|This is Moose. He’s an ex street-cat who now
lives with us – safe from the dangers of the street.
He is fond of used coffee cups.
He is lucky, and so am I – you’ll see what I mean.
The guy who washes our cars came today.
He’s a really nice guy – He is one of the house staff from one of the larger houses where we live.
He is always happy, and enthusiastic – waves to everyone in the street (I think he does a roaring trade in washing cars to supplement an income that would be criminally low anywhere else in the world).
His English is … interesting, but he speaks it with such enthusiasm and confidence and and vigor that even if the words are completely wrong you just over look it and try to work it out – he makes himself understood, and that’s all that matters.
He’s washed our cars for the best part of a couple of years. Early on in the relationship he noticed that we have cats, and asked if he could have some cat food.
Turns out he has been feeding a local street cat, and that cat had become his friend. So rather than giving him little bags of cat food from our stash, we bought bags of cat food just for him; a situation that pleased him greatly.
Before that he would just share his own food with his little friend.
He was sombre today.
*the following is not meant as parody, I have no desire to disrespect him, this is just the way the conversation went*
I saw that he was outside washing the cars, so I popped out to pay him for the week.
“Good morning Sir!” I called out, (no matter how many times I’ve told him, he won’t stop calling me ‘Sir’, so I started calling him ‘Sir’ as well, something that makes him smile every time)
“Good morning Sir” he replied, with none of his usual exuberance.
“What is wrong?” I asked.
“No more need cat food” he said.
“Why? What happened?”
“Three years, the cat coming, and loving, loving” he said, his hand making a gesture that I immediately understood to demonstrate a cat circling about his legs. I know the cat, she has done it to me. She’d rub against your legs, and look up.
“Friday I look, no cat. So I’m looking, looking, then see.. Cat sleeping… looking at cat – bad accident. No need cat food.”
I stood and looked at him, I didn’t know what to say – because I didn’t want to compound the issue by not being completely understood, so I took his hand and said: “I’m sorry for you..”
He looked heart broken, but continued:
“No, Sir” he said, “all people die, working, no working, cat, all people die.”
I admire his interpretation, and his understanding of the way of things – but he is sad, and I feel awful for him.
He lives here, and goes home to India to see his family only once every 3 years or so. That cat was his friend. A friend with no judgement. A friend that he could rely on to give him affection if he was lonely. A friend to share his day with.
It also struck me that for all of his mis-interpretations of words, he had a very solid handle on one concept: “Loving.”
*Originally posted on Facebook on the ATHWebber page