Tuesday, April 5, 2011

C is for Cat...

When I was telling my husband that I did an A is for Ache post and B is for Blah Blah post, and asked him what C should be, my daughter looked at me perturbed. She said, ‘Mamma, B is for ball, not bleh bleh.’ :) I said ‘Okay, B is for ball. And what is C for?’ She said ‘Cat!’ I was going to do a C is for Cricket post, but now, I’m going to do a post on cats.

At various points in the first 20 years of my life, I have had a cat as a pet. I adore cats. I have pictures of me as a fat little toddler with a beautiful golden cat sprawled beside me, as a 7 year old with a tooth missing, and a tiny white and grey kitten in my lap, and as a 12 year old playing with a feisty black and white cat.

This black and white cat is the one that has stayed in my memory. Though I’ve had cats after it too, they weren’t as special to me as Tabby was. My best friend Roohi and her brother came home one day with a tiny kitten in their arms. Their cat had had kittens and they were giving them away. I remember Tabby scrambling under the cupboard with the fear of being in a new environment, away from her mother. She refused to come out for a long time and only when hunger struck did she come out to drink some milk from the bowl we had placed for her.

She soon got used to her new home and her new family. My older brother, Faheem and I cuddled and played with her, showering her with love, hugs and lots of goodies from the kitchen. My parents did not display their love for Tabby as physically as we did, but it was apparent by the way they spoke to her. She was like a new little child in the family.

Tabby’s favourite place to sit in the whole house was my mother’s lap. I always wondered why this was, especially since mom never went out her way to pet and cuddle her. How come she didn’t prefer my lap? I figured she truly saw herself as a child of the home and mom as her mother. My younger brother Akbar was around two or three years old at the time. Tabby saw him as a rival because he often sat in my mother’s lap. She went up to him and tapped him with her paw, needling him to get up from what she considered her place. It looked like she was gently spanking him. At first we were concerned that she would hurt him. But we realised that she was always careful around Akbar, never once displaying her claws anywhere near him.

We would never let her out for fear that she would pick a fight with the neighbourhood cats. But when a stray tom cat came serenading her through the grill door, one particular mating season, she slipped out a couple of times when the door was ajar.

We didn’t really notice at first when she was pregnant. We just assumed that her big appetite made her fat. It dawned on us when we realised that her belly was abnormally big compared to the rest of her. She had become moody and jumpy. She started getting exhausted easily and wouldn’t play rough and tumble about when I prodded her to. Then one day she crept under my bed and didn’t come out for a few hours. We heard tiny baby meows and rejoiced the day Tabby became a mother.

She gave birth to six kittens but one of them died a few hours after birth. She mourned her dead child but soon got her wits together to tend to her other kittens. We buried the tiny kitten outside our house. Life went on and we had kitten running amok in our home.

It was hilarious and touching at the same time. I saw that Tabby had undergone a change in her demeanour overnight. Gone was the feisty little kitten who jumped and played silly tricks with us. She was suddenly serene and majestic, guarding her brood and humouring them as they played and tumbled about her.

It was obvious that we couldn’t continue having so many cats in our home. We thought about giving them away but couldn’t muster the heart to separate the feline family while the kittens were so young. So my dad suggested that we relocate them all to his office yard, till they are a little older. I was sad to see them go but I got to visit them a few times before each of the kittens found new homes. One day dad gave us the sad news that Tabby had died in an accident. I was devastated and cried for hours into my pillow.

It’s funny I hadn’t thought about her for a long time. But as I wrote this post, the warm fuzzy feeling of hugging a cuddly cat came rushing back. I got transported to those days when I would come home from school and Tabby would jump on my bed waiting for me to cuddle her in my arms. She is one of the many ‘persons’ who have touched my life fleetingly and left lasting pleasant memories.

Thank you Zainab, for saying C is for Cat. Best Blogger Tips

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  1. wow! i never knew that i was married in a cat adoring family :)...i loved Tabby's ( nice funky name)cute story with a sad ending. I will narrate this story to Daniah when she grows little older. I wonder if she will turn out to be a cat lover too like her Papa and phuppu.

  2. I remember Liaquat and I giving you that little kitten but I didn't remember you named her Tabby..that's cute. I do remember all the events after that though..her giving kittens and stuff. Reminds of me of our white cat...I think she had delivered twice when she was with us.

  3. Cute post!:) enjoyed it.

  4. Kids always seem to have the answers when you least expect them, don't they?

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