I returned home after a very satisfying game of golf only to find my cupboard in a state of total disarray. All the aftershave bottles were upturned and some of the covers were randomly torn. Few shirts and trousers which were hanging neatly by the hanger had been pulled down along with a few ties. My initial reaction was one of intrigue – why would anyone want to look in my cupboard for something specific. I quickly opened the drawer to check on the passports – they were safe. I then rang up my wife and narrated the incident. She, in turn, wanted to know if anything had happened to her cupboard. When I informed her that her belongings were safe, she immediately lost interest in this spy thriller and told me to ask the domestic help for an explanation.
Ruby came in shortly and expressed total ignorance of the “cupboard break-in”. After 18 holes and a good lunch at KGA, my aching body was ordering me, in no uncertain terms, to hit the bed – which I did immediately. After a refreshing nap, I got up and went to the kitchen to fix myself a cup of coffee. That’s when I found ‘Spotty’ the cat perched neatly on the kitchen table top. I opened the main door and shooed away the naughty puss. I was once again intrigued to find the cat inside the house. I checked and rechecked all the doors and windows for any sign of a ‘cat break in’ – all ingress was closed. I simply could not fathom how the cat could have come in when I was asleep.
Ever since the time our neighbors’ full time ayah ‘Shantamma’ shifted permanently to Coonoor , her pet cat ‘Spotty’ was abandoned and orphaned. Taking pity and with lots of gentle coaxing from my granddaughter, we used to feed her once in a way. It was not uncommon to find “Spotty” sneaking into the house through the kitchen window and relishing a bit of chicken from the waste or dragging away frozen Basa kept for defrosting. Milk, bread and eggs were also on the menu.
In one earlier instance, the cat had played merry hell inside the house, as the main door was accidentally shut by the wind. Not knowing the way out, the cat had upset and broken many things kept near the windrow, in her many attempts to exit. That’s when I thought, this incident also fell in the same category.
By then, wifey dear arrived and inspected the crime scene and rebuked me squarely for keeping the windows open – ‘you and your fresh air’. Collective intelligence of wife, self, Suresh the driver and Ruby the maid concluded that ‘Spotty’ was responsible for all the mess and confusion. Putting the incident behind me once and for all, I embarked on rearranging the cupboard and salvaging the aftershave lotion.
As I started to reorganize my stuff in the cupboard, my hand touched something soft and woolly. Even before I could comprehend what had happened, I heard a soft sound. This was accompanied by my high pitched scream –filled with surprise, shock and unadulterated fear.
Lo and behold there were two kittens, eyes yet to open and barely a few hours old – snugly resting amidst my ties, shirts, trousers and socks. ‘Spotty’ had done the unthinkable – delivered two kittens in my cupboard!