Saturday, August 1, 2009

Concrete Jungle & the Wild Cat


The pond between the tall trees looked very tranquil today, even the swans and visiting geese were not at loggerheads and tactfully avoided coming into each others way. The squirrels were running to and fro collecting tit bits and squeaking at each other about one thing or another. The oldest Mrs. Squirrel in the park was under everybody’s censure for having unruly kids who not only threw berries at every passerby but at times also put other children playing with them in danger of getting squished.

The wild cat pondered near the big neem tree for some time, thinking about her last litter of kittens and the white one she had loved dearly. She had hoped it would perhaps stay near her so that she can see her once in a while. Nonetheless, it went away and so did the rest of them and she knew in the heart of hearts that they will but still it did hurt her if not much, just a tiny bit. She had always accepted it as a part of her life that kittens will leave her and move on, just like she did with her parents. But today she could not help but think what if they had not?

She looked around her hoping to find some diversion for her gloomy thoughts and found the old man and woman sitting on their usual bench. Today the old lady had a bag with her full of colorful fur. She had two long sticks in her hand and seemed to be weaving something like a spider. The cat went ahead to get a closer look and tried to discern what type of web was she making with the colorful fur, but it did not seem to be taking any shape right now.

She started wandering towards the chubby little kid sitting on the next bench and while passing the old couple she heard a muffled sob. She turned around again to look at the moping old lady, she was crying today and her hands were weaving the web faster and faster with each sob. To get a hint as to what was ailing the old lady she crept closer and wedged herself behind the bench between the bushes.

Old Lady mumbled: I wish he had told me earlier that he cannot come and has to cancel his trip for yet another year.

Old Man soothingly: He told me about a month ago that he may have to cancel the trip if his boss decides to promote him, and you know dear how it is with jobs these days. It is first of all hard to get a job and then retaining it is tougher. We should understand his problems.

Old Lady: You know it very well he has no need to work for that silly company when he can run his own business here.

Old Man gets angry: And you know it pretty well why he left in the first place. If you had not questioned him at each and every action or inaction of his he would not have left. I told you when you were behaving in that manner that nothing good will come out of it.

Old Lady goes quiet and continues her sobbing. The old man sniffs at her and lights his cigar. He reminded the cat of the old cocky monkey she so despised and who at times would tease her kittens a lot when she was away in search of food.

The miff that old couple had just now did nothing to alleviate the cat’s mood, on the contrary she was reminded of her white kitten with such a force that she did not pay attention to where she was going and ended up falling in a small ditch dug out in the sanded play area. The kid sitting on the bench came running to rescue her at the cost of getting a scold from his finicky mother, who according to her guess wasn’t pleased about her son touching the sand and also a street cat.

The Wild Cat felt very indignant and wanted to give the yelling lady a piece of her mind by informing she cleans herself every day at least twice and is not at all infested by flees and ticks unlike other cats of ‘her jungle’. But of course she could not do so and in anguish ran towards the same tree where she took her classes. The Teacher was not to be found anywhere and in disappointment she climbed the tree and sat near the top most-branch that allowed her a great view of the whole city.

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