Sunday, October 28, 2007

Bye, boys. See you later.

"My life closed twice before its close;
It yet remains to see
If Immortality unveil
A third event to me,
So huge, so hopeless to conceive,

As these that twice befell.
Parting is all we know of heaven,

And all we need of hell."

-Emily Dickinson

The day after Eid after an unusual silence from Boomsa when I called her to chit-chat and find out were she had been during the festivities, she gave me the news. Li'l Joey was gone. The street dogs got him. And Boo didn't want to tell me over Eid. For which I am grateful.

Be at peace, Jo darling. You were much loved and didn't you know it. I had brought you truckloads of food and would have loved to see you shovel your way through it.
Here's Jo when he just came home with Boomsa as a baby.

This was the Monday immediately after Eid. 15th October, 2007. I went over to Boo's house to hang out with her and take solace in Hot-Cross-Bonz. Who I was SO GLAD TO SEE because it had been a while.
(I have no shame in admitting that I felt far more strongly for Bonzo than Jo-Cat, obviously because I hardly knew the little darling. I had met him a few times for a few hours and he was endearing as dammit, but Bonz is my firstborn and he's been with Boo and I since way back when. There's no comparison.) So the sudden news of Joey's death put things in jarring perspective. I drank Bonz in that day. He was being a babe as usual. He gave me all the attitude he had saved up especially to throw my way, he turned his back on me, he walked away in utter disdain several times, used me as a scratching post at will and had me begging for more. As usual. He is, of course the only man who's ever made me beg for his affections. We watched TV where Bonz was especially enthralled by a pet show. On puppies, even.Bonzo loved the sheer khorma I had made for Eid. He pigged out on a lot of it. A LOT. He was fattened, I was flattered. It worked well for the both of us. While in the kitchen Bonzo amused me by wondering about a certain black ant that was working his way towards somewhere under the fridge. Here's a video. Please note his darling meowing: "What IS this thing?" and his utter disbelief when Ant escapes.

Apart from this video, I took several pictures and videos of Bonz on my phone. That's the last set I'll ever have. More's the pity. Bonzo was great onscreen.
Bonz and I played for hours that Monday. We hadn't done Socker for a while, which is our game of soccer played with rolled-up socks. In the absence of sock-rolls, I used soft chewy balls, his old buddy Party Pooh and other assorted throwies. Much fun and exercise later, Boo came home and we continued the games till late into the night. Hot Bonz demonstrated amazing theatrics while pursuing and clawing the ball etc.
I went home after Boo announced she would cancel gym plans and that this indoor exercise was far better than anything else. I nodded in agreement.
The next day, I went to Vellara Junction and procured excellent fun items: a mini-cricket set with 2 plastic bats and balls. And a Buzz Lightyear tennis/squash/badminton/what-have-you twin racket set. If we were going to play, we'd do it in style.
Tuesday the 16th was even more fun than the previous evening. Bonzo was in his element. He did a few nifty moves involving upending the potted palms. He played donkey in the middle, on the side, ahead and behind. He banged his head no less than 29 times against various doors, beds, sofas and chairs. In spite of us having moved a lot of the movable furniture around till we had a clear playing field inside the house.
I have no pictures of that last day with Bonz. I thought there was time enough for that. This was to be our daily workout regime, n'est pas? I said bye to Boo and Bonz at around 2130 pm and rode home to the boondocks.
17th October, Wednesday afternoon. I let myself in at Boo's house. I waited to hear the tinkle-tinkle of BonzoBells running up to disregard me and frisk me for food. Nothing. He wasn't home.
I twiddled my thumbs, read the newspaper, called up Boo to complain about Bonzo being a rowdy loafarr type, went out to the balcony several times to call out to him, practiced come-hither looks in front of the mirror, performed this act on the balcony and, in the end, resorted to the one medium all idiots use to while away time: I switched on the telly.
Boo came home in a while. We pretended to be casual about Bonzo's long absence. "I hate it when he does this." "Bugger's eaten his meals and taken off to paint the town red, eh?" "Hanging out with the boys, is he?"
Inside, we were both worried but we didn't say so.
I spent some more time with Boo waiting for Bonz and left for home feeling not-so-good.
And the next day, Thursday now, Boo called me early in the morning. Bonzo had not returned.
That day I searched the streets over and over. I called out to Bonz in lanes and alleys I'd never visited before. I spoke with many strangers, most of whom were really sweet. Some couldn't be bothered about missing cats. I even walked into someone's house because I heard mewing there. It turned out to be a very nice lady with 2 cats of her own. They were outdoor-access cats and much smaller than Bonz. I left her house feeling hopeful. Kids and security guards were especially concerned, I found.
Many times that day I came across people who were laughing at me because I happened to be crying. How anyone can do that is something Boo and I discussed later and came up with no answers to. I put up basic posters all around the neighborhood. Creeps started calling in to chat me up using Bonz as an excuse. One creepy 40-something b@#^%$% actually followed me around when I was putting up posters and started pestering me because he was Kashmiri and thrilled to bits I was as well. How does that work? "Hey, you lost a pet? Want to hear me lie about me seeing him and then ask you personal questions about your life?"
On the upside, the anger makes one forget about the grief for a while.
Friday morning: A security guard from a nearby apartment complex calls me and says he's seen Bonzo's body in a dump. There's no mistake because he saw the collar. Titla was a sweetheart and imediately drove me there. I showed the guard Bonzo's photos. He confirmed.

Titla and I waited for Boomsa to come home. Sushma returned soon as well. We sat together, the four of us that day, talking for hours, and it was a little comforting.
I got up to go home where no one is very big on cats, even my Bonz. My affection for Bonz and Jo was seen as an amusing aberration. Well, haw haw. I have only this as an insipid excuse to be grumpy and sad at home. Boo is in a far worse place. She has to come home to a new silence and this will take getting used to. Be strong, Boo.*Call me anytime and we'll go away.* Hug*
Friends who were unbelievably sweet and supportive over the next few days, I thank you.
Tits: You are my lifeline.
Jellicle, Soulmia, Pinkah, Ruth, Giggles: My love and gratitude.
Bob: You asked! ;-)

I love you, Bonz. And you, Joey.
And now, enough, no more.

All videos and pics of the boys will be up on my You Tube and Picasa pages soon. For their legions of fans.


Jellicles said...

they came for a reason...they were done.. now they are gone.


Fahad said...

Hmmm. This sucks. How was Bonz killed? By street dogs too??

kinkminos said...

you and my wife would get on famously.

she once saw a mangy stray in the parking lot of a local hotel where she and her family had gone for dinner. on their way out she was still hanging around the lot. according to my wife, the cat looked so neglected and forlorn, and responded so purringly to a little t&a that she decided, over the protestations of the rest of the family (who are also cat lovers btw) to take her home, where they cleaned her up and discovered it was the most beautiful chinchilla. long white hair and a face (so i'm told) to die for.

the cat seemed to have been neglected and perhaps chucked out of its previous owner's house. they advertised its discovery in all the usual places, without response, and decided to just keep her. she stayed with them for more than fifteen, years finally having to be put down cos she was just too old, had lost her eyesight and seemed to be in a lot of pain. my wife cried for hours: she was the one who took her to the vet.

this cat had at least one litter that survived, and the family kept one of the kittens. when my first child was born we were staying with my in-laws. the younger cat had an adversarial additude to the baby, prob because she felt neglected by my wife, whose attentions had obviously shifted. the older cat, however, had an almost motherly sense of protection to the baby, and would stand guard over her, giving the little cat a jhanparh if she ventured close to the cot.

now too many people in the family are allergic to cats for any of us to keep any.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Sabbah, I'm so so sorry about Joey. That's just heartbreaking. He was adorable.


longblackveil said...

Jellicles: Thank you, doll. One of these days I'll jump on a flight and come visiting you and your catses. And watch you make pho.

Kinky: High five to your wife. She's a hero.

Thank you, Kim.

Fahad: Yup. Same old.

Stayingcolors said...


Babur said...

something to cheer you up with:

Pranjal said...

I'm so sorry! Wonderful memories will stay on & take you a long way!

Take Care

longblackveil said...

Pranjal, Staying Colors: Thanks.
Bob: Stop spending your work hours doodling on fun pet sites!

Anoopa Anand said...

Means, I don't even know what to say. I have hardly spent any time at home since this happened. I can't bear to go back. And I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night, because I think I've heard Bonzo's bell.

Okay, I'm done whining.
More power to us.

And I love you so.