Many posts have filled this space after the post on Sheroo and people have been asking me about Catchoo, the cute kitten who touched our lives. Guess it’s high time that I post about him.
Starting with the name, isn’t Catchoo an unusual name for a kitten? Indeed it is and here’s how he came into our lives and got this unusual name. Once my brother had gone to play cricket somewhere. He was fielding near the boundary when a ball came his way. He ran to catch the ball but missed and caught a kitten falling from an overhead shed. The kitten was caught but it was my brother who was bowled over. Result, he came home with a kitten in his kit and that’s how he became our Catchoo.
Catchoo was very small when he was brought in. He couldn’t even lap milk. We tried to feed it with a spoon then by dipping a cotton ball in milk but none of it worked. Finally, it was my grandfather’s empty eye drops bottle that helped us feed him. Two people who were not exactly impressed by our ‘Pet’ project were my grandfather and father. My father was indifferent and grandfather indignant. He had told us clearly that he would not stand the fellow any where near him but Catchoo Boy had taken a liking for the old man. So, no matter how hard we tried he would find a way to get away and snuggle up to him in his bed. We put him in a shoebox and covered it and put a heavy book on it but he succeeded in getting out, my brother took him in his bed and tied a little string around his foot but he set loose, we locked him in our room but he was found in grandpa’s bed the next morning.
As time passed, Catchoo’s devil may care attitude grew faster than his body. He was playful, adventurous and loved to take risks. So, every morning while my grandfather followed his daily routine of prayer and pooja, dear Catchoo Bhai would quietly sneak up to my grandfather and drink water from the plate in which the deities were bathed. May be it was his way of atoning his sins but it was us who were on the tenterhooks, constantly keeping a watch over him and yet he would always succeed in giving us a slip. Luckily for us grandfather didn’t find out as his eyes used to be closed or may be he turned a blind eye to this blasphemous act. Catchoo’s other favourite activity was to try climbing up my father’s pajamas. Now, that would not have posed much problem but my father used to be in the pajamas and that is where the problem lay. Repeated kicks and screams won’t make Catchoo budge. He was as stubborn as a mule. There were curtains, clothes hung on the clothesline and bedspreads too to climb on but Catchoo was fascinated by the pajamas in which our father moved around.
He simply couldn’t believe that people could dislike him and be uncomfortable with his behaviour. He somehow had got this weird idea in his head that he was a charming Tomcat whose only job was to amuse people. His seemingly innocent acts would fill people with disdain and he would look at them with a quizzical look and an innocent face, unable to fathom why people were upset with him.
We thought that perhaps Catchoo’s wayward ways were because he was shut inside the house for the whole day. We decided to keep him in the garden for sometime every day. There was the danger of his running away on another adventure and getting hurt. We decided to let him enjoy the sunshine in our lawn but tied him to the solitary xetropha tree with a long string for his safety. We watched him play for a while and after ensuring that he was good, got busy with work. After sometime one of us went out to fetch something and there was Catchoo hanging on the tree, the very string acting as a noose around his neck. Luckily, he was saved in the nick of time from imminent death by hanging.
Catchoo’s catalogue of action can go on and on and he was a delight to have. He brought a lot of joy and fun in our already happening lives. But as they say, every happy story is short lived and so was Catchoo’s company. We all had to leave the station for a fortnight and didn’t know what to do with him. Taking him with us was impossible and his heroics preceded him so, none of our friends were willing to take him in. Ultimately, it was my grandfather who suggested that since Catchoo was a cat he needed to be left to his devices as he was beyond domestication and now was the right time to let go of him. The question was where to leave him? Finally, we all zeroed in on the same place from where we had brought him. My brother took him to the stadium, and went to the stands and sat down with Catchoo. As usual something caught Catchoo’s attention and off he went. My brother sat for quite some time awaiting his return but Mr. Catchoo was off on another adventure. Finally, he got up to leave and there was Catchoo, happily perched on a sweeper’s head in his garbage basket.
PS: A very big thank you to you dear Bhakti for the beautiful sketching of Catchoo’s departure from our lives. It couldn’t have been better than this!
In case you missed reading about Sheroo, read it at:
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