A Short Story inspired by a few of the women I cared for.
The Cat’s Meow
By Amy Moloney
Lilly loved to dance. She would spend her days swaying to the rhythm in her mind. When she was not dancing, she would care for her neighbors. That is after she finds the cat meowing for his dinner. The old folks around her were always in need of assistance. Lilly felt it was up to her to help.
When she heard the baby crying she would spend hours holding the child in her arms. Lilly took great care to make the sure the child felt loved completely. But again the cat would meow to be let into the house. Where is that cat, she wonders.
Somehow the doors are all locked. The cat continues to meow. Oh well, Lilly thinks, after dinner the cat can come in. After the meal arrives she helps the nice young girls with the dishes until all of the tables are clean as a whistle. Then when everyone was settling down for the night Lilly helps tuck them in. She hears that cat meowing again. Maybe he needs some milk, she concludes to herself.
There he is all curled up in the corner, Lilly notices. She continues thinking about what a sweet cat he is.
“Lilly,” she hears someone calling for her. “Lilly, it is time for bed.”
Oh, so soon? Lilly thinks to herself about how she just got started on the day. She hasn’t even found the cat yet. He keeps meowing to come inside. “I’m not tired, dear. Can I make you a nice cup of tea? We can sit and play with the cat for a while.” Lilly motions for the young girl to sit beside her.
The young girl smiles at Lilly and agrees to sit with her. Lilly hears the cat scratching at the door again. “Do you hear the cat scratching to get in?” Lilly asks the girl.
“No Lilly, I don’t. Do you want me to go check for you?” She asks politely.
“Thank you, dear. I think the cat may be getting cold, being outside for so long. Oh my, I hear the baby crying again. Do you mind if I go check on her? She is probably hungry.”
The young girl walks with Lilly to her bedroom. Lilly finds herself feeling tired. But she cannot quite remember why she should be so sleepy. There is so much work to do. Feeling tired just is not an option in Lilly’s mind.
She asks the young girl with her, “Dear, what time is it? Should I feed the cat? It must be early. The sun isn’t out yet. Is my husband home from his fishing trip?” Lilly feels a little foolish for not knowing. She has been working so hard lately with the babies and has the farm to care for. Lilly rationalizes that the stress is making her a bit forgetful. There is so much on her mind; sleep will have to wait until later.
Lilly lies down on the bed that the nice girl turned down for her. Lilly decides to indulge the girl and sit there quietly for a little while. The girl promised to watch after the babies while she napped. Such a sweet young lady, Lilly thought.
Lilly closes her eyes for a moment like the young lady asked her to do. There goes that cat again. Why is that silly old cat meowing so loudly, Lilly continued to ponder. Lilly wants to get up again to check on the cat. But her eyes are so heavy. Oh, the cat will be fine outside for one night. If only the cat would quit crying, she could let herself fall asleep. It must be morning by now. The cat has been outside all night. Lilly tries to get up to check but a sweet young woman encourages her to relax in bed for a while longer.
Lilly falls asleep as the nurse turns out the lights.
The nurse smiles and walks out of the room knowing that Lilly will have the same day tomorrow as she had today, hopefully with a bit more dancing.
So is life inside the world of Alzheimer’s.
*This is a fictional story of a woman with Alzheimer’s.