Here is story 4 about several cats in a cattery in Bangalore who helped me through my year of cancer treatment, many years ago!
My cancer’s cat-gardening (4)
Mohanthal: my sixth sense
Daily I slunk away to Mohanthal’s Quilt and my career limped behind me, coughing and sneezing worrisomely.
Everything seemed a big, bad, bundle of mistakes. I had somehow stumbled into shame, the long due promotion sitting primly inside the smoker’s little bottom; a bully whom I had firmly got rid of when I had left work for a year, had somehow wedged herself inside my space again…
This bitter truth it was Mohanthal’s job to reveal to me one day. She pounced on me with her very own personal corduroy jacket of strict grey, black, and orangeade splatter with a glacier of ruthless honesty shimmering in her green eyes. It has one regular grim statement for the whole world and me which says ‘’Why should we invite the onerous and the odious to bully us at our own dinner table?”
She is a cat with a face that always looks armed and ready to thump the first menace daring to even think of spoiling her day with a withering sneer. She unnervingly and always seemed to be foretelling my future to me, even as it was beginning to struggle out of my own intuition, but Mohanthal would have rushed ahead by several hours. Each and every time she was onto my fate, futility, foolishness or whatever, as accurately as the I Ching itself, that batty, energetic, also frighteningly accurate, intuitive and truthful book of 64 oracles. It is like your very best friend who does not charge for her advice and also makes you laugh even when it foretells bad news or frankly comments on your foolish choices or mistakes and their repercussions.
Mohanthal is also my cup of the best hot coffee on a cold, spooky, Namby Pamby pummeled day with that scruffy little slyboots standing by the ladies’ loo and smoking his 35thcigarette of the day. (She is my security guard who always finds out when my courage and that inner personal wealth have sunk or been stolen. She then just stares at me, to tell me that they have to be retrieved, at once. Oracle 42 of Increase waited for me as Mohanthal’s green-eyed scanning and washing of my worrisome world, saved me thousands of rupees I squandered recklessly on self help books.
Namby Pamby still wears that guilty, untruthful, untrustworthy, unkempt, unwholesome look on his face. My promotion is begging to be let out of his smoke rings or that treacherous goatee beard and the cancer has sat upon it as well. How ghastly.
Thank God for Mohanthal: that emerald and grey ivy tinted fur coat and those piercing eyes fiercely dispatch this sniggering little odor of very odious thuds from the past, so creepily stamped upon everything fresh and hopeful to the inner dustbin that we must always keep handy.
Mohanthal discovered the scariest, most unsafe high places to sit on, as she looked down upon her world and mine and grimaced. I never came away after meeting her without my heart being hammered by the questions that she seemed to keep safely inside her small, mohanthal coloured heart for me to think about seriously.
Was I doing all I should to be a happier, stronger person? Did I need to be so soft and timid, and just glad to have my work back, enough money for all useful and nice things, and this solitary junction to visit anytime I wished to and soak up all the hilarious adroitness of living that cats donate to us? Most of all Mohanthal made me consider the quality of my friendships. Kittles seemed to do that too, as she looked disapprovingly at most friends and guests that came home and gave me the most beseeching look to get rid of them as soon as possible. Her unspoken question was always this “what do you need them for when you have us?”
Mohanthal was not a sugary cat like that Diwali sweetmeat (that would be Chunri’s nature, the Tortoise Shell I finally acquired much later) – she made me think too much and this made me admit that envy and bossing had entered a previously barely tolerable friendship, and it had begun to bite. As I sat against the wall of the higher terrace, and looked up at Mohanthal sitting on the very edge of a deathly ledge looking down at me very tellingly, I had to also admit that I was feeling nailed in by a cumbersome irksome bully .this was quite definitely a Decrease, (the I Ching oracle of 41!)
to be continued