Saturday, March 25, 2017
Cat Survives 9 Lives, Flees
AM NOT a sadist. The boy that I was when I was when growing up and the man that I am now, are two different people. As youngsters, we are shaped by what we see happening around us. When boys are growing up, they are ‘danger driven’ – throwing stones to enrage Farmers bull, climbing the fene tree, experimenting with match boxes and fuel and climbing out of the window of Parents crib, onto the roof and jumping off. As a boy, my life was constantly one stunt after the other – enough for perturbed Parent to call an ‘elders meeting’ to find out who, in the family, has the ‘mad streak’ in them and had passed it down the line to me.
Dad – Mr Bukumunhe that is, will tell you that at school when it came to physics or anything to do with sciences, it was not my cup of tea. I found the lessons rather tedious and as boring and dull as Teacher who taught the subject. Until he livened things up. To illustrate a point, he told class that a cat has nine lives. He didn’t stop there. He also told us, that if you flung it upside down off a roof, it would invert itself and always land on its feet.
The ramifications of that revelation especially on nine-year-old highly strung boys, was akin to being given ten crates of Coke and the entire week’s stock of Queens cakes that the local dukka has and told to go and have a blast. Until term ended, I had the same recurring dream – ‘nine lives and it always lands on its feet.’ I just could not wait for the summer holiday to roll on and tell my boys in Tank Hill where we lived.
Back then we had cats – two of them and I guess at this point, I should issue a distress advisory note to cat lovers before they read on.
With the unsuspecting cat in tow, we scaled onto the roof of Parents house to do the deed. Like I said at the start, we were not sadists. It’s just that we didn’t feel that what we were about to do was wrong. We were simply being boys, and we were experimenting.
And just like that, we flung the cat off the roof and like Teacher had taught months earlier, it did invert itself and land on its feet. We marvelled so much that we did it again and again and again until the cat perhaps feeling that his nine lives were almost up, fled and sought refuge in Neighbour’s house for the rest of my holiday.
I was in kyalo when Cousin asked if I wanted to see something ‘interesting’. Cousin should I say, was not like me – a boy doing boy things. He, was doing things that made me question his sanity.
In one of the storerooms, they had discovered a litter of rats that had just been born – no more than a few hours old. They huddled, their fragile pink bodies together for warmth while hissing and squeaking. While I knew that rats are vermin and are to be killed on sight, what I didn’t know, is how they got rid of the new born. But Cousin did.
Cousin scoped all 14 of them onto a grubby shovel and called in Dr Death - the sinister looking black kyalo cat that always gave me the creeps, to come and do the needful. It did. It didn’t first play with them as I thought it might, but with evil, relish and greed, it picked them up as they squealed and savagely started chomping into them. All 14 of them till they were gone then, then sat in the corner by the TV stand with a smug look while licking away at its paws.
That night, when Dr Death came to slumber at the foot of my crib as it always did, I was not having any of it and by then, had I not outgrown the ‘tossing off the roof' fad, you surly know what I would have done to Dr Death - don't you?
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