Flying Cats and Naked Neighbours

So, this morning I’ve had flying cats and the Naked Neighbour faffing with his hose.

Cats
Ever since we moved into this house we’ve had feline visitors. The first came as a young adult begging for some of the supper Mr D had just delivered to me from the nearest night-time fast food restaurant (fast food in south India means parotta or dosa with accompanying chutneys and what-not). Now and again the cat would come and we’d feed her our leftovers or some milk and biscuits (coz back then I always had biscuits in the house :-o). Then a couple of years ago she got knocked-up and came to see us more often, along with her three kittens when they were old enough. Likewise when she got knocked up again last year she spent a lot of her pregnancy on our porch. Unlike the first litter though, where I think only one kitten survived, this year all four of her kittens are doing well and are also frequent visitors. Unfortunately Mum cat has given up visiting us; the last few times she did she was always hissing at her kids; probably miffed she’d introduced them so now unable to enjoy our porch and hospitality in peace. But she’s a smart cat, I’m sure she’s found other benefactors. The other reason this last litter is doing so well is down to the Naked Neighbour (but I’ll come back to him in a moment).

Anyways, that flying cat thing, which might be the first kitten that’s now a full-grown tom, brutish and terrorising the kittens. A few nights ago one of the littlest girl kittens (I call her Barbie) was in her favourite spot on the windowsill by the kitchen. I was doing last things before bed when I heard a strange whooshing noise. I went outside to investigate. Big tom cat had Barbie cornered. I gave chase – me shuffling, cat galloping. When I got back to the porch Barbie was cowering by the front door. About to coax her away I smelt the distinct aroma of fresh pooh. She’d been so terrified that her bowels and bladder had both evacuated on the windowsill. Poor girl. She even stayed close as I shovelled the shit away and sloshed the sill and wall down. She desperately wanted to stay with me and I had a hard time encouraging her to let me get in the house and keep her outside.

So this morning when I heard low, growly meowing I once more went shuffling in my flip-flops from the porch towards the noise at the back steps. Just as I reached where the steps come down from the roof a streak of fur scurried down the stairs, past the railings, flew off the end of the walkway through the air, all legs and claws outstretched, for about 10 feet, bounced off the side of the neighbour’s wall down to the shrubby ground below and sped away as if Federer had just used him as a tennis ball. The image of a cat with everything extended, including his ears, leaping through the air in blind faith is seared into my mind. I’m hoping he won’t be back again in a hurry.

The Naked Neighbour
Thankfully, what’s not seared into my mind in any way, harmful or otherwise, is the sight of my Naked Neighbour, with or without his new hose. Seemingly he had to leave his last place due to his predilection for nakedness. Before I gave him the moniker Naked Neighbour, Mr D and I called him Canadian Swami. He’s typical of some of the older non-Indian fellas who live here – when not naked he’s usually dressed in a saffron dohti (with or without underwear I suppose) and with his long grey hair tied on the top of his head, his navel-length beard kept in order in three places by hair elastics. Mostly it’s just me that witnesses the occasional unintended flash of bare butt or genitals because of where my office is at the back of the house. The window overlooks the back of the neighbour’s house which has a small studio apartment and a large porch on the roof – that’s where Naked Neighbour lives. Apart from enjoying life unencumbered by clothes, he also seems to love plants. The large porch is filled with potted plants and shrubs. Hence the naked hose faffing this morning. Looks like he’s hoping to make tending his bushes easier 😉 Can’t say’s I blame him – he has got a helluva lot of plants.

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The Naked Neighbour’s Home

I’ll post another more panchakarma-related update soon. So wherever you are, perhaps indulge in enjoying your own nakedness now and again, but maybe not around any playful kittens…

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Day 29 & 30 of Panchakarma – acts of love and kindness

These early starts are proving a bit of a killer. I’m cream crackered mid-morning. I won’t be surprised come Friday morning when I just stay in bed, enjoy a wonderful lie in, laze around and snuggle up to Mr D. That’s the kind of colour and form coming into view now I’m only two days away from completion. Two days until freedom! Sweet.

Food and Love
However, the weariness is not just from clinic attendances, but also that darn pre-menstrual thing. Got the tell-tale spots too. So on Monday night when I was at that stage of feeling too tired to eat I nearly caved when Mr D suggested he’d head out and go forage for his supper. Not happy with that idea given he’s also in need of good food, I said I’d cook a simple supper for him. I said, “It’s an act of love and kindness. It’ll be my pleasure.” I made a quick but delicious dinner of nothing I could eat. But guess what? I did. That’s how come I know it was delicious. Food prepared and cooked with love – makes all the difference no?

Then yesterday while lying on the massage table I started imagining what I’d do for that night’s supper. When Mr D came to collect me he asked Dr A if I was allowed biscuits. She said no problem. Confession – I had a ragi biscuit yesterday! Then I though that was what he was on about, but when I got back home I discovered that all my cogitations about what to cook where cancelled out. On the stove was not one but two pots of beautifully cooked veg. To put that into context – in the eight years Mr D and I have been together (during which he has obviously performed many acts of love and kindness) he has never cooked us a meal. Ever! To come home to freshly cooked food on a day when I was feeling knackered – an awesome act of kindness that went straight to my heart.

Kolam Kindness
With regards my Panchakarma Comrade – she’s back on form, her splodge of difficulty not exactly passed, but more manageable. She’s also been keen on having Dr A have a kolam outside her clinic. A kolam (also known as a rangoli) is a design of powder created fresh each morning at the entrance to a person’s home or business. Frequently just white powder is used, sometimes a ruddy-brown powder is added as well, then other times they’re a fab splash of colour. Traditionally the powder was rice flour, but now most people use rock powder. Kolams are good-luck and welcoming symbols and the designs vary from simple dots and interlinking lines to all sorts of fancy stuff. With Panchakarma Comrade in refreshed and ebullient spirits, a couple of days ago she insisted Dr A have one outside the clinic. Dr A duly instructed one of the harem to set about doing that very thing. First up was the ritualistic prepping of the intended kolam area by sweeping and washing the space down, then it was out with a bowl of rice flour (no rock powder available) and on with making the kolam. As you can see from on of the photos, my Panchakarma Comrade was happy with the outcome.

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Monkey Care
Not long after leaving the clinic yesterday with Mr D we passed some monkeys perched on the top of a concrete wall. Because it’s a fairly narrow and pot-holed lane we were going slow enough for Mr D to spot that one of the monkeys had just given birth. We stopped. Signs of fresh birth matted the hair of the mother’s backside. Her new-born baby clung to her chest. The monkeys beside them were tending to the mother with so much care and kindness. Although I hated to intrude – as well as being worried we might get attacked for being so close – seeing the exhausted mother, the tiny baby monkey and their attendants like that, right next to the road in full view, felt like an amazing gift of natural kindness.

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Gratitude
So despite not much to report on the Panchakarma front – bar the rising excitement that it’ll be over very, very, very soon – there’s been magic and beauty and kindness a plenty. I’m also taking the image of that new life as a symbol of fresh life flowing in me too. And no matter what else I say, no matter how tired or moaning I get, because of that fresh flow I continue to be really bloody grateful.

To all you lovelies everywhere – wishing you your own magic, beauty and acts of love and kindness.