The Kitten and Cleopatra
Life Story

Short Story: The Kitten and Cleopatra by Munmun Samanta

The Kitten and Cleopatra
The Kitten and Cleopatra

The Kitten and Cleopatra is a sad love story that brings us close to the practicality of life.

I  won’t soothe your pain
I won’t ease your strain
You’ll be waiting in vain

I got nothing for you to gain”

                                     [ Eyes On Fire

                                                                                             Song by Blue Foundation ]


   I open the door, a cold heartless breeze hit my face. I inhale sharply as my nose flare in singeing dryness and my fatigued legs follow the night mist beyond the balcony touching the cement bars that decorate it in a semicircle fixture. I check out but there is not a single house, lit in this wintry haze except the mist-coated streetlights and occasional flashing of headlights of vehicles. Who dares to touch the death from the warmth of a quilt?

 Only I.



    I had not slept for the last ten days, tossed in my bed… cosy, little bed as if it was burning,  burning the fury inside me, the deep dark agony of loss and despair. And now this cold wind has nothing to do with my frail body as my soul is in the fire.

Everything is fair in love and war. But it is not fair when a man makes a woman fall in love with him with all the loveliest pleasures and persuasions and then abruptly tears apart the bond keeping her in mid-stream to get washed away and die.

He loved me more than I loved him. He cared for me more than I could. He entrusted within me the elixir of love, care, concern, passion everything. He made me laugh in his humour and uplifted me from my poor existence to a living panorama of colour and loveliness. All the support, and concern he gave me helped me to fight back in my life. He kept me busy with his continuous indulgence and childishness. I felt important. I was the queen of his kingdom.

   But now he is gone. I cannot contact him, I get no messages and no phone calls. I thought he might be busy. I waited for him to be free. I waited, waited and waited. Then I got irritated. I lost my patience. He did not answer my call. Even when he answered, his voice remained curt and crispy as if he was not interested to start the conversation. He, who kept my inbox filled with thousands of messages didn’t even answer my billions. My every pleading, every accusation, my torment, my cry just made him more aloof, more obnoxious, more indifferent. I accused him of cruelty – he treated me more cruelly.

I lay vacant day after day. In the daytime, I dragged my body to the office and made every possible mistake and waited to be snapped. I tried my best to keep myself busy, not to think over it, and not to check my phone again and again but could not help it. The question kept me haunted, “Why did he do so? He loved me. How could he hurt me, neglect me, keep me in pain and agony?”

 Every day I used to wake up with his call, his loving words. Every day I worked with a happy heart with his continuous interruption. His over-pampering concern and indulging affection kept my butterfly heart always in flapping mode. It was so peaceful, so heavenly. He did not even allow me to sleep at night. If I fell asleep he called me and woke me up. I had to chat with him till dawn broke upon my window pane and morning mist dribbled across it. I protested and reasoned to have sound sleep at night as it was an unhealthy habit and it would spoil my health. But he did not pay heed to my words. He teased me as a ‘good girl’ who lived by the rules. So I broke all the rules for him. I learnt to love crazily and to fly with it. I dissolved my soul, my body within him. I lived in his wish, in his pleasure, in his way. I remained for him for every single breath of my life. I lived for him- a life that he had given me, coloured by his wish, desire and that symphonizes with mine. I liked it. I loved it. I liked to live every moment with him.

   Then everything changed within one month. One month = 30 days(approximately) = (30*24)hours= {30*(24*60)} minutes. So there was a lot of time… hours, minutes, seconds and much more…a long time to get transformed from pupa to butterfly. And I changed a lot. My lonely, frail, rigid, indifferent soul stooped in total worship to be his. Then why?

I was crazy to pull out the answer. I texted him, and called him, asking the reason. He never asked me to break the relationship, and never accused me of any drawback. But he stayed calm, cool, dejected, and aloof in front of all my sobbing queries, and blaming. He just cast himself more forlorn, more detached, as I wanted to touch him, to know the cause. “Why did he stop loving me?” “What have I done to him?” The questions kept haunting me even in my sleep. When my puzzled heart snapped him with hundred ‘whys’ he just answered, “Sleep well, good night.”

I searched for the reason and dug it within me. My life without him was not colourful, but it was not so vulnerable. I could take my food and could sleep my hours in solitude. If you call it peaceful then it was so. I wanted to go back to that life.

But the distance is now too much and one cannot back walk a long distance. I am not a crab. I realised he was no more there for me. He no more needed me. He could not cut me off but he could not love me anyhow. Sometimes he called me, just for one or two seconds. I could not force him, could not remind him again and again how he loved me once and how miserable he had left me.

But I found no sleep, no solace in anything. My eyes burned in agony, not a drop of water was left to wet the eyelashes. I was dying of thirst and fever.

So I decide to die. My life is a heavy burden for me that I want to get rid of. I accuse none. There will be no single scrap of paper that can be found in my room as proof of my unnatural death.

A melancholy melody was playing somewhere, maybe a song from the ’70s. I do not like to sing or hear songs anymore. It just makes me disturbed and restless. It dishevels my heart in bitter tears and makes me mad. One day I loved songs. He used to send me a song every day. And I used to hear that repeatedly. I used to feel him within the song. I hummed it all day long and the next day till the new song beeped on my screen …Adele or Avril or Colbie Caillat; Ben Howard’s ‘Only Love’, Westlife’s ‘I wanna grow old with you’, Christina Perri’s ‘A Thousand Years’ and Ellie Goulding’s ‘Love me like you do’…I was mad at them.

Then gradually it becomes less and less and finally stopped totally. I waited and hummed the same song for three days, then for four days, five days, seven days and then I fell irritated to sing any song at all.

My boss called me thrice and I did not respond. I knew I have lost my job. I did not care a fig. I care for nothing.

And there is none to care for me. After I die, my “ Little Heaven” the orphanage home where I was brought up, will be contacted and they will perhaps celebrate an extra  Black Day when every day is black for them.

I sigh and touch the hazy mist with my cold finger. In this low-cost suburban area getting a house for rent is not easy and there is so much demand. If I die today there will be a new tenant the next day. Nothing will be disturbed or interrupted without me. I can die without any acquisition at this time when everything is so calm and cool and the world is so peaceful. I step forward to the brim of the balcony and peeped below. Bleak cold wind shivers my blood.


 A scratching sound of a kitten. I bend more, except a few more to touch death and I see him in the street light.

A snow-white furry ball muddled in blood laying curled in the road and a little kitten is poking her, crying bitterly – “mew, mew”.

I forget everything. I just calculate the scene- the mother has died in an accident and the little one is trying to awaken the dead. I tried this twenty years ago. The car-crushed body of my mom flashed in front of me and the face of one who snatched me from death. I was jerking her blindly to wake her up from the pool of blood. Suddenly one person yanked my hand and lifted me in his lap before a lorry could paste me on the road.

Oh, God! I rush downstairs. My weak, starved body, bereaved soul, gathers all the strength to rush over those stairs and to reach the street where I find him and pick him up against the queue of rushing cars.

He looks at me astonishingly and says ‘mew’. We come back. I clean him. Then we drink warm chocolate milk and merry biscuits belly full.  I put him on my bed beside me on an old towel and cover both of us with a blanket. I feel sleepy and it is a cold January in Mumbai.

I fall in love again.

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Hey, I am Munmun, the phoenix fabulist who wants to tell you stories. I love to read stories and I love to weave stories. I feel life is an amalgamation of multiple stories, colourful threads, and threads of pain, pleasure, hope, and hopelessness. We just need to pick those hues and arrange them, knitting them with our own emotions and perception. So let's celebrate the stories of life.

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