Going through the evening kitchen chores a few days ago, my mum and I were chatting of the regular ‘how was your day stuff’ when she told me that my youngest sister had called during the day. Usually, it is a delightful topic to share but this time it brought sad news and I haven’t yet got over it so resorted to the writing therapy.
I still can’t believe that our gentle, cuddly Cookie – the first and the only family pet we have ever had is no more. I don’t clearly remember for how long did we have Cookie with us but he was there when I returned back from Australia in 2010 and he was there when I felt low or was sick or when I wanted a non-judgmental company. He was there – EVERY SINGLE DAY – just the same, with his big bright eyes, vibrant aura and warm embrace.
Though…later, he left our home in the year 2013 after my sister got married in 2011 because essentially he was her pet and she missed him! So we had happily sent him to his new home as my sister’s – in Himachal.
I have infinite memories of him and I know for sure how attached we all were to Cookie as individuals although none of us except Surabhi (the sister who got us Cookie) is fond of animals as pets. We all had had a different bond with him. One thing that was common is that all of us liked to feed him during the day and we chit-chatted with him a bit here and there, and together we talked about him and his antics. However, Surabhi had the most special connection. She was the only one whose hands Cookie recognized to perch upon every now and then. He could understand and follow what she said…and also, with her he played hide and seek – something, only mom could achieve afterwards.
So, after the initial months of care given by Surabhi as her responsibility to keep Cookie since she was the one who wanted a pet at home, later- it was mostly mom who would put him to sleep at night/early evening, wake him up in the morning (not that he was supposed to- he was always up in time), bathe him and put him out under the sun or shade as the weather demanded…constantly chatting up with him while doing all that care taking.
Dad would mostly read his newspaper- keeping Cookie alongside or tease him around with a nut or a fruit peel or even a stick sometimes! My brother loved to generally observe him and tell us his unique traits; my other sister had rather a detached admiration as she visited us only during holidays so she didn’t spend as much time with him as we did. And as for me, like I said before, I enjoyed his company…and especially when I wanted to be quiet but not alone, I looked up to Cookie.
The first thing that attracted me to him was his bright sunny colour and wide sparkling eyes. Then, I liked the way he nibbled on his nuts and fruits and later cleaned himself. As I observed him and started conversing whatever I wished, I thought him to be such a soulful listener because he would respond in a squeaky murmur or just come closer as if to give you that backing you need!
There was another distinguishing (and not so charming) characteristic and it was his voice – loud and shrilling, one that pierces through your ears! The whole of our neighbourhood knew of him gradually as Cookie was easily heard at a mile’s distance or even more! You know, thankfully… our neighbours also liked Cookie and even acknowledged us, for his cry would keep the monkeys and street dogs at bay.
Not at all being a pet sorta family, Cookie in deed became special and more special with due course of time to us and we missed him a lot initially when he was sent to Himachal, yet we were happy that he will be taken care of and would be happier with his best keeper.
But today, he is no more. We are never going to see him again and the worst part is he did not just die… he was slain by some wild animal who probably feasted on him. Any kind of death is hurtful but I am not able to get over Cookie being prey to the wild. I feel sad. It has been years that we saw him and now a whole lot of imagery runs in my mind. It was in June that my brother wished to meet Cookie whenever we were to go to Himachal next… sadly, we won’t be able to do that now.
Miss you, Cookie. May your soul be in peace.
May we see each other in our after-lives if there are any.