Bye Bye Pee Pee!

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Death. It is so rude. It’s like a sudden slap in the face. It makes me feel so helpless and vulnerable. I can do nothing about it once it’s done. It is so final. It is the perfect example of an irreversible change. No matter what anyone tries, one cannot bring the dead back to life. The lively spirit that once animated the body can’t be brought back once it has been forced to leave the body. There’s no way to follow that spirit any further in its journey. The abrupt severance of ties feels like being guillotined.

I wonder if it would be better if as soon as the person dies, all the related memories too instantly disappear. But I’m not too sure about this idea though, since now all I want to do is revisit these precious memories of mine and relive the past. But it invariably brings pain along with it, knowing that a young tender life was nipped in the bud just when it was about to take flight.

Pee Pee entered my life when its mother abandoned her or rather lost her when she was just a  newborn kitten, probably a couple of days old, and her eyes were still closed. Sana (my 3 year old daughter) christened her Pee Pee and wistfully wished that we raise the kitten as family. I agreed when Pee Pee’s mother did not claim her and sheltered her in a cardboard box inside our house. I started feeding her milk using the eye-dropper. She used to drink around 2 ml and then her tiny belly used to fill up. She was so tiny that she used to fit inside my palm. Her mouth was barely bigger than the opening of the eye dropper, though she had pretty long nails and sharp teeth. She used to hum loudly, or rather vibrate like a diesel generator. I always wondered why. Even as a teen, till the end, she used to vibrate loudly. I never figured out why. After a few days, she opened her right eye and looked at the world through one eye. Her eye was pitch black and I still remember the richness of its gaze. Then after a day or two, the other eye too opened and she started looking with both eyes. Her walk was still pretty shaky, as her legs seemed too fragile and weak to support her torso, especially when she was filled with milk which we fed her till she couldn’t drink anymore.

Pee Pee quickly learned to drink from the ink filler and I used to enjoy feeding her every night after coming home from work. Seetha (my wife) used to feed her during the rest of the day. It was a big challenge to hold her tightly while feeding so that she couldn’t scratch our hands with her sharp claws. To prevent her from scratching our hands with her sharp claws, we used to roll her up inside a towel with her feet tucked inside, so that she was held helpless with only her face and mouth exposed. Then I would introduce the eye dropper in her mouth and she would latch on to it and start sucking so vigorously that soon the milk in the eye-dropper would disappear into her belly. Soon, the quantity of milk that she would consume in each sitting increased with every week. She also started growing bigger.

She became more mobile and was soon able to climb out of the cardboard box. We used to lay cloth and newspapers to make a cozy bed for her, and she used to urinate and shit on the cloth during the night, and Seetha used to change the cloth for Pee Pee and replace with fresh ones. Soon Pee Pee outgrew the box and started sleeping willingly in a smaller thermocol box on which a bed had been prepared for her out of cloth. We used to keep Sana’s cuddly dolls and teddy bears and doggy doll to keep her company, and I did find her sleeping while cuddling next to the doll. There were some nights when she used to cry all night, but mostly she used to sleep soundly through the night and only cried when she wanted to be fed.

Then we shifted house and came to Rajendra Nagar. Here, it was an independent house with a beautiful garden and lot of free space to play. Pee Pee used to love playing in the garden. She used to play mock hunting games, by hiding, crouching, then chasing an imaginary prey and finally pouncing on it, as if going for the kill. It was so much fun watching her play by herself chasing invisible prey, chasing a ball across the floor, fighting with Sana’s dolls and teddy bears.

Adarsh (my 1 yr old son) used to toss her around like a doll and I used to be scared to death that he would kill her accidentally. Once I even had to beat him (a hard whack on his butt) to make him release his hold on her body since he seemed to be choking the poor kitten to death. Of course Adarsh was just a baby himself and didn’t understand what he was doing.

But Sana and Adarsh both loved and adored Pee Pee and used to play with it for hours together. Pee Pee too used to like their company. Adarsh used to call her “Pee Pee” in such an adorable manner. No matter how cranky Sana used to be on waking up, the moment she set eyes on Pee Pee, she would start giggling and laughing and become completely cheerful.

Every morning after waking up, I used to open the balcony door and pick up Pee Pee, cuddle it, talk lovingly to it, and then release it in the garden. Pee Pee would run to the center of the garden and raise its tail stiffly and and start unloading its shit on the green grass while looking straight ahead with a poker face. I found the shit disgusting and Seetha and I would pick it up with a twig and throw it under the bushes at the edges of the garden as often as possible. Soon, after we got a gardener to trim the grass, however, Pee Pee started to shit on the mud under the bushes at the edges of the garden, saving us from this trouble.

In the evenings when I used to come home early sometimes, Pee Pee used to join us (me and my kids) in playing soccer with the ball. Pee Pee was an amazing soccer player and would chase the speeding ball with a lot of energy and enthusiasm, pouncing on it and rolling along with it and grappling with it and biting it.

Soon Pee Pee started eating solid food and Seetha would prepare omelette for her every day. Pee Pee used to complete the omelette in instalments. Pee Pee soon identified her food plate and would go running eagerly to check her plate as soon as she was released outside the main door (but still inside the main gate) every morning after I woke up.

Once Pee Pee even hunted and ate a chameleon!

Now Pee Pee had started to become fairly agile and strong, and could jump down even from walls. Once when I left her on the pull-ups bar, she held onto the bar with her front paws and hung desperately till she could hold on no more. I of course caught her, but the next time I tried the same prank, she refused to hold onto the bar, knowing that I would anyway keep holding her. Very clever!

She used to play with my shoes and shoelaces and often sleep inside my shoes.

Every night, even when I used to come home late, as soon as I parked the car outside my gate, Pee Pee used to rush out to greet me. I would open the car door, pick her up after calling her name lovingly, open the gate, get back in the car, release her inside the car, and drive inside. She would immediately start exploring the interiors of the car, and once started nibbling on biscuit crumbs left over by my kids.

She used to playfully bite my toes while I worked on my laptop, and would often climb onto my lap to lie down. She used to enjoy it a lot when I used to lovingly stroke her head and cheeks.

I had gotten so used to her soft fur and her vibration noise and her approving purr when I stroked her in my arms every day.

Today when I came back home from work, I was told that Pee Pee was dead. She was killed by a dog which attacked her when she stepped outside our main gate.

All these weeks, or maybe two months, she had stepped out and come back safely numerous times, so that we didn’t worry much about her safety. We did fear that an adult cat might harm her and so used to keep her inside the house every night. And yet, just when we thought that she had finally crossed the danger period and would be able to fend for herself hereafter, her life was abruptly terminated by a dog.

Same thing happened earlier to us when we similarly found and raised a baby squirrel. We nursed it to life and just when it had fully recovered and started jumping all over the house, it fell into a half-filled bucket of water when we were not at home and drowned.

The pain we felt when we found her dead body floating in the bucket is indescribable. The guilt we felt that our carelessness had cost its life caused us a lot of suffering.

Now again, we lost Pee Pee just when we thought it was almost safe for her and that she can take care of herself.

I feel very pained when I think that Pee Pee was just an innocent kitten and yet she had to die such a painful death – being bitten by a dog.

I have looked into Pee Pee’s mysterious green, grey and yellow cat eyes and she has also looked back into mine. She communicated through her eyes that she recognized me and felt safe with me and that she liked me. We used to play a lot – mock fights. She would act as if she was biting me or clawing me, and I would act as if I was hitting her with my fingers.

Now her lifeless body is buried in my garden. I don’t know where her spirit is right now. I know for sure that she is no longer in pain, since she has moved on. I wish her all the best in her new journey.

She would often sleep on the sofa backrest, and every time I see the sofa now, it reminds me of her. Every time I come home, I miss Pee Pee’s welcome.

My throat is getting painfully constricted again, and tears are flooding my eyes again. Pee Pee, I thought remembering you and writing about you would help me overcome the sorrow I feel at your loss. I do feel slightly better. I’m sure time will heal me of this suffering.

I must remember that you’re fine and that you’re not suffering anymore. You’ve moved on and so must I. No use living in the past, wallowing in sorrow.

So Pee Pee, hereafter, I’m going to imagine that you grew up, and found yourself a new home and are happily living in your new home.

Take care, Pee Pee! Bye!

 

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