L o l a  M o t l e y

A Short Story

Amelia Cooke


I am  interested in Astrology, Fortune Telling, and all things of a Mystical nature.  So let me tell you a little story.

On a quiet evening, I put the Chinese fortune-telling game, Gong Hee Fot Choy by Margaret Ward, on the table and spread out the cards.  While reading them, one sequence came up as:

"There will be something given you that should bring sunshine into your life. Indicates something alive -- like a pet, a bird, a dog, etc."
Now I had been reading Gong Hee Fot Choy for many years and have always been amazed when the predictions came true . . . all within a few weeks.

The following week, on a sunny Saturday morning, while instructing my four children to put away the toys before leaving to play outside, there was a knock at the door.  When I opened it, a friend stood there with his hands held out, and I was surprised to see this cute little ball of fur all cuddled up.

"How would you like a pet? Her name is Lola," he said.

I didn't have a chance to answer when my children shouted, "YES!"

"Sounds like that's your answer," I laughed, as I held out my hands to accept his gift. Turning to the four eager faces, I said, "Say hello to Lola."

Lola was only six weeks old and didn't mind all the attention. She was a beautiful Calico kitten, all white except with one ear golden brown and just a few black and golden brown spots sprinkled on her white fur and tail. A black spot on her nose added to her looks and accented her bright green eyes.

My oldest son wanted to give her a last name, he said everyone had a last name and so he thought Motley was a good name since she was a colorful cat.

Lola Motley grew into a sleek, graceful cat, and she liked to sit by the window to watch the activity on the street outside.  It must have been on such an occasion that a stray tom cat saw her and fell in love with beautiful Lola.

This tom cat was extra fat and had a big red nose, so we called him W.C. after the old comedy actor W.C. Fields.

Every night, W.C. would sit  under the window howling in a gravelly sing-song way, keeping us awake, along with anyone else within distance of his loud howl.  Lola was the only one who seemed to like it because when she saw him outside she would meow to get out.

It wasn't long after that first meeting that Lola had her first litter of kittens. Lola insisted on having them in the closet, so I set up a box cushioned with warm soft material.

It was an exciting time for the children. They would peek in the closet and show their friends the kittens. Lola didn't seem to want all that company around the babies, so she would move them to another spot under the bed.

When they found this spot, Lola moved them under one of the beds in another bedroom. This eventually became a routine with every litter of kittens she and W.C. had produced.  As the kittens grew, the family had hours of enjoyment watching their antics and the many comical situations they seemed to get into every day.

Lola would always be near, standing guard, and when one strayed too far, she'd pick it up by the fur on it's neck and drop it down with the others.  Her protection went into high gear when a big black labrador strolled into the front yard.  The poor dog, unaware of the kittens in the enclosed area,  was taken by surprise when Lola jumped off the fence onto his back, clawing and biting.  Before I could rescue him, he shook free of his attacker and took off at a run down the street.  Lola then leaped up on the fence again to resume a watchful eye on her family.

One day a neighbor's Siamese cat had two kittens, and that cat was just not the type to be a mother. She ignored her two little kittens until the second day one died and the other one was so frail from not eating, that the neighbor couldn't bear to see anything happen to the last kitten. She brought the kitten over to see if Lola would take care of her.

It so happened that Lola had just recently moved the new litter of kittens to one of her hiding places under the bed and her box was still in the closet.

So we decided to put the little two-day-old Siamese kitten in the box to see if Lola would take care of her. The little kitten was crying so loud and Lola came running to the closet door with such a shocked look on her face as if she had completely forgotten to move one of her kittens.

She quickly picked up the kitten, took it to the place with the others. Lola didn't seem to mind, or notice that it was younger or different from the others.

Each time that Lola had her kittens we would wait for the proper age for them to leave their mother, and we would give them to someone on the block.

Lola didn't forget them after they had left, she would go up and down the block to find her kittens and visit with them each day. The surprising part was W. C. was always around too.

After a few years it came time for us to move to another part of the city. No one seemed to like the change, especially the children changing schools. But soon they began to make friends, but Lola would just sit and gaze out the window.

One day Lola went outside, and when she had been gone for quite sometime, we began looking for her without success.  We were all very sad, thinking she was lost or had been taken by some passerby.  Finally, after a few months, we gave up on our search.

On a summer afternoon a year later, I went to visit a friend in the old neighborhood.  While driving down the street, past the old walnut grove, I slowed down when I saw Lola and W. C. sitting under a big shady tree with another bunch of kittens.

"Lola!" I called. She turned her head in my direction, stood up, turned in a circle as if debating, then as W.C. nudged her, she settled back down under the tree by the kittens.

It's nice to see Lola was still alive and happy doing what she does best --- being a mother.

Knowing she would never come back to us, I turned and smiled as I looked at her before driving away.

"Goodbye, Lola Motley."