We barely knew him for 3 weeks. He would turn up in the morning, with a signature ‘meeeeoooo’ like the kitten that he was, but more confident than the feeble kitten ‘meeeeee’. I guess he was around 4 to 5 months old. White with grey on the back and on the head, looks that would break hearts and make people feed him. I remember the first time he turned up – he was frisky, trying to get into the house the moment the door was opened a crack, and ready to get out the moment people came behind him and tried to chase him away. I tried picking him up, he didn’t resist. He loved to play, running all around our legs.
He refused the milk we offered most days, expecting us to play with him instead. The days he did, the construction worker who’d adopted him said he hadn’t bought milk yet. He loved to play, to explore our house, to try to climb us like trees. He liked to climb things, but had seldom any idea how to climb down. He climbed up the neighbor’s wall and didn’t know how to get out through the mesh. He climbed atop the newspaper mound in our place and Mom had to lift him up and drop him off outside, as he cried to her to help.
He had been on his own for a while, that much was obvious. There was a natural lack of fear with humans, and a clear lack of any hunting ability the way he chased after butterflies. He didn’t crouch and attack, even in play, preferring to chase and use his paws. He tried to be friendly with my cat, who instead showered him with indifference. I was glad that the construction workers nearby had adopted him. Their kid loved him and he was well looked after.
Two days back I heard cats screeching and was told that the area alpha male, a battle hardened black cat, was after him. I wondered if that was it, the black cat having killed the kittens of even my cat before I got her fixed. The next day my father, not a natural lover of animals any day, announced with joy that he was OK and at the worker’s cabin; he had asked the worker. The very next day, today morning, he came in with a heavy face after getting milk as I was leaving for work and news that the kitten had died. He had been attacked by dogs this time.
The worker was bringing the body back hoping there was some life left, but had announced soon after that he had breathed his last. The neighbors all mourned, recounting stories of him meeeoooing into their houses and hearts, and frisking about mischievously as they chased him.
It was a short life and it was a gruesome way to die for someone so young, but you brought joy to a lot of people. Rest in Peace little one.