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The Story of Kingini

Kingini

Kingini has a story to tell though she is only a kitten still, less than 4 months old. She was born in a hole on the wall of a land terrace far away from all human presence. Her mother (whom Maggie named Kiki because whenever she was hungry she came outside our kitchen and produced a feeble noise, ‘ki-ki’) had had a lot of traumatic experiences earlier. She lost all her kittens in the previous two parturitions. Dogs and humans did that to her, I learnt later. It is from a person who worked in the farms that I came to know about Kiki’s last kittening. “There are two kittens,” the person told me. This person felt pity for them and made the hole as secure from nature’s furies as she could with the help of leaves and twigs.

Kiki was a nobody’s cat. She came from somewhere, slept in one house, birthed in another, and ate from our house. Having lost all her kittens two times successively, she chose to give birth this time far away from all hostile elements of the manmade world.

Then the rains started. The kittens were just about two weeks old. Monsoon in Kerala can be merciless. Incessant downpours accompanied with intermittent winds that uproot trees whimsically. Kiki and her kittens became a pain in my consciousness. Soon enough, Kiki and her kittens made their home on my terrace which is roofed with tin sheets. I imagined Kiki bringing those two kittens one by one by holding them by the scruff of their neck, walking over 100 metres from her hole to my house, daring the rains perhaps or when the rains abated, walking with a determination that is more canine than feline, climbing up the sloping landscape, up my outdoor staircase, jumping over the parapet wall still holding her little kitten between her teeth, making a home with the empty Amazon cartons I had dumped on the terrace… I discovered Kiki and her little family when I went to spread out our washed linen on the drying lines there as I do every morning. My first reaction was admiration for Kiki. I loved her all the more because she had chosen my house ignoring two others on her way.

The kittens were not quite chuffed with my presence on the terrace. They scooted on seeing me. I decided to ignore them because that was the best I could do in the given situation. I had to keep a distance from them. Accepting me as a friend was their choice. They would learn one day that not everything around them was hostile, as their mother had learnt. They would learn that the world has something more to offer than a moist hole and the creepy winds in the rain.

They were scared. Terribly so. I sensed their scare in my pulse. They grew up and started moving around on the terrace, but they ran away and hid themselves as soon as I appeared on the terrace. I let them be hoping that the fear was temporary.

Then, one morning, one of the kittens vanished. It wasn’t there anywhere on the terrace. I went to school as usual and returned in the evening. One of the first things I did on returning from school was to check for the missing kitten. It wasn’t there anywhere. Probably, some predator had come in the night and carried it away. There are civets and other such creatures that come and go in the night. I am blessed to be living in a village that hasn’t lost the ancient wildness yet from the landscapes.

Even cats can be a threat to other cats. There is one cat whom I named Modiji that used to come along stealthily from the feral darkness of nights and attack my cats savagely for no reason. Modiji was a nightmare not only for my cats but also for me because my beloved Bob was driven away by Modiji’s lethal attacks. Of late, Modiji is not seen. A neighbour told me that someone might have done him in since he had become a threat in too many places.

Back to Kiki’s story who lost one of her kittens again in spite of all the pains she had taken for their security. The surviving kitten became even more terrified than ever. I never saw it except as a flash. It scooted into the security of the cartons which Kiki had arranged quite smartly into a labyrinthine fortress upsetting the orderliness that had always existed on my terrace.

Even hunger didn’t bring the kitten down from the terrace. It was when she was two months old that I decided to feed her on the terrace. I carried food and left it in a secure area of the slant-roofed terrace. She devoured the food greedily as I watched her secretly from behind a wall. It took almost a month more for her to accept me as her potential friend.

Now she has descended from the terrace. She lives with my other cats and gets along pretty well too. She is still scared of humans including me. But I know it won’t take long for her to forget the old ordeals and scars. Cats are not as irredeemable as humans.

Kingini is the name Maggie bestowed on her affectionately.

PS. This post is a part of Blogchatter Half Marathon

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Related Post: ടോമിച്ചന്റെ പെൺപൂച്ചകൾ

Comments

  1. Wishing her and her kitties a secured, blessed life. It is good to hear that she started moving with you. Thank you for this heartfelt story :-)

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    Replies
    1. Cats are kings and queens. We adapt ourselves to their demands.

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  2. This is a truly lovely story. Thank you for the care you have given this family. I hope that they do indeed grow to trust you - and feel confident that they will.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hari OM
    Awwww... a perfect story for a Sunday post! Blessings to Kingini, may she flourish under your care. YAM xx

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you for sharing Kiki and Kingini's story. To quote Elephant's Child---'This is a love story'. And you've written it from the heart. Your words took me to your slice of heaven in Kerala. Love, care and resilience make this world a better place. Thank you for sprinkling my Sunday with hope.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Arti. I too long for a world filled with love and care.

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  5. Yes. There is glimmer of humanity, hidden in all of us, waiting to emerge… to be nurtured. Our call is to be species-being, making everything feel at home with us, a-la- Marx. Your autobiographical piece is literary treat in itself and an invitation, to be-come part of the Vasudaivakutumbakam…Maliekal

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Maliekal. Your philosophical approach to life is a great source of inspiration for me though I tend to look at life from more, what shal I say, feline points of view.

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  6. Great to read about Kingini, Lots of Love

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  7. That is a wonderful story. When I lived in Chennai we had two cute kittens. One of them was called Blacky. She had a beautiful colour combination of Black and White. Kingini reminds me of Blacky.

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    Replies
    1. Cats can make remarkably entertaining pets, Jai. But too many people seem to have too many misconceptions about them.

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  8. This was very evocative. I wish the kittens all the very best in your care~

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  9. Thank you for sharing this informative post! It's always great to come across quality content like this. The insights you've provided are valuable and will be helpful for anyone interested in this topic. Keep up the good work!

    ReplyDelete

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