New readers of notsoperfectkarthi, please read Kitty Saga - 1 and Kitty Saga - 2 (at the very end of that post) to bring yourselves up to speed.
It had been more than a month since Chakki had taken her kids off in huff after we had offered her "substandard" acco in our garage while she had gunned for the five-star lifestyle in our kitchen. The kids and I went about the general merrymaking of summer vacation always keeping an eye open for the return of the prodigals.
Then in May, after we returned from a hurried trip to Chennai and Ooty, I opened the front door one afternoon and was scared out of my wits by a black and white furry ball that shot across my way on our porch. Who did I see?
The black n white kitten hiding behind the toy car! They took up temporary residence in our garage. Chakki had brought them back! Here they are hiding behind my scooter:
The kitties were completely wild and would never allow us anywhere near them. I cornered the B&W one once and only got clawed for my pains. I decided to let them alone until they grew accustomed to us if they could. And yes, service at Karthi Cat Spa continued...
They switched acco between our garage and our next-door neighbor's open terrace. Some time in May, the tan and white kitten went missing. But the B&W one made up for it. We named her "Aakrantha Kumari" (the greedy girl kitten) in honor of her insatiable appetite for milk.
One day we offered Chakki a piece of fried fish. Aakrantha Kumari was on the neighbor's roof. Chakki started to eat the fish, then reconsidered it, picked up the piece of fish and carefully made her way into the neighboring yard while mewing softly with the fish in her mouth. We heard her daughter's frantic replies from our neighbor's roof as she waited to share the delicacy. Such motherly care!
Then two weeks ago, when we came back in the evening after a long day of weekend errands, we found Aakrantha Kumari on our porch. By that time, she had taken to coming in to Karthi from time to time under the strict supervision of her Mom, still not allowing us to touch her, but not running away from us so much either. She shared another bowl of milk with her Mom. Then she played under our car that had been parked in front. Ani came in from time to time to give us blow-by-blow reports of her antics under the car.
Then as dusk was falling, I went out into our front yard and heard our neighbor call. I walked up to our boundary wall and he said, "You know that lovely black and white kitten that plays with the kids? It was killed by a stray dog in our yard. The momma cat was so distraught and was crying over the body. I am just back from burying it." DH had come out to hear the last part and I had to tell him the whole thing, by which time the kids came to know about it too. And worse, Chakki herself came to us over the wall.
It was heart-breaking. Because she didn't seem to know what to do. She called for her kitten roaming all over our house. She followed DH distractedly when he went from room to room as though she was sure he was going to the kitten's hiding place. She had never taken her kittens to our second storey, but she went up the stairs anyway and wandered calling in the empty rooms up there. When we opened the front door, she went out. But then came back again through the bedroom window and searched under the window seat where she had given birth to her adorable twins. When we closed the windows, she sat on the sill outside and called.
We all grieved for that bundle of fun. We tried to be philosophical about it, but not very successfully. Two little kittens - alive for barely two or three months? The only consolation was that at least we knew what had happened to the second one, that we had fed her just an hour before she went away and that we had seen her minutes before when she was alive and well but had been spared the horrible end.
Now all that is left of those kittens' lives are a few photos, a video of both of them playing under our coconut tree and our memories. I will post the video if I can, I downloaded it today to my computer and laughed and cried while watching it. And I had to write about them so that they will be safe somewhere in this cyber-world at least - always playing, tumbling over each other, pretending to be tigers!