JV is dead.
His stiff body lies flat on the floor. Head down, legs straight. It does not matter that his tail is stretched up, but what does matter is, it is short for a tail, clipped. But for the fractured tail and the exposed skull, exposed exactly between the ears, barren of its fine furs, nobody would say, JV is dead.
I hate cats!
Did I say, JV is a cat, a golden cat!
Rather, a dead cat now, who lies flat on the floor. His proud whiskers fallen off its pad and eaten into his mouth. No frightening eyes, no terribly sharp claws!
No cat is immortal and JV is not.
JV came into my life upon Vincent’s death. Vincent was my friend, my lone friend. But, I hated Vincent. Not only for knowing that I hate cats, he had asked me to take care of JV, but also for the fact that he was always a winner, beating me every time, be it in academics, in career or in social circuits. Be it in living life or in embracing death, he did both with equal joviality and courage!
My friend Vincent had a long suffering and died of that bloody cancer, now lay dead in his grave. On his death, JV followed me from his burial to my house.
JV was not the name by which he was called by Vincent. He was just ‘J’ then. I don’t know what ‘J’ stood for…Jon,Jol,Jack,Job or Jiv or may be Jonardan. He is just JV to me, ‘V’ for my friend Vincent and ‘J’ for Jonardan. Vincent Jonardan or Jonardan Vincent, whichever–I’m least bothered…since I hate cats!
JV followed my footsteps to my house only to be hit by the door at his face. But to my wonder, moments later, he sneaked into my house and settled quietly at a safe corner in my living room, at a close vicinity to the exits, so that at the flick of a danger he could flee to safety.
If I had observed keenly, I could have found an opening at the false ceiling, which was used by JV as a safe hiding place and to occasionally snore off.
I used all the tricks that I knew to frighten a cat out of my house. I made funny noises, howled, growled, barked, roared…and I ran after him around the house carrying a broomstick in my hand. But all those ended up in a character reversed Tom and Jerry game. We finally settled at our respective places from where we had started. He gave a sarcastic look and making his whiskers dance before me mewed the contemplating sound of a winner cat.
That’s what I hated of the cats.
Thoroughly beaten and frustrated, I learnt to live with the cat. Though it was my compulsion, but you know, Vincent was my only friend, who was survived with J and J in turn was the only friend of Vincent. He was also the sole mute spectator to all of Vincent’s sufferings. J and Vincent, the pet and his companion, were inseparable to each other. In fact, after Vincent broke-up with Julia, it was only J’s company that inspired him to live a life longer than the doctors had predicted for him.
So, when I extended my hand of friendship towards J, I could not but in memory of my friend add ‘Vincent’ to his name, and ‘J’ became JV forthwith.
JV gradually entered into my daily life and into my daily chores. It was more of a bookish kind of a thing at the beginning–feeding, grooming, patting… combing his fur, cleaning his litter, taking him to a Vet. Then the emotions…likes and dislikes, loves and hates. Ultimately, in one fine morning, I realised that JV and I are inseparable.
But the saddest thing as I started with is, JV is dead and I don’t have the slightest clue as to why he should die!
That’s what I hate of the cats. They become a family, you like them, tend them, cuddle them, fondle them. They please you, amuse you, tease you and ultimately desert you.
How did JV die? Why should he die…? After Vincent, JV was the only friend I had,with whom I could fight or talk for hours. He would listen patiently to all my gibberish purring in my lap. JV liked me as much as I liked him… how can he suddenly leave me!
I searched my house frantically for any clue, for a predator or an unknown object or anything that could have killed JV. I ran all around the house and searched every nook and cranny till I found a few cat hairs on the kitchen floor and drops of blood on the window pane. I did not understand what made JV to press himself against the glass pane to force through the narrow opening of my sixth floor kitchen window to jump onto the fifth floor parapet! There must be some irresistibly compelling reason. I pondered…but could not reach a justifiable conclusion. ..O’, My poor cat!
I cursed myself for leaving JV alone in the house while I was away with my work. But, this was how it had been all through. JV stayed all alone, while I was out. We had mutually agreed upon and he had learned to live that way…him being a brave cat! I had never imagined that JV would venture into something imprudent which would pain me…O’, my dear cat!
Now that my my poor JV lies dead on the floor, tears didn’t stop rolling down my eyes. However, keeping my emotions all to myself, I wrapped him in a towel, put him in the casket and carried him for the burial. With a heavy heart, I said good bye to him. He now rests in peace in a grave besides that of Vincent’s.
* * * * * * *
That was a cold night, it was snowing heavily outside. The last few days were very grievous and tiring for me. In the mid of my deep sleep, I felt some tickling thing under my blanket. A cold touch of something broke my sleep.
Awoke, I found two little kittens under the blanket, on either of my sides, pushing themselves closer to my body to get its warmth. I was surprised but amazed at the blissful sight of the little kittens those were sleeping peacefully by my side!
I felt as if JV had appeared before me for a moment and disappeared from my sight within a blink.
* * *
I affectionately took the two little kittens close to my chest, patted them and lost myself in their beautiful little blue eyes.
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