JUST a few days back, the morning downpour in the steamy summer of Agartala was disturbed by a “Meow! Meow!” sound on the other side of our main door. We listened from the bed. It was feeble and overwhelmed by desperation. The sound was familiar as any childhood memories, meow! meow!.... but I heard again after a gap of many years. We were woken much earlier than the usual set-out time of our mobile alarm.
When my wife opened the door, we saw the cat “caught” on the cemented stairway literally. It was such a tender cat that It was incapable of climbing the next stairway and afraid to climb down the below one due to fear of height. From first sight, the case of the cat could be drawn easily enough: It had lost its mother and was desperately crying for her “warmth” and in its utter dismay started to scale the open roads and ridges and eventually landed up on the shade of human homes.
My wife asked me, “Shall I take it in?”
I had been quite acquainted with the breeds of “Meow! Meow!”. I recounted my childhood days closely affianced to our pet dogs and cats. We kept dogs to guard the house and cats to chase away rats. Though both canines, there is one great difference between cats and dogs. Dogs instinctively become attached and faithfully submissive to their owners, while cats are maniac of a place—warmth, houses or blankets, and craze after their own comforts. Dogs follow their masters but cats are devoted to cupboards and houses and their shits are awfully smelly. I had known it all…..
But the sight of desperation often evokes the kindness quality in human. Encompassing in my mind all those pathetic experience about cats and knowing fully what will befall, I told my wife, “Okay…No probs. Let’s keep it as a pet”
By sheer coincidence or by fate, I now see myself adopting a stray cat. And in this case, it is a “SHE”, and my friend over her named her PAWNG-SI, a friend from Mumbai named her GOLIATHA. I named her MENGKENG.
During her first day, she cried all day and all night thinking of her mother’s breast. The milk and the playing items that lay strewed on the floor of the house were meaningless to her. The only thing which could quench her hunger was her mother’s breast. On the second day I forced her and dipped her lips on the can of pure milk. She liked it. Now she starts eating chicken, biscuits and maggi. And she is growing real fast. Much faster than the rate at which she grows, she is exponentially playful.
I sit here, courting with a very hard life. However, my MENGKENG is in content—the warm house, me, my wife and the foods. Her mind is not deceived by any thought of the future. She jumps around on my laps and floor and on the warmth of my laptop disturbing more of my disturbing present. She doesn’t learn how to catch mice, for she was deprived of the luxury of being trained by her mother. How long can I provide milk and warmth? How long will the house in which she comes as a refugee stands? I am really worried. I asked my mother if an untrained cat could learn the art of catching mice when they reach adulthood. She told me that the sole purpose of a cat is to catch mice and she will eventually master the art, trained or untrained. Then, if that is the case I am saved. The cat at least will not die of starvation even if the feeble leave under which she comforts herself falls anytime, anywhere.