No, this has nothing to do with the Janis Ian song from the 1970s, although I suppose it could, since I really don’t know the complete history of Lolita, in the same manner that I don’t know her exact date of birth either. The shelter merely estimated it, so my daughter and I declared January 6 as her birthday, as she is a gift to us in every sense of the word, and every day, week and month that she is still with us we treasure more than gold, frankincense or myrrh.
When I adopted Lolita in 2018 from the Berlin animal shelter it was considered a palliative adoption, and was warned that her her life expectancy was basically a matter of months. Well, this coming April will be four years since she came home with me, and although her feline dementia has worsened over time, she is still a venerable grand dame! She may not display the temper of an alpha, but this rescue cat definitely grew into the role, and has no qualms about bullying Cherry in the gentlest of ways.
It may have taken Lolita almost four years to find her voice, but she has staked her claim over the sofa, my bed, and everyone’s feeding bowls. Active play time or adventure is not an option with her, but sharing a blanket is, as well as listening to music. As time passes, however, her attention span has diminished, so the days of listening to 30 minutes of Andrea Bocelli or Josh Groban for her mental gymnastics are long gone. She will fall asleep in less than ten minutes, and sometimes even under five. On days when her lucidity is completely out the window she will not finish her meal and fall asleep next to the bowl if I don’t catch her in time. For the past two New Year’s Eves, Lolita was the one I held in my arms as we watched the fireworks from the balcony, and despite her impaired vision and hearing, she watched with fascination – all five minutes!
Unlike Cherry who has developed and entire range of tones to express her unsolicited opinions, Lolita has two volumes – silent meow or full volume, nothing in-between. We are usually regaled with her silent treatment, and it is a rare occasion to hear her voice, which is usually a violent objection to something. Nevertheless, this little angelic cloud on four paws can sense human emotion in an uncanny way that I have yet to figure out. She is the first one by my side if I’m under the weather, and will remain by my side with a fierce loyalty that is heartwarming. Sometimes I wonder if my mother’s spirit is channelled through Lolita, especially when she falls asleepin front of the TV.
As I’ve said in previous blog entries, Lolita is living proof that love transforms. Giving her a safe and loving home brought her out of a well guarded shell, in spite of the then resident diva welcoming her with head whacks. I don’t dare speculate how much longer she will grace my life with her affection and presence, but considering that she is already 17 and given her previous circumstances, it is a miracle that she made it this far. In fact, the Shelter called the other day to ask if I could take in another senior palliative case (a 16-year old tomcat with a kidney issue), and when I explained why I couldn’t they were positively shocked to hear that Lolita was still alive!