(Sunday Mid-Day asked for a cat story, in 140 words. Here it is.)
My nine lives?
I had a house, once, and Bigfeet of my own: then they packed everything, except me, and left.
There was a word for kittens who wandered outside for the first time: prey.
Seven bird kills, eight battles with rats, two with puppies, and I found a word that fit me better: predator.
No river cat remembers the names of the boats we lived on; the fish, yes, we taste their names in our mouths still.
In Sikkim, I made babies with a monastery cat, solemn kittens with Buddha bellies.
The vet took one of my lives, the time I crossed the road without looking, but he gave me back two.
Two is ample, I thought, and then one was squandered in a bandicoot brawl, but it was worth it.
I have one life left. Three paws.
(To read Sunday Mid-Day’s interviews with Scott Carney, Naresh Fernandes and me, go here.)