This happened a year ago.
We were in the third month of our marriage and life was grand. I loved her to bits and surprisingly, she doted on me too. When I said surprisingly, it is not just my low self-esteem screaming for some kind of validation but an undeniable truth. The thing is my wife is what you would call perfection–she is tall and beautiful without being vain or contemptuous! As if that is not enough, she is extremely intelligent as well. The only time I had doubted her thinking capacities was when she’d agreed to marry me. By the way, I am an average looking guy and fate has not left me with an attractive inheritance from a dead relative to make for what I lack in looks. So our marriage is a mystery to me!
Now as she was a permanent resident of the space that for the purpose of ease, I would like to call ‘way out of my league’ I had often imagined that at some point in life, I will have a competitor. However, it was a shocker when my rival came in the form of an animal–a cat!
It had happened so fast that there was nothing I could do to prevent it. One day, she had gone for shopping and when she returned, the monster was perched in her lap.
“Darling, what is this?”, I had asked my voice turning meek, as I dreaded the answer.
“He is Tiger–our cat”, she had answered in a very matter-of-fact tone.
I observed the beast–gray fur coated numerous layers of fat. Then I made the mistake of looking at his face. Slowly, he opened his green eyes and I could see all my nightmares coming to life.
I must clear a fact here. When I was a little kid, a stray cat had bitten me. Instead of turning into a superhero, I had developed a never-ending fear of all things feline.
“Dear, could we not do this?”, I tried making an attempt at rectifying the damage. Two pairs of glaring eyes answered me and I gave in.
As I had known all along, the new addition to the family didn’t work out for me. Apart from the obvious bone of contention chewed with equal force at either side by both parties, I had to endure sleepless nights as well. The cat had literally come in between me and my wife (he slept on our bed). Everyday, I would wake up on the carpet with scratches on my back, while Tiger enjoyed my spot on the soft bed. All I could get from my wife after relating his atrocities was, “Aw, our Tiger is so intelligent.”
I had to take naps at work to make up for my lack of sleep at home. Life couldn’t get any worse.
Or so I thought, for one day, my wife announced that she was going out, leaving the monster with me. Alone!
“Promise me you will be nice to him”, she said. I just nodded and she left.
Now, here I was with my worst nightmare settled on the carpet. I was lying on the couch pretending to watch television while all my attention was directed towards the monster, who was silently matching my hatred for him.
We kept at it for a while but then the sheer amount of negative energy floating inside the room forced me to move. So, I went to fetch something to eat from the kitchen.
When I returned, Tiger was resting on the couch wearing an ‘I own this place’ expression. I checked the time–it was 4:00 P.M. My wife was to return by 6:00 P.M. I realised that I had 2 hours to achieve eternal happiness by eliminating this hideous villain from our lives. I put my food on the side table, rolled the sleeves of my sweater, took a deep breath, and lunged for him.
What happened after that includes sharp claws and a lot of meows embarrassingly from both parties. After that, I lost consciousness.
“What in the world are you doing on the door mat?”
I heard an angelic voice. I must be dead, I thought, or rather hoped.
Deep down I knew I couldn’t be that lucky. It was my wife with her numerous shopping bags.
“It is the cat”, I began, ready to articulate in the most eloquent terms all the injustices done to me but I checked myself just in time. I knew it would be of no use.
“What has Tiger got to do with your sudden desire to explore the wonders of our door mat?”, she asked, sounding on the verge of losing her temper.
My 6th, as well as several other senses, informed me to refrain from telling her the truth. I used the first intelligent thought that came into my mind.
“I wanted to relate to Tiger on a deeper level”, said I, and when she continued to look suspicious I added, “You know in a ‘walk in his shoes or lay on his spot’ way.”
“Aww, this is so silly yet so thoughtful of you”, she burst into a warm smile.
This was the second time I had had doubts about her intelligence.
We went inside. The cat was sitting there like he owned the place. I accepted my defeat by offering him a foolish smile and he acknowledged it with a swish of his obnoxious tail.
A year has passed since, and I have stopped trying to get rid of him. It took me long enough to realise that a cat sits above us all!