Billu! The first cat I ever loved.
Year 2014, I found him while roaming around the college campus. It was the first year of the college, everything was new and this newness led to the series of firsts. The first time I saw him, he was relaxing on the ramp, which happened to be my favourite part of the college for all the trees it’s surrounded with. I was so excited to have touched him. I don’t remember much about that day, but the meetings became frequent. I’d say we became friends but for all I know, it was one-sided mostly, maybe he loved me too. Every now and then I’d see him from afar and call him and he’d come running towards me, showering me with head bumps, rubbing himself all over me, covering me with his hair, but hey cat hair is lonely peoples’ glitter. (was he marking me as his own by leaving his scent on me?) I’d spot him from the classroom (ah that room, room no 12) window, often he would be sitting on the stairs at the backside of college canteen, mostly hungry other times sleepy. All in all, I spent a lot of time with him during first and a half year of my college life. He was almost as close to me as my other new friends were. While they’d bunk lectures and go out, I’d stay at college for it was always fun having him all to myself. I became really close to him. He used to brighten my days like nobody else.
Okay maybe I was lonely or just an introvert, but people aren’t my forte. Cats aren’t easy but at least they don’t make you anxious.
Year 2015, I was such a fan of Billu, he got me addicted to the cat videos, I’d watch them all the time, read about cat behaviour and everything related to them. Few hours spent with a cat in college started to seem a little less, I wanted more, I wanted them around all the time. And, so I decided to adopt a pair of cats. Phoebe and Lizzy. 4th of May, what a day it was. Having cats of my own wasn’t easy because parents can be fussy. But I was too. They became my happy. Now, I had three cats. However, as Billu started to grow older he would come to college a lot less then he used to. We wouldn’t meet for months. It made me sad but with Phoebe and Lizzy, it got a bit sidelined. Now, I wouldn’t stay in college for long, wandering, looking for him because I knew there are two waiting for me at home.
Year 2016, My cats were almost a year old now, around their maturity, reaching the heat cycle, they’d scream all night. It became an issue with my family, they started to resent it. (All the sad stuff omitted, maybe for some other time) Things got out of control so much that we, that I decided to leave them. I abandoned them. I’m and will always be ashamed of it. I can give reasons but none of it can make it right. Yes, I was naive and in a way forced to take that decision but I was warned too. (Also, I am aware of the fact that abandoning pets is a punishable offence in India)
March 24, zero cats, lonely Arpitta. I’d still meet Billu but it was once or twice in months. May’16 was last when I saw him. I had an exam that day, he sat beside my desk in the examination hall.
Year 2017, graduated and dying of Vitamin Meow deficiency.
Year 2018, College fest was going on, there were people around, many of them, new and old. And there he was, Billu. It didn’t even take me a second to recognize it was him. He of all stayed, even after so long. It was him because of whom I got to experience so much love. It was him who made me discover the parts of myself I never knew existed. It was all because of him. And, I’m only thankful. He had made my days before, turned them from sad to happy in a blink of a second, but there was something special when he did it again after so long, he made my day, saved it. Saved me. January 11th will be remembered. It was the most satisfied I’ve felt in a very long time.
This post isn’t about me, it isn’t about my cats, it’s about Billu and my love for him.
I can’t forget, how the bond grew, the fondness, the attachment, it just reached a new level each day. He somehow, made me believe that I was capable of having two cats. He gave me something I will always cherish.
(In Hindi, the cat is called Billi and hence, Billu. In case you were wondering.)