Bittersweet Memories And The Origin Of Kitty Kat

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It’s funny how kids get attached to things. Our daughter was never into pacifiers, or “binkies” as some would call them. However, she did get attached to her stuffed animals quite early. We call them her “guys.” When we go out, we always ask her, “Where’s your guys?” Her entourage must always be in tow. Though by now this has gotten way out of hand, it all started simply enough.

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Piper’s first lovie was a stuffed lamb my mother-in-law bought her. It was an adorable little thing, white with a yellow ribbon around its neck. She called it “Mimi” because she was too little to say lamb at the time. We thought it was cute how she would sleep with it, and would start to carry it around the house with her. Then there was Clyde,  the little orangutan, but he was really our favorite more than hers. I mean, c’mon, his name was Clyde.

“Any which way but juice?”

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This is Kitty Kat. Everything changed when he came on the scene, sometime around the fall of 2009. We still remember Piper walking around in the backyard with her cousin at Thanksgiving, wearing her “Where The Wild Things Are” t-shirt and proudly carrying her new best friend. Things were never the same again. She takes that cat everywhere with her. Everywhere. We would sure be in trouble if anything ever happened to him.

Originally, when we got him, Amy had actually hid Kitty Kat in the closet because Piper had already gotten a care package that week. So we tried to save the new stuffed animal for a rainy day. However, Piper dug around in the closet when we had our backs turned, and that was that…

Kitty Kat came from one of those book deals they sometimes have at Kohls. He’s the cat from “If You  Give A Cat A Cupcake.” So, of course, that was just a temporary deal and we probably couldn’t find another one even if we wanted to…or maybe for hefty price. Thus, we were so afraid to wash him, lest something irreparably bad happen. But after a couple of years, he got so gross that we just had to do something. I went ahead and put him in the washing machine one day when Amy was at work. This was pretty daring, because if he didn’t make it out alive, I would have had to deal with the impending meltdown all by myself. But I made the plunge anyway, and I am happy to report that Kitty Kat came out with flying colors. Or at least his old color…in any case he’s fine.

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We don’t really worry about spoiling our daughter, but the thought does come to mind at times. Maybe that’s because, for instance, we had to buy a tent for her room to put all of her guys in. We call it “Guys Tent,” and of course Kitty Kat is the king of Guys Tent. It’s bittersweet to me the degree that she is attached to him. As much as I see the pure joy he brings her, I know that this time will not last forever. The movie “Toy Story 3” did a wonderful job of showing the sense of loss kids feel when they lose or have to give up a beloved toy. These guys really are companions to little kids. They share so much time with them, talk with them, have adventures with them. As long as she has Kitty Kat, Piper will always be our little girl, still full of childhood innocence. The day that she outgrows Kitty Kat- that will be a sad day, indeed…for all of us.

What is your child’s favorite lovie? What would you do if something ever happened to it?

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20 thoughts on “Bittersweet Memories And The Origin Of Kitty Kat

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  1. Maycee’s necessary love is her Blankie. I capitalize the first letter because literally, Blankie is part of our little family. Blankie gets to participate in anything her other two favorite animals do: Bluey and Crystal Kitty. Bluey is second in the running, and I bought Crystal Kitty to be Bluey’s friend just this past year, and now she can’t be forgotten either. Add to that, “Socky”, again, a new addition of a fleece green sock monkey that has joined the group. Maycee gives more room in her bed at night to her soft family than she does for her own body. While she has agreed to give up bringing them in the car everywhere we go, if she is sleeping somewhere else, they must accompany her, even when she goes to her dad’s. This is a MUST, and as Blankie incurs more and more holes and the fringe continues to unravel, I too, get a fleeting sense of anxiety when I run Blankie through the wash. I don’t know when Maycee will be done with these things….I, as an adult, still used my blankie up until it was left behind two years ago at a house I was living in. Maycee even cried horribly when MY blankie was lost…Her dad and others think she’s too old to still be attached to Blankie, I, however, am her mom and the one who is with her the most. My opinion is: Blankie stays until such a time that Maycee can move on without him/her/it. The time will come soon enough, right?

  2. M’s favorite “lovie” of all time had to be this little monkey that she received as a Valentine’s Day gift from one of the G-Parents. She gave this cute little monkey the uncomfortable name of Haiti. I am not sure where this name came from and can only assume she heard this on the news as this was at the time of the Haiti earthquake. It’s quite funny because she is no longer attached to lovies like she was back then, but if her little brother manages to pull Haiti down from the shelf it’s like he declared World War III and M reverts back to when she was 2 years old…naturally I give Haiti to him just to watch the violence ensue…

  3. My daughter loved a stuffed horse. One day I decided to wash it, and then dry it in the dryer. Big mistake! Faux fur should never go in the dryer. Her poor horse was now sporting a nice afro. She didn’t forgive me for a long time. :-\

  4. My son Lex has a pair of monkeys called Jimmy and O’Brien. Shortly after Lex took to Jimmy I purchased 4 copies, which we kept hidden just in case Jimmy 1.0 went missing. O’Brien on the other hand was completely a fluke. My Step-Daughter, Gigi, bought it for him in a little general store in Maine on vacation for like a dollar. When O’Brien was lost on a trip to take her to the airport, Lex was broken up. We couldn’t remember where O’Brien has come from, luckily my husband asked Gigi if she remember – a 3 hour drive from our home for a dollar monkey! Luckily my Mom was visiting the cabin they own near the store, she came back with 2 more O’Briens. Lex has never been without Jimmy or O’Brien since. Because of this we bought duplicates of every possible lovey my Daughter came in contact with – she hasn’t taken to one. I guess were lucky that way.

    1. Yes! Back-up copies is always the way to go. Unfortunately, we missed the boat on Kitty Kat. However, Piper has also taken to her little Disney princess dolls. When she lost Snow White down the couch, we quickly got her a back-up. Crisis averted.

  5. Interesting. There is so much pressure to push your child past the lovie. I like the idea of just letting them hold on to it as long as possible. My 4 yr. old daughter has been devoted to what is now a ratty rag since 1. “It has so much love in it,” she says. My son has 4 “bankies” of different colors, and he can’t sleep without at least two of them. Too many battles in my life to try to pry away these love objects!

  6. The top picture makes me smile. My son used to request Baby Signing Time by saying “Sign.” Now he’s forgotten “Sign.” Instead he drags me over to the “tee-bee” and commands me to “gabba.” He gets one episode a day of TV, but that’s enough for Yo Gabba Gabba to have really taken hold. Brobee is his buddy, but Muno is probably his favorite from the YGG gang.

    His buddies change from day to day, but his current favorites are Paddington and Eeyore. I love seeing him roaming around with his pals. I think he’s got a few years yet before he gives them up, but I definitely think that day will be a sad day! Each milestone he meets is both bitter and sweet, since it’s indicative of growing into one thing . . . but also out of another.

    1. There’s a signing show for kids on PBS on Fridays, Piper loves it. She tries to copy all of the signs. Piper loves Foofa. She got a little Foofa doll, which was one of her favorites early on.

      I guess I see now why people infantilize their children, it’s so hard to see them grow up. Of course, that’s a disservice to them. All we can do is help them grow, and enjoy the time that we have along the way. It’s not easy, though.

  7. My daughter loves every single stuffed animal she ever comes in contact with, but her absolute favorite, number one friend is her red monkey that her uncle got her. Of course he got it in some obscure gift shop in Maine and I am terrified to wash it or take it anywhere with us for fear she might lose it. He’s not the sturdiest of stuffed animals to begin with so I’m pretty sure he will disintegrate if I try to wash him. Maybe a little febreeze will do the trick? 🙂

    1. I’d try febreeze. Whatever works. When I washed Kitty Kat, I put him in a pillow case and tied it closed, then did the delicate cycle. But not every animal will survive even that. Be careful!

  8. My daughter’s stuffds are appropriately named Piggy, Bunny, Beary and Spots (a Dalmatian she loves.) I think they matter more to me these days than to her. Memories. Nice post.

  9. My baby girl has a variety of toys, her favourites are: Blueberry Monkey, Signor Elefante, Chubby Elephant, Squeaky Panda, Dolly Daydream, Bunny and Rodrigo. All are happy to be chewed by her – I checked, they signed contracts. I am afraid to wash them; most were gifts so I have no idea where to get them from if they were destroyed!!

  10. #1 has a hippo she got when she was 2.5. At 9.5, I know shes had a rough day when she HAS to find Hippo before bed.

    #2 has a monkey he got at about 1.5. Not as attached.

    #3 is attached to everything.

    #4 has a Blankie. We have a duplicate at my MILs. She doesn’t sleep without it. She is the only one who has ever been able to take hers everywhere.

    I am all for letting them keep them forever. My own Blankie disappeared when I was 12. My mother still has hers. She hs had it since she was 17. It’s a comfort thing.

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