Having taken care of Kittu and Pudgy, two street cats, who both came with very little time on earth, we were hesitant to get involved again. Momila fought with our Pudgy tooth and nail, terrorizing with her growls and power.
I first saw Momila when we were moving to this house. She was sleeping in the yard. Momi and Tom are the primary cats of this area. In these four and half years, there has been at least two pregnancies each year. Like a ritual, Momila (so the name, always mothering) will deliver somewhere, keep moving and then most of the kitties would disappear, or one or two show up when they are older. Momi is a disgruntled, frowny, grouchy cat who fiercely protects her territory. I ascribe all this to her life on the streets, her survival shields as a female cat.
We started feeding Momila since November 2020 because she looked pregnant again, only a fat belly, rest was all skin and bone. We had just lost Pudgy, and were grief stricken. Momi would wait for us at a designated place on the road, a fussy eater for a feral. Thanks to the pandemic, we were not travelling, and it became a mutual habit. We will sit with her, pet and cajole, coaxing her to eat.
Long ago, I had chanced upon the stall of People for Animals (PfA) in the Lalbagh Flower Show. I gave a tiny donation and took their number. Later when Pudgy came to our life, I reached out to the cat community for advice. Once she was spayed and vaccinated and preferred to be an inside outside cat, that’s when I had first spoken to Colonel Dr. Navaz at PfA. I wanted to check if Pudgy can be a farm cat, moved to a vast space with less threat from vehicles, humans, other cats and dogs. He had thoroughly explained the significance of territory and how shifting may not work at all. Since then, I have been in touch with PfA. The rescued owls stole my heart.
January 2021, Momi delivered a litter of five. Adorable, cute two orange and white, two black and white and one calico. I built a nursery with cardboard boxes and brought all of them home. While the kitties had a blast, playing, sleeping, jumping, Momi whined and cried and cried to be let out. The yard was full of scaffolding, and having lost Pudgy when she climbed up a transformer, we did not want to take any chances and left her at her hideout. Fortunately, all kitties got human slaves and happy homes waiting for them. However, on the day of adoption, Momi got an inkling and escaped with two kitties to another campus. Three of them got adopted.
In the next three weeks, once her mammary glands dried, I planned for her spay. Colonel Dr Navaz at PfA made special consideration for Momi and sent for her pick up. Momi refused and sprinted at the sight of the carrier and that was that, end of story.
Come March, Momi was pregnant again! Early May, four more kitties, all white and brown this time. They would come out cautiously when we went to feed Momi and started licking the wet food and biting the dry food. I had started taking the carrier and keeping food inside to lure them inside. Momi was still suspicious but ventured inside the carrier at times. She preferred sitting on top and dozing. In about a month, one of the kitties was not there. And suddenly, the rest three kitties went missing. Just for a happy ending, I want to believe all found homes.
Momi looked lost, lounging here and there, with her mammary glands full. Suddenly one day, she followed us, entered our house and got all nervous. Neighbours have complained earlier if cats come into the building. She kept coming back to our yard that day, where in many years of making it welcoming for birds, finally a warbler had made a nest and there were three eggs.
That day during her lunch, Momi got inside the carrier and I could lock it. I saw that I was in the position to be a conduit. This was the one chance to get her spayed. I had to take a call quickly as she was on heat and Tomcat was stalking her again.
I called Dr. Navaz. He explained it is a difficult attempt but he will try. I veered between opening the door and letting her out or getting her spayed and bring an end to the endless cycles of child birth and torture of rearing and adoption. I sat near the carrier while she settled down inside and occasionally mewed in such sad tones that I was already pained even before she went to PfA.
The team had a tough time restraining her for surgery. Post surgery, Momi refused to eat. I suggested all that I know that she loves, raw meat, raw fish, whiska. The doctor tried broth, milk, cooked meat. But she just refused to eat. Dr. was absolutely certain that she needs to be released in her territory. Her wound was clean and she was given pain killer and antibiotics. He was sure she needs to be back to her familiar surroundings to recover, else if she continues not to eat, it can be fatal.
She came back looking stressed and haggard. Scratched a known tree, climbed a boundary wall and walked around a bit. She continued to not eat anything we offered. I was worried sick, with anxiety gnawing my insides. Guilty and sad, I tried every two hours with all kinds of food. She sometimes drank a little water, came when I called, but just did not eat.
Then one day, having refused chicken, curd, milk, paneer, wet whiska, dry drool, she moved to the garden and pooped. I have never felt that happy to see poo! Immediately called Dr Navaz and he said “this means she is eating from somewhere else, and something she likes”. She will recover, he said. That evening Momi licked a little wet whiska form my husband’s finger and I had tears rolling down my eyes.
Over ten days of anxiety, praying for her recovery, of reasoning with my guilt but failing, of trading any good thing I have ever done for her life to be saved, Momi is galloping again! She is socialising, talking, and caught a snake recently, garnering some support from the otherwise unkind unconcerned urban neighbourhood.
To be honest, when you appeared with Kittu Master, wanting a share of his food, who was already so skinny, and you, well, Pudgy, I was not very pleased. But we soon brought two bowls as that’s the only way you both got to eat. We wondered whether you were abandoned as we had never seen you around. Soon your pregnant belly became obvious, and there was no going back on feeding you. Though you ate anything served, rice, roti, curd, we also bought cat food.
This went on for few months, and then Kittu crossed over. You were all by yourself, lonely and looking lost, resting most of the time. We accepted Kittu left you in our care.
Early morning, you found a spot where we could see you as soon as we sat up on our bed, through the balcony grills. Your breakfast was the first chore of the morning. When we had to be at the hospital for two nights, your food was with our security guys. On our return we were told you were often near our door, enquiring.
It was soon time for your babies and you found a ledge in the basement. I would feed you three times a day at least. You will jump down from the hiding, thud… as soon as you heard my footsteps on the staircase, come meowing and wipe everything clean. That unfortunate night when your ledge got flooded, you had to bring out the babies and stack them up on a corner of the staircase. Each time we took them to the basement, you carried them back upstairs to what you thought was safer. The babies found their homes. Remember Pudgu, that same disturbing day you walked into a storeroom in the basement and got locked in? How much we looked for you in the evening, where all we went searching. The next day, searching again, Dilip heard a feeble meow and traced it to the window. He till date sees that look of relief on your face!
With no experience of raising a cat, I checked when to get you spayed. Apparently it’s a three week window to your being on heat again and there is at least one tomcat around. I started talking to others, sharing your picture. That’s when we are told you are a rare Calico, a three colour cat. When after the surgery I was going to bring you back home, I looked up on the internet and made toys for you, a scratch pad, and so happy when you used them.
Pudgyka, when I first took you to the vet, I did not know whether you had ever been taken earlier. I had never taken an animal to a vet either. First for both of us. I was told it could be traumatic for you. You amazed me with the ease in which you went. Got inside the carrier. Sat quietly in the car. Only few meows on the way. No reaction to the syringe or the needle prick. Not even a whimper. You almost slept off on the vet’s table as I paid the bills.
Post-surgery, because you had to be on medication for an infection, you stayed home. That’s when our bonding grew. You soft collar was too big. You often tripped on it. When the wound looked healed we removed the collar. But you licked the wound with your sand paper tongue and it looked raw again. So I quickly stitched you a collar from an old applique cushion cover. You looked so cute in blue!
You would let me hold your face in both hands and wipe the corners of your eyes with my thumb. Cleaning your litter was my in-house covid test. After I watched someone’s video on cleaning the ear that was planned next. You let Dilip comb your whole body, purring away, giving the comb a bite. You liked to smell. We would offer and you would come close, phone, ipad, remote, newspaper, salad…anything, smell and turn away. Or smell deep when you liked it. You liked plants. Gave them also a pat every now and then. You had an interest in pens, picking them up from the many pen stands in the house. A literati cat, Dilip will say.
Padgushree, remember the snake in the yard? You got so excited! You wanted to go near it. I had to forcibly bring you home. That was also the day when my father was very unwell. I had to do a video consultation with the doctor. And I had to also make several calls to find a snake catcher. What a blessing that you were around!
How funny when you hounded Alexa for playing those animal noises! All others were okay but cat sounds did not please you. And the new vacuum cleaner for your hair everywhere? You hated the noise it made.
Remember Pudgy the night when you insisted on your post dinner going out despite it looking rainy. Well, you got caught in the rain and sprinted back as soon as we opened the door, screaming at us as if it was our fault! And then you let Dilip dry you nicely and went back to sleep immediately after an extra serving of wet food as a treat for your hardship!
Its rained…will she find her way back, I would worry. When we stepped out even for a little bit, you will be in our mind. Any cat screech late in the night will wake me up and I will run to check on you, though you were sleeping inside in the nights. I could only think of you forgetting your route, or the vehicles, or the tom or your fights with mother cat…never did I see the bigger danger standing right there.
You loved to bask in the sun, the blissful sleep. As your health got better, you ran around more. Always on the windows longing to go out. Off late you began to climb. When you climbed on the internet booster, perched precariously on top and meowing away. Such relief on your face when Dilip carried you down. And one slap you got!
There was something feral about your climb, like an adrenaline rush, like you were a different cat in that avatar. You liked a view from the top, not what was offered at the ground level of your eyes.
Around the time you came to our life, my brother was getting a dog. You and Oreo became part of our family phone conversations.
The free spirited, not to be cuddled and not clingy, Puntu kuntu, you did not on your own came and sat on our laps. You came close to give a rare pat, a “hey you” kinds. You favourites were the bum up body rub by Dilip and a near the ear and neck scratch by me when you were mellowed with sleep. Dilip will annoy you once in a while, a soft tug of your tail, keeping his hand near your tongue when you are grooming yourself. You would come almost close to bite his finger but let go.
The feral in you showed in your love for outside. So many days and nights, you would ignore our calls and turn your back to us. We had to literally grab you from the boundary and you clung to it with all your claws. Remember that one night you came back late with two leaves stuck on your whisker which you could not shake off and I had to get a comb, so funny you looked!
You were like a different person when you wanted to stalk a prey, climb, chase, run. You came back in for a bit of human contact, the poo, pee, food and sleep.
Besides the clay pot and the stool, you loved to sleep on the rocking chair and the dining table chair. In fact playing in circles under the table, walking from chair to chair became a game for you. Though you liked your TV, looking for the birds and squirrel behind it, if we were watching and you were sleeping and the TV had a loud noise, you showed your annoyance. “lower the volume guys” . Diwali, noise scared you. You went and slept on top of one of the dining table chairs. We wondered if you would sleep with us that night. But as noise reduced you became okay.
Pudgy Kutty, I saw you walk deftly on the front boundary, catch a pigeon and run straight to our yard. It made me happy that you have got your skills, you would not go hungry and you know your home. I had to scare you with the hose pipe as the girls upstairs got distressed seeing a fluttering pigeon in your mouth!
Pudgu, you remember few days ago you came back with a superficial wound on your leg? I bothered so many people with its picture, got the ointment. We will clean it twice every day and apply ointment. An attempt at bandage for the night was removed by you in half a minute!
You filled up the mind space freed up because of the covid restrictions. Fear, apprehension, worry marked this space. Dilip manages hospitals and I work for rural communities. The news from both was of difficulties. Parents, families, friends, colleagues in faraway places, not being able to meet physically, not being able to travel had confined us both physically and mentally. You took over that space with your presence. You became our “here and now”. You became the positive distraction. Our phones filled up with tales of you, pictures and videos, numbers of pet parents, vets, cat groups.
I kept saying you came with many guardian angels. How else can one explain your survival? Appearing suddenly from somewhere, pregnant, finding a regular source of food and a safe place to sleep, all your kittens found homes, all the advice came on time, and the connections for your surgery, boarding to heal post-surgery, friends who came every day to give you medicine for ten days without fail. We figuring out everything with the help of others, from the litter box, to food, to toys, how to take care of you, you healed so well. This house worked perfectly, ground floor with a door to the yard and a space marked for you to look out into the open. It seemed perfect.
Just that one moment when may be all your guardian angels blinked, you climbed that transformer. We had feared the tom cat, the mommy cat, dogs, vehicles, but never thought of the permanent monstrous danger so close.
In the sudden shock of losing you, my convoluted thinking went on a rampage, dissecting your loss, attempts to find out the reason why a harmonious, peaceful, happy family of three had to go through this grief. Tears roll down from my eyes and heart bleeds in silence.
In over twenty-five years of knowing Dilip, am aware of his special quality where birds and animals come to him very easily (except that one time when a male goat tried to headbutt him 🙂 ). With you, what I saw up close is this language of love in all its intricate details. Soothing you, talking to you, combing you, the tone, the gestures, I had never seen anything like that before Pudgy. You brought it all out.
If anything is of solace, you did not die loveless, not a stray, begging for food on the road, uncared. You died happy and healthy. As I speak of how we lost you to more people, I am told of the sufferings of other electrocuted cats. I say a prayer inside that you did not suffer. I did not have to see you suffer.
There was something very kind about you. Even at the end, you left us on a Saturday. So that we were both home to say good bye. Not alone to face the parting and an empty house. As I describe your passing over to others, and how so many have suffered worse because of electrocution, I realise how blessed you were, and how fortunate we are to have had you in our lives. You lived deep in the short life.
Let her go, friends tell. I am thankful for the human consolations. We express as we have known, understood, seen. For all those who do not communicate like humans, speak a different dialect, care in a very different way. To care for them and love them is a kind of its own.
We wondered if you will be safer and happier in a farm house, or as a house cat. Consulted many and finally the conclusion was to keep you in your territory, an inside and outside cat. Best of both worlds. Sadly it did not work.
The grief is for you, for many conversations that we could have had and much love that remained to be showered. Your deworming medicine scheduled for December is unopened. A carriage is in the waitlist in my amazon cart as it was not available. Just that day I opened a large packet of dry food for you when back. You only ate a mouthful that day as if in a hurry to step out. And never came back.
Friends bring up adopting another and giving a home. We don’t know which one will prevail. The love you filled us with or the sorrow of losing you. There was just one Pudgy who walked on that path and sat near our steps. Love and joy can spring from unexpected sources in unexpected manner, you showed us. Whether we have the strength to submit ourselves to another being again? The huge void left in us by a tiny cat with a big purpose. This was our closest grief together.
Pudgudi, as I parallelly tuck you away and seek you out, clean the poo, throw the litter, pack your toys and medicines for donation, pick your hair from almost everywhere, tears rolling down my eyes the whole time. I sit on those very steps in the yard, which you took, several times every day, to come in and go out, I look for a message from you. Are you in the newly sprouted leaves? Are you in the Indian robins merrily playing in the yard? Or the magpies back again as they tend to hop on the ground and you must have scared them away? The rats are back as well, I see their destruction in the nights.
I dust my kindle after months. With nothing particular in my mind, I tap on something. It takes me to another page, and suddenly, out of nowhere, a book I have never even heard of appears
“The Cat that Went to Heaven”….
So the old woman put down the basket and opened the lid. Nothing happened for a moment. Then a round, pretty white head came slowly above the bamboo, and two big yellow eyes looked about the room, and a little white paw appeared on the rim. Suddenly, without moving the basket at all, a little white cat jumped out on the mats and stood there as a person might stand who scarcely knew if she were welcome. Now that the cat was out of the basket, the artist saw that she had yellow and black spots on her sides, a little tail like a rabbit’s, and that she did everything daintily. “Oh, a three-colored cat,” said the artist. “Why didn’t you say so from the beginning? They are very lucky, I understand.”
“May I humbly suggest,” said the housekeeper, “that we call this cat Good Fortune?”
In came Good Fortune, the moment that the door was slid open. She ran to the picture, and looked and looked as though she could never look enough. Then she gazed at the artist with all her gratitude in her eyes.
And then Good Fortune fell dead, too happy to live another minute.
PS: (the story in brief) IN ANCIENT JAPAN A STRUGGLING ARTIST IS ANGERED WHEN his housekeeper brings home a tiny white cat he can barely afford to feed. But when the village’s head priest commissions a painting of the Buddha for a healthy sum, the artist softens toward the animal he believes has brought him luck. According to legend, the proud and haughty cat was denied the Buddha’s blessing for refusing to accept his teachings and pay him homage. So when the artist, moved by compassion for his pet, includes the cat in his painting, the priest rejects the work and decrees that it must he destroyed. It seems the artist’s life is ruined as well—until he is rewarded for his act of love by a Buddhist miracle.
“Oh, the Compassionate One!” For where the last animal had stood was now only white silk that seemed never to have felt the touch of ink; and the great Buddha, the Buddha whom he had painted reclining with hands folded upon his breast, had stretched out an arm in blessing, and under the holy hand knelt the figure of a tiny cat, with pretty white head bowed in happy adoration.
The reality is, you adopted us. And we are so full of gratitude for your presence in our lives. For the endless conversations you have opened us to. You were the only best thing that happened in the pandemic. Yours would be the fondest memory of this otherwise wretched time.
Universe came together to bless your life.
The little girl asked me to tell a story. Like the earlier one of you. This is my cathartic out-pour.
She has been anxious. Not been able to travel, especially to see her parents worry her. This is one hope that most children in faraway lands live with, that all it takes is few hours. The pandemic has changed that. One can never take travel for granted.
She said a prayer for the day to be a happy one, doing her eye and neck exercise, a practice for over a decade. The long evening walk at Cubbon park has been split into two small ones in the morning and evening on the by lane in front of the house. The added benefit being they have come to know and interact with people who are in the neighbourhood, children, security guards, drivers, dogs and cats. A wave of hand as mask makes smile invisible, a treat for the dogs and cats, a look at the birds, buds, trees and colours weave into their walk. Ever since Pkutty the cat has inserted her demands into their schedule, walk or not, they awake to oblige. She likes her first meal between 5-5:30 am.
She goes about her day of choosing products made ethically, honey extracted by traditional tribal communities of Kotagiri, reuse and recycle, the lemon peel to make bio enzymes, the tealeaf for her garden, so that only little goes into the landfill.
As a continued ritual since childhood, she always wears new clothes on her birthday. This year it’s also Onam, and homebound, she decides its special and there needs to be new clothes. One for birthday (a saree bought from a friend’s store), one for Onam (a set mundu bought in 1994 when she worked with an organisation in Kerala for a month) and one to just chill ( a dress bought from Porgai, a handmade initiative in a tribal area). An ode to handloom and handmade.
She thinks of the year that has gone by. The trek to Dudhsagar falls with friends, walking on the railway tracks, soaked to the bone, sipping tea sitting near a rivulet, the moss, the lichens, the bracket fungi, the celebration of joyous earth in pouring rain, is one of her most cherished memories. She accepts non-closure as a form of closure, for things that have not been what she had thought them to be. She feels good about writing, one focus is on helping artisans.
The lockdown has been hard. Much of her work involved travel which has stopped. But she realises it has been harder on many others. People have lost jobs, lost their cities, troubled by how to meet critical health needs. The corona saviours, running health care, seeing that hospitals function despite the risk to their own lives, domestic helps, people who keep the city clean, keep the essential infrastructure running, stepping out every day, who do not have the luxury of work from home, for families who have lost their members to the disease, for friends and family unable to say a proper goodbye, she says a prayer for all of them.
A full day in a beautiful way, from video birthday wishes, group calls, family narrative of childhood memories, pictures of owls, flowers, books, food have kept flowing.
A Brahma Kamal stem, Queen of the Night that had travelled from one friend’s home in Bangalore to another friend’s home in Pune, bloomed tonight (Epiphyllum oxypetalum is a species of cactus, rarely blooms and only at night, and its flowers wilt before dawn). A rare connect.
With a deep sense of gratitude. And hope that this paused life is making us think of our responsibility to our community and the earth, and that some things need to change.
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.