My one eyed stray cat, Kirat died last night. I found her lifeless body this morning sprawled under the car beside the left rear tire. As my usual call of spoon clanging on her food plate had been met with eerie silence, it had me bending down to check the fam car’s undercarriage, and wondering why she had failed to come for her fishy breakfast.
After burying her in the backyard, I just realized that suddenly, I am now down to two strays who I am sure, would just be so glad of her being out of the competition during meal times. She always had first crack at whatever I put on the platter, with me shooing the other two to wait till she was done. Through the years, I felt that she might have known of this kind of favoritism, and after a while, the two other strays had actually begun to honor that arrangement too, however resentfully.
Strays are a very funny lot, and I guess that they are called that precisely because they cover a lot of territory. Sometimes, I see them far from our block, down on the main street gallivanting with other cats who, strangely, never seem to invade into our part of the subdivision. At other times, with prey in mouth, I spy on one or two as they jump and disappear in the bushes near the chapel.
Free to roam and explore, I actually prefer them to house pets, because that would mean a certain degree of ownership on my part, and that seems unfair to them and their free nature. Relationship with them seems to thread around shared respect with no clear commitment. However, I’ve no qualms whatsoever if they like to regard me as their own personal hooman attendant or slave slash food provider.
I am reminded of Paris, our long tail furry resident in Morley WA who, though a pet of the former resident, had acted like a stray and lived on top of the massive posts of our front gate. She’d be all over the neighborhood and at the park fronting our house, hunting rodents and birds, and would occasionally leave remnants of her kill at our front door as gifts. Kirat had likewise done the same, but during one such time, this ungrateful hooman had chased her out of the gate, so that she never did it again. Twice more maybe.
I wonder if Paris is still around today, or is she with Kirat enjoying feline heaven? Fact is, the goings-on of today has suddenly made me miss them both. Cats, in contrast to dogs are just so aloof and introspect, their dominant aura is both so equally annoying and mysterious. Compared to the canine’s trademark brand of companionship and friendliness, it makes one wonder, are they here to actually complement our yins and our yangs?
Then finally, on second thought, and more important, in this time of COVID-19, for both of this loveable species, is there anyone out there feeding these strays of the world?