Ginger Tales: Why Mr Remington is my good friend

By 9.00pm everyday, Champaklal building wears a deserted look. Galas closed, the staircase silent – that’s the time I stroll the length of the silent corridors in search of tit-bits.

Am quite well-fed during the day but there is always place for scraps.

Some weeks ago, while on the prowl, I heard some squeaking near the toilet door. I knew well it was a rat and that for all traditional and fictional purposes he and I are bad enemies. But I still ventured further and saw this poor black and ugly thing trapped near the door edge. Guess, the last person who used the toilet did not realise there was a rat while pulling the door open.

I went closer, he squeaked even more. I had a choice – either pounce on him and make sure my dinner is set for the day or reverse Tom and Jerry tales and help him.

I had eaten some roast chicken for lunch so I could go easy and decided to do a good deed. But first I told the rat to shut-up and clam down. His squeaks were irritating and not even in tune.

I tried to push the door from the other side so as to free the poor thing but it did not work – the door was far too heavy for the frail me. Thought for a few minutes and an idea struck. I walked away from the door and came back running and lunged on to it with force. Boy – the door moved, the rat escaped and I fell on the floor with a thud. I felt pain in my left paw and could not lift myself.

To make it worse, the rat was nowhere in sight – so much for re-writing history (read fairy tales). I lay there stationary for some 15 minutes and I heard the squeak again. The rat had come back. He looked at me, smiled and said: “Hey cat, you saved my life by almost letting go of yours. What can I do in return?”

By then I felt a little better and told him it was fine and he need not feel guilty. But the rat came close and slid his body under my aching paw. “You can rest on me till you feel better,” he said. I did feel better.

An hour later the pain had gone. We spoke and exchanged notes. I told him my name was Ginger and since no one bothered to keep him a name I named him Mr Remington (Remy for short, like in the movie Ratatouille). We spoke through the night and rummaged the corner dustbin together. He passed on the fish bones and I gave him pizza crust remains.

We’ve been friends eversince but we meet only at night – because during the day we are supposedly arch enemies.

Earlier articles by PG Ginger