Once my father told me and my cousin story of Tenali Raman and the cat story. After listening to story my cousin pitied the cat for its mouth burn. She hated that story.Whereas i thought it was funny story. I din’t even have a slightest clue of what was going on in her mind. I told her to grow up. She gave detested look. My dad hit me on head slightly like topspin and told me to stop being a smart ass.
It just so happened the very same month a stray cat came to our house. I mean it din’t enter my home just like that, It came to steal milk. Very cautiously, carefully stepping its foot, very discreetly it came in like a ninja. I din’t feel like kicking it out. I wanted to do it but first i wanted to teach a lesson. Inspired by Tenali, instead of cornering and capturing i captivated it by giving it some biscuits and bread meanwhile i had kept milk to heat up. After sometime when the milk was boiling i lifted cat with my hands and started moving towards milk. The cat knew what was coming. As soon as it sensed the heat from milk it panicked, jumped and in that course of action it spilled entire bowl of milk, ran away and sat at a distance making me realize what a fool i was who fed the cat the whole time cat and letting it escape after scratching me with its claws. Man was i embarrassed!! My father and uncle laughed entire day at me, poking my ego. I hated that cat. How i wished if i would have thrown it out this entire situation wouldn’t have occurred. The next day the same cat came to my home again but this time it was very confident. It entered the hall like a king. My blood was boiling more than milk after looking at that. Before i could rush my mom came out with broom stick to chase it out. However dad had a different attitude towards that cat. He was sympathetic. When the cat saw my mom it immediately started running but in hurry it forgot the way out and it came towards me, started climbing onto my shoulders. My mom in her excitement somehow did not realize that i was getting the blows while she thought she was beating the cat. I felt strange when i realized that the cat climbed onto my shoulder taking his chances thinking i will defend it may be cause i fed him yesterday. All the anger just vanished in an instant. I dunno why but suddenly i started protecting it. Mom who was already angry was even more infuriated when i started protecting cat. Guess where did i land up?. From a healthy boy i was in an instant transformed to person who had all type of colored patches mostly black blue and red all over the body (Who said women are weak?, well whoever it was DAMM YOU). Dad stepped in ad-mist of this, a savior i need in that time, like a god in mythology with all lights and tube-lights behind him descending down to protect weaklings. He stopped the drama, took the cat, held it in his hand, started rubbing its head and cheek and said to me may be it likes you. I din’t feel bad, i din feel angered. I was just staring at the cat who was looking at us with that big round innocent eyes. I was catzonied
From that moment on it became my secret friend. It was secret cause i had to hide it from mom’s eyes which i was pretty good at :P. It used to come silently and sneaked under my bed sheet and slept on top of my chest, at times it also came near my ears and whispered meow asking permission to enter my bed sheet, when hungry it used to meow silently rubbing its head and belly against my legs, when it got excited it bit my toe and gestured me to play with it. I was learning a bit about animal instincts about how they reacted, how they communicated, how they showed their emotions by not making a single sound. Slowly it became an integral part of our family. I acted more responsible in all the matter related to my pet. Yes i cleaned it’s mess like throwing out the dead animals it bought home, cleaned up its puke and piss, being protective, teaching him by making different sounds and gestures many more. May be that was the first step of being matured and growing up. It really taught me a lot of stuff like i started being responsible. I learned to forgive and defend. Empathy was developing inside me. Apart the development of my personal attributes having a pet never made me feel lonely. Good times or bad times it was always there. Great companion. Sometime it gives you kind of relaxation when your stressed out. It added a routine to life. I dunno how to put this in words but in a nutshell i learnt dedicating time i.e time commitment.
Sadly when it died after 9 years i cried a lot. I did not talk or interact with anybody even my parents. Time heals everything and that’s what happened. I understood part and parcel of life. My friends made fun of me for crying. At this point i realized that very feeling my cousin had when she cried in middle of road. How an dumb animal feel when it undergoes pain. How it simply cannot cry out loud and express it emotions like we do. We kick them, beat them, hush them, suppress them and we have even stooped down to level where we cut them just cause they taste delicious!. We do everything just to prove we are an intellect, supreme and strong beings. People make and pass jokes of being animal lover, vegetarian etc. Well chuck it. After all who am i to say 🙂
On brighter side of it since now i know everything is temporal i developed the courage of facing the adversities, downs of life, misfortunes and sadness. enjoying the moment, being happy with what i have, trying to keep environment around me happy and cheerful just like how i was with my cat, self satisfied and always aiming to the greater good. Cause i know its not the present condition that made us sad but the thought of knowing that the moment we cherished before was long gone.
Since then on we had around 4-5 generations of cats in our home and till date few of them still reside in our home. I’m not here to promote animal adoption or you know things like that. One small act can change you and your children/family. Do good and get good. Try contributing in bringing a better human in self instead of being a selfish and arrogant creature.
Please feel free to comment