Thursday, July 28, 2016

Sweetie's story--4

I hadn’t planned anything for the kitties future. I had presumed they would gradually wander off with Cookie, and I would feed them if they visited, just as I fed other cats. But of course, these were different as they were inside.
My small apartment had two decent sized rooms with a small front room that connected them. Outside on the terrace was the kitchen and bathing bathroom. It was the type of residence that used to be called a ‘barsati’, barsat meaning rain, built in a limited space at the top of a building. Cookie’s loud miaows at night were disturbing my sleep. She also used to jump on me. At this time I was writing my second book, revising the first for a new edition, and working part-time as an editor. But work was being hampered by my trying to take care of Cookie and the kittens. I left them one large room and the front room, and shut them out of my bedroom at night. Was Cookie upset? On 29 May she took all the kitties away, carrying each one. They were now quite large, and she had to lift her head up to get their feet of the ground. I tried to stop her but she wouldn’t listen. The heat was still tremendous, and she took half an hour carrying away each kitten, before coming back for the next. And then she returned without them and started yowling. Had she lost them all?
The next couple of months were a saga of kittens going away, coming back, getting lost etc. On the 30th Cookie brought back one kitten. Where were the rest? She came twice to feed it, and in the evening carried it away again. On 8th June, all were back. On the 10th, I left for another trip, returned on the 14th--no kitties again. 17th, one kitty was back. Now I think it is time to describe them, with the names I gave them later on. Snowy--a white boy, with long hair and a few black patches. Sweetie--white and pale grey; Goldy--with gold and grey patches on white, very pretty; Sugar, white with short hair and dark grey patches. Cookie was still carrying them around, but I ‘ll just describe one instance a couple of days later, when I had to rescue Sweetie.
To write this I looked up my diary for that year, which had all the dates and details of their comings and goings! The kitty who was back here on the 17th, was Snowy. Nineteenth night it began raining. I woke in the night and found one more kitty, Goldy, here. But two were still missing and it poured with rain. In the morning I could hear one kitty crying. I looked out but couldn’t see anything. Then Cookie arrived, heard it, and was off in a flash. Looking through the window I saw she had fished it out of a muddy drain--she was trying to pick it up when an old woman downstairs started chasing her with a stick. I quickly went down in the slush and drizzle but had to walk around two buildings to reach the back where they were. Sweetie, covered in wet mud looked miserable. Cookie, from a safe distance, was yelling at old woman who was waving a long stick at her. I grabbed wet and muddy Sweetie. Seeing her safe, Cookie vanished. Whenever in later years the old lady saw Sweetie in her carrier ready to travel with me, she would say--this is the same cat from that dirty drain?
By the time I reached upstairs, Cookie had brought Sugar back too. Sweetie was wiped, dried and wrapped in a shawl and went to sleep.