Cats are interesting creatures. Why do I say this? Probably because they are a bunch of assholes. Cute and cuddly assholes. They purr and cuddle up to you one minute and run after helpless little birds to play and kill them without any resentment the next. If you try to prevent the murder, it’ll probably claw your hands and run away.
The first cats I encountered at home were two kittens. I woke up one morning and walked out of my room to look at the mountains. We had a nice view of Hanthana, in all it’s mist covered glory. Those were cold days in Kandy. After taking in the scenery, I flopped into a pile of dirty clothes and that’s when I heard a faint noise. Upon investigation, I discovered that the noise was from two kittens. They were hiding in their looking for warmth.
I remember giving them milk and leftover hoppers from the night before. They disappeared after a day or two. I think they went back looking for their mother.
The next cat we had was called Bonny. Mom brought it from her school (she was a teacher) in a cardboard box and told us about how people looked at her in confusion when it started shouting in the bus. Brown and white, it was. I named it after a biscuit company that was owned by the father of a school friend, Chanaka. It was with us for a while, and one day it disappeared suddenly. We suspected that it was kidnapped (catnapped?) because it was one cute cat.
After that we didn’t have cats for a while. Of course, there were a lot of uninvited ones running around the house. A few of them were especially unwelcome because all they did was run around the house, pooping. Mom was not happy.
There were a few cats grandma’s place. They didn’t have any memorable names or features. Nor stories. One cat did manage to claw my face when I was making fun of it, but that’s about it.
Now to the more colorful days.
We moved to a place in Suduhumpola when I was around 12-13. This is when we met ‘Makara’ (Dragon). It was only a kitten then, with unusual grey-white fur. We welcomed it as we didn’t know who the owner was. No one came looking for it and it decided to stay with us.
Makara grew up as we watched. Running around, biting everyone. It loved to hide under chairs and attack the feet of anyone who walked close by. Clawing and biting, playfully but forcefully, it distributed smiles in the household. On a bad day, it would curl up in my lap and sleep while I watched TV.
On a night when mom didn’t want it inside the house, it tried to get inside crying and shouting. After failing that it went away.
The following day, when mom was making tea in the morning Makara decided to show up in the kitchen. My mom looked at it and saw something different about it’s eyes. On a hunch she decided to check outside and that’s when she discovered two kittens. We were ecstatic!
They were transferred to a cozy cardboard box immediately. The two kittens were adorable. I chose the darker colored one and claimed that it would be mine and I named it Duffy. The other one was named Budsy and it became my brother’s pet. Everyday after school I would come running home to see the kittens. I still remember the day they opened their eyes. Duffy’s eyes looked blue! (They weren’t though).
So they grew up in our household. Running around, playing. As they grew up, they even managed to topple plastic chairs in their path! When we went to school they would walk up to the gate and wait there, until we disappeared at the next corner. When we got back from school they’d be near the gate waiting for us, no matter what.
Their names changed after a while. Duffy became Curdey and Budsy became Ambutti. Both of them were absolutely wonderful. Curdey got used to waking me up in the morning by jumping on the bed and walking over me. When mom was working at home, it would come home after a day of hard napping, crying ‘mom’. It really did sound like ‘mom’.
Makara loved them a lot. I remember her bringing them big pieces of meat for them, stolen from neighboring houses 😀 Once she brought a useless bag of jackfruit that they couldn’t eat. When we threw it away it ran back to the bag and brought it back.
Curdey was the hunter. He loved keeping his paws in small burrows and hiding to attack birds or Ambu. Only one bird was killed by Curdey and we didn’t forgive him for that. I know that it doesn’t really understand that we disapproved of it’s actions.
Curdey got sick once. After a few days of heavy rain and getting wet, it caught pneumonia. One of my friends, who was a veterinarian took care of the situation and gave it an injection that fixed everything. I had never seen a cat catch pneumonia until then.
Makara gave birth to two more kittens after a while. They were named Q and Eula (pronounced Yoola). Kittens after them didn’t survive. Some of them died after birth and she refused to feed the kittens after that. We did our best to keep them alive but it was not to be. I remember mom crying when one of those kittens died.
We moved to our old house near our grandma’s after a while. I had to hold Curdey and Q in the van while our dog Buckey was climbing on an old CRT monitor. When the journey ended, my arms were covered it claw marks. Curdey and Ambu didn’t like the sudden change of the environment. Ambu decided to run away as soon as possible while Curdey hid under a bed. They took their time to get used to the new surroundings. Ambu decided to return after a week or so.
On a daily diet of milk and fish or meat, both Curdey and Ambu became big and heavy. At one point I couldn’t even lift Curdey with one hand! Although Curdey and Ambu were massive cats, Q and Eula never became that big. They were always mini sized.
Our neighbors and grandparents frowned upon us for having four cats in the household. Grandma made arrangements to give one of the cats to a neighbor nearby. Q was mine so I refused immediately. So they decided to take Eula. After it was taken away, my brother cried in his room silently. This of course didn’t sit well with my parents and Eula was returned after just one day!
Q was killed by a poison attack after a while. There was no time to seek medical attention. I saw it dying on the floor near a table and it was a shocking sight. We buried it in the backyard.
Ambu disappeared some time after that. It never returned. Curdey also disappeared at one point but it decided to return after about six months. We don’t know what happened to Eula either, because it also disappeared.
After losing all of our cats, another cat decided to take refuge in our home. It was a mother-cat with her kitten. After testing out the waters, it left the kitten with us and ran away. Mom decided to take care of this kitten and it was named ‘Bole’.
It had features of Curdey and Eula so we loved it. Even though it looked a little like Curdey, it never grew to Curdey’s size.
When we moved to Colombo, we brought Bole with us. It was kept in a small cage for the first few days and it accepted the new surroundings after that. He seemed happy, running around and being normal again.
After getting sick once, we took it to a veterinarian near us. I loved how the lady treated our cat, calling it’s name and saying soothing words to it while she ran her tests. Some would find this funny but it made a big impression on me.
Bole disappeared after a few months. Mom wasn’t happy about this at all. We looked for it around the neighborhood but we couldn’t find him. Mom said she’ll never get a pet again because it’s just too painful to lose one.
I loved Curdey but I didn’t feel anything when it disappeared. Not even when the other cats disappeared. I don’t really understand why that is.
I’m writing a blog post after one year. I couldn’t really think of what to write so I decided to write about our cats. I wanted to write everything I remember about them so this post must look very messy by now. But, who cares.
It does feel good to write about something. I was checking out some of older posts and I couldn’t help but wonder why I gave up writing. Times have changed, yes. Having a job, growing up, having more responsibilities. Can these be affecting my desire to blog? When I was a kid I loved opening up my blog to write about anything that caught my fancy. I was carefree then. Now it feels like a struggle.
Lots of things go through my mind when I commute. Lots of words, lots of sentences. I’d love to put them in writing but as I sit down in front of the laptop to type them on a keyboard, I tend to forget everything. Inconvenient.
I’m planning to write about random subjects from now on. We shall see how it goes!
Also, I urge you to check out some of my older posts. There are a few short stories I wrote in Sinhala that you may find interesting.