Their cries filled the car. Going from pitiful sobs, begging for mercy, to whimpering and then urgent cries of protest. When that didn’t improve their lot, they cried in indignation and then in full blown anger. “You think we are helpless?” those screams seemed to say. “We’ll show you! We have some tricks up our sleeves too.”
It was relentless. Without pause. When one piped down to draw breath, the other would keep the tempo going. Mid-way through, their howls became ominous. And then there was a sudden silence. To be broken a few seconds later by the sound of newspaper being mercilessly tortured. And then the smell of fresh cat poop assailed our nostrils.
We dutifully pulled over at the side of the road. Cleaned up our kittens and the carrier. And proceeded onwards again. And as soon as the car moved forward, their caterwauling began afresh.
Our only salvation, of sorts, was when we finally reached the vet. But even there, they struggled to break free of our grasp. To escape the horrid humans who put them through that torturous car ride. Which they probably realized would begin again soon enough, for they had to be taken home.
The drive back was an equal torture, with their ever rising howls reaching an alarming crescendo. I was surprised that the motorists around us couldn’t hear anything. That the policeman at the traffic light thought nothing was amiss, that we were just another couple returning home from work.
By the time we entered the house, my head was pounding furiously. But our ordeal was far from over. For now we had to clean those kittens up properly. With water and Savalon and disinfectant. And then examine our clothes for traces of cat poop and soak them in disinfectant too.
My nerves were frazzled by the time we were done. All I wanted was a stiff drink to put me out of my misery (and I’m not much of a drinker. And no ma, I didn’t drink!). With a half-crazed look in my eyes I turned to the husband and said, “Thank God we don’t have or want kids! Or this would be our life. Four, five, maybe even more times a day. And then, within a month, I would have to be admitted to a mental hospital!”
I want to erase that trip from my mind like a bad memory. Like something that never happened. And when I see them sleeping so cutely, I can almost forgive them for that nightmare. Almost.