Friday, November 07, 2014

Karthika Pournami

For the header, I take down Sandra Simpson's comment on scope:

trying to make
myself understood —
the sun in a spoon

In its place, I give in to vanity and put up one of my own. I haven't written too many haiku in my life – but this one, with all its imperfections, came fully formed yesterday, kigo and all.

As I lay out lamps for the full moon of Karthika
the kitten

It ties up some of my current preoccupations, the chief of which is this orphaned kitten. It was abandoned in our garden a few days ago, crying piteously under a jasmine bush. I waited for the mother but it became clear that she wasn't coming back.

My mother was severely ailurophobic and we've been very strict all our lives about never encouraging cats to hang about. She learnt to tolerate them at a distance and since our grills were designed specifically to keep out even the smallest of them, she was able to keep her composure even with felines wandering about in the garden. But giving them milk, engaging with them... absolute no-nos.

But my mum has been gone a few years now, and there this little fellow was. Distressed and hungry. So I overcame a lifetime of training and fed her. I have no intention of taking her in and have tried to stress upon her that she is a creature of the wild that must fend for itself – she must scavenge if she can't hunt. She has coped, I must say, quite admirably. She ventures afar, perhaps into dustbins of non-vegetarians and some days doesn't seem to need anything from me. I now pour out some milk only if she's very persistent.

But the other aspect is... well, her chattiness. This is a vocal, voluble cat that needs friendliness even more than food. She likes to be under the car, marks every entry and exit through the gates with prolonged conversation. When Bhoodevi washes the yard and puts 'muggu' every morning, she follows her movements avidly, talking all the time. Plus, she is bestowed with near-lethal levels of cuteness, which makes my 'do-not-befriend-cats' policy rather difficult to follow.

When I came out with lamps yesterday, she emerged to eye the proceedings with wide-eyed amazement. I bade her sit far and not venture near the flames; she had the sense to do that but she was excited with lamps on every step and along the wall.

Anyway, the season of short days is upon us, and even if oil lamps are today only symbolic, it feels nice to have them. I had never paid so much attention to seasons before, to the pull of the moon, the turns of the earth, the angles of the sun. So many things to be astonished about.


footloose said...

what a little beauty!!!

Sheetal said...

Isn't she?!