Tuesday, May 17, 2005

He would be King

One fine day he arrived in our home from who knows where, making a dramatic entry by jumping into the courtyard from the wall. This athleticism and general air of mystery made me name him Zorro: he was also somehow quite swashbuckling for a creature with such a scrawny neck. This was quite a small cat, all black, with huge tortoise-shell eyes and enough attitude for a whole gaggle of cats.
He would strut in, waving his tail and generally raising Cain if he wasn’t given the attention and tickling that was so naturally his due. Soon his preferred mode of transport around the house became the crook of my arm, where he sat, regally, and regularly unsheathed his claws if I happened to stop stroking him. He would show up every morning at 6am, bawling shrilly if a bowl of milk wasn’t set out for him. If the cream wasn't thick enough, we would hear about that, too. He also loved chocolate ├ęclairs, and once purloined one right off the table, gurgling smugly afterwards.
He came and went as he pleased, but visited almost daily. If we had guests, he would select one or two at random and proceed to harass them for attention. Why they gave in, we will never know. Still, even we had to admit he was pretty darn cute, especially when he sat in the passageway going to the kitchen: he would strategically position himself so that a single ray of sunshine would slant down on his head and into his eyes, generally making a very photogenic spectacle. And so he stayed with us for some while, we remaining the poor sods who could be relied on to pet, feed, carry, tickle and generally pander to him anytime he so wished.
It was in that passageway that I saw him for the last time. His exit from our lives was a bit more dramatic than the entry. So what happened was that he was strolling down the passage, going off on one his jaunts, when who should he see coming down the opposite direction, but another cat. And not just some cat! This was an exact, but exact, replica of the great Zorro: maybe he wanted to try his luck with us, just like Zorro himself, what with all the cream and fish and other goodies to be had.
The two came to an abrupt halt. If they’d had brakes on their paws, I could have surely heard them squeal. There was a momentary stillness as they faced each other, mirror images staring in stunned horror. The silence was crashing. Then, in one swift motion, I saw two black streaks going down the passageway, jumping over the wall, and they were gone. We never saw either Zorro or his doppelganger again.
Soon after this we had a new member at home- a rather strong-willed German Shepherd puppy. So it was for the best that Zorro quit while he was on top, even if it really wasn’t the kingly exit he might have hoped for.


Narayan said...

I am impressed by the Zorro and your pensamientos as well...

Jai said...

A cat had us for its slaves once. Curious as can be. Milk and petting..galore. Where it went one day..none of us could see. :-)

Btw sister had called it "Misha"

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