I am Pudgy.
Or so they think. Just because the fellow I hung around with was skinny, does not mean I am pudgy. And mind you, I came pregnant. So it was just the tummy. And of course I was hungry. So I ate more. So..so they have right to body shame me? That’s why I don’t respond to them when they call me by that name. I respond to those silly sounds they make. And between us, they look very silly as well, making those schunp schunp schunp sound , twisting their lips. 🙂 🙂
So my friend, the white and black Kittu brought me here. I was in some other campus. But he was very fond of me. He said, come, there is food, two friendly humans, and quiet area, good places to nap. So I started following him. The two friendly humans, let’s call them D & A, live in the house next to the staircase, They were feeding Kittu. They got food for him once in the morning and once in the evening, one bowl of curd and one bowl with few spoons of rice, small pieces of roti, some fish smelling bits of brown. He didn’t eat any of that but they will try to feed him with a spoon. And when I was willing to eat anything, they would stop me till he finished. Just because he was skinny.
Then they started bringing two bowls of everything. Still I could not help feeling discr iminated. I always wanted to first see what he got. What if they were giving him something tastier? Then D would lift me from the bench and put me down. I will again try to get back as it made me even more curious and more determined. Kittu did not mind. He was just looking here and there always. Very fickle. No concentration.
Overall, it was all right. We managed to catch a mouse every now and then. A & D had a yard with plants, few lizards, and insects, which was ok to sniff and catch for a snack. The boundary of this yard had few good sleeping spots. In the evening, we hung around on the road, as there were another set of humans (M & S) who gave us food. They had cat smell on them so maybe there is one in their house. The small in size humans also said hello to us. Some of them are very fond of us and some are scared. There are many cars parked on that road and Kittu was making a habit of chewing the cover of one, making smaller tear into big holes. I told him he should not do that. But he was very stubborn and playful. He would also go here and there without informing. He will come late for breakfast. I always told him to be on time.
But one day he did not turn up for breakfast, again. D kept his food on top of the windowpane, away from me. But when he did not come for quite some time, they gave it to me. I ate and waited. I roamed around looking for him in our common places. I rolled on the sand to get attention from the humans, to ask if they have seen him. By evening, I saw D & A looking heartbroken. They were listening to a human sitting on top of two wheels that move. He was saying something to them about Kittu Master. I gathered he was not coming back. I was very sad 😦
The babies were growing bigger inside me. I moved slowly, slept most of the time. For two mornings D &A were not at home. They left my food with Rana . But I went near their door nonetheless. Then they came back. For many days after that only A stepped out. Then D also started walking again but with a stick. Sometimes when he brought the stick too close to me, I bit it. Those things make me nervous.
I figured one car was not moving at all, just parked there on the basement. And right on top of it was a ledge. Perfect for hiding! I gave birth there one rainy night. A kept looking for me. I could not eat much though I came out and circled around her legs so that she does not worry.
That big fat ugly tom was beginning to get an inkling of my babies. So I moved them to another ledge when everyone was sleeping in the night. It was good place again. But one night when it rained, there was water everywhere. I had to bring them out. They were exactly a month old.
Just as I was bringing the first, D saw me. I placed him on the first landing. But both D & A went berserk bringing out brown boxes of different sizes. D picked up my baby and put him in the box. I followed him. He placed the box in a dark corner in their house. I went inside the box and it was a fine box with a soft cloth. But I did not want to stay there. I went down and took the other two one by one to the same corner on the first landing of the staircase. Stacked them there and parked myself next to them.
D then brought out the box and Rana lifted all of us into the box. It was all right. Babies got comfortable and started drinking milk. Some humans took our picture. But some humans looked angry, their eyebrows knotted. Our box was moved to the car park. D gave me lunch and as I was eating, they put the box back on the ledge where I was earlier. It was a dry ledge but I did not like the basement anymore. Babies were bigger, crawling and they might fall. There also was the tomcat. And all these big cars with big wheels. I picked them up again in my mouth and brought them back to the corner and stacked them there. Again some other humans took the box back to basement. But in the night when everyone was sleeping, I moved them back again. I was exhausted climbing up and down so many times.
Oh the next day was so awful! It was going fine. I got breakfast. But again they took the box and kept it next to D&A’s car. The stupid babies crawled out and climbed into the engine space of the car and did not know their way out. It took three drivers to bring them out. I watched horrified but they kept climbing back. For some time I also went and sat on top of the tyre.
Then, I saw two new humans come close so I ran and hid under another car. One of them picked two of my babies and kissed them and put them in a box. I was scared. The third child had crawled deep inside the red car. Again there drivers took him out with lot of difficulty. Just as he was out, a smaller size human came. A gave him another box and he took the third inside. A was saying next week but everyone told her let him go.
I could not understand what was happening. I was petrified and incoherent. This another human who usually pets me was talking to A. she soothed my whiskers and patted my head. So I followed her. I did not know where she was going, but I did not know what to do either. I followed her and sat down. Then I heard the sound of a door being shut.
O hell! I was locked in.
I tried to find a way out but there were none. Guess nobody could hear me. I could hear the schunp schunp schunp of D & A but my cry was not getting heard. I heard A’s footsteps.. schunp schunp schunp then D’s footsteps schunp schunp schunp. They were looking for me where I am usually, but I was not in my usual places. I was locked in a strange room with strange things around me.
So from 12 o clock in the afternoon and the whole of the night nobody heard me. No one even came close to my side. I did not know what to do. I could not even cry loudly anymore.
And suddenly D appeared! I don’t know how but he was there. He brought his hand next to the mesh on the window and I felt relieved. But he still could not open the door and let me out. A came. More humans came. Two small size humans came. But nobody was opening the door.
I kept hearing A, footsteps, humans talking. I thought something is going to happen. I sat quietly mewing softly.
Voila, the door opened! D called me and I slowly emerged and stepped out. A had my food ready in that corner. I ate a bit and ran up the stairs looking for my babies.
Then, all hell broke loose. One human was shouting at A. I heard words like germs, infection, no pet policy, do not feed, not inside campus…were they talking about me? Cats and germs? Isn’t there something called Corona everywhere?
I had messed inside the room. I had pooped. A went and got broom, and some other things to clean the room. But this other human continued to shout. Then I heard A shouting back also. And I could not contain myself and kept running up and down the stairs which seemed to infuriate the human shouting at A. All in all, there was lot of shouting.
Later D&A let me inside the house. D gave me a nice back-rub. He kept saying poor girl, traumatised and some such words. I was feeling a little better.
It has been a week. I now come to D&A’s garden to eat. Sometimes they let me take a tour of their house. When they do, I like to stand near the window and peek at the outside world. How does it look for the people inside, with a safe roof over their heads and continuous supply of food.
I sniff at their bookshelf…it has the smell of James Herriot, Gerald Durrell, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, and my favourite, The Dalai Lama’s Cat.
Most of the time am sleeping. The tom is stalking me again and there is another new cat. Even Grouchy, the multicoloured she cat is trying to corner me.
I hear D&A discussing the V word and the S word. I won’t go. But then yesterday D combed my body and tail and it felt so good that I may end up going where they take me.
We cats are like that.