I have homework at my meditation class. I have to think of an answer to the Question “Why are you here?”
I am here because I was a cat in my past life. I was way too haughty. I used to sprawl on the sofa and refuse to get up even if the Queen walked in. I spent my days in idle sloth, bathing myself in the morning sun and demanding food every other hour. I was practically worry-less.
I purred by the night and caught about five hundred and sixty eight mice in my entire lifetime.
There were moments of panic in my life when the neighbor’s dog used to chase me out of their fence while I was trying to catch an unsuspecting sparrow. I used to contemplate on the irony of life at such times. About how a victor (ME) becomes a victim trying to make a victim out of someone else (sparrow). After I saved my throat out of such chases, I used to turn pensive and meditative. Those moods however were always over-ruled by hunger calls and Whiskers, the love of my life. He lived two blocks away and used to come over every now and then to take me out. We sang duets that were the reason for a lot of empty bottles and water sprays being directed towards us.
I lived an immensely proud life. I refused to acknowledge the importance of my owner in my life. I groomed myself under the firm belief that my owner should thank the Almighty for giving him a cat like me. Sometimes my owner tried to amuse me by giving me a ball to play with or making me chase a fake mouse. I thought it rather juvenile of him and almost always ignored him completely. But now and then he brought a rather plain looking girl over and tried to show me off. At that time however I used to play with all the toys he wanted me to out of genuine pity for him. Unfortunately, due to the extent of his dullness even my occasional surrender of self-respect did not get him a long-term girlfriend.
I never got myself into street-fights. For I believed that no one was good enough to fight with me. I never spent time waiting earnestly for my owner to come back like the neighbor’s dog nor did I ever wag my tail and lick my owner’s feet. I thought it was violation of cat ethics to do dogly things to make myself liked. I never cared if anyone liked me. But I knew very well that I was immensely popular in the neighborhood. If anyone tried to make me get up from the couch I used to snarl and scratch. I was responsible for a couple of bleeding cheeks and a scratched nose that made about a dozen people laugh for a week.
I was seven years old when one day I was run over by a mail truck and was reduced to a two dimensional carpet on the street where I lived. It was a heart-wrenching end especially for someone who literally cat-walked through the neighborhood. For the epitome of feline beauty with the most irresistible blue-green eyes going flat in two minutes was a sheer disgrace. If I had known my end, I would have poisoned myself with a Mortein-infected rat. They mourned my death. Whiskers refused to have his mid-day garbage can feasts for three weeks after I died. After which he fell in love with a mediocre looking Siamese who had really ugly eyes. I thought I’d go to heaven for living such a regal life, but God sent me back as ME because he thought I had a lot of credit Karma.
He said I had yet to know things like hard work, insults, sorrows, benevolence, weight loss, workouts, math, heartbreaks, diets, having haughty cats as pets, alcohol, Tom and Jerry cartoons, engineering examinations, Viral fevers, humility, patience, money, perfumes, mass transfer, column chromatography, cooking a meal for people, baking cakes, washing clothes, punctuality, monthly income, air travel, driving cars in crowded roads, liking dogs, getting up at 5 AM, consistent panic attacks, migraines and robberies.
That is why I am here. And I have known almost all of the above.
I hope He turns me back to a cat in my next lifetime. : D