Meeow…meeow! Cat’s Day Out
The year is not specific, could be the late 80’s, as age plays havoc when it comes to recollections. One morning out at the door sat a feeble cat with hollow cheeks-color of white and dust, tail mutilated,-god knows by whom, and within no time it was in our fold. She was a voracious eater and polished off all sorts of food, no matter what! Now the cheeks swelled and the transformation was evident and we puffed with pride when praises were heaped on her. Going by her rotund looks, people pressed us to know what her dietary arrangement was!
Whenever our mother brought in fish, the fat cat sat there as if summoned! Having her fill up to the bursting point, she would go rambling around, exploring all the nearby areas, thus gaining “citizenship” in the nearby lanes, where she came in contact with a few of her clan, whose charms she could not resist. Now she was always surrounded by a semi-circle of friends. Her main domain being the backyard, which was the hot-spot for their gossip and extra-curricular activities.
Like a “monarch” she sat on her throne (the washing stone-slab) with her associates below. The air was that of a few junior reporters interviewing a “celebrity”. Sometimes the meetings adjourned at the wee hours of the morning, with occasional clashes. Her devotion towards us was unflinching when she single-handedly kept the rodents at bay by turning the backyard into an “execution” yard.
By now she had turned rather sneaky, her associates had given her the coaching perfectly. when our mother retired for her siesta, post-noon, there was “brisk traffic” in the kitchen, the invaders came at the appropriate time, the entry and exit points were well defined and calculated, but the clanging of the vessels gave way, only to awaken mother. Our most trusted lieutenant was now on the path of betrayal.
Now enough was enough. Mother changed the venue of the fish pot and the kitchen was totally barricaded, her steps were being watched, this irked our proud pussycat, nothing worse than a bruised ego, and off she stormed out like a fuming volcano…..out into the streets…As we were aware of her daily routine and when she failed to turn up the next day and the following days, a cold dread seized us considering the traffic outside and now all the odds were stacked against mother. Now silence reigned the backyard. As for her associates, who were always stationed there, the glamour ended soon enough and they were nowhere to be sighted!
Now her absence was celebrated by our tiny-tots. As darkness descended, the rodent couple emerged from their abode herding their little ones and enjoying their “parole” time up to the hilt! Meanwhile, search operations were in full swing. The maid sped off to the nearby fish market, scanned the entire area, and a peep into a used well in a secluded spot, only to be back disappointed. When inquired with the bicycled fishmonger, he flourished a wide smile exhibiting his protruding teeth to the fullest!
Since we got used to her presence in the house, we felt dissolute at the thought of losing her..Meanwhile out in the streets, there were gangs of dogs, our pussycat was bitten and torn, and with no food in the background. A few days later, one evening when the back door opened, there she was sitting sheepishly with downcast eyes. She was received with a whoop of joy. True love has no bounds. All’s well that ends well. Now time for some celebration…
The very next morning, mother dashed off to the fish market…..