Day 1

 

 

So, this is new. I’ve not actually done anything quite like this before. For purposes of clarity and reminder, I’m going to set some rules up:

Firstly, the nature of this ‘diary/journal’ or whatever you want to call it is not set in stone. I can alternate between a soliloquy meant for myself or venting meant for unknowable eyes. The point is just to get down events and feelings.

Secondly, I consider myself bound to write in this at least once or twice a week. The only way that this can serve as an effective therapeutic exercise or whatever it is I imagine it to be is if it serves as a measure of consistency in my life, and consistency means dedication.

Thirdly, this journal is not meant to adhere to regular standards around journals. What I mean by that is that it isn’t necessarily a complete secret like the contents of some diary, but it’s also not meant for complete public consumption like some travelogue. The relative secrecy of entries in this journal will be decided on a case by case basis. It could be writing practise, it could be the anguish of my thoughts; it could be anything. The question of secrecy and what I do and don’t say is an important one because it’s the reason for the inception of this journal : I don’t feel comfortable talking right now.

I’m going to let Amnah read this entry later. It’s part of the reason I’m writing it. However, circumstances right now are such that I don’t think it’s right for me to share the content immediately.

Let me flesh out the situation. It is as follows : For roughly two weeks my mind has been trapped in a maelstrom. I’ve oscillated from the lowest of lows to the slightly higher than the lowest of lows. Probably something that someone else would scoff at, but using my personal frame of reference, these are some of the worst things I’ve felt. During such time, as during near all such times, Amnah has been a great source of support to me and my gratitude for that is endless. The problem lies in the fact that I said yesterday that I felt as though the mood had passed. At that point, I wasn’t lying ; I was personally sure of it. Well, maybe not quite sure. Rather, I very badly wanted to be sure of it, and I may have twisted my perceptions of things such. The mood didn’t end. The mood hasn’t ended for a while, and I don’t think it’s fair to say it started two weeks ago. That generalizes it too much. Rather, I’ve had perhaps 40-50 moods in the past couple of weeks. That’s much more representative of the truth. So, while the individual small mood may have ended and I may have felt much better, this series as a whole has not reached it’s completion. 

I don’t intend to mention this unless my circumstances severely deteriorate again; and I’m not particularly fond of being the bearer of bad (and frankly, boringly repetitive) news. Rather, I passed off my grim feelings today as aftershocks of the last mood. I don’t think that’s untrue either; the worst of the mood has passed. It is untrue in the sense that I’m concealing the full scope of what happened, though. I don’t much like lying to people who are important to me, which is part of the reason I’m writing this out now. I do want Amnah to know the full truth later, I just don’t want it to be right now where it’s sorely ill-placed.

So, with that out of the way, let’s do some diary stuff! There’s a very particular reason I feel the need to suddenly write this journal, and that reason is to commemorate a kitten. I’ll give you a brief history and then I’ll talk about today. 

A few days ago, before my return to Islamabad, a couple of kittens from off the street came into my driveway. Since then, they haven’t left. No parent has come looking for them, and it seems unlikely that they’re siblings anyway : one is black and white and considerably larger than the smaller, meeker, all black one. I named the big one Aurangzeb and the small one Donald Trump. They’re both adorable, but I’ve not really had much interaction with them before today.

Today I heard loud and frantic meowing outside and rushed to the door. It was sometime at night. Aurangzeb was pawing at the door, screeching and demanding our attention. I opened it and he rushed to the gate. The little black kitten lay on the ground, immobile. I don’t like to call it Donald anymore, it feels a bit heartless. I don’t want to go into the detail of what happened as I learned later but the basic gist is that a larger cat set upon the kitten and hurt it. I thought it was dead when I saw it there. I distinctly remember lifting it up and and thinking that the fur and flesh I felt were dead and cold fur and flesh. It was a powerful experience.  I felt terrified, for some reason. I didn’t want to think that the kitten was dead. And then it sneezed, and a tremor ran through the length of its entire body. A little blood fell from its mouth. It was alive. I cradled it and took it to the storeroom, where it would be safe if the cat chose to come back. I set up bowls of water and milk next to it. It lay there completely prone, as though it were dead.  Handling the cat for so long gave me a sneezing fit, and I went inside for medication and recovery. Half an hour later, I returned. Aurangzeb was mewing despondently outside the storeroom. When I opened it, I saw that the kitten had moved a little from where I had left it, but remained quite as prone. When I stroked her, she made no sound and no movement. I thought she might have passed away in her sleep. I wanted to take her to a vet but none I knew would be open. When I flashed a light at her she stirred a little, and dragged herself to face away from it. I couldn’t find a bruise on her body. I’m afraid it might be internal, and I hope to take her to a vet tomorrow. She’s not acting normal. She’s not responding to any stimuli, won’t eat or drink, and lies like a dead thing. I stayed with her a few hours, stroking her back, and she might have been dead but for the shaky movement of her breathing. I’m inside now, my allergies acted up again. I hope desperately that she makes it through the night. No part of this is okay. It may just be the story of a kitten, but the impression it has left on me is visceral. It’s not all right for a larger being to attack a baby. It’s especially worse now that the wretched thing is traumatized or broken or God knows what. I just want it to have a happy ending. It hasn’t done anything wrong, it doesn’t deserve any of this, it’s just a tiny baby cat. To hell with the laws of the jungle. If the big cat returns here, I’m going to make sure it leaves with a lesson. I just hope the kitten is alive to make it to the vet tomorrow.

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