Death came by our house on Friday, and whistled at the gate, and our sweet little barrel, Sungta, went for a walk with him. No longer will she do her head-tossing prancing in anticipation of her food. No longer will she proffer her ample butt for a scratching, casting coquettish backward glances and gurgling for attention. No longer will she plonk herself in the most inconvenient locations on the bed at night, growling and digging in her feet against efforts to re-position her.
It all happened suddenly and unexpectedly, within a matter of minutes. She had been a trifle unwell over the past two days, but nothing to indicate it was serious. On Friday night, though, as we prepared to go out with friends, she suddenly started having silent but severe convulsions. In less than ten minutes, she let out one last loud cry, and was gone.
Luckily for us, we had friends at hand, including one who’s a vet and was trying to guide us on the phone while driving to our place. They helped us bury Sungta in a patch near the bougainvillea plants in our yard.
At times when she was feeling a surge of affection for Anjali or me (which was, like, all the time), Sungta would nibble excitedly and fervently on whatever was close at hand. Often this would be the bedsheet she was sitting on. On Friday, she was on the bed when the seizures started, and we bundled her in the bedsheet to carry her to her grave. When we tried to unravel her from it, though, we found that she had one corner of it in her teeth, clenched tightly in the throes of rigor mortis. We had to cut the sheet, and she went into the darkness with a little bit of it sticking out of her mouth, as though she was still nibbling away at it in ecstasy. So long, Sungta!