Maska’s Hole in the Wall Heart Attack Strategy
Ever since cats began to sneak into my life several years ago I have got steadily richer in my bank balance of innocence and tranquility.
It all began with that dark grey cat on the terrace whom I had begun to feed milk and bread on those good old days without processed cat foods. One day I had made a plateful of spinach parathas and had left them by the stove when I went to answer a phone call. When I returned, a large rat had eaten up two of the five parathas! I threw the rest away and wept in horror! Little did I know that the weeping was an invitation for the dark grey silent and secretive cat to become my house guest!
This happened so secretively that I never even knew she had entered the house in the night! But the rat had made a mysterious disappearance and I could eat all my food without his help to finish it! Later when the shy, very silent cat was spayed and became my house guest she gifted me one dead rat thrice or four times a week. She kept him faithfully near my pillow or over the mosquito net so I would wake up with a small heart attack and then a grateful thank you!
Nowadays my heart attacks have begun to come from Maska, (which means butter) the ginger and milk white kitten who arrived from the drain on the main road where her mother had left her to fend for herself and her little sister whom she brought with her to grace the dinner table of my three cats.
Maska became the Heart Attack cat in no time. Once she clambered up to the stone ledge above the cane swing and settled down there whining piteously for a week till she was finally brought down by Biscuit, the silent grey beauty, who flew up and down the ladder kept there, so many times that Maska was ashamed of her timidity and copied her.
Then came another day when Maska stuck to the gas stove as if it was her long lost lover from a past life and would not budge till she had to be shoved off gently so dinner could be cooked there.
Now she has settled down on a scary little square hole in the wall, with a two inches width ledge. It is high above the ground, can hardly contain her fat, round ginger and white as basmati rice body but there she sits, washes herself, arranges her fur neatly, dreams and naps and looks surprised when she is accused of giving anyone a heart attack. She also chooses this creepy ledge at night when no vet will be available if she falls down and ….!
Whenever cats decide to give us heart attacks they look very solemn and inscrutable, as if they have no idea why we are fussing and screeching. Serenity eerily envelopes them as we stop breathing and give in to prayer. Could that be the intention? To make us prayerful? I discovered that it is only a spoonful of catnip that brings Maska down from that Hole in the Wall for a while so I can breathe again! But like all people owned by cats I have long since discovered the futility of trying to figure out a cat’s weird choices for being happy! And if you must have a heart attack it is your problem!