Friday, June 26, 2009

Pikey The Explorer

This Saturday, it will be 2 weeks since we last saw Pikey The Cat.
It's been a long 2 weeks.
Since then, we've wept, called out her name endless times, walking our front yard and back yard.
We were hopeful, at first. Even though the longest Pikey had been out was one night. Always the next morning, we would see her black funny face at our backdoor, meowing piteously, waiting to be let in so that she could run upstairs to our bed, cuddle on soft sheets and take a blissful nap.
When we didn't see her the next morning, we went looking, sure we would hear her meowing behind a garbage can or underneath the car parked on the driveway. When we'd looked and looked, we figured she was hiding somewhere waiting for the dark to make her way home. You see, while Pikey acted like a tiger on the prowl at night, during the day, she was just an itty bitty scared kitty.
So we waited that night. And waited. We checked the back door many times before finally falling asleep. Called out a few more times. Tried not to think of the coyotes the neighbors had seen nearby a few weeks ago. The first tears began to fall.
Of course we didn't tell Raina about our fears.
We told her that Pikey was off on a big adventure, exploring just like Dora.
Rohan thankfully is too small to miss her. Even though he was the one who adored her the most, followed her around like Mary's little lamb. She rarely minded it, often plopping down right next to him, so that he could pat her gently or tug at her tail.

As the days passed, the tears began to fall faster.
P and I recalled the many times Pikey had made us laugh in the 8 years she'd been with us. Recently, she'd made us angry more often than not. Bringing mice home. Clawing the new handmade rug. We'd been impatient with her, complaining about the black hair all over the house that she'd shed. Maybe she decided she'd had enough, P said.
I pointed out to him that through it all, Pikey still slept right on top of him at night. Or next to him. Somewhere within touching distance. That she still got attention in the evenings once the kids were in bed. Pikey time, we called it. She'd plop on a cushion on our laps and get caressed to her heart's content. Then off she'd go to the backyard, and from there to the canyon beyond, hunting mice, doing what cats do.
But when it was time for bed, we'd call out to her and she'd often come running back.
So we've put up some posters in our neighborhood. If anyone's seen a black cat with yellow eyes, skittish but affectionate and very, very loving, please call.
Deep in our hearts, we're still hoping. We see her everywhere, a black blob in the closet shelf, in the shadows of the house at night. But for now, the food and water bowls have been put away.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Raina Proposes

About a month ago, just when she was about to step into the bath, Raina had something important to say.
"Mom, when I grow up I'm going to marry Z," she said.
Z is Raina's best friend at preschool, and to him, she's the "awesomest" girl he knows. Z's a little younger to Raina, so he started in her class just a few months ago. One day they began chatting, and since then, it's been Z this, Z that Chez Muser. It wasn't hard to figure out why they became such fast friends. Z's parents are from Lahore and his resemblance to Raina is marked.
A couple of weeks after announcing her nuptials, Raina said, "Mom, I'm so glad Z is not my baby brother. Because if he was, I couldn't marry him, and I want to. I asked him today, and he said, 'OK.'"
"Oh, OK," I said weakly. "Good to know."
My 5-year-old girl just made her first proposal.