I was missing Juno today.
Her babies had more babies a month ago,
and the house is filled with a veritable army of mini fur-blobs,
racing toward the fish and rice mix
as if their lives depended upon it.
Mum keeps them safe and warm and loved in that
Juno came to us when we were in between flats and farmhouses (as usual; it feels like we've just made a home and it's time to shift again for all the wrong right reasons). Her first month was in our tiny cottage, before it's walls and floors split, broke down and slicked up to became a fancy paneled house. She was a funny reddish-tabby-striped one, with these yellow eyes that went hard and cold when she wanted her alone time.
Typical, sniff the dog-lovers in all their superiority.
The apartment, in 2010, was all white shiny tiles and make-shift settled-in. You know, with tapestries making do for curtains and all our paintings strung unto the odd hook in the wall. Landlords have a deal with the damaging relationship between hammers and nails. Juni made it a home; she cuddled into every crevice and fallen tapestry-curtain and cried to be cuddled. We two sisters and mother would watch re-runs of Lie to Me as cups of strong filter coffee, cheese-encrusted knives and bakery bread spread around us.
Juni missed the fresh air and open space of our farmland. One fine evening, she hopped into the car with Mum to see the renovation site of the cottage. Ran about sniffing and prancing up from among cables and wood panels. Even in the apartment, she was this unchanelled little wild sprite. Hunted down pigeons, rats and everything else that moved. Her hunger to prey was insatiable; it was as if she had a one-woman mission to conquer the mini-jungle of shrubs and palms between flat blocks.
She disappeared one night. A hunting expedition gone wrong, perhaps. I was in Ahmedabad, as usual, and the news came over the phone.
I transferred my energy to coddling the bigger of a teenage pair of cats that haunted the library corridors. It was soothing to run fingers through the shallow field of short fur and hear that reassuring purr.