Had just moved in to a different apartment last monsoon, when one day as I walked towards the elevator, I heard someone sniffing and following me. I turned back scared, and he stopped. I moved on, took the elevator to the third floor. He ran after me, took the stairs instead. Even before the elevator could reach the floor, he was already standing in front of it. I was a bit scared. I scrambled to open the door and hastily closed it shut. I looked out of the eye hole in the door and found him still standing there, waiting for me to open the door, perhaps. I, however, felt safe inside. He left after a while.
This continued everyday. If he would be playing around at the time of my arrival, he would repeat the same exercise! Days passed and so did months. Nothing changed, at all. Sometimes he would follow my Activa till the garage and then stand by waiting for me to talk to him. But I would get scared, as usual. I never realised what he was trying to tell me. As days went by, he got lesser playful, and would sit in that corner all day and scratch himself.
Few months back, she became an official member of my family and moved in to my place. He would follow her as well, but only till the elevator. He never followed her up till the door. She was a bit scared of him too, and she did not like the fact that I admired him at times. I would always say “hi.. what’s up” in my usual style and he would respond by a smile, or so I thought. We both felt that he needed to be taken better care of.
Yesterday morning, our maid came home to work, and told us that he was having difficulty in breathing. While on our way to the picnic we saw him in his corner, lying down, breathing really heavy. He looked sick. He looked as if he was breathing his last. I suddenly got a very strange feeling within. It is difficult to explain, but I have never seen anyone breathing his last. I almost felt a vacuum inside, of having to face a loss. We went for the picnic and forgot what we saw. When we were back at around 4, I tried to get a glimpse of him even as I was trying to park the car. All I could see was his rear covered by a sheet of cloth. We got down and inched a bit slowly to be able to look at him better, and what we saw, was a very sorry scene. I just stood there, like a stone, not understanding what was wrong. My heart skipped a beat as I realised that he laid still. His mouth was open wide and his head was tilted backwards. I watched his stomach, it was not going up and down. I knew that was it. We lowered our heads and walked back to the elevator, with a very strange and sad feeling in our hearts. As we entered the elevator, we looked at his favorite spot at the end of the foyer.
I told her – “I will miss him”
She replied – “Me too”
Today morning, his corner was clean and washed. It was however, empty.
We will miss you, Moti…