First off, let’s clarify that I’m talking about plush animals, not taxidermy animals … just to be clear. I mean, I guess you could include taxidermy in this category, but … I’m not going to. Anyway, so stuffed animals. Because you know what, not everyone is in a position to have any type of pet. Maybe you’re allergic, maybe you don’t have the time, maybe you don’t have the money for a pet (or for the services of a limousine company), maybe you live in a place that doesn’t allow them. Whatever. If for any of these or other reasons you can’t slip into sweet slumber next to a pet, I highly recommend a stuffed animal as an excellent substitute.
Not only to sleep with, really, but just … for anything. Sure, maybe they won’t greet you at the door or return your affection in the same way a living pet might, but in the same breath, they also don’t need to fed, or housebroken, and they won’t pee in or eat anything you own. And they’ll only take up as much of the bed as you let them (mostly because they can’t move). You can take them travelling without upsetting anyone, no one you know will be allergic to them, and they’ll never die! The more I write, the better they sound.
And in terms of them providing comfort when you’re sleeping, is there anything better? Very likely, a stuffed animal is one of the first toys that you received when you were a child, and you probably slept with it every night, and likely carried it around all day. And you know what? You probably still have it. I know I still have probably pretty much all of my childhood stuffed animals, and a few of them live on my bed to this day. I am a grown adult, living with my boyfriend, and yes, we’ve got stuffed animals on the bed.
And there’s a reason for that! It’s because they’re comforting and they’re imbued with memory and meaning, and, obviously, they’re fluffy and can second as pillows if need be (like if your partner for some reason has taken one of your pillows…). And even though stuffed animals are typically associated with childhood, I don’t think you can be too old to receive one. Is there any point at which someone doesn’t want to receive a fluffy, cuddly gift from someone they love? I certainly don’t think so.
When my boyfriend came over to visit me when I lived in a different country, he brought me a stuffed bear his father had given him when he was a child. And it meant more to me that any piece of jewellery could have because it meant so much more. It was a little part of him, imbued with importance from his childhood, that I could now hold tightly when he wasn’t there. That was the best thing that he could have given me. In return, I gave him a little stuffed hedgehog called Henry. Both still live on our bed.