be no kissing and making up.

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