“Touch my food and you will unleash my wrath!”
I hate sharing my food and I always said the above dialogue to anyone who touches my food, mostly to my classmates. Unfortunately, my physical appearance has never scared anyone to obey my rules. My classmates, who were twice my size, ignored my threats and enjoyed my food. Luckily, they were kind enough to leave the steel tiffin box to me.
This situation was not limited to my school days; it also happened at my home, where my cousins visit during their vacation. They are younger than me and capable of burning the house down in a short span of time. Considering their might, I didn’t raise any threats when they took sweets and snacks from my plate. I was like, “Oh little angels” and patiently waited for the school to begin.
A year ago, two new kittens arrived in my neighbourhood. They were like a team. One was grey and the other one was white. They hid in the dark and tiny corners where big cats couldn’t reach for. The grey one caught my attention because it was a perfect mini replica of my first pet cat – “Tiger.” It was also an extrovert who came out of the corners whenever it could. The white one was a shy introvert and always stuck to the dark side- under the car, in the newspaper box etc.
My focus was on the grey one. I named it “MottuLal.” Neighbours laughed at my name selection and said, “This skinny kitten is Mottu(fatty)?”
I said, “hmm. Yeah. Just a random name selection.”
Unlike me, Neighbours didn’t have the time to find another name as they were busy with job, family life etc.
It was survival of the fittest. Cats fought against each other for leftover food in the streets. MottuLal struggled to find food and whenever it got food, it shared the food with its teammate- the white kitty and growled when other cats came nearby.
Months passed by and one day my mom caught me red-handed giving food to MottuLal. My mom hates cats, especially MottuLal. She was enraged and asked, “aren’t you the one who hates to share his food?”
I replied, “Yes, that’s me.”
Mom said, “Then why did you give the fresh piece of fish to this cat? if it were just fishbone, it was okay. But this isn’t good.”
I replied, “But this cat has earned it.”
Mom asked, “Earned? Yeah, like it went to the market and bought this. Ha”
I said, “I have been noticing this cat since its arrival. Like other cats in our area, It begs for food with its strange ‘Meow’. People close their windows and doors. Even though it is tired, It begs for a long time. But everyone is so busy that they ignore such pleas. Fascinatingly, only this cat never gives up and constantly tries to achieve what it wants. Despite the failed attempts, it tries to get food by doing the job of a masseur, rubbing its weak body against all human legs it sees nearby. After the leg massage, it looks at the eyes of those people and asks for ‘salary’. Yet people just enjoy the massage and leave. Shockingly, some neighbours had even killed cats with poison before.
When I offered this cat my food for the first time, it proved its loyalty later on by bringing dead rats in the car shed. It even fought a deadly snake, risking own life and killing it, to offer it to me. Whenever it sees me outside, it rushes towards me, ignoring the gates and walls with great hope. Before eating, it invites its lazy partner and shares food.
Mom, its daily struggle to live, its loyalty towards me and its love towards its partner makes it worthy of my food.”
By using the word “worthy”, I felt like Odin, who gifted hammer to Thor. Mom replied, “Whatever…” and went inside the kitchen. She couldn’t tolerate too much drama and I resumed looking at MottuLal in awe.