My Son is a Stuffed Cat And I Don’t Care Anymore
Yes, you read that right, I have a son, and he’s a stuffed cat.
Not like a once-living cat that has died and been preserved with chemicals and stuffing. Like a stuffed animal cat. Some might call him a “Beanie Baby,” and if you looked through photos of Beanie Babies online, you might recognize him as a Pounce.
However, even if my son’s species is Pounce, his name is Mochi Socks Skylar Kitagawa, and I guarantee you that he looks different from online photos of other Pounces. After all, what father wouldn’t recognize his own son in a room full of random kids?
Now before you start making assumptions about the state of my mental health, I’m well aware that the stuffed animal I recognize as my son is totally an inanimate object.
Regardless, I’m taking a stand for people who willingly choose not to have human children or fur babies aka pets. Don’t get me wrong, kids and pets are great. All my friends have human children, and they’re adorable. Most of my other coupled friends who don’t have kids have pets. I love dogs and I had one growing up. But the thing about living creatures that rely on you for their healthy, safety, and mental well-being, is that they rely on you for their health, safety, and mental well-being.
Call us selfish, but my partner and I don’t want to have kids that are going to ruin our sleep, distract us from doing the creative work we want to do, or siphon resources that we could use to further our own passion projects. We don’t want pets interrupting our flexible schedules with their needs of being let out or walked or fed or bathed.
Call us irresponsible, but I feel like taking care of living creatures when you’d rather be making art, building businesses, and traveling (you know, after we get a handle on COVID) is pretty irresponsible to me. If I did have human children, I’d want to make sure to do it right, and provide the love, time, and attention that I believe children deserve. I’d want to make sure that my pets get enough attention and care, are walked enough, snuggled enough, and are properly taken care of.
But the key word there is “properly,” and doing that properly takes time, money, and energy. Sure, it’s amazing to have a living creature to take care of, but honestly I can’t think of really any downsides to having a stuffed animal as a child. It’s all the benefits without any of the costs.
Frankly, having a stuffed animal as a son is pretty amazing. Mochi gets on a magical cat bus to go to spinning school every weekday, where he learns to dance and spin in the air. Somehow he lets himself in and out of the house without a key. I don’t question it as long as he’s learning, having fun, and gets home safely every day, and I also can focus on my work and hobbies during the day without interruption.
Other perks of having a stuffed animal son is that he’s always the same age. He’s perpetually (and I guess, arbitrarily) 7 years old. He does have a birthday, but for some reason it sort of resets his age every year, meaning that we’re never going to have to save for college. If he ever goes to Spinning University, I’m pretty positive he’ll end up getting a full-ride scholarship based on his work ethic and love of the craft.
Also, Mochi sleeps most of the day when he’s not at class, so I usually only get to interact with him at night, when we tuck him into bed at night. He sleeps in a beanie that we now refer to as “Mochi’s hat” next to my pillow.
All in all, I think stuffed animals are the best choice of children for us. Mochi lets us sleep in and do what we want, doesn’t die if we forget to feed him (he doesn’t like food at it would stain his fur), doesn’t make a mess or any noise, and is also there to console us when we’ve had a challenging day, and will snuggle with us when we have a Family Movie Night.
While Mochi has been incredibly understanding that his human parents can’t go to movie theaters, pre-COVID we would occasionally take him to what he calls “Big people movies” in the theaters, where he’d sit on my shoulder so he could get a clear view of the screen. His favorite superhero is Spider-Man, mainly due to the amount of aerial acrobatics (aka spinning) that he does.
All in all, Mochi hangs out with us when we need him to, and he sleeps most of the other time. He’s pretty low-maintenance and even travels with us. He doesn’t join us when there’s a chance of rain (he doesn’t like the water), and the only big scare we’ve had was when he was staying in our hotel room in Thailand and when we returned guest services had moved him to the desk. I momentarily had thought someone had stolen Mochi, and he was equally shaken up by a stranger moving him, but in the end he was okay and we all had a good laugh about it.
Besides the fear of him being stolen (or perhaps mistaken for a chew toy by a dog), he lives a pretty simple life, and we get to wholeheartedly pursue our careers without the resources allocation of having another living creature to care for.
So I’m coming out and (of course, with his consent) sharing our son with the world as any other proud parent would want to. So please enjoy changing your children’s diapers, picking up your pets’ feces, and spending money and time making sure they don’t die. After all, I think your kids and animals are awesome, but that’s just not the route we’ve decided to take.
We’ll happily stay up late working on a new painting, play some video games, and talk late into the night, completely guilt-free. And then, when it’s time for sleep, I’ll comb Mochi’s four little whiskers and tuck him into bed, content with the world.