But you can’t give your heart to a wild thing: the more you do, the stronger they get. Until they are strong enough to run into the woods. Or fly into a tree. Then a taller tree. Then the sky.
That’s how you’ll end up, Mr Bell. If you let yourself love a wild thing. You’ll end up looking at the sky.
Truman Capote, ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ (1958)
If a feral cat can be considered a wild thing, then I guess I have not quite heeded to Ms Holly Golightly’s word of advice.
Even if the wild thing was tamed and domesticated along the way.
Even if it didn’t run back into the woods, or tree, or sky on its own accord but was wrongfully taken away.
It still has the same effect.
You still end up looking at the sky.
If anyone has been wondering about the silence on this blog for the past three and a half months, it was because I had spent the better half of that time looking for my lost cat. It was lost because an intolerant neighbour had found the neighbourhood cats to be a nuisance and decided to set a trap to remove some of them. I didn’t realize until it was too late that mine had fallen prey to his trap. When I did manage to find out the location where he had released my cat (a good 15km away), I tried going over to search daily after work and on weekends, but sadly to no avail.
I was drained of all energy, both physically and emotionally. Letting go was hard. I still had hopes of being able to bring her back home again. And just when I thought I was slowly coming out of it, I was hit by an even bigger loss.
It was unexpected. And she was recovering so well too from her fall last November, when she had undergone surgery for a fractured neck of femur. Although she had to be placed in a nursing home for rehabilitation and care since then, she had been steadily regaining her strength and was starting to walk again with some assistance. I have been going over to the home to visit her daily and she was one of residents there who was making the most promising progress. I really thought she would be able to go home one day.
But then she caught a flu virus, a cough that wouldn’t go away. And it became a lung infection. Which turned into septic shock. And she was gone.
Grandma would have turn 90, come this July 1st.
I miss her.
I just recently finished reading Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s and while I did find it to be mostly enjoyable and good, it was really the ending that made its mark on me. The closing lines to the novella are now going to remain as one of my favourite & most satisfying endings to a book that I have ever read.
But the address, if it ever existed, never was sent, which made me sad, there was so much I wanted to write her: that I’d sold two stories, had read where the Trawlers were countersuing for divorce, was moving out of the brownstone because it was haunted. But mostly, I had wanted to tell her about her cat.
I had kept my promise; I had found him. It took weeks of after-work roaming through Harlem streets, and there were many false alarms — flashes of tiger-striped fur that, upon inspection, were not him. But one day, one cold sunshiny Sunday winter afternoon, it was.
Flanked by potted plants and framed by clean lace curtains, he was seated in the window of a warm-looking room: I wondered what his name was, for I was certain he had one now, certain he’d arrived somewhere he belonged. African hut or whatever, I hope Holly has, too.
I wish my kitty too, has found a safe and warm place to call home, now.
I know grandma is.