Note: no fluffy pov. Just wanted to get something down as this idea has been rattling around a while.
A while back there was a large scale experiment, using several hundred “foal in a can”, housed in several dozen testing sites.
The cans were all specially modified - food and air would be pumped into the foals directly via tubing. Likewise waste would be removed via inserted tubes. No need for containers of either to be changed, just a single mass system. The food was nutritious, but also mixed with chemicals to slow growth.
These foals were never to mature.
The cans were also housed on a slowly rotating motor, geared so they would complete a full rotation in about 2 days. Just enough to prevent the foals from suffering the effects of being utterly imobile.
A small foam ‘bed’ with each foal was the closest to comfort afforded to them.
A number of the foals were subjected to slightly different conditions. One in particular had there can filled with a harse gas, just enough to keep it from every opening it’s eyes. It was also in a largely sound proof chamber. It might hear the dull noise of the motor moving it’s can, but would not hear any of it’s fellows.
The experiment had long run it’s course, whatever that might have been.
Most of the foals did not survive the testing, as one would expect.
Those that did were largly disposed of as medical waste as the sites shut down.
One site was left fallow, likely to save some costs on the clean up.
Our one particular foal was at this site, as ‘luck’ would have it. It had never opened it’s eyes. It had never heard another living creature. It had never tasted, never smelled.
It hugged it’s bedding. Fluffies were ment to hug, and this was a hug. This was love.
It knew nothing else.
At some point it had yearnings. For ‘milk’. For ‘mother’. For ‘play’.
Deprevation had erased these concepts.
It was not hungry.
It was not cold.
It had ‘hugs’.
It had ‘love’.
It had nothing else.
It knew of nothing else.
It needed nothing else.
The feeding system kept it’s belly full. The paste meant to supply a hundred others was now only feeding one. It needed little, so the meger supply lasted long after everything else.
It didn’t notice when the motors stopped turning it. How could it?
At some point the air pumps stopped, but the lines held enough to sustain one runt for a long time to come.
It had a full belly. It had hugs. That was enough.
Years passed by.
Against all logic and odds this one particular fluffy ‘lived’ still.
Until one day, after the location had been sold and sold again.
A bulldozer came to clear the building, assumed empty.
This fluffy that had never hear, could now hear a monster as it’s world shattered - quit litterally.
It had never known fear, but as the foam ‘bed’ slipped away, it learned. It knew fear, it knew loneliness at last.
It was a fleeting terror.
A small mercy before the end.
In another year a new shopping center would be built.