I can still remember that day in vivid detail when I was the sole member of the family resisting the admit of this unknown stranger Kattie into our house whom my younger brother caught hold of while she was uproariously gasping for breath in a dark corner of our congested open garage after successfully duping its predators.
She had badly injured herself in the race of life and at first place was quite apprehensive of the advances of my brother towards her but later succumbed to his kind gestures as he placed a bowl of milk in front of her to feed on. For her it was much needed help in the hour of crisis. She responded back in an affectionate manner as my brother gently massaged her back, which was well abounded with growth of hair that had lost their inherent shine over the years. He could feel her emaciated body – she was a skeleton with skin drawn tightly over her bones and it seemed all the nutrition of her food was utilized in the nourishment of her hair. She was a rusted spotted cat so my brother gave her the name “Kattie”.
My brother took care of Kattie for the next one week. He took him to the veterinary doctor, got her vaccinated. This short span of one week was more than enough for Kattie to form an emotional bonding with my brother and slowly with the other members of my family. My family took appropriate care of Kattie. Besides milk, they provided her with other food, which included canned food for cats available in the market. One of them was Dick Van Patten’s Natural Balance, which contains no by-products. It was rich in proteins and fats and this food helped Kattie to recover soon.
Very soon it became the most pampered member of our family and everyone in my house became fond of Kattie, except me.
Her eyes, which seemed gentle to my brother were nothing less than a fake show of love to me. Her innocent face acted as a mask to the mischievous, cunning nature she was born with.
I don’t know why but I have always been skeptical of the motives or to be more precise the behavioral traits and characteristics of the feline family. Many would consider my opinion towards these animals as being stereotyped but this viewpoint is something that I have developed over the years and it got strengthened by the constant references to their being cunning, extremely selfish, highly Machiavellian and treacherous, once the purpose is fulfilled in many folk tales. Besides this, I always felt that Kattie was a wild cat and it would be difficult to tame her even though we might feel that she could be domesticated.
So I always behaved in an uninterested manner whenever she used to approach me or whenever my family members talked about her.
My family members were aware of this unfavorable behavior of mine towards her and sometimes they even rebuked me for being so stone-hearted but I did not allow my ideology to waver.
Days rolled by and it had been like one month since Kattie became our guest. But the way Kattie mixed up with our family members it seemed as if she has been living with us for ages.
Everyone wanted her to be a part of our family but due to sheer reluctance of mine on her inclusion into the family and upon constant urging, my dad halfheartedly agreed to my request.
The day of parting came and everyone especially my brother mourned the separation of Kattie from our family, but it was time for us to bid her goodbye. So we all made a decision to leave her at an animal care center where she’ll be living with other species of her type and also adequate attention would be provided to her well being. Kattie, unaware of our intentions thought that we all are going out on a picnic.
Upon reaching the animal care center, Kattie’s first reaction was that of joy since she was happy to see so many animals of her type. So she hurriedly joined other cats in merry making and socializing.
When we were absolutely convinced that Kattie was not bothered about our presence we completed the formalities with the authorities of the animal care centre and taking a last look at Kattie, we bade her all the best for her new life and left.
The return journey was very melancholic. There was absolute silence. That day I found Shakespeare’s saying “When the heart is full words are few!” in complete accordance with the situation.
It was a great emotional moment for the family. Everyone was feeling dejected and they were earnestly missing some dear one. Such atmosphere is created only upon the loss or complete absence of a close member or a dear friend. Even I felt a bit uneasy and gloomy.
This lasted for few days until once again life became monotonous. Kattie’s references became less frequent. Only once in a while my brother remembered her voice as he was the one who was deeply attached to her.
Life was moving at its usual pace when one day we received a call from the same animal care center informing us that Kattie is seriously ill and urged us to reach the center as soon as possible.
We all got worried. Hurriedly we drove to the center as soon as possible.
The center’s authorities along with Kattie and doctor were waiting for our arrival. Upon seeing us from a distance , Kattie frantically approached us and jumped right down in my brother’s arm, and started licking him and continued to do so for a long time, tears of rejoice pouring out of her eyes.
Then after this highly emotional moment of reconciliation, the authorities told us that as soon as we left Kattie, the very next day she started looking nervous, tensed and became ill. They were not able to figure out the problem and hence sought a doctor’s help. The doctor then told us that Kattie was really upset with this separation and got emotionally insecure and fell a prey to acute depression. As a result it became necessary for them to call us to the center.
The doctor advised us to take her back into the family.
On that day I realized how wrong I was. Animals are also like human beings. They are emotional and they never forget the act of kindness howsoever small it may be. They too have certain values beliefs and a sense of attachment.
From that day onwards Kattie became an important member of her family. We played together, we fought together, we danced together and did every kind of mischief together.
Over the years I have realized that Kattie is not only a loyal creature and a great companion of mine but also the most adorable creature I have ever met in my life. May God bless her and bestow good health upon her.