Saturday, September 25, 2010

Will miss you Chicklet...

In my three-year stay in Pakistan, which hopefully draws to a close  soon, I had never felt so helpless and miserable as when I saw my ten-month-old cat Chicklet, and two other kittens, poisoned to death last week.
I was poisoned to death. I was only
My husband and I had rescued Chicklet and his litter-mates from our neighbour’s washing machine last winter. Chicklet and his litter-mates were like little fur balls and we had to resist the temptation of adopting them because we already had six very territory-conscious indoor cats to take care of.

Yet soon enough Chicklet and his sister were in our backyard, the sister taking the lead and the brother following suit, and before we knew it they were ours. We were feeding them, rushing them to the vet, or saving them from stray Toms at 3 am!

Chicklet had a knack of getting himself into trouble and we had to go around requesting neighbours to let us into their houses and get him down their roofs or out of their backyards. He would be happy to see us rescue him, rub his chin against walls and roll on the ground non-stop as if saying his “thank yous”.

This summer we got worried when Chicklet went missing for several hours. We were on our roof calling out for him; checking other rooftops and backyards for clues. We’d just given up our massive search when Chicklet obliged us by alighting from under the overhead tank of our Indonesian neighbour.

We threw food to him and then went begging to the neighbours’ to let us in. Chicklet saw me making my way up the ladder and launched his major “thank you act”; he rolled on the ground, rubbed hard against my legs and made me run all over the roof before letting me catch him.

Happy to be back in our backyard, he perched himself on his favourite place, the kitchen window sill, rubbing his cheeks against the iron grill and purring hard.

Chicklet grew up to be a big and healthy cat. He no longer had to be rescued from rooftops; but he still loved playing his little games with us – “I spy” by showing up at all windows and doors of our house and announcing his arrival with grand meows or turning up in our lawn and then wanting to be let inside the house to cross over to the backyard.

Chicklet showed symptoms of food poisoning on early September 14 (around 3.30 am). We were to take him to the vet in the morning, but Chicklet didn’t wait for us. We looked around for him on all rooftops, backyards, our street, but there was no trace of him. We hoped and prayed that he would return and announce his arrival with his grand meows once again. But that was not to be.

On September 16, around 5 pm, as I stepped out on our terrace to call out for him yet again I saw him lying dead on our Indonesian neighbour’s roof, on the same spot from where I’d rescued him in summer, with half a dozen crows and hordes of flies feasting on him. We got him down and gave him a burial.

If Chicklet’s death was not a blow enough for us, we saw two other kittens, who would stop by for food, poisoned. While the male died, the female has made it.

We were just getting over the two deaths post-Eid, when last Saturday, I noticed Chicklet’s sister and her three kittens, who were born in our backyard, showing similar symptoms.

Sadly the weakest in the litter could not make it. We used to jokingly call him “Wheezer”, because last month he had been treated for wheezing. Wheezer died a very painful death. His litter-mate, the friendliest kitten I have known, is still at the vet’s fighting it out.

Chicklet and the two kittens didn’t deserve to go the way they did, at least not in an Islamic Republic, because the Prophet is said to have liked cats and kept one too.


  1. Beautifully written...the sweet stories of kittens and cats turned bitter by the graceless humans who live around them...

  2. That's very very sad... was watching Marley and me and was sad enough.. even though I'm not an animal lover I can quite imagine what it must feel like.

  3. Nothing much to say. just a few words of my urdu teacher that come to my mind, while she was explaining a stanza from Ghalib's poetry. Not all but a few, the most beautiful ones (at heart and soul) once buried beneath the soil and heath creep out in the form of flowers with their enchanting fragrance. some odd day once you step out in your backyard and smell the sweet incense in the air and your eyes roll over to a beautiful flower gazing at you, be sure its chicklet and his fellows trying to tell you that they are still there while the days slip by your window, watching.

  4. really so sorry to read this, feels pathetic. just today I found a stray kitten (looks just like chiklet btw though it's a female) playing in front of my house. brought it under a covered place as it was drizzling and gave it a cup of milk. hope it makes it without incidents like the one that befell chicklet.

    some people just have no heart.

  5. This is terrible. Do you have a hunch on who this mass poisoner is?

  6. u coming back buddy !! to india ?

  7. Noshi, thanks :)

    Ghani, beautiful!

    Obsessive Mom, how have you been?

    Rupa, two suspects, but can't do much without evidence...

    Rahul, that was sweet of you!

    Ashu, not yet...but hope it is soon!

  8. Really sorry.. CG.

  9. We are cat lovers too, have looked after stray cats and kittens and know the pain of losing one...but really really tragic losing them like much more cruel can we human beings get, to deliberately commit such inhuman acts on harmless creatures?

  10. some people are shits, darling...

  11. Hi. First time visitor to your blog. Nice post and really sorry for your loss. Though I'm more of a dog person, this is outrageous. Poisoning cats? Who would do something so cruel?

  12. "Atithi Devo Bhava"
    Atithi-means guest who comes without warning or invitation and guest who comes with appointment are not atithi.Horrible karmic consequences await people who dont treat atithi.Atithi is not guests in usual sense(nor beggars who must not be entertained).It's most often strangers mostly non-humans asking for food 4 survival(ants,lizards,rodents,cats,dogs etc).
    Poisoning/torturing/killing them takes it to another level.Hope those who did harm to Chiklet die a horrible death.

  13. Welcome home Kannan :) Long time!

  14. I am sad............i feel like giving the same treatment to people who were responsible for this.....i hate human beings.........

  15. The same suspects poisoned my mum's I think you are on track.

  16. Apoorva, one of our kittens who was also poisoned still cannot walk! We have to carry him all over the house.

    Aneela, sorry to hear about your mum's dog :(

  17. Yup, I shared that "nugget" to let you know the snoops are pretty indiscriminate about whether loved pets are "ours" or " others".

    New post please!!!

  18. Terrible! Who are these psychopaths killing harmless animals? those who don't love living beings cannot be human. (To call them animal would be insult to animals). Poor Chicklet.