Cat-astrophic



I know I’m a loser, and I know I’ve hurt you. But I can’t… I just can’t live without you. It’s like I have a void inside. Can we please forget whatever happened, don’t they say … time heals?

I glare at my phone’s screen, mind in splits as my trembling thumb hovers over the send button. I was a fool, to not realise that she was the love of my life! Over an year now, I know it isn’t late, Latika still loves me.


She has to!


It took me two days to write the message, while I bathed in self-pity. Felt like a snail tired of life. My dad yells at me for being useless, but I’m lost.


I’m just lost.


I feel the gentle brush of fur on my leg. Lulu, my lovely feline cat, looks just like Latika.


“Meeeow” I brush my finger gently on her small forehead.


“Get that devil out of the frikkin house!” yells my father from inside, follows by a fast throw of a water jug. Lulu startles.


The rush of blood fills my veins.


You help me in nothing, and yet you play with that animal! You’re just like your mother, emotional!

I clench my fist. I never want to hear about her, it’s too sad to think she left me as well. How can he say that about his dead wife?


“Enough!” I yell and rush inside. In the heat of the moment, I accidentally kick Lulu. She cries out loud and furiously rushes away.


“Lulu, come back!” I follow her. I hear two dogs barking ferociously, as she stands still. She immediately runs back, past me.


A dog flashes out of one side; grabs her in his jaw. I immediately run towards them. The dog, alarmed, runs away.


Lulu, with blood gushing out, stays still. It all happened in some seconds. My heart trembles, as my knees give up. What just happened!


I slowly walk back home.


“Have you gone insanely mad! Did you run out to get bit by those Dogs now!?”


Every word pierces my heart.


“Can you stop with your pretentious care dad! If you had cared for her, she’d still be alive!”


“You watch your mouth Ahan!


“No, I won’t today! I don’t even know who my mom was. You’re a piece of shit!”


He looks at me for a moment, clenches his fist, rushes inside. He must be getting hold of a broomstick. I look down towards the jug, reflecting my face. I have the same rage as my father. I understand I would’ve done the same if someone said anything about Latika.


My father comes out, not with a broomstick but with a bowl. He looks away, trying to hide his moist eyes and says, “Here’s some left-over fish for your cat, you love her a lot, don’t you?


“I did, she’s gone” I look towards my phone.


He signals me to sit, takes out an oil bottle. Rubs his heavy fingers on my scalp.

The cat was male, Ahan” I look towards him, little shocked. “You can talk to me about her.”


“It’s alright dad” I delete the message and continue, “Time heals people I guess” For the first time, I didn’t feel lost.


“Someone told me, time doesn’t heal people”


“Then what does?”


People heal people,” he says with a moist throat.

My eyes light up. I realise, I was never there for him. I sit behind him, rubbing oil on my palms I say, “Dad, quoting such heavy lines, was mom a philosopher?


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©2019 Learning Sutras by Mitali Badkul & Nayan Sharma