Yesterday was a VERY SPECIAL day at Karthi. It unfolded like this:
1:00 p.m: Ani, who didn't have to go to school yesterday, goes into our master bedroom and shouts out, "Amma, there is a cat here!" "Ok!" I say, assuming that it has left as soon as the kiddo hollers.
1:30: I go into the bedroom - note the time - and find Ani sitting on the floor stroking a cat who is lying on her side, relaxing. She barely lifts her head at me and I join the stroking fest. Her tummy looks huge, but from bitter personal experience I hold back from asking how far gone her pregnancy is, fearing a swipe with enraged claws if she isn't pregnant at all! Okay, may be she may just have had a VERY good meal!
1:45: I tug a reluctant Ani off the floor for a siesta (lack of which can make him very crabby in the evening). He tries to sleep with his pillow at the foot of the bed so that he can watch the cat, but I put his pillow firmly at the head of the cot.
1:50: We jump right off the bed because the cat makes an odd grunting sound. She comes out from under the bed, looking miffed at the desertion of her personal masseuse and climbs to the window seat and jumps out. Ani stands at the window and calls after her - she wavers a little, then walks off down the driveway.
3:00 pm: I rush into the bedroom because my phone's ringing near Ani who is sleeping. I notice that the cat is back in the room, still lying down under the bed. As I talk on the phone, I wonder vaguely if she needs medical help although she is not showing any distress. It's unnatural for adult semi-wild cats to stay put when they see us in our own territory.
6:30: After our evening prayer, I go into the master bedroom and pull my pile-of-washing-chair up to the bed and start sorting and folding clothes. I hear a rustling noise near the window seat and move the curtain to find that the cat is squatting in a Flipkart box under the window seat. Hmm, interesting... She is grunting and turning round and round. I finally give into my worst suspicion that she is going to have kittens and call up my Mom to confirm. She recommends putting the box and cat outside, but thinking of the distress she must be going through, I put it off...
Well the rest of the story would read like a National Geographic episode, so I will leave that part out. At the end.... Ta ...Da...
Can you see the tawny and the dark little heads there? We have now changed the name of our master bedroom to "delivery suite" and tiptoe around there. Before getting off the bed this morning, I remembered to use the flashlight to see whether I could put down my feet safely. The mom is very sweet-tempered even though she has to bear a lot of prying and flashing lights.
We left a bowl of milk and rice near the box in the morning, kept checking on it and found it licked clean at 10:30. I think the mom felt fit and peckish again by noon, because she left her precious bundles behind in our care for a while:
Today Kunjunni has had the day off from school as his exams are starting tomorrow. I made sure that the kids understand that they are not to touch the kittens in any way because our scent on them could cause the mom to abandon her kittens. Okay, since that would not be enough to deter our cat-loving Ani, I also told them that he could startle the mom cat into attacking him although she looks too gentle and weary for that! :) The mom is back and the kitties are crawling all over her now.
I wondered if it is our old half-grown Chakki from this post, but looking at the pictures, I think it is a different cat. But somehow the word has got around that Karthi is a safe place for cats. All the people I called said it's great luck to be chosen for such a privilege and shows us that the cat trusts us so much.
Sooner or later we will be moving them to the garage because claws and soft furnishings do not mix. But they are welcome to bowls of milk and rice at our doorstep as well as all the geckos they can eat from our pantry whenever they want!
Signing off from the Feline Maternity Hospital aka Karthi!!!