The Kitten, The Clock

posted in: Confessions, Luv, New York City 49
This is an actual kitten, not a puppet. Photo: Wikipedia.



So I have this kitten puppet.

It’s wonderful. It’s a small-sized hand puppet (as opposed to a large hand puppet or a finger puppet.)

The fur is soft. The paws are perfectly shaped so that when you put the puppet on your hand and make it clap, the gesture is so darling you’ll just die. The kitten’s eyes are shiny; the ears are in the perfect place. I’m a sucker for animal hand puppets in general, but I’m telling you: This is a good one.

How did I come to have this sensational kitten puppet? Well, I bought it. When I lived in the East Village in NYC with Yuri, I passed the toy store on 9th St. and Avenue B and it was in the window display. The moment that kitty caught my eye, I went in and I bought it, partly because I loved her and partly because I was in love and partly because the person I was in love with called me “Kitten.” So this kitten puppet, which cost 13.99 plus tax, represented a lot of things when I lived in New York with Yuri three-ish years back.

Do you remember that? When I lived in New York with Yuri? I do.

In fact, I remember living in New York with Yuri every time I come across this little puppet, which happens from time to time because I don’t know what to do with her. I don’t know where to put her because — and I know this might come as a surprise to many of you — I don’t have a large puppet collection display case where I display my large puppet collection because I don’t have a large puppet collection. I have one kitten puppet. (Okay, okay: I do have a couple other puppets, and of course there’s Pendennis, but I swear I am an adult with a broken dishwasher, not an adult with a large plush toy, puppets, stuffed animal collection … and perhaps I’ve got it all wrong.)

Anyway, I am not a person who holds onto many material things. I’m not a hoarder. I’m a non-hoarder. I’m so much a non-hoarder, I have made mistakes in the past in getting rid of things too soon or without enough thought. (Remind me someday to tell you about throwing letters from my father into the fireplace.) But I’ve held onto this kitten puppet because she’s so adorable and it’s a puppet! And I might not have a puppet collection but I do advise anyone to have a puppet or two on hand for emergencies. But of course I have another reason to hang onto it.

I was Kitten. And he was Yuri. And he is far away and I am far away and that chapter is over. But it was real. And it was real important. It mattered, it changed at least two lives; it was love. Letting go of this puppet is weirdly hard for me. I’ve gotten rid of so much stuff in the past three years: Why not this little cat?

So I need some advice. I’m doing spring/post-school cleaning and I found her again, in a drawer. Before she went into the drawer she had been in a basket. Before the basket, I had her on a shelf. There’s no puppet display case and there’s no way I’m going to stow her away in a shoebox only to find her 10 years from now and have a Proust moment that destroys me completely.

Give her to a child, right? To enjoy? But what about … What about love?

49 Responses

  1. Dana Chapman
    | Reply

    I’d suggest you put the kitten puppet in a box and put a date on the box one year from now. A year from now, give the box away without opening it. You’ve moved on, let the puppet move on too.
    Iowa Girl, Dana

  2. Maggie
    | Reply

    Save her… can introduce her the any little nieces, nephews, godchildren and they will love her too

  3. Denise
    | Reply

    Keep her in a little box of treasures.

  4. Charlotte Gueho
    | Reply

    Keep her, find a beautiful box to make her a home … you aren’t hoarding, you are holding on to a precious memory.

  5. Annie
    | Reply

    I’d find some bed post or chair that has a post or even an empty bottle and let her sit there…she can be your pet, say Hi when you come it, pat her on the head…too precious to get rid of!

  6. Sharman
    | Reply

    Donate that lovely creature to a children’s hospital ward or preschool. It will be loved and played with by many little ones.

  7. Gail
    | Reply

    Put Kitten in the Ex-Box..up on the top shelf in your closet. It was love and it was important.

  8. Linda Shumway
    | Reply

    If Kitten isn’t taking up too much room, keep her. Remembering past loves is good, especially if IT was good. I’m 76 and I remember ALL my past loves, with or without reminders. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having memories… day …..well, sigh! Just keep Kitten and love her.

  9. Pat Hicks
    | Reply

    Don’t get rid of your kitten, it is okay to have those reflections and to have a tangible reminder in the cutest way possible. I think you need to add a sweet puppy puppet to keep your kitten company. Plus you don’t hae to feed them to keep them happy.

  10. Susan Davies
    | Reply

    Maybe you should keep it. It seems to remind you of a magical time in your life. It doesn’t seem to make you sad at all.

  11. Kathlene
    | Reply

    Keep it. It’s a beautiful memory and memories are important.

  12. Kathleen T Kurke
    | Reply

    As a practiced get-rid-of-things girl, I say only get rid of it when it carries either no emotional meaning, or a sad memory you’re ready to let go of. There will come a day when you no longer feel an emotional attachment to the kitty, or you’ll want to share the joy of brought you with someone else and which case it will feel like a gift to give it away.

  13. Mrs. Plum
    | Reply

    Thanks for changing your typeface—so much easier to read! As to the puppet, my vote is to give it to a child.

  14. Deby
    | Reply

    Keep the little kitten, for no reason other than she needs you to find her, from time to time. There are season’s in our lives that need a ‘touch ‘ stone.

  15. Karen Muzzy
    | Reply

    I like what Charlotte said. Keep her. There’s nothing wrong with holding on to a precious memory that fits on your hand and claps in a really cute way. I wish I had one.

  16. Catherine
    | Reply

    Keep your kitten Mary. It has special meaning. Put it in a box and open it from time to time. It’s okay to reminisce about the different phases of your life.

  17. Marianne ten Kate
    | Reply

    If she brings you joy, keep her where you will bump into her regularly. If not, set her free to bring someone else joy!

  18. Shiela
    | Reply

    Keep it!!! Just like a scrapbook or photo album full of memories, this little bugger holds many memories for you…..some happy, some sad. Tuck it away somewhere – maybe snuggled in with a favorite old quilt that you’re keeping ‘just because’. Pull the quilt & kitty out on those days when you need a hug, some comfort or just want to stroll down memory lane for a bit – wrap the quilt around yourself, snuggle the kitty…..& enjoy remembering!!

  19. Julia
    | Reply

    Keep Kitten. You’ll know when you are ready to pass the puppet along. Seems like you have many memories tied up with it and you still find joy in the beauty of the puppet. The fact that you can’t make the decision easily says you’re not ready to part with it. Display it and enjoy it.

    • Jennifer
      | Reply

      I agree with Julia! If it were time to give your kitten to a child, it would be easy. (I just tossed a bunch of love letters easy as pie…but I couldn’t have just a couple of years ago.) You’ll know when.

  20. Suz
    | Reply

    Take a few pics of the kitty and then find a new home for her.

  21. Wilma Bland
    | Reply

    Just a thought here, consider “Kitten” as a part of grieving the lost moments. They are precious memories of good times and hanging on to this tangible, physical puppet is similar to those who hang on to a passed loved one’s shirt or jacket. When you are ready, you will put Kitten where you need her to be. If that is in the EX Files, that is where. EX marks the spot in our lives where we chose different paths. Kitten is the reminder that LOVE existed and has value and meaning. You have walked many paths since the parting, but you are worthy of LOVE — that could be why Kitten keeps surfacing.

  22. Grammy Judy
    | Reply

    I’m a hopeless sentimentalist, keep her, she seems very important to you or you would not be asking the world if you should keep her or give her a way. She is small, maybe put her in a sock drawer where she will be seen often or as someone else posted on a chair rail or bed post. I think you will regret giving it away.

  23. Paula White
    | Reply

    Someone tried to do that with me. When I was a child, my dad won 2 matching stuffed animals for me from Great America. I loved them. Forty years later, I was asked to give them to a children’s charity. I went to the store, bought the kids charity their own toys AND kept my 2 matching stuffed animals my dad won for me from Great America. The world has been saved and my positive memories are intact. Problem solved.

  24. Marianne Fons
    | Reply

    Mary, this is your mom. I say keep the puppet for when you have a little-kid visitor who’s having a bad day. No one can animate a hand puppet any better than you. Think of Kitten as child-charming equipment.

  25. Kathryn
    | Reply

    Keep her! She is part of your history, why you are the person you are today. Let young visitors play with her and she will become part of their memories too. She still has a place in your life or you wouldn’t have asked. When the time to let her go is right, you will know.

  26. Georgia O'Neal
    | Reply

    How about a special spot on your nightstand ? Just beside the reading light – that way you can enjoy the “company” and ensure some pleasant dreams. This little guy is obviously a comfort to you – don’t hide it away !!!G

  27. Mary Spriet
    | Reply

    Do you have a memory box? Memories are important. If you’re asking or debating about getting rid of her, then you’re not ready. One day someone will come along & you will know it’s time. To either put the memories to rest, or give them your cherished kitten. In the meantime, make room in your sock drawer for your kitten.

  28. Patty Stagl
    | Reply

    I vote keep the kitty until emotional attachment is gone. Sweet memories are good to hang on to. They get you through tougher times.

  29. liz
    | Reply

    I think what makes a home is what people choose to keep in it. I say keep the kitten and put her out somewhere you can see her. She has a story. If you don’t want to see her give her away….

  30. Sally Nesser
    | Reply

    I definitely think you should hold on to her. You really love her for so many reasons. She doesn’t take up much room and I think some day you might have a child visit you or there maybe neighbor and you will be happy to have some one enjoy kitten for awhile. I have spent the last two years witteling down a life time of possessions, I might be doing this till I die. But I really love having my dolls live at my neighbors condo, her granddaughter thinks they are the Cat’s Meow.

  31. Mark
    | Reply

    Keep her. Without her you would not have written this blog. Without her you would not have had that stream of consciousness about Yuri!

    BTW I LOVE that your Mom publicly commented above!

  32. Anita Brayton
    | Reply

    Off topic: I love it when Marianne Fons says “This is your Mom”. Keep it please. It will eventually be fond memories, maybe bittersweet. Those touch stones are important.

  33. Nancy McFall
    | Reply

    Keep her.

  34. Michael
    | Reply

    Keep it!

  35. Colleen
    | Reply

    It doesn’t matter if you keep the kitten puppet or not you have the memories either way.
    There is one reason to pass the puppet on when you have a new love of your life it is kind of rude don’t you think to have tangible reminders of past loves laying around?

    Would that bother you you the other way around?

  36. Barbara
    | Reply

    I would keep kitten puppet around, if it puts a smile on your face or a tear in your eye, you love it for many reasons.
    There might come a time in your life when you really feel you don’t want it anymore. Well, let that time happen, whenever it may be. I do believe it is hard to give up some things, so, just keep it.

  37. Rosemary Small
    | Reply

    It sounds to me like getting rid of the kitten would be something you’d regret later. Find somewhere where she can live – on your bed, on a post, propped against the back of a chair you don’t use very often. It’s possible that after having her out on display for a while you’ll feel the time is right to give her to a child you love, but while there’s doubt about giving Kitten away, don’t do it. Think very carefully before you do something that can’t be undone.

  38. HelenMarie
    | Reply

    You are definitely not quite ready. She makes you smile. Anything that brings smiles is not to be discarded lightly. I still have the few dolls my grandkids played with, sitting in a corner on my husbands great grandmothers nursing chair (she was tiny so it’s too diminutive to fit anyone in our family). I also have a few precious family teddies sitting in my brothers teeter totter in the opposite corner. And I’m 76!

  39. Bob Collis
    | Reply

    I agree with your mom. I vote you keep the cat!

  40. Shelley Dionne
    | Reply

    OMG, keep the Kitten Mary! Put it out on display, love it, admire it, give it a life with Pen, share it with us and carry on❤❤

  41. Mary
    | Reply

    Mary, I suggest you visit a children’s hospital with the adorable kitten puppet. Some deserving little person will fall in love with that little puppet and love will be the reason you give it away.

  42. Loreen
    | Reply

    Keep her in the drawer. Next time you come across her, you may either be able to give her away, or you may need to keep her a little while longer. Either way, it’s a memory you’ll come across every so often which is sentimental. I have little memories in all my drawers, and I get a little warm feeling when I come across them. ( Also, in drawers they avoid being ‘clutter’.)

  43. Barbara
    | Reply

    I totally agree with your mother and all the others who said to keep her. She will bring joy to young ones in your family and to you as you share her with them.

  44. Deb Pentek
    | Reply

    My grandmother bought me a beautiful Steiff rabbit puppet. She was beautiful and so realistic. It was a big splurge but I loved my bunny puppet so much. Throughout my childhood she kept me company atop a poster from my four poster bed. Eventually I packed her away. We recently reunited and now she keeps my company in my sewing room, a precious memory found again. Honor the memory or gift it to someone special.

  45. Pamela Keown
    | Reply

    Keep Kitten. It was important. She is important.

  46. Erika Mulvenna
    | Reply

    Ohmygosh. Kitten, just the fact that you went public with your dilemma means you are ready to move on. You don’t need my permission, just your own. Yes, you said the love was real, you know it, maybe you are looking for a way to mark that period of your life other than said puppet?

    Fidget has a cat puppet, it’s called Scratches and comes out of the stuffed animal bin when it’s an all-cat party!

  47. Brenda King
    | Reply

    Sweet Mary- Do what feels right to your heart re: Kitty puppet. If you choose to keep her and enjoy her awhile longer, that’s fine. If later on you no longer feel the connection, or need to keep her, pass her on to a new loving family. She sounds like a sweet balm for your heart! YOU decide! : ) Brenda King, Bend, Or.

  48. […] is fun. Yes, she’s vulnerable and open. We know that. I talk about sad stuff and bad stuff and gross stuff. But she bounces back. She’s a total dork, a complete spaz. She […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *