The truth

Cat was over the moon. He’d been living in Brighton for a few weeks now and was loving it. The sea, the culture, the people. Perfect. And to top it off, his stuffed pals, Puff and Blanky Bunny, were on their way to visit!

When the lads arrived, the real fun began. They ran around on the beach, scoffed fish and chips and gossiped about their owners – things like how cool and arty Cat’s owner was, how sexy the boyfriend of Puff’s owner was and the debilitating gas problem Blanky Bunny’s owner was suffering from – until eventually ending up in Teddy’s bar.

Cat clinked his White Russian against Puff’s Cosmopolitan and Blanky Bunny’s Carrot and Cilantro Cooler, as the trio toasted their long awaited reunion.

“Hang about,” nodded Blank Bunny. “I’d knock the stuffing out of them.”

Cat and Puff turned round to see three cuddly looking female toys staring back at them.

“Let’s join them!” said Cat.

Puff laughed, finally getting the stuffing joke.

As the boys sat down, they marvelled over the ladies’ beauty. They were in awe of Kathleen Kitty’s slinky whiskers, Ms Hippo Heart’s strong, robust legs and Princess Piggleworth’s petit snout.

“Hello,” said Blank Bunny in his sexiest voice. “Whatever factory put you together, must be earning a fortune.”

Cat winked, smoothly, while Puff picked his nose.

The ladies giggled. “Let me stop you there sweetheart,” said Ms Hippo Heart to Blanky Bunny. “We’ll happily have a drink with you guys, but that’s all that’s going to happen.”

Blanky Bunny sulked.

“OK,” said Puff, playing with his droopy ears.

Cat tutted, licked his paw and rubbed it over his head. “Why not?” he asked.

“Well…” said Kathleen Kitty, looking them up and down. “Do we really have to say it out loud?”

Cat, Puff and Blanky Bunny were taken aback. “You saying we don’t look good?” growled Blanky Bunny.

“Hmm…” said Princess Pigglesworth.

“Come on, out with it!” snapped Cat.

“Oh for Christ’s sake,” exclaimed Kathleen Kitty. “Look at you all! We’ve got a cat here, unimaginatively named Cat, that has barely any padding left inside of him and a giant hole through his throat. Your over-sized head’s being held on by about one centimetre of material and your fur is so short, coarse and rough you look like a shaven prematurely-born chimp. And you, Puff is it? I don’t even know what a Puff is! You have bright pink skin, yet wear a bright pink shirt, and incidentally no trousers. You have two big holes by your oddly long ears, thread coming out of your mouth and all of your padding has sunken down to your bottom. Frankly, you look like a human scrotum. And my word, don’t even get me started on Blank Bunny. You’re just a filthy, grubby sheet with a rabbit head sewn on the end and absolutely stink of farts. You guys clearly aren’t looked after by your owners.”

Puff’s bottom lip began to quiver as Blanky Bunny sniffed himself.

“How dare you say that,” said Cat, his eyes filling with tears. “Our owners love us. They took us to university for goodness sake!”

“Do they love you?” asked Ms Hippo Heart. “Do they *really*?”

“If they didn’t love us,” whimpered Cat, “why have they kept us for over 20 years?”

“Prolonged torture, darling,” said Princess Pigglesworth. “Really have a think about the way your owners have treated you over the last two decades and then tell us if they love you.”

All three of their minds began to whirl. Cat began to shake at the thought of the way Lauren shoves her fingers through his throat, drools on him in the night and leaves him trapped in her room filled with glue and scalpels. Puff shivered at the thought of when Beth throws him in the washing machine, despite being unable to swim or hold his breath, and then either pegs his ears with sharp wooden pegs to a washing line to dry or leaves him to burn on a radiator. Blanky Bunny vomitted at the thought of Tamsin’s long, deep and musty farts constantly directed towards his face, whilst imprisoned under her duvet.

“Sorry, boys,” said Kathleen Kitty as her and the girls got up and left.

Cat, Puff and Blanky Bunny stayed in Teddy’s bar all night, drinking their drinks in silence, re-evaluating their lives.

The next morning, Cat walked Puff and Blanky Bunny to the train station. Cat embraced his buddies with the tightest of squeezes, the kind a war veteran would give his comrades, and whispered: “Be careful”, before waving off their London-bound train.

Puff and Blanky Bunny barely said a word to each other as they nervously began their journeys back to Beth and Tamsin.

© Carl Burkitt 2013

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