The cat that returned home just to die.....!

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By Dr. Eugene DSouza, Moodubelle
Bellevision Media Network

Moodubelle, 09 January 2011: She had been in the house for around six years. This beautiful cat that my mother had brought from her relative’s home while just a kitten had a mixture of black, white and brown colours and was quite beautiful to look at. My mother fondly called her Chimmi. She was all alone for sometime till she got her own kittens. From the first batch of the kittens my mother kept back one smart young kitten which was greyish and whitish with a tinge of brown colour and named her Ashu so that Chimmi could have a company while other kittens were given away to the needy.




Chimmi had been a smart cat and was very good in hunting rats and mice which used to be a menace within and outside the house. After catching a mouse, Chimmi would bring it and place in front of her daughter, Ashu and train her in the art of hunting and catching rats and mice. As Ashu grew up, both Chimmi and Ashu would go for hunting in the attic of the house and in the bushy areas around the house. As a result of the hunting expeditions of both Chimmi and Ashu the problem of mice and rats gradually reduced.


The rats have been causing considerable damage to tender coconuts. As there were no mice or rats in the attic and surrounding bushy areas, Chimmi  would climb the coconut trees of medium height in search of these rats. She was quite an expert in climbing   coconut trees and catching  mice and rats hiding on the top of these coconut palms. Mother’s example of climbing the trees was followed by her daughter. As a result of the hunting operations by Chimmi and Ashu, this year  the damage to the tender coconuts  has been considerably reduced.




As Ashu also grew up, both Chimmi and Ashu would deliver kittens more or less at the same time and would nurture each other’s kittens and take care of them in turn. Both mother and daughter had great bonding. As it was not possible to maintain all kittens, mother used to give them away to anyone who would take good care of them.



This year, both Chimmi and Ashu gave birth to two kittens each. While three of them were given away, one that had more or less similar colours as that of Chimmi was retained by my mother. Thus there were three cats at home, mother-Chimmi,  her elder daughter-Ashu and younger daughter-Billu. Billu has been fortunate to have mother Chimmi and elder sister-Ashu as both of them would  suckle, groom, protect and play with her.




Chimmi had been extremely protective of her daughters and was very considerate while eating food. She would allow her daughters to eat first. Many a times i had seen the youngest-Billu eating first while both Ashu and Chimmi would wait for their turn. It was only after both her daughters finished eating that Chimmi would take her turn.


It was indeed a great fun to have these cats and watch their antics and playfulness. While, mother Chimmi watched over them, both sisters-Ashu and Billu would display their mock fights and hide and seek games. The matriarchal instinct of  Chimmi  had been really great. She was a caring mother and an excellent hunter. Sometimes, while both sisters remained inside the house, Chimmi would be on her hunting expedition and would return after sometime getting something, either a little frog or a tiny mouse to her youngest daughter-Billu to teach her the skills of hunting.



In the evening of the 31st of December 2010, Chimmi had gone out for her usual hunting expedition. However, that night she was found missing.  As usual we thought that she might have gone for a long expedition of hunting and would eventually return home. However, the night passed and even in the morning of 1st January 2011, the New Year day Chimmi did not return. We started getting worried about the whereabouts of Chimmi.  Different thoughts flashed across my mind and apprehension gripped my heart. I began to reason out the causes of Chimmi’s disappearance. Whether she was taken away by some kind of wild animal or was she  bitten by poisonous snake, the one which i had seen some days back in our courtyard?.


The day passed. My wife and I had to attend a pre-marriage function (roce) in our ward. When we returned at around 10.15 pm, my mother in a worried voice said that Chimmi had returned, and was lying under her bed completely shaken and trembling. Thinking that Chimmi was feeling cold she took her to the outhouse and kept her near the ‘choola’ for warmth. Feeling delighted that finally Chimmi that we had thought would never return had come back, I rushed to the  outhouse. Chimmi  was crouched there with her head down . I gently placed my hand on her back. She was scared and trembling. Her eye was swollen and she showed no response. I placed pieces of cake in front of her and enticed her to eat,  but she  had no interest in food. Patting her gently over and over and hoping that she would recover by next morning,  i went to sleep.



Early morning, my wife went to the outhouse to light the ‘choola’ to prepare morning ‘conji’. She called me out, when i rushed to the outhouse, i was flabbergasted to see Chimmi sprawled  on the ground-dead.  My throat choked with emotion of losing someone who was an integral part of the family.  Immediately, i took the pickaxe and spade dug a small grave and buried Chimmi. As i buried her i was just wondering how the cat that was missing for a whole night and a day could come back home just to die and have a decent burial.


I do not know exactly what happened to Chimmi. Whether she was attacked by a wild animal or a poisonous snake or she was injured by any other reason. But the fact is that Chimmi will never come back and her memories will linger in my mind for a long time.


The absence of mother has been felt by Ashu and Billu. They were expecting their mother to return at any time. However, their wait became in vain  Having lost the mother, Ashu has taken her place and she has become more protective of her younger sister-Billu and they are found always in each other’s company.



Comments on this Article
Lynnet, Belle Sat, May-5-2012, 6:08

Dr. Eugine,Its is heart touching article. even i like pets, i feel sorry for poor chimmi.

Raymond Dsouza, Mallibettu/Yedmer/Bahrain Sat, January-15-2011, 2:28
Really a heart touching article, beautiful narration, I am sure my 7 years daughter Sophie will like this narrative story based on a real fact and will ask so many questions on this. Thank you for sharing your feelings with the whole world.
Joel Dsa, Moodubelle, bahrain Mon, January-10-2011, 10:10
Touching, every day of our life the nature teaches us many things.It reminded me of my younger days at home in belle. nice article Dr. Eugene. The bonding between the cat sibblings is amazing to watch,the playfullnes of these feline friends is so eye catching, you forget your tentions worries watching them. great writing.
Philip Mudartha, Qatar Mon, January-10-2011, 9:45
Very sensitively written citizen journalism this. I am a cat lover myself, and spend considerable time watching them play, prey and go about their lives. In Qatar, I had a domesticated cat for a number of years. She would spot my car from furlongs and receive me in the garage. She too died one day, while crossing the road. Her death affected me deeply. During her time in our household, I began a much loved blog series on cats, for which she provided ideas every day!
Victor DSouza, Moodubelle / Doha Sun, January-9-2011, 10:51
A pet is like a special friend or like a member of the family. No one can replace Chimmi, but Ashu and Billu will keep the memories of Chimmi alive. Thank you Dr. Eugene for sharing.
Ronald Sabi, Moodubelle Sun, January-9-2011, 1:19
Amazing true story! Every event has a place in Dr. Eugene s heart! Knowing him for some time, I am aware of his humble nature!! Grief is quite natural about the departure of Chimmi. Pictures explain more than words about his attachment!!
Victor Castelino, Moodubelle/Dubai Sun, January-9-2011, 7:40
Beautiful narration with illustrations of a day to day event which happens almost in all the families in villages. Could be added as an English lesson for primary school children. Animal lovers will love it.
Staney D Souza, Dubai Sun, January-9-2011, 4:09
Thank you Dr. Eugene for sharing your feeling of cats.
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