Buskitten recently posted a sweet picture of her well-loved old stuffed animals on her blog http://jumblesalerabbits.blogspot.com/2008/11/lovely-old-toys.html so i thought i should honor my teddy bear in a similar way. This is my second teddy...my original teddy is still at my parents' house!...i got this guy when i went in the hospital to have my tonsils out, which would make him 50 years old! (He really does have that 1950's kind of look to him, doesn't he? My original teddy looks considerably more antique.) His name is Freeto Cheeps and he has a windup music box inside (with the key sticking out his back) which still sort of plays Brahms' Lullaby. Over the years my father had to operate on him a couple of times to fix the music box...my parents would discreetly sneak him out of my room at night so i wouldn't have to witness him being cut open! Most recently, my ex-boyfriend operated on teddy about 20 years ago to once again get his music box to work. It skips a little bit (i think some of the teeth in the music box have broken off over the years) but still plays. I sewed teddy back up afterwards, and also repaired his ear, which had come unstitched a long time ago.
As you can see, teddy is leaning against one of my current living breathing teddy bears, Louie! My mother wouldn't let us have pets...we did have a cat or two who visited briefly, which i loved but my mother considered a disaster (one went up inside the box spring of their bed, another apparently leaped off a shelf onto the washing machine and scared the heck out of her)...i had a goldfish when i was 4 (we left him with neighbors in Virginia when we moved away; when we came back to visit about 4 years later he was still alive) and my sister and i had a couple of short-lived red eared turtles when we moved to New Jersey. I did have another favorite stuffed animal, a cat with soft white real fur (hate to think now what it was...maybe rabbit) and beautiful green glass eyes. Her name was Katrinka. She's long since gone...i think a lot of her fur got rubbed off and maybe moths got her.
As soon as i went to college, i got a cat (she "belonged" to my roommate but i did a lot to care for her and to raise her...and then had to find a home for her at the end of the school year when neither my roomie nor i was allowed to bring her home). And i've had cats ever since! I can't imagine living without them.