The Cat Story
Updated: Dec 23, 2022
During summers night is only the good thing to happen. Hostel is miserably hot so during the nights with the fan swinging and a relatively cool breeze blowing outside I can concentrate on my studies well. One such night I was into my books, basically into a theorem. Most of my time I invest on doing out of the course stuff. A lot many tries to prove it my way had already gone unsuccessful. And just when I thought I was somewhere near (just about to be an Edison who invented an electric bulb after 17 failures) I heard a commotion in my corridor. My concentration was broken and the proof left forever there (had Edison been disturbed possibly we still would have been in darkness)… That is why possibly Mathematicians and scientists preferred to live in seclusion (I am saying as if I am some Ramanujan in the making. Oh thinking of Ramanujan I am really excited about the upcoming movie by Dev Benegal and Stephen Fry on the friendship of Ramanujan and Hardy). Still I have all the rights to complain however little my invention might be.
I went out of my room. In a hostel corridor-mates are supposed to be the dukh-sukh ke saathi so as a responsible corridor-mate I had to pry into the matter and step into the room of a girl two rooms away from my room. She had already accumulated a crowd and the gate bhaiyaji who was our ang-rakshak for the night was also on the spot. On enquiring I came to know that a cat has given birth to three kittens, two in her wardrobe and one in the box attached with the bed. That she keeps her room very messy was now known to all. The mother had abandoned the kittens, something that is very unlikely for the species to do that I came to know from the well-informed. Bhaiyaji took them out and put them in the box and left them out in the balcony. My hostel has lots of cats disconcerting us so the thought of three more was very frightful for my mates. All these didn’t bother me the least but yes it was bothering a Cat-lover I know.
The Cat-lover friend of mine is Taam, that’s how I call her, others call her the Vietnamese sister or simply sister. She is exactly double my age but we both gel along very well. I am the only person she feels comfortable to talk to. Two years back during the initial days it used to be an ordeal for me to understand her accent but now I am used to. She is in India to do her PhD in Indian Philosophy. She is a nun. She had once told me why she took it up but let me not go into that. Taam was pained by all that was happening and somehow seeing her bothered about the well being of the kittens I too wanted to help her. In the scorching sun those three kittens exposed to heat, one died of dehydration and other two were struggling. Taam carefully took them out of the box, buried the dead one in the hostel backyard and took the other two through her room to her balcony, later on she got them to her room. She managed to persuade their mother also to accept the babies and feed them. She informed me that of the two the darker and more fragile one was the female and the other a male.
Now nobody except for me knows that the two kittens are growing up under the strict vigilance of Taam, myself being the occasional visitor. We four play in Taam’s room sometimes. It seems so complete, the otherwise dry life seems to brim with happiness. Taam has got medicines to cure the kittens from the lots of fleas that they have caught. I give them my share of butter to eat.
I was never averse to pets, but am a naive. The feelings I have developed for the kittens and the mother cat is a nice experience for me. I don’t mind that my theorem remained unproved coz of hullabaloo the kitten birth caused as my birth too must have spoilt the peaceful mid-night sleep of the suffering mortals in the hospital, and if it’s there then it will surely come up again on some pleasant night. I now just want to play with them in the corridor and not in the confines of Taam’s room. I want to make them socially acceptable. Any ideas?