While most of my peers were busy uploading Diwali pictures in pretty clothes, much to my chagrin, I was nestled in the warm albeit dark corner of a cozy closet, which had doubled up as the nursery for my pregnant and visibly-in-labour cat, Hyde*. It all started on the night before Diwali, and the entire day was spent comforting my little kitten that was quickly (and annoyingly) on her way to motherhood.
With my phone in one hand, I probably spent hours surfing the internet, and hissing at random posts of people busy in Diwali festivities. I am not much of a festival fan, but I like getting together with people and dressing up in great clothes once in a while, so yeah, you get my point. I was almost fuming, as I sat on my bed, comforting Hyde, who was getting more anxious by the minute, with her tail constantly fluttering around my face, her way of catching attention. I petted her head and ran my fingers along her shiny coat. I could almost read her mind, as she jumped from the bed to the table, knocking a few things in the process. She must’ve been blaming Zaru, my elder male cat, who was probably the reason why she was now visibly exhausted (and fat). Exhaustion was something we both had in common I guess.
So Hyde’s pregnancy had limited my Diwali revelries to the confines of my room, with my sister and mother in tow, who were both busy in stocking supplies and preparing probably the most weirdly comfortable birthing area for our cat. And that’s how the closet was chosen since it was dark and cozy, both things a cat’s favourites. We all manned the gate and alternated between attending to guests and pampering Hyde. Her condition worsened and we were overcome by a sense of foreboding- maybe her inexperience was hindering the delivery. Three years ago I had lost a cat to labour pains, and I couldn’t bear to think of past repeating itself.
In all the tension and chaos,Diwali came and went. The next morning, my mother called up the Vet in order to ensure that Hyde was tended to by a professional instead of us amateurs. But of the only two days his clinic is closed, Hyde had inadvertently chosen one. My mother hustled to find another doctor. In the entire frantic search for help, we left Hyde alone for a while. When my mother next checked on her an hour later, at around 9 in the bright sunny morning after Diwali, Hyde had become a gorgeous mother to two babies who looked just like her and were nestled carefully in the curve of her stomach.
One look at the kids and all my vanity vanished into thin air. I couldn’t remember the disappointment but only joy enveloped my mind. My mother finds solace in the belief that our love for them comes back to us through each happy day that we spend with each other. And I’d like to have faith in her faith. The quiet Diwali blues are a thing of the past. Those tiny fur balls were worth sacrificing any damn festival.
* the cat in the picture is Hyde, with her two pretty kittens, Max and Cooper.