Life went on. I went to work every day until the day finally came when I just couldn’t pick up that heavy tray. My boss was very understanding and told me I could have my job back if I ever needed it. She truly was a nice lady.
Walking home from the El station I decided to cut through the alley. Walking along not paying attention to where I was going, I tripped over some broken pavement and down I went. I lay there in the dirty alley for a minute wondering whether I could get up. I was about 5 months along and showing. I felt a presence and then I felt a rough little tongue licking me in the face. Then a tiny kitten jumped on my chest and was staring me in the face. He was really cute. A grey and white tiger boy. He said, “You not dead, lady?” I laughed and allowed that no I wasn’t dead, then he said, “My mom’s dead!” I almost cried.
I saw a face looking down at me, and a large man staring at me. He said that he came out to put the trash out and it looked like I needed help. he picked me up and and made sure I wasn’t hurt. Then he asked if I wanted him to chase off the mangy kitten been hanging around and must be bothering me. I said, “leave the kitten alone he belongs to me!” The man said kitten had been hanging around bugging people. I told him maybe kitten is hungry and he’s my kitten now!
I picked up the tiny kitten and saw how skinny and dirty he was. I asked him if he’d like to go home with me and live with me and my other kitties? he looked at me with huge green eyes and said, “Oh can I please and can I please have something to eat?” I told him yes, and every day for the rest of your life. I put him in my tote bag where he rode with his head and paws sticking up out of the bag.
I was only about a block from home, but by the time I got there I was sore. I sat on the bottom stair to rest for a minute. Kitten looked at me with those gorgeous eyes and said, “Are you alright, can I help you?” That caused me to laugh as the image of tiny kitten dragging me up the stairs popped into my head. While I was sitting there laughing like a crazy woman, Frank’s door opened and he came out. I told him about my fall and that I was just resting for a minute.
He took my tote bag and kitten ducked down inside and then he helped me up the stairs, asking me was the baby alright. I told him I was sure she was or I would know by now. He put the tote bag down on the couch and made me a cup of tea. I thanked him for all his help and told him I just wanted to lay down. As soon as he was out the door, I filled a bowl with food and went to get kitten out of the tote bag. He wasn’t there and I looked all over for him.
I heard giggling and found Nikki and kitten wrestling around on the floor. They were so cute rolling over and over. Finally I told them to stop and asked kitten wasn’t he hungry. That got his attention and he shot straight up into the air and ran straight to me, stopping when he got to me and tumbling end over end. This baby was just so cute. I put the food dish down and he actually dived in and ate like he was starving and I know he was.
His meal over with he sat and prepared for after meal grooming. I picked him up and sat with him on the couch. I clipped his razor sharp baby claws and checked him over for fleas. Thankfully he didn’t have any fleas, but he did have plenty of dirt. Taking him over to the sink I shampooed him and he cried and made a terrible fuss. Accusing me of trying to drown him and what a horrible mom I was. He had a royal temper tantrum. I assured him he was very scary and I was terrified. I dried him off in a big soft towel and he yawned and yawned.
I had a full bed that night! 6 cats! 2 spirit cats and 4 live cats. Felt like a happy family to me! I slept well, but was still sore the next day. I called my sister and asked her if I could use her tub to soak in. She lived in the apartment under me and she had a tub, no shower. She filled the tub with water and Epson salts for me. She even helped me in to the tub. It really felt good. I had a lot of bruises and she suggested that I see my doctor just in case.I called from her phone and they told me to come right in. My sister volunteered to take me. I went upstairs to get dressed.
Nikki and kitten were running around chasing each other and playing with Magic. I told kitten I needed a name for him. I asked him did he have any names he liked. He said, “oh boy, people names!” He said, “Can I be Tommy?” Told me he heard people in a house calling for Tommy and it sounded like they liked him. I scooped him up and kissed him on his little head, and told him, “You bet you can be Tommy, because I more than like you, I love you!” He laughed and I tickled his belly.
They all sat on the bed and watched me get ready for the doctor. Tommy jumped on me and kneaded my belly. Just then the baby kicked and knocked him off. He ran under the bed to hide. He said “Mom, your tummy kicked me!” I told him I had a baby in my belly. His eyes got huge and he said, “Does it hurt?” I had to laugh, he looked so concerned.
Finally I managed to finish getting dressed just in time for my sister knocking on the door. My sister had just bought a car. She was a bartender at night. She was dating Frank Sr’s brother, Wally. The doctor checked me over and the baby was fine. My blood pressure was up a little more. Baby was kicking the stuffing out of me. She was going to be a bruiser for sure. Doctor told me I needed to see him every week now because of my blood pressure. My sister offered to take me.
The next day I herded little Tommy into a carrier for his trip to the vet. He panicked when he was inside the carrier. He was sure the carrier was going to crunch him up. Thank God Magic got in with him and calmed him down. I called a taxi. Even for a tiny kitten, I couldn’t carry him in a carrier to the vet. The vet checked him over. Gave him his kitten shots and pronounced him healthy for a tiny skinny kitten. He was about two months old. When we got home Frank was waiting for me.
Frank asked if I needed a ride to the grocery store. I accepted and we rode in silence for the most part. He asked about the baby’s health and mine. very stilted conversation.
I bought a lot because I was out. Frank kept asking me shouldn’t I be eating more cheese, yogurt, drinking more milk. I bought a frozen pizza and he told me I couldn’t eat that or the chocolate I bought because they were bad for me. I told him I had cravings and what I ate was none of his ding dong business. He took me home and carried my bags upstairs for me. He insisted on staying and helping with anything I needed help with. His father had brought in a pretty new crib still in the box, so I suggested he put it together.
I was talking to my sister on the phone and we were discussing baby names. I really liked the name Michelle Diane, but we talked about Melissa Diane also. Frank piped up with Melissa is a good name and he could call her Missy. I told him didn’t get a vote because he didn’t want to be a father again. He told me he thought about it and dreamed about her and he was wrong. He wanted to be her father and take care of me and our baby. I told him he had to prove it.
Time passed. I went to the doctor once a week trying to keep my blood pressure down. No salt, no coffee. That one hurt. I loved coffee, but it ran my blood pressure up. I had to lay down a lot, feet up. I got huge. I mean humongous! My feet swelled and my hands swelled! Everything swelled! Little Tommy stopped sitting on my belly because he was sure I was going to explode! He grew into a gorgeous sleek cat! He was very sweet and never lost his innocence.
Frank was being very nice, He came up every evening and he rubbed my feet, my hands and cocoa butter into my belly. He liked to feel the baby kick. She kicked all the time and she kicked hard. No wonder Tommy was afraid to get too close to my belly. Frank and I played board games. I enjoyed checkers, but my favorite was Monopoly. My due date in November came and went and still she hung on. Christmas time I sent Frank to get toys and treats for the kitties. I was too afraid to walk outside on the snow and ice.
We were playing Monopoly on Christmas day, and I was winning, when I went into labor. My suitcase had been packed for a month. Everything was set up for my little baby girl. Still the pains were too far apart, so we continued our game. Frank went out periodically and warmed the car up. My sister went to work. I called the doctor. Finally on December 26th, he told me to come into the hospital. We were on the way.