The thing going for Bravo is not that he is a three-legged kitten who also happens to be cute. The thing going for him is that he is a three-legged kitten with an abundance of pluck and residual memory.
So much so that he managed to flummox Nadia, reigning queen of the house and my first born (kitten), by attempting to strike her back with his stump when curiosity got the better of her as she was introduced to this mangy fluff-ball. She naturally was unprepared for this natural born killer (you should have seen the way he devoured his first fish — it would put any Bengali to shame) when I brought him home around 10 days ago.
Technically, Bravo came into my life when all and sundry thought I would be so gloating in my impending motherhood than I would have little to offer to the world, leave alone an animal species. But that’s exactly why I got him.
To those who asked me, “Is it okay to have cats when you are going to have a baby,?” my answer is, yes, it’s perfectly okay. I remember often being shocked by perfectly normal women who suddenly wanted to “get rid of their pets” when they knew they were going to be mothers. To me, motherhood doesn’t seem like anything new — it’s as though I have done it several times in the past, just that this time, the potty-training will take longer than the three-four days.
Of course there were attempts to question my feline offspring. And I am sure there will be more, but we are not about to give a damn. I was very clear that I wanted to bring my child to a world where animals are friends and not some extra-terrestrial species you watch on TV.
Coming to the story of Bravo’s missing leg — well, his leg was ridden with maggots when Pooja, a WSD volunteer found him. He had to be amputated as the poison had spread too far; he wouldn’t have made it otherwise. The interesting thing was, Bravo yanked his dressing off on the second day, and since then, has refused to accept that the leg is, in fact, missing.
Sometimes, when I stare at him long enough, I also catch him trying to wash his face with his non-existent paw. Bravo had his first taste of vet-dom this Saturday when I took him for his deworming ritual, where he was greeted by four swarthy, pedigreed dogs with equally swarthy owners, barking away as Bravo stared at them bemused. He was completely unflustered, which made me happy. Sure, he was used to dogs and the inane sounds they make, as he spent a month at the WSD kennel, recuperating.
Point is, he is good looking, and he knows it. He is full of spunk and he knows it. He makes our coming home even more worthwhile and he knows it. And he has a weakness for necks, television backsides and spectacles and he knows it. The only difference is, while his residual memory liberates him, ours tends to stifle us.
Perhaps our lives would be simpler if our residual fearlessness came into the fore more often, and we led less conditioned, encumbered lives that make us say “why not?” instead of “why?”