Alicia Preston

I am an only child - spoiled, cherished, and loved. But I was very lonely as a child.

In 1976 when I turned 6, I had a beautiful and large present under the Christmas tree. The lights from the tree sparkled in my eyes as I unwrapped this present. ALAS!!! It was a baby doll for me!! But not ANY baby, this was a Madame Alexander Pussy cat baby!

I was thrilled! She had blonde hair, brown eyes, a pink and white checked bonnet, dress, and bloomers. She also included white knit booties with rosettes on them - awww.

My mom had her on lay away for MONTHS. My dad made her the cutest rocking bassinet.

I have no siblings and not many friends as my dad had to travel quite a bit, but I had Pussy Cat and she had me, never sleeping in that new bassinet. She had the sweetest ANGEL face, pink rosy blush to her checks, long eye lashes, and a sweet puckered mouth. She also cried when I tipped her. Cat had curled up fingers and toes and the cutest dimpled plump arms and legs. She was HUGE - 24 inches - so she could wear baby clothes and diapers, which she did.

Pussy and I had "tea" everyday in porcelain cups and saucers, many days we made mud pies in the sweltering Texas sun, we went for walks, rain, snow or shine. I never faltered in my love for her.

She, being my friend and confidant, knew all my secrets - bad school days, crushes on boys, sharing "boo boos," (she had many a band-aid). I slept with her and she joined me at the dinner table, when I was sick, I could always count on her to hold my hand.

When I turned 16 I went to live with my dad. I wanted to finish school in a new and exciting place. I figured Florida would be it!! The hot sun and exotic beaches with shimmery orange and pink sunsets.

My mother sent me all my stuff in brown wrapped packages. There were my clothes, jewelry, knick knacks, years of my life. But to my HORRIBLE dismay, Pussy did not come. I called my mother who assured me, "yes dear, I sent her."

I was so busy with school, I got wrapped up for a while, but I waited and waited like a devote puppy in the window whom awaits his young master. Pussy Cat NEVER came - she was lost in the mail.

My heart broke. My friend, my 10-year buddy, who accompanied me to slumber parties, who knew about the cutest boy in school, who went to "show and tells" and got weird looks, did these other girls not see her love??. Yes, my best friend LOST forever. And me in a HUGE town with people so unlike southern Texans with their warm arms.

But I will ALWAYS hold in my heart, a dear sweet memory of a "little baby girl" that made my life easier, my days brighter ... she was my "sister" and a dear sweet kindred spirit that lives in my heart, memory, and soul.

So mommies, if you are thinking of giving your precious little girls a baby doll ... do it and NEVER look back, she will cherish her FOREVER!