Shekhu–Chapter 2: Shekhu’s View

“Singer! Come close!” I hear my mother meow. I hop through the long grass as a white truck appeared in front of me.

    A large, green logo with the words “Humane Society” curled around it was stabbed in the center of the truck. It had windshields that glistened in the moonlight of the sky. I shivered under the shade of the trees, knowing it was time.

    “Your catpa, catma, great-cat parents… they all suffered what will have to be fulfilled.” My mother had whispered nights ago, when I was just newly born. “We will have to go to this horrid place, get new lives… but maybe we will move in time.”

    But no, that could never happen now. “Fauna! Skittles! Quick!” I yelped, shoving them into the cave me and Mother were in.

    “W-what’s happening?” asked Fauna, who was shivering against my flank. “Is it… time?”
    “I think so, Sis,” Skittles whispered, leaning into me. He turned to me. “Maybe we will all go together?”

    “Quit guessing! We have got to hide!” Mother kissed the top of our heads, but before she could lead us out through the back entrance, thick pale hands clasped all three of our bodies and we thrashed and flailed, only to be dumped in warm coats of blankets. We all yelped and meowed, but once we realized we were in the same warm place, we calmed down.

    “Where’s Mother?!” Fauna meowed desperately. “Is she safe?”

    “I think so–and that’s the good part,” I reassured my siblings. We were triplets, though I was the youngest–by eleven minutes. So I guess I am not really their sibling? I dunno.

    “This place is warm, actually,” Fauna realized, making the good of things. Her and Skittles chatted together, but I tuned them out. We were in the truck. Being taken away. Never again to see each other again.

    Before I could remind my siblings, voices that made me overjoyed to hear filled my brain. “You sure? Their small and helpless. Maybe we should send them back.” a soft voice of a woman pleaded.

    But then my heart sank. “Come on, Kate, we’re literally already at Humane Society. Let’s just take them inside, and as soon as their settled, someone will want to take them!” A man’s voice groaned.

    After a couple of minutes of hearing Skittles and Fauna making the good of things, we were finally at our stop. Oh, the sweet, sweet air, I thought to myself. I licked my chops and gulped in gallons of air as our soft crate was being lifted out of the truck and we could see the moon and the stars.

    “I’m positive we’ll all be in the same new family,” Fauna went on. “I mean, why else would they keep us in this crate together?”

    I shrugged. “Last good-bye?” Me and Skittles guessed at the same time.

    But then, we were going into an empty building. People who were working late hours waved at us and said to the man and the lady, “Aw, what sweet ones, Kate and Josh!” and “What heartbreakers!” and also “They’ll be sold in no time!”

    Before I could catch anybody’s scent, we were stashed in another crate. No, not a crate. A small den. Home. We were all together.

    “Fauna’s asleep,” Skittles whispered to me. There was a pink blanket and a blue blanket, and me and Skittles decided to sleep together on the blue one, Fauna on the pink.

    “Let’s get some rest, too. I need to get this weight off my shoulders,” I added, snuggling close to him. He curled into a ball, and I could swear I heard him whisper, “It will never get off mine.”

    In the morning, Fauna was sitting right next to us, pounding on our stomach. Because apparently, she heard a man talking about her to Kate, and she thought that she was gonna go.

    “WHAT?!” Skittles and I mewed. I nuzzled her neck and said, “There must be some sort of mistake!”

    But she sniffled and whispered, “He was talking about adopting me. And then he went and came back with a crate!” I let her lean on my shoulder, but not for long until our little cage door swung open. We all hissed at a blond man, but he just smiled.

    “Oh, you guys are so precious. I wanted to take you all, but it looks like you guys are already registered to go with someone. Except you, Fauna!” I felt so sorry for the man. He was so kind, but he just couldn’t take us all! And who registered for me and Skittles? Was it the same person?
    But before I could wonder my thoughts aloud, Fauna was pulled out, and pushed into a crate.

    The day was so long. Me and Skittles were full of guilt and grief, but of course, there was no way to solve it. The man was gone.

    A few hours after our tuna lunch, a lady, a man, and a young teenager were walking towards our cage. “Mommy, this was the one we registered, I think…” the teenager told her mom. She nodded, looking at me. I snuggled closer to Skittles. We knew it was time for me to go, and that we wouldn’t be going together.

    The man sucked his cheek. “Such meh billy laow gay gar meh?” He said in a language I knew. It was Urdu, so what he said was, “You are really bringing a cat home?”

    “Haa, qu nahi?” the lady laughed (“Of course, why not?” was what she said). Then, to Kate she asked, “Can we get the box for this cat?” And Kate nodded yes and bolted out of the room.

    The teenager poked her finger through the crate holes and wiggled it around. I couldn’t resist and slapped her finger, not realizing that my claws were out. “Arey, Alina! Scratch karthey ga!” the mom yelped. (“Oh, Alina! He will scratch you!”)

    Kate came back with the box and opened our cage. Then, she pulled me out, right after I was able to lick Skittles’s cheek.

    I couldn’t see anything. Even from the giant air holes at the top of the box, I could not hear or see anything that was happening, except the silent voices and the rush of the wind. How come Fauna got a crate, and I got a box? I wondered to myself. I meowed a couple of times, but then suddenly, I was moving fast!

    I meowed like crazy. And for a very, very long time, I just sat there, waiting for an answer. But all I heard was, “Aww, it’s okay,” and “We’re almost there,” and “Just a little longer!”

    Where are we going? Home? I waited some more, but once I laid down, my box was picked up and we were moving again. But suddenly, a brand new scent filled my nostrils. It was a homey scent. Were we at home?
    Somebody opened my box and we were at home! I took deep breaths, letting myself get used to the scent. I stood up on my hind legs. Aaaah, the smell–it feels like heaven in here!

    And then I saw the most dazzling thing in the world. A friend! A little kid! I had always wanted a human to play with, and here they were! But she was crying.

    “Look who’s here, Aairah!” Her dad and mom squealed. Then I realized that she was crying of happiness.

    I sniffed her and she picked me in her arms and nuzzled her face into mine. I patted her cheek–it was more of a slap–and everybody laughed! What? I was just being me.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Anuja Raghavendra says:

    You got slapped by a cat?! Ha Ha aairah! That’s funny


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