Ginger and Cinnamon fight, Black Pepper hides behind the door. Roseee, though she is enjoying a few minutes of respite, peers inside. She wants somebody to come and give her something to eat. Real quick. I give her a plate full of chicken liver, her favorite, and watch.
She has never been the greedy sort; if somebody gave her food she ate nonchalantly otherwise she would go and fend for herself. But now things are different. Now Roseee has to feed her three adorable kittens.
Ginger, Cinnamon, and Black Pepper were born on August 22. I know for sure because this is the only day when Roseee didn’t turn up. Before that day, a very pregnant Roseee used to sit outside my room and listen to the wafting melodies. This is how I got to know about her likes and dislikes in music. Nusrat Fateh Ali is her favorite singer, and her preferred genre of music is qawali. During her pregnancy, Roseee used to sleep for long hours at a stretch, and also developed a taste for omelette.
I know she wanted to have her kitties here, but I couldn’t live up to her expectation. I failed to provide her a dark private place where could begin her maternal journey in peace. So, an independent soul that she is, she went and delivered her babies somewhere on August 22.
The next day she came for a visit, stayed for just ten minutes, ate, and ran away to be with her kittens. With every passing day the duration of her visits became longer. And daily the Lilliputians and I coaxed her to bring her kittens here. We so wanted to cuddle them. I wondered if she would ever forgive me for not being able to go the extra mile for her sake.
But Roseee’s love, though indifferent, is generous.
And one day it happened. I heard a muffled cheeoon cheeoon, went outside, looked behind the washing machine, and found Roseee nursing her three kittens. From that day on, the family has been living here.
|Cinnamon & Black Pepper|
Daily there is something new to learn and observe. Now we know that Ginger is the naughtiest of the lot. He wants his mother all for himself, pushes his siblings away when he suckles her. Cinnamon is fond of eating and, very young though he is, tries to taste everything that his mother eats. Black Pepper is very shy and hides behind the door every time somebody tries to touch her.
Roseee sometimes leaves her kittens and comes to me while I am busy in my nightly ramble on the rooftop. For a while she walks with me, nuzzles against my legs, then sits and looks at the stars rather wistfully. Post partum melancholy, I guess.
Since the day the kittens started living here the land of Lilliputians has been resounding with shrieks:
“Look, Roseee is licking her kittens just the way she licks herself!”
“Ginger tries to walk, but he wobbles and sits back!”
“Black Pepper finally let me hold her!”
“Today Ginger climbed up the washing machine...he is getting bigger!”
The excitement is understandable. The Lilliputians are witnessing life itself as it unfolds everyday on our terrace.