Our older sister wanted a cat. So she got one. And that should have been the beginning and the end of the story, right? Well, not really.
This cat was a Calico, with patches of burnt sienna and black on her body and head.
I was about ten years old when Neelu came to the homestead. I fell in love with it. OMG! I would talk to her, and cuddle her, and feed her and play with her. Going to school was a big drama. I thought that my absence from the home for all those hours would be agonizing for Neelu. I believed that she would run away or die, or some such thing. Many a time the nuns at the school would catch me day dreaming and haul me up for not paying attention.
I just couldn’t help it. She had the most alluring eyes and she would purrrrr every time she saw me. How could I not be mesmerized by her?
Then she started getting fat. And she didn’t look that cute. I heard from Sulaiman the domestic help, that Neelu was carrying babies in her tummy! I couldn’t believe it. I asked my mother what was wrong with Neelu. She confirmed that Neelu was indeed expecting kittens.
And one morning when we were getting ready for school, mother showed us the litter of beautiful furry kittens, all meowing and making a racket. I just stood and stared at them. Throughout that day I thought of Neelu, and wondered how she had “betrayed” my love and now was a mother.
When I returned from the school, I went straight to where she was in the morning, tending after her babies. I expected her to be in the same position. But she was not there. I asked all the maids and the cooks and the gardeners, and no one knew where she had gone. But they didn’t care either. I was beside myself. One of the maids was feeding the kittens with some milk, while I pined for Neelu.
Then it dawned on me that Neelu had gone to her husband to inform him that he was now a father. I wondered if they celebrated. I wondered how they must have been so happy to have as many kittens as she did, and wondered if he had come to visit the new born kittens. Once I figured that out, I was more satisfied and went to mother and said, “I know where Neelu went! She went to let her husband know that he is a father, and she will probably bring him over to visit the kittens!” My mother glared at me and asked me to go to my room and finish the homework. The minute I turned my back on my parents, I heard this thunderous laughter from that room. I didn’t know what had happened.
In the next few days the kittens were all given away and Neelu was free to go about the house and garden. I continued to love her that is, until my nephew was born. Oh Dear Lord! How could a little baby wrap its arms and legs and body around my heart?
I betrayed Neelu. My love changed overnight towards my little nephew, and continued to love him until I left the shores of India, and he got married some years later. Just thought I would share this story with you all, and tell you that I am such a fickle minded admirer!!