Well, I’m not that great at writing serious stuff but departure of life, even if that of a semi-pet kitten, is definitely a serious thing. One can’t really express this complex feeling where you are not that sad that your semi-pet kitten is dead but you can’t be that normal either. But I guess me and my mom – who loved Carom much more than any of us did – have done a decent job in keeping ourselves normal despite his death.
Carom’s departure from this mortal world is a clear case of the urban wilderness that afflicts a lot of such kittens, puppies and off-springs of other various creatures. There’s the squirrel that often loses its kids to the feline predators. There’s the crow that suddenly finds its eggs missing from the nest. And then, there’s the cat which finds its kitten immobile, static, and dead all of a sudden in the early morning.
10th of June would never be forgotten for it’s my dad’s birthday and turned out to be the day we found Carom missing and finally dead.
Now, there is a cat in our neighborhood which we feed. It’s not exactly a pet but it roams around where our apartment is. We’ve known it for about some months now, and it gave birth to four kittens. They all grew up good, and it was a brilliant experience feeding them, seeing them climb down the wall which was their first “explored surrounding” out of their little dungeon, and being able to play with them. These were semi-pets, and an orthodox family like ours would never let those kittens in the house.
They all seemed quite content, safe and happy. They, in fact, were. Kittens grow up, and in some weeks, their territory of exploration grew bigger. But we never expected the kitten to jump up the compound wall to the other side – the side where rabid stray dogs seem to visit often.
It was so nice to watch the four kittens play. Many times I would play with them with something as simple as a stick. We had set a routine of feeding them, of watching them play and most nights, before hitting the sack, we’d sit and watch them play. My mom got quite attached to all of them. Chess (black and white) and Cricket (Brown and white) [names christened by my sis, Iyshu] were the ones which let us take them in our hands. I had the fortune of Chess and Cricket sleeping in my lap a couple of times and when Chute (grey one) was sick, me and my dad took it to the vet – something we did for the first time in our lives.
Carom never let us take it in our arms. It was the tiger of the pack – with clear stripes, stout and strong, soft and fluffy. It looked the mom cat’s favorite child. It indeed was, which was why it probably wandered out of its territory in search of its mom suddenly and, perhaps in the dead of the night or the wee hours of 10th June, had found itself amidst those rabid dogs.
My mom never saw Carom’s mortal remains. I saw it in plain view, a part of its back clearly marking the bite that would have set the poor kitten in shock. I just hope it died quickly and through very little pain. Semi-pets, urban wilderness, dead kitten. Definitely, sadly unexpected. A melancholy state has definitely set in, but we try our best not to show. After all, as some wise man said, this is life. It goes on.