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  • Writer's picturePray Jani

Slash, to the bravest cat I know

I had climbed the highest peak of the state (Girnar) and it was not even the best thing that happened to me that week. On coming home my brother broke the news to me saying we had given shelter to an injured kitten. After heated arguments it was decided that we will call him KitKat. However I had not seen him for he was scared and hid under my bed, but soon he crawled his way out, thinking or hoping we were just protecting him. He crawled to his bowl of milk and started to sip. It was then that I saw his forelimb badly wounded. And that day, he became the first cat I pitied. Its impossible to name a cat actually because they don’t respond to anything but food and danger. So when the vet asked us what his name was, for his passport, I told her its Slash (my second favorite guitarist). And hence I marked my victory over my brother’s lousy decision of naming him KitKat.

It didn’t take much time for him to get comfortable, he pounced on the couch and spread himself like a bedsheets and slept. At times we could hear him snore. In fact, Slash knew each and every corner of the house, some which we hadn’t even discovered yet.

Slash enjoyed getting himself in trouble as he never missed an opportunity to get beaten up by other street cats, and when he was being chased, his favorite place to hide was under my bed. There was this one particular one who wanted my cat to suffer, well we would not let that happen. One morning he somehow managed to enter our house but humans, the smartest creatures know how to handle a burglar cat. Soon my father, my brother and I got into a “mission impossible” mode and caught that burglar, sending him out of the city. So much for Slash.

Slash soon grew, and before he was a year old he looked like he was 5. Maybe because he was fed delicious Drools Sea fish 7-8 times a day. But he was a kind creature. He did know how to share with others. Everyday a pregnant cat would come to hog over his meals and he would calmly step back. We scolded that little kitten, but he was a stubborn one, born with strong male ego, and would do what he thinks was right. When he grew a year, the pregnant cat had already given babies and it was amusing to watch the 3 kittens play with my Slash.

It was during my 12th boards that this happened. After my first paper as I got back home my brother told he that slash had eaten something poisonous and his liver was damaged. He was sweeping the floor with his body. Forget walking, he couldn’t even stand. Luckily we managed to save his life but his liver was largely damaged. His horrible phase had begun. Since then he was basically on and off. He lived on the extremes. Either he was getting well real quick or he was worsening. 25th February 2015 was the last I heard him meow, and it was also the last I saw him run after butterflies even when they were way out of his reach.

The visits to the doctor were a daily routine. Slash had more injections than even me in 18 years. The vet then suggested that we neuter him, saying it would help him. His food turned into syrups and saline. My brother and I, on our way back from the vet, discussed about what kind of girlfriend to get for Slash, while he stared at us as if he knew what we were talking. His round black eyes facing me, he would groan.

In April I had to leave the town for a while. Not once I asked about Slash, not because I didn’t bother about him, but because I was afraid to know. His timid body was handling the sickness too well, and for a cat who is just one and a half, he was doing an exceptional job. But I was still afraid to know.

When I got back, he had improved and I was glad, I hoped I would hear his meow again. However in May or by April end his condition started to deteriorate. He stopped walking. The visits to the vet doubled. And on 4th May she told us, it could be his last night. My brother and I kept the news to ourselves and stayed up all night, only to make sure he was breathing. At 6 I dozed off and my mother, not knowing what was happening just sat there by our side. The vet came at 9 and prepared the saline. She was glad Slash had made it. My brother had left for college, half asleep, and my mother and I watched as the vet worked her miracle. She was the centre of attention as she gave Slash a pain-to-watch CPR, as he had stopped breathing. We knew it was a massive clot or a brain tumor and this could happen, but nothing more.

Moments later she stopped, but we couldn’t see his breathe. She kept looking at Slash while she broke the news, that he had passed away.

I hadn’t cried at my grandfather’s funeral, but it didn’t take me even 10 seconds to burst into tears when I heard this. I wept in my room and walked to every corner of the house where Slash had once been. Now as I look at his food bowl, I see how worthless it is now. The corner of my balcony where he enjoyed sleeping, just doesn’t need to exist anymore. Slash barely occupied one whole tile as he walked, but now that he is gone, the house feels empty. Maybe that little stubborn cat didn’t want to get neutered.




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