Five minutes of lucidity with Lolita are a precious gift. She lives in a blurry world, literally and figuratively, due to her terrible eyesight, atrocious hearing, and feline dementia (FDS).
As I’ve shared before, we have good days and bad days, and in our journey together in search of triggers of lucidity we stumbled on opera, so the sounds of classic opera or popera will be heard throughout the day for her sake. Lately I decided to experiment with different types of music to see what else she might accept (am getting tired of opera… ) and much to my delight, and hers, she likes Frank Sinatra! I also have an eternally long cat music playlist for her and Cherry alike, but that just puts them to sleep (and me). Rockabilly they both hate, and will give me the cold and frumpy butt treatment. Big band jazz is tolerable, but interestingly enough, saxophone and acoustic guitar are positive triggers for Lolita. We keep experimenting and I simply enjoy the little windows of lucid interaction she grants me like today.
For an old cat with dementia, she has her timings pretty much nailed. She gets into position right on time for all meals, even snack time. I suppose it is instinctive. But like all animals with dementia, if you digress from the schedule (or move furniture around) she is thrown off. So earlier today she sat regally in the middle of the living room giving me the Darth Vader stare, expecting me to understand immediately what she wants. I am a pretty good communicator and cat whisperer but there are times when I have no clue what Lolita wants, and simply have to wing it.
As it turned out, she was waiting for snack time, and was royally offended when I pulled out the camera instead of her treats! She was lucid, knew exactly what she wanted, but was thrown off by breakfast timing this morning (her brain doesn’t compute weekends and daylight savings time).
Five minutes was all I got to shoot these fluffy images, which are far better than the Christmas portraits we attempted last week. She was perfectly still, reacted to prompts and as if she understood, brought out the charm. Like all Persian cats, she looks as if she slammed against the wall, got her face smashed flat, and keeps looking around to find the culprit. Lolita’s blank stare is often mistaken for sadness or grumpiness but nothing could be further from the truth. She is the gentlest, kindest and affectionate feline ever albeit a bit wobbly and easily disoriented.
She turns 16 this month, and I celebrate every moment I have with her. How I wish I could have raised her since the beginning, but I suppose it was destiny that she came into my life almost three years ago when the shelter called me for a palliative adoption. As an editor she is completely useless, has no valuable contributions or opinions to plots and character developments, but the serenity she exudes makes her the perfect writing companion even through writer’s block.