Tonight I buried her. She was still wearing the green striped vest with the red Macau she picked from the pet store. Only this time she did not snuggle up to me and let go the sigh of relief… I am safe now papa.
For this is what made my nights for the last five months. She would hang around the bed and jump like little red Indians around a camp fire till I picked her up. She would immediately set upon licking my face, rummaging through the little hair I have and scamper about the bed before she would snuggle up to me and sleep– a deep peaceful sleep of peace and reassurance.
But she hardly slept for the last few nights. Ascites was taking its toll on her. Slowly her liver stopped functioning and then her kidneys. She was bloating up with water inside. She underwent three dialysis. She has always been a brave feisty girl who would not give up anything without a fight. So she battled on, till her tiny fragile heart gave up.
As she limped to one side, the body went soft, legs stiffened for a moment and then she was gone. Gone forever.
And we have to live on with that.
She was like the numerous pop-ups you see on the laptop screens. She would spring out of nowhere. Sometimes she would emerge out of my back-pack, sometimes I would find her sitting in my drawer, at other times she would sneak inside the bedside chest with all the pillows and rugs.
She was one of the reasons for my returning home early. For I knew a most invigorating tale was waiting for me. “Janish Mishka ki koreche!” (Do you have any idea what Mishka did today!) was the favourite refrain around the house.
Mishka goes missing—discovered playing with my finches behind the birds cage. Suddenly a slipper is moving around the house— spectre from the other world… no its Mishka in guerrilla mode. Nemo being dragged about the house by his leash by little Mishka. Every time it was something new. Something we would laugh about after the whole day.
One day still only four months old I see Mishka all balled up on my, furs around her neck straightened, her tail perpendicular and twitching, a low purr completed the set up. I sneak into the room from my study and see she is all ready to fight the tiger—my laptop lock screen. The moment she realises that I am behind her, it gave her the last boost she needed. Next she has pounced on my laptop. By the time I lift her up at least the keypad was badly mauled.
A clown, a charmer, a darling—she was my princess. And now she is back with her Maker.
MISHKA BASU: April 23, 2017 – November 23, 2017.