What I feel now is immense grief. At the loss of a cat we fostered for 4 months. Though I was sending Pip home to my parents, where she would have ample space to flourish in, I was extremely apprehensive about it. My last few days with her, I'd talk to her citing my old school countdown - 5 more days for you to leave, 4 more days before you're parted from your brothers/lovers, 3 more days till I hear you purr and the like. And it was like she knew that she was going. The last 2 days with us, she was most affectionate. She cuddled and purred and came tunnelling through the sheets like the creature from tremors. Or maybe she always did...
Last night, the boys were restless - more so than ever. It was really windy and that made them skittish. They probably missed her too. With no Srikanth at home, Saki
came on lay on my legs, which he hadn’t done in a while. On any other day, the three of them would be sleeping on the window sill, with her suckling on one of their paw pads. She really was the sweetest, with her pinker than pink paws and nose.
Now I wish I hadn’t packed her off at all. Despite the space she would have had in her new home, despite how much less poop I would have to clear from the litter box every day, despite me thinking that the Bombay house that we were moving into (but hadn’t yet found) in 6 months, would be too small for 3 cats. I wish I'd kept her and not let her go.
I picked her up from the street thinking she had been run over. She had run across the road, and smashed her face on the footpath. Just picking her up from the tailoring shop she ran into was traumatic. She was a wild one. Only 2 months, but oh so feisty! The scars I picked up that day are only fading now.
For the first week, we kept her confined to one room of the house. While I was out on a work trip, Srikanth looked after her. She must have thought he was torturing her. Trying to pin her down each time she needed to have her medicines. Try and hold her, and she would squirm like you were out to kill her. The last time I took her to the vet to get her shots, and get her declawed, she was a little nightmare. In her attempt to escape, she clawed her way down to my foot. I'm left with some prize scars from that day as well.
It took her almost 4 months to start loving us. At first she hated everything... me, Srikanth, the cats, any sound... She slowly started making herself at home. She decided that the best places to pee were either the laundry bin with extremely dirty clothes or a pile of fresh laundry. She turned out to be the only one of the three who didn’t flee at the sound of the doorbell. Of late, she would be the first to venture out, when there were guests at home. She would come into the bathroom to hang out with me while I pooped and showered. Her little toy mouse, she would play with, like the world would come to a standstill if she stopped. She learnt by emulating her brothers - any time they came and rubbed themselves for love, she would to. And I was a fool to send her off. This creature who never let me carry her, would purr so loudly each time I ran a fingertip down her spine.
My mum said that she wouldn’t be able to guarantee her safety; in terms of, "I cannot assure you that she'll stay at home". She would be loved, she would be fed, and she'd be an inside cat - provided she didn’t run off at the very beginning. And that should have been a red flag. We even considered heading home to drop her off till she settled in. A fleeting thought it was; I wish I'd taken heed.
And so my parents arrived home with Pip in tow yesterday. She had apparently responded to my mum and purred like a little motor, when she had tried petting her on the way home. Once she was let out at home, she ran off the minute they opened her box. Turns out she was hiding in some corner of the kitchen. At night, she was confined to 4 rooms, with all the windows shut. It was not to be though. By morning, she had slipped out again, leaving no trace. My mum last saw her in the guest bathroom, but she fled as soon as my mum said hello. The only upside that it looked as if she had come in from outside; perhaps she knows that she can come into the house.
And now, she's on this big estate without a clue as to where she is. Her brothers are not around; instead there's a big fat cat who may or may not like her. And her parents, who loved her and fed her, gave her away to someplace far, far away. She does not trust the new people in the house. And it’s raining like the world is trying to drown itself.
I don’t know if she’s eaten or pooped. I don’t know if she’s inside or outside. I don’t know if she drenched in the rain or if she's been smart enough to find
shelter. But I do hope she knows she is in a safe place - she only has to find her way in.
My Pippat, please be safe, please be fine. I'm so sorry for putting you through what I have. I miss you terribly and really hope you find your way back home.