‘My Dear Himani’ – A Memoir From a Cat Lover

Nobody exactly knows when or how Himani came into existence. But she became an intimate part of our household, our mohallah.

From my memory den, the first thing I can picture is the rainbow of coat colours. Black on her head, gold on the neck and back and white patches in between.

At glance, Himani was a sagacious monk, sitting peacefully and staring at the world in complete calmness.

Rumour has it that during her younger kitten years, Himani was thrown off a roof by a neighbour’s son. But another benevolent neighbouring lady made it her purpose to heal Himani. She called a veterinarian, arranged for the bandaging and medicines and took care of Himani until she began walking again.

Himani walked with a limp for the rest of her life. But I’ve never seen a more poised, calm animal in my life. So much so that she and Burger made purretty good company.

She elegantly walked the messy streets. Unlike dogs, cats are aristocratic and live a beautiful cultured life with great cattitude!

For the non-cat lovers, well, they take any reason to dislike felines, from being disloyal to pooping in the house. In defence of the cat, don’t you and I poop in the house too? At least cats clean their sh*t!

Himani was clearly the queen of our society. Then came Dhaddu, Himan’s prince charming. They were pawsome together. They even blessed our mohalla with many mini Himanis and an entire generations of cats.

Every cat that I see in and around my neighbourhood is probably from Himani and Dhaddu’s parivaar. We married Himani and Dhaddu once, even prepared brick shelters for her family. I’m not ‘kitten’ you about it!

Sigh! Those were some good memories. But the hardest part is when Himani died. I don’t know when and how it happened. Like I said, Himani was a sagacious monk, she left our society a few days before her death. But days turned into weeks and weeks into years but there was no sign of Himani. And all that I asked everyone was, “Did you see Himani’?

It’s been nine-years since Himani left us. After Himani, we adopted other cats, Twinkle, Shushmita etc. But none of them holds the place that Himani did for me.

Himani, the softness of snow. Himani, the song of happiness. My Himani.

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(Dr Saurabh Bijalwan is an MBBS graduate. His previous articles have been published on Women's web, YKA)

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