She owned a beautiful russet striped cat, female who had unaccountably become pregnant in a high-rise city apartment dwelling (a hallway romance?). Marilyn got wildly involved in the pregnancy, reading up on the subject, watching over the cat, feeding her extra delicacies, etc. She would interrupt a business session or evening on the town to call her maid and check on kitty. She counted the days, studied every sign, became nervous as the event approached. She had a box prepared with a soft blanket. There was never a more spoiled prenatal cat in feline history. She’d phone in daily bulletins: Cat looked fine, cat seemed to be breathing hard, cat didn’t eat much, cat looked listless or looked crazy. And all the while wondering how dear cat got pregnant, it wasn’t fair, animals were so helpless sexually, and what did I think? I thought if those kittens didn’t arrive soon, I would get an unlisted phone. And then, D-day, Delivery, well past midnight (even with cats, it seems), the phone ringing, and her breathless voice, “They’re coming, the kittens! Hurry, take a cab!” Let it be known that I played this scene with masculine calm. “Name one after me,” I said, and hung up quietly, then went to back sleep.
- Norman Rosten, poet & friend
She got to practice being a mother when her cat was pregnant. The way Marilyn empathized with that cat, she was having the kittens. She made a special bed for her, played music for her.
The night Mitsou went into labor, MM called Norman Rosten at two in the morning to help. He sent love but went back to sleep. Marilyn was alone in the city apartment, calling the vet, who wouldn’t come. Finally she reached Delos, who rushed over on an errand of mercy. Marilyn was on her hands and knees, cleaning the white carpet in between kittens. It was a mess. There was blood everywhere, and Hugo, the beagle Arthur had given her, sat up on a chair and howled. The cat delivered every twenty minutes, and she was going crazy and calling the vet, “Help, this is Marilyn.”
The next day when he finally showed up and saw her, he said, “My God, if I’d known you were Marilyn Monroe, I’d have come right over.”
She was resigned. “I told them, they wouldn’t believe me.”
- Susan Strasberg, actress & friend