Our Other Old Lady

Regular readers know that more than one elderly female resides with me. The lovely Lorelei Lee, our (mostly) Siamese cat, turned 20 a few days ago.

I’m suspicious of attempts to compare animal and human life spans so I won’t tell you how old Lorelei is in feline years. But 20 is a significant age for her species.

She spent her birthday much as she spends many other days, although she was given extra special treats during the day—a morsel of pound cake here, a teaspoon of ice cream there.

Here was her basic schedule (which will be familiar to cat people).


Lounge in bed until forced out by cruel human who wants to wash the sheets.

Eat a few kibbles.

Use litter box, being careful to kick extra litter as far out of the box as possible.

Loiter in kitchen with large eyes until a shmear of cream cheese is deposited in a saucer on the floor.

Nap by self.


Hover at table during lunch begging for soup. Lap up soup.


Nap with Taffy.

Wake up and glare at vacuum cleaner.

Nap with Truffle (dogs make soft and warm napping companions).

Start yelling for dinner 1-1/2 hours before dinner time.

FINALLY eat dinner (baby food at this point in her life).

Use litter box, again kicking litter onto floor since previous litter has been cleaned up.

Nap by self.


Watch humans while they eat their dinner in the hope that a small amount of food will be deposited on the floor.

Negotiate with the dog when said food is deposited on the floor.

Stand by water dish emoting until fresh water with crushed ice replaces the old water.

Nap with Truffle.

Eat a few more kibbles.

Get into bed. Groom Truffle and Tinky. Sleep.

Lessons Learned

As I said, this is a pretty typical day in Lorelei’s life, although of course we don’t change the sheets and vacuum every day.

Just as I learn from my mother, I learn from Lorelei Lee. She has many traits a person could do well to emulate.

Here are a few of them.

First, the girl has admirable focus. I tend to get distracted. Once Lorelei Lee has decided it’s time to do something she exerts all her energy to make it happen. I’m trying to cultivate that attitude.

She’s also good at just letting go and relaxing, hence all the naps. I don’t need to take several naps a day, but I would probably benefit from one or two, especially when Taffy hasn’t been sleeping particularly well at night.

Lorelei is content with life’s little pleasures—food, companionship, comfortable surroundings. Yet she knows when to stick up for herself when she thinks something (like the vacuum cleaner) is out of place. She strikes a good balance, one I’m still seeking.

And of course she is beautiful and impeccably groomed.

I’m sure I’ll get there SOMEDAY. In the meanwhile, our elderly cat is a source of joy, amusement, and inspiration.

Lorelei and Truffle both value companionship--and upholstery.

Published in: on 17 May 2011 at 5:00 am  Comments (20)  
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20 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Nice, Tinky. Thanks. What a life!

    • So true. Jack. I think a lot of us would thrive if we had her level of rest and service.

  2. In the minds of dachshunds Lucca and Marco, Lorelei Lee looms large – the feline version, in their world, of Godzilla, Cat Woman and Cruella de Ville, all wrapped up in one deceptively gorgeous package. Poor Brooks, our first dachshund, will always be remembered for his panicked scream of terror upon spying Lorelei from across the room. Marco, bumbling and obtuse at times, still harbors the hope that someday – someday – Lorelei will be his BFFF [best feline friend forever]. So it was refreshing and appropriate to read of a more docile and contemplative Lorelei; one whose daily practices are filled with common sense, healthy practices, and a thoroughly correct and dim view of vacuum cleaners. I myself abhor vacuum cleaners.

    May Lorelei demonstrate that her personal agenda and august manner of propelling herself through the day reward her with many more birthdays to come. That she benefits from the love and affection of the Weisblat family is clear. Happy Birthday Lorelei Lee!

    • I have passed along your wishes to her majesty. And please tell the boys not to worry; I don’t think she’s planning on making a coat of dachshund fur anytime soon. Of course, she doesn’t tell me everything…..

  3. I love this posting about Lorelei and her life. Our cat, Boss Kitty, also loves her naps and soft places. She also loves string, and her shaggy mouse toys Greenie, Purple, and Buddy. She talks to them and lifts them up with her claws so it looks like they jump up in the air. Then she crunches into them and even arranges them in a line sometimes. She lives for sneaking in places like the bathroom and the guest room. She is such a good cat, and so much fun too. What a fun posting.

    • It was lovely to hear about Boss Kitty. One pleasure LL has given up is playing with her toys…….

  4. As an animal lover, I know they joy they can bring to our lives. And, yes, the life lessons we can learn from them, too.

    • DEFINITELY the lessons, Margie. In case anyone cares, here’s a post I wrote about altruism and Lorelei Lee a couple of years ago (completely with recipe): http://www.ourgrandmotherskitchens.com/?p=3117.

  5. Oh, you certainly do know cats! I was LOL reading your post because my seven felines do much of the same stuff. Sometimes I could brain them, but they’re “family” so they’re staying, despite misbehaviors and time-outs. But — once they start “going over the Rainbow Bridge,” I am not replacing them. My eldest is 17; the next is 15, and so forth. I think Lorelei is 96 in human years. Give her a pat for me. Happy Birthday, dear cat!

    • Their being family is another one of those lessons, Nancy, although you certainly do sound as though you have your hands full!

  6. Yeah — we don’t give up on old relatives or cats, just because they are a lot of work!

  7. Kudos to LL for living the good (cat) life! It sounds like her and my cat Pinky (23, yikes) do most of the same kinds of things-only Pinky gets my thin n’ trim turkey breast for supper-hmm, maybe that’s why she is still agoin’ at 23! Keep on keepin’ on everyone!

    • Mmm … Lorelei Lee LOVES turkey. Congratulations to Pinky on such a good long life with a good caretaker.

  8. Lorelei’s a lovely old girl! My young boy, Bubbles, is currently at the nap by self portion of his kitty morning.

    • He and LL must be synchronized!

  9. Twenty is a stellar age! My oldest cat lived to be approximately 17 or 18 years. We never did know her age, she just showed up a the back door one day and stayed for the next 16 years. She actually may have been closer to 20. It was hard to tell because she always looked beautiful and carried herself with great poise. I opened the door to the sunroom one evening and into our lives she walked. I had never met such a friendly soul. I often wondered how a soul like that ever left home. She was certainly well fed, she was spayed. Obviously not a ferral cat. I figured her family might have moved and left her behind. I couldn’t understand that either. Well, I’ll make a toast to all those dear souls who enter our lives and want little more than to be scratched under the chin.

    • She sounds like a love. As you say, it’s hard to imagine someone abandoned her. Maybe they just lost here–but she certainly landed on her feet with you.

  10. Lovely to catch up with all your news, and to read that you are all as well as can be expected – given the great age of your Mum and Lorelei, and all the hard work you have caring for them!!

    • Thanks, Frayed! One of these days I’ll catch up with YOUR blog!

  11. I have had three cats over the years who just wandered into my life. Were they lost? Kicked out? Left behind? They were all obviously somebody’s cats at one time. Not feral; never went into heat, so spayed; seemed well-nourished. Lovely, warm, loving animals. And so grateful! How do you just kick a creature like that to the curb? I will never understand. Just happy they came to me and lived out their lives (or are living out their lives, as in the case of my Steffi) with me, in ease and safety.

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