One Sunday afternoon I opened my front door to find a loaf of cat outside.
Suddenly, she grew legs and befriended my cactus plant, Prickandi.
Any friend of Prickandi is automatically a friend of mine, and so I had to let her in.
She came into my house, and resumed her loaf state.
Judging her consistent desire to loaf, I named her Loaffur.
Eventually- mainly because she peed and I had to clean it up- she became a part of my house. She was clingy. She constantly wanted my attention, and wanted to be around me.
Soon I began to feel like a colonizer. Clearly, she has been born and raised in Bengluru, how can I put off one English name? It did not seem to fit. Yes, she was a loaf, but she was not always a loaf.
I needed a good name that accurately described who she was.
And so I named her Bekku. Which means Cat in Kannada. Sometimes (meaning most times) I was overcome with love and I called her Bekku kutty (meaning small cat.)
Bekku kutty and I would listen to many songs- Kannada, English, Hindi, Malayalam, Bengali, everything. She would eat and I would watch, or I would eat and she would watch… for an opportunity to jump at my plate. I would sleep and she would climb my bed. At first I tried to push her away, but she would climb right back in. I was annoyed with her, and yet if she went out and didn’t come back I would become a mess. It seemed she was going to be here for a long time.
But I was not. I had to leave to Kerala and then the second wave of Covid came to cut us off. I am not sure when I will go back. I fear that whenever I do, bekku kutty would have long forgotten me and moved on.
I believe she came to me to do me a favour. She came because she knew I needed her company, she could sense my yearning. She came because just the day before, on a gloomy Saturday, VJ ma’am had come in, full of life, offering me two pieces of advice to end all the problems I had with men, their lives, and their unsolicited advice-
- Read a poem everyday.
- Get a cat.
Advice to Women Keep cats if you want to learn to cope with the otherness of lovers. Otherness is not always neglect – Cats return to their litter trays when they need to. Don’t cuss out of the window at their enemies. That stare of perpetual surprise in those great green eyes will teach you to die alone. Eunice De Souza