Sunday, December 21, 2008
Our cat, Gorby, passed away, peacefully, in his sleep, in the early hours of today. He was 18. He was a very healthy and strong cat, and he simply died of old age.
Gorby came into our lives in early 1991, a tiny kitten that had strayed from its litter and walked into our compound. My sister Sita was on a visit home at that time and she took him in. This was around the time Gorbachev was in the news, and had returned after the short-lived coup. And the kitten had a brown patch on his head. Hence we named him Gorby.
Though my father disliked cats, Gorby transformed him and became his playmate. Over the years, when my mother was working away from Calcutta, Gorby waited patiently for her return, and it was principally to be with him that she returned periodically. Her maidservant, Mita, dutifully fed him through the years. The fish-seller in the nearby market, from whom the best fish was purchased everyday for Gorby, often remarked that he wished he was reborn as our pet cat in his next life!
Gorby was my first son, my playmate, my brother, my friend and companion and eventually my sage. I had several occasions to wonder whether it was really possible that a man and an animal could be so close. Among the names I called him by were Gorbs, Gobu, Gorbiminton and Gorbuluski Babbulasha
With his passing away, an era comes to a close and by and by we shall feel what a void he leaves behind. He has gone to the happy hunting grounds where he shall be in eternal play.