The Blind Faith of Lola

ImageA few years ago, my daughter brought home a little black and white kitten whom she soon named Lola.  When we stood in the kitchen, Jessica holding Lola in her arms, I noticed that Lola’s pupils were dilated even though it was a brightly lit room.  I questioned whether her eyes functioned correctly.

Sure enough, Lola is blind.  Oh, we can’t tell how blind she is, but she is certainly visually impaired.  She runs into walls.  She pounces on our other, older, wiser cat, Harry, but misses him by several inches.  She pounces on items on the floor — but overshoots them nearly every time.  Jannetta says Lola sees the shadows and traces the movement with her eyes.  I am convinced she can barely see anything.

Lola’s blindness doesn’t make her any less daring, though.  She wants to be like a normally visioned cat.  She will make her way to the top of my desk, or to the window-sill, or to stretch out on the bed.  She slowly, courageously inches her way to the top of my desk, for example, first by getting to the seat of my chair, and then to the top of my desk — using her front feet just as a blind person may use a white cane to judge distance.  She’ll explore the desktop just as Harry does.  She’ll sit in the window-sill enjoying the warmth of the sun.

But then she needs to jump down.  She makes her way around the books, over the papers, across the top of my desk.  And she gets to the edge.  She paws at the air with her white front foot. Then she switches feet — feeling in the air for something of substance.  But it is just air.  She stares out.  Whatever visual impairment she suffers, it includes depth perception.  She knows the firm hardwood floor is there, distant  … but how far of a drop?

Finally, she jumps.  It is some sort of a blend between a tentative jump and one of confidence.  She doesn’t jump down — she jumps out.  Her legs are spread just a little wider. Unless my eyes deceive me, her legs are bent a little at the joints to absorb the impact when she lands.  And her landings, it appears, are an unpredictability to her.  She knows she will land firmly on the firm floor;  it is just a matter of how long will she be in flight.

And she does land.  She steadies herself after the abrupt landing.  She strides away, confident, into the blend of shadow and light.

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One Response to “The Blind Faith of Lola”

  1. kj_hartman@comcast.net Says:

    Love it!
    Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

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