The Cats of my Greying broken Place – my dormitory of despair
Finding Hope – My First Cat
That time of my life had come when everything fell apart and emptiness wrapped me up in its billowing grey and beige cloud.
All the normal structures had fallen apart – work, friends, calm everything and I was under the thumb of an uncaring caretaker of sorts, a strange kind of dormitory of distress that made me feel alone, unwanted and uncounted in too many ways to survive.
It was a place of poverty in more ways than one. It was a dreary new island of sorts in the midst of life, crowded, noisy, dingy, where every lane or road had small, cramped, poor houses, cottages, huts, flats and many small shops, hotels, a very dilapidated mosque, a dark bakery and loud noises. But the people were mostly friendly, too busy to make trouble, and almost always kind.
Feeling dislocated in my dormitory of despair, where the distant relatives of sorts were like slightly ghoulish apparitions who began to share out my worldly goods among themselves like a garage sale, deservedly perhaps as they had taken me in while I was in a state of total dismemberment. They felt entitled I guess, having to bother with such a crushed and fallen spirit! But it made me uneasy and I began to step out of doors, as often as I could, which was when I began to meet the cats of this broken down crumbling place.
Death had begun to accompany me rather fiercely during that time of such dislocation. A death that had left me bereft and bowed down. A very gentle adored being had died. In this sudden ash laden hole of misery I had become a glum, gloomy, shadow of myself and could not do any of the things that help us to clamber up the well of woe. Walking was the first thing I managed to do and the second thing was that cats always beloved, had sneaked into my void.
The first cat I saw was this very proud dark grey one I found sitting on the steps of a meat shop in a lane close to my residence. Being a vegetarian, the numerous meat shops I saw every other minute added to my severe despair. But life is weird. In those very places I dreaded, the cats of my Grey Season waited for me!
This one was a very hungry stray and sat there waiting for treats from the shop owner. He threw a slice of meat at her and she pounced on it and began to gobble it up. Suddenly a large yellow tomcat came and also waited to be noticed by the shop owner.
The dark grey almost black as midnight cat settled down on the top step, where she ate up her dinner. Then she turned around to look at me and I was awed by her beauty. Her fur glistened as she began to wash herself very carefully and well. Then she looked at me very suspiciously as without even realising it I dug my hand inside my bag and pulled out the Sony I had even forgotten was there! As I took her picture the gorgeous charcoal grey cat gave me a very urgent look as if to say “what on earth are you doing?”
But she did not run away. She looked at me as if I was daft. And this helped me. I was getting the message from her that it might be good to step out of this gloomy room of despair, and perhaps begin to write my journal finally, after so many devastated days and nights of turmoil stitched to sorrow’s greasy coat…..
This perky solitary svelte cat, her fur seemingly embroidered with several colours stolen from midnight put the first important glimmer over the desolate stretch of my being, which turned out to be Hope. This hungry ivy grey cat waiting for her dinner on the steps of a grimy horrible little meat shop, begging the owner through the legs of his customers, for scraps, made me ashamed of myself hiding in my hole. I began to lift myself up, out of my ache of atrophy, to come out to meet Hope, which was the name I gave to that awesome cat.