Neither I dislike pets nor do I hate them. We have never had pets at home in India. My grandma didn’t like it and my mom didn’t like it, so we didn’t have a pet at home. It is an old saying that ‘Soldiers like Dogs and Artists like Cats’. I am not sure if I fit into either of those categories but, I like kittens and puppies more than their adult versions.
Pets have always seen me as a friendly person, I am fortunate that way not to receive any bites from any of the pets I have encountered with. When I moved to the current house, my housemate asked if it is OK for him to have pets. I replied affirmative as long as I don’t encounter a big, fiery dog. But, the pet turned to out to be a black cat.
Neither he was a cat nor was he black. I would rather call him a kitten and brownish black. I asked if the kitten has a pet name but, my housemate said he had forgotten to think of a name. He called it simply ‘Kittie’. My housemate’s way of taking care of pets is just ignoring them 90% of the time and cuddling them 10% of the time. I wonder what purpose it serves to keep a bird caged for all the time, feeding it, watering it but never looked if it is OK. Without proper feeding, while he was away, fishes in tank gave their life one by one finally leaving a tank of full of muddy water.
Let’s talk about the cat kitten. I didn’t like the kitten, honestly. I mean it was sticking to whoever is nearby. If my housemate was present, it will keep ‘meow’ing around his legs, laps and if he’s not there, I will be his pet. While watching Telly, he would come and sit on the laptop and will continue to disturb with his ‘meow’s unless you are stroking him gently. When I sit on the couch with my laptop, he would come and sit comfortably on the keyboard and will start sleeping. What an annoying little kittie!
When my housemate goes away, it is a nightmare really. He would ask me to feed the kittie, I will try to do it. But, even after eating 1 full container of cat food (yuk, it smells!) he will be purring my legs and ask me to feed him more. Before sleep, my housemate will put the kitten into a small room, when I try to do that he ‘meow’s with such a tone that will evoke sympathy from anyone. Eventually, he will meow his way into my bed and sleep with me till morning. Even if I arrange a small bed with spare bed sheets, he wouldn’t get out of the comfyness of my bed. Bad Kittie, I will get rid you out once my housemate comes.
There is a funny game the kittie (and we) would like to play. When you point a laser gun (from a cigarette lighter), the kittie will chase the red light trying to catch it. It is fun to try it if you have a kitten or puppy. We were using it to improve his reflexes to make him more alert. For this reason, we won’t let him out of the house as there is a big highway with heavy traffic on it. My housemate may have thought that I didn’t like ‘kittie’. On a night, I accidentally let him out when I my housemate was away. I was afraid he might get killed by the traffic on the road, searched him on the cold night but couldn’t find him. Without any interest to play hide-and-seek, I got inside my room and slept well only to be disturbed by the kittie’s meow calls. It was past midnight, he wanted to get back into the house. I let him in with a warning to not to stray outside (as if he cares!).
Another day, I was getting in to the home back from office and my housemate opened the door to go outside. In a split second, kittie, tried to sneak out and I said aloud, ‘Don’t go out, kittie’. He has already slipped out. My housemate after few hours, knocked my door and said, ‘The kittie has gone. He was run over by a car or truck. Probably, I should’ve listened to you when you said not to let out.’ I was silent. He continued, ‘He wouldn’t disturb you anymore. I have put him to rest in the garden.’ I keep to myself usually when I come home, my housemate and myself - we speak very few words. On the day, I told him I am sorry. He said, ‘that’s fine. He’s just sleeping in the garden’.
After few moments, my housemate came again. He asked if I would like to watch a Teleserial (Underbelly) with him which was banned in Victoria due to some judicial reasons. I knew I hated it as I don’t like teleserials. I replied, ‘oh lovely, let us watch’. I started to miss Kittie. Even after seven months, I miss him.