The cats of my greying broken place: the dormitory of dread
(3) The Bangle Selling Cat – Contentment
In that doleful patch of my life, in the dormitory of despair, after Little Mom had sneaked into my heart with her kittens, I spotted the Bangle Selling cat!
She taught me to rest inside myself. Let the silence soak me up. All I could see in the small bowl near which she sat was milk. There was no bread or rice or any other solid sustenance inside. But she displayed the largest stock of serenity I have ever seen in any cat in my entire life. She just looked cool and calm and collected as she gazed out through a curtain of bangles, green, orange, red, white, silver and gold ones that she seemed to be selling, at the busy, crowded, grimy, cluttered street before her. I even wondered in that grim season whether I could get that serenity from her if I just had a cup of milk every day! She obviously had a secret of her own, about owning all that serenity, which she was not letting out to me. I did not understand cat language and she did not understand mine. But the Sony always interested her and she looked at it and me as if she was being entertained! And just when I thought I was getting the perfect pose from a furry purring bangle seller, she got up and stalked away!
The bangle selling kitty was thin as a pencil, a mildly tortoise shell white feline, with bits and pieces of orange, red and black blotches on her fur and her eyes looked up into my Sony camera with immense interest. The reason why it seemed right to imagine her selling the bangles was because I never saw a man or a woman inside that shop crammed with bangles hanging from various wires and hangers. He or she seemed to have entrusted the shop to this solemn little tortoise shell cat who sat there and thought things out to herself. And she taught me to do the same. I began to think things out for myself, to begin to look out of the doom laden casket of my life to inspect the terrain! See what I could do to let other things inside my isolation, along with the glorious yellow and glistening sunshine that Little Mom had lured back into my gruesome garage of ghouls.
The bangle selling cat seemed to need nothing else from her life except for that cup of milk and her space with the bangles arranged around it. Whenever I passed by, (the shop was two minutes away from the alcove where I went to meet Little Mom,) I would see the Bangle Seller inspecting everything. Not very diligently, not like a chore, but just for the fun of it. Even when the little girl who brought her milk arrived, she hardly gave her a glance. She sipped her milk disdainfully.
She was messaging to me in some way, the truth about inner wealth, solitude’s immense powers and the joy of just watching the world go by! I remembered that a very long time ago solitude had been my strongest suit, my richest treasure. And now I began to dig it out of the carcass of harm and those grey green glum uncaring clothes my soul had begun to favour. Instead, I began to look into the eyes of the many stray cats as they visited my prison, with new eyes. Their eyes shone with that Zen like silver treasure even when they were ravenous, begging the meat shop seller for his left overs, or just sitting on the steps of his shop, waiting… They still looked calm as cake, alluring as silver bells, haunting as lost dreams wanting to talk to my damaged heart, and always saying something. It sounded like “when are you going to pick yourself up for heaven’s sake?”
For some odd reason this cat reminded me to start reading again. And by some strange chance I picked up one of the best books I have ever read in my life! It was Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow by Peter Hoeg! It is an awesome, enthralling, intelligent and utterly thrilling book that began to tear away the thick coat of grime my soul was wearing and dropped me deep inside a well of sheer joy! The bangle selling cat reminded me of Miss Smilla, the powerful character in this book who takes you on a roller coaster ride and never lets you sit down to rest! I was hooked and on my way to a brighter road….