It is not safe to be there after dark. There could be snakes. I tapped the path in front of me with each step, walking with heavy feet. Long blades of grass shined in the flashlight. I could hardly see anything with the awkward samosa-shaped poncho over me. V followed me with a black umbrella. She was calling out for both of them. We hadn’t decided any names yet. It’s just been a day. So we clapped, hushed and meowed. Finally we reached the end of the grassy trail – the solar panels. Standing under their shade, I flashed around the light in all direction. Aa jao. Meo-ow. I clapped. Wait I didn’t. My left had was badly hurt that morning trying to control the angry calf. I couldn’t really clap.
It's just been a day. I had already started liking them so much. They were so little. They could be hurt. A snake could have sneaked upon them or a bigger cat. The darker one was more fearful and always ran away. The lighter one allowed me to take it into my palm. Their coat had stripes of black and grey. Two pairs of yellow eyes tried to asses if they could trust us; again one lighter, the other darker.
Please come back. I will not repeat it. I thought.
V and I had gone on walk. Both had followed us. Only at the fence did we notice them. I had shooed them away towards the huts. No! towards the panels. I had thought they would return back to the huts on their own. I was wrong. When we had returned from our walk, they were no where to be found. Soon it had become dark and had started raining. All three of us were worried. I had decided to walk up to the panels and look for them. V came along.
I was glad she was with me. It was reassuring. Both of us were desperately hoping to hear a meow. It could come from anywhere in all these bushes. We meowed, called and clapped again. Now I think we might have been looking quite scary. Noisy humans with a big flash light.
It’s time to go back. At least, we tried. I believe they will come back. I said.
V nodded and we turned back. I walked and tapped the stick on the path in front of me.
We reached back to our hut and arranged for dinner.
Then we heard.
It was like babies calling out. Two meowing kittens appeared from the dark. Arey! Aa gaye dono! I was super-happy. I thanked the stars. I had started thinking we would never see them again.
Perhaps, they followed us. I said.
Maybe they did. Good we went looking for them. V agreed.
It was a happy dinner. We put some bati for them. They ate very quickly.
I learnt something about believing today. Making your effort and believing. And then letting go.
Later that night, a bigger cat attacked them. Since then, the lighter one is missing. It’s again been a day. I am still believing. I think it’s hurt and hiding somewhere. It will come back.
Their last picture.