My Cat and I

I was reading someone’s blog the other day. She wrote about her sudden sadness in her usual, painstaking style. I mean it was such an accurate picture that quite paradoxically it lifted my mood. So I am not the only one with this ‘disease’. Sadness is a weird thing. It roams about in our premises like a stealthy cat. Sometimes you catch glimpse of its tail, brushing past your window pane. Sometimes you see it sitting on the rooftop of your neighbour’s house. You feel reassured. Ok it’s there. Safe and sound. But not too close either. And even though you are not so fond of cats, you still keep out food for it. You may not love it but you feel for it. After all it’s a familiar face. And you find comfort in its indifferent presence.

I don’t feel much sad these days. Or maybe I do, but I hardly notice it anymore. The neighbourhood cat is always there, whether I see it or not. Worst part is, when it sneaks into the kitchen and steals food. On some mornings when I open my eyes and consciousness begins to creep back in, life looks painted in such terribly depressing dull grey that I just want to go back to sleep. But that piece of consciousness starts to hammer into my brain and a dull throbbing slowly spreads through my whole body. You can’t fall asleep when your innards are wrenching themselves in a crazy whirlpool. Tears begin to roll down from my half sleepy eyes, seeping through my messy hair, wetting the pillow. The cat is no longer on neighbour’s rooftop. It is now in my room. It slowly climbs onto the bed, sits on my tummy, and purrs. It has not only stolen my favourite piece of fish but it has contaminated the whole pot.

Earlier when I would be hit by such sudden surge of sadness I would feel mortified. As if it would never end; the cat would never leave. Now I no longer freak out. I have simply stopped giving fuck. I have embraced my doomed fate. Now it’s an open challenge. Come and get me, demon. Take me home. I have given it up LONG BACK. On any normal day at home I wake up feeling super-charged by the OCD in me. There would be no sign of the cat; only dust and creases which I have to sort out at once or the world will end. Until yesterday I was fine. I woke up. Ate a huge bowl of fruit salad. Read a book. Cooked yoghurt fish curry with rice. Cleaned the house. Then from afternoon onwards the clouds came back. By the time I was going to sleep they were looming over my head ominously. I knew today was going to suck. Now I am sitting on the floor. My freshly laminated poster of Hannibal is staring back at me. “I think I’ll eat your heart.” Please do sir. It is a rotten, bleeding, useless piece of flesh anyway.

There’s an advantage of living alone. No one is there to see you cry or hear you uttering cuss words at seven per sixty seconds rate. No one will ask you to haul your ass and eat proper meal. You know you are going to eat ten cookies for breakfast. Then a cup of ice-cream for lunch. Three huge mugs of tea in the evening. (I no longer booze.) And two packets of instant noodles for dinner. Nobody will ask you to take shower. You can sit there looking like a zombie whole day. You don’t give a fuck. Nobody gives a fuck. It’s just you and the cat now. And you know this from your heart by now – even if the last soul on earth leaves your sorry ass to fend for yourself, your cat will always be there, by your side.