It takes the greatest effort in the whole world to put a grown cat in a bag.
I had to do this on two occasions in my life, and it must be said that I was left bleeding and Guilty.
It is a well-known fact that I get along well with cats. They find me amusing, good natured, even-tempered and full of love. The moment any cat gets to know that I am in its vicinity; it comes and circles me with a perfectly feigned innocence. They come meowing from all directions and jump on my lap. They get cuddled, stroked and talked to in a language that even humans wont understand.
Every time people with cats are entertaining me, their cats insist on sharing my pillow, my blanket and my cup of milk, which owing to my excessively kind nature I allow!
Certain cat-harassed people also use me to get rid of their cats.
Whenever a certain cat is being a damn nuisance in the household they think about me. When it starts using the beds to relieve itself, or drink milk while it is still being boiled. When it scratches on the wall making everybody’s hair go up in ninety degrees to their scalp or when it is delivering kittens and contributing to the cat populace with an exponential rate of increase they all think about me.
They try it themselves first, but all of them tell me that as soon as they even think of leaving it beyond the city border, the cat becomes suspicious, defensive and cantankerous. It eyes everyone with a curious doubt. Waiting patiently to reach for the milk bowl till it’s owner is way outside the range of being able to catch it. Or sprinting in the opposite direction at 80 KMPH whenever any one is seen with a sufficiently large jute bag. It begins to demonstrate the fact that it possesses retractable claws way too frequently for a normal unalarmed cat.
Then I am summoned. The cat forgets it’s present state of emergency when I step into the picture. It turns into this devastatingly mollified ball of fur. It will jump, rub it’s back against my calves, meow in heart-breaking melodious voice and make every attempt to be the milk of feline magnanimity. I spend about an hour with it and it starts feeling as secure as a baby feels when it is around it’s mother. If the cat is specifically stubborn I catnap with it and bring it at ease. All this while it’s owners are standing around equipped with a large airy jute bag and a nylon string to tie it with. I tell them to stay attentive as the cat could be put swiftly in the bag any moment. They all stand with their senses on their fingertips. It gives me great pleasure to see them look at me all awe-struck and earnest. Like I am their Savior.
One swift movement and I have the cat in my hand. It still thinks that I am picking it up out of genuine love. Then it’s owners run towards me with the bag wide open. At this point the cat looks at me with an expression that says, “Brutus you too??” I feel a sharp needle of pain pricking my heart but I reason it out with the “practicalities” of life like all idiots do to save their skin and hide their sin. We put it in the bag, in the mean time the fiery cat has taken a fraction of it’s revenge by scratching me right across my arm and has left a bloodstained sleeve. I put it in and we tie the bag.
The bag starts dancing and meowing around. You wonder if you should laugh at it, pity it or take it as your ticket to hell. But I do neither. I just look at it with my cup of tea (which the generous owners make in return for the services I offer)
Then I take it in my hands and start walking towards the car. Whenever it touches my knee or my calf, the cat makes sure that it leaves it’s mark. So I have to walk with the bag held at least a foot away from my body. Add a constant meowing and twisting in all possible directions. It is rather depressing and exasperating but you have got to do what you decide. While I am taking this customary walk people peep out of their windows, men on scooters turn their heads around (but I assume that it is because of my enigma..yeah I am THAT stupid), school children stop playing and start following me with an authentic question mark on their faces. I dump the bag in the car and get on the wheel.
I drive with my attention distributed on the road, and on the wriggling bag on the passenger seat. I drive to a distance from where the cat will take it’s remaining eight lives to come back to where it was picked up from. I choose a spot that provides ample scope for breeding of mice or occasionally around a biryani shop or a mutton shop so that my victim can at least hope for some leftovers. I park my car at the side and take the bag out. I point it away from my face (yeah I don’t want to disrupt my already average visage) and open it. For a second there is no movement. I gulp imagining the worse but then suddenly the cat runs out. It runs out with the fuel of panic and fear and with the newfound hope that it can still see the blue blue sky. It runs hard and when it is safely out of my reach, it looks back. I could die a million times over never to have a cat look at me that way again. It is one of the most helpless looks that you ever get and that too from a creature as snobbish as a cat. It says, “ You selfish B****, you duped me. You made a fool of me. You broke my heart. I hope you become a cat in your next life and I can repay your debt”
I return home with a heavy heart and a bleeding arm. But I always wish the cat all the very best. When I drop them off, I pray that they get over fed and turn into booming, boisterous, ravaging tigers that are invincible. That will need the efforts of a hundred Mes to be uprooted from their homes. I wish them luck, and I take all the bad karma off their pasts!