Tuesday, January 17, 2012
This is Lola. The stray kitten who, 10 years ago, walked out of the woods at six weeks old and adopted me despite my initial resistance to the idea. The kitten who ran up and down the walls of my apartment like something out of The Matrix until she was so out of breath her tongue was nearly blue. This is also the little furry beast who once scared off a pet sitter, refusing to allow her to even get near our bed. And the same ferocious feline who has (on multiple occasions) 'trapped' fully grown adults in various rooms and hallways of our house and had them yelling "Help! I can't get past the cat!" There was no persuading that they should just walk past and pay no attention to her hissing, growling fit - she is only ten pounds after all.
Needless to say, while she and I have always had our special love and understanding (she understands that she always has a nook to curl up in next to my belly, in the bend of my knees, on top of whatever body part she feels is most comfortable at the time; I understand that her affections may be full on in one minute, gone the next, and that from time to time she will suddenly spring up and leave long red claw marks on my leg for one reason or another - it's just what she does), Lola has not won many friends over the years. After getting over the early stages of their relationship when Lola would happily poke one sharp claw deep into the tip of Will's big toe while he was happily, innocently slumbering, they have been spotted from time to time deep in a furry cloud of kitty love session when Will is somehow able to paralyze her in the strangest of contorted positions and scratch her chin in utter purring kitty ecstasy. But then he'll be just a little late in delivering her morning wet food and she will follow him around the house echoing her strange yowling protest, pawing at his leg like it's a kitty scratching post until he fulfills her heart's desire. Or she'll waltz around on the dining room table to lick the banana peels (because they have always been her favorite), paying no mind to his flailing tirade over dirty kitty paws on our eating surface. Oh yes, and there was that time she spilled a glass of water on my beloved laptop. That certainly didn't win her any affections.
So when Ava was still in my belly and we were preparing for her arrival, we feared the worst. We placed tin foil (the one thing on earth that can cause Lola to run in sheer terror for her life) over every surface in the room, inside and under her crib in the hopes that Lola would learn to at least stay away if not have some mercy on our tiny helpless babe.
Two years later, I walked in on this...
I am still amazed by the keen sense that animals seem to have - innately knowing who they can trust, who is without fear, who is most vulnerable, who is always up for a play session, who will love them deeply, endlessly. Lola allows - no, gloriously, purringly enjoys - Ava to handle her and interact with her in a way that no other human can approach.
When asked who her best friend is, today Ava replied, "Lola." It seems both have found their soul mate.