One of our readers Anirban Dey Choudhury, shares a heart felt article about his pet dog, Kuttush who passed away recently. Kuttush, a beautiful dog was more than just a pet, she was family, a daughter, a friend, a playmate…everything that a pet loving family could ask for. We extend our condolences to Anirban and his family at the loss of their furry friend.
Kuttush Deychoudhury, a sister to Ankana and me, a daughter to our Parents, and mother to Kiara (and four other pups she gave birth to on 2nd May 2006), came into our lives as a white little ball of fur only a few days old on 23rd July 2000. She left us for the heavenly abode”on 16th January 2012. I regret the fact that my daughter will grow up without getting to know one of the two sources of love that fuelled her family. This piece, that kept me mentally engaged and therefore away from my own grief, is in fond remembrance of our Angel of Love. I hope Kutty comes back to us, as a child to Ankana or me. I know she remembers the way back home, back to us, back to Baba.
I am writing this piece, with the intention of sharing it with familyand a few select friends. I realize how this tragic event has brought each member of the family closer to each other. For 34 hours now, we all have been crying, outwardly and inwardly. We will keep crying, each one of us, for several days to come, until a day will come when our tears will stop flowing externally, and even later, a day when the tears we shed will be for someone else. But I know that as long as we live, we will keep alive in our hearts the Sister, the Friend, the Mother, the Guard, the Companion, and most importantly, the Loyal and Devoted Daughter, who filled our lives with joy, love and laughter, and made us better human beings through her illuminating, heavenly, love-filled presence among us for eleven and a half years.
Exactly how long is eleven and a half years? Four thousand, one hundred, ninety-five days? Is it long enough to be remembered for the rest of one’s life? For the rest of five lives, separately and cumulatively, individually and simultaneously? Yes.
The thing with a pet-master relationship is, if the ‘master’ is lucky enough, the relationship will slowly evolve into something as similar to a child-parent relationship. From placing a filled bowl or plate for your pet in one corner of the kitchen, you graduate to sitting it down before you and feeding it with your own hands. From taking it out in the open thrice a day so that it can relieve itself, you slowly start expanding your duties to toweling it clean after it has done its job. You start talking to it, pretending that it understands you…and suddenly realize that it does!
The Relationship that grows stronger
And if the master-turned-parent is unlucky enough, then slowly but surely, as your children grow up and leave the nest to settle in another city, state, or country, your pet-child will nearly fill up your entire universe. It will become a substitute for your biological children. You always knew, at the back of your mind, that your pet would be dependent on you, but now, when you find that your own children have learned to fly and hunt on their own, you realize that there is still someone who waits for you at the doorstep, one who will not budge, come hail or storm, until you have returned, one who will not settle down to sleep until you go to bed and carry it with you to the special spot next to your pillow, one who will zealously and jealously guard your affection and snarl at anyone who vies for even a drop of it. You realize you are as dependent on your pet-turned-child as he or she is on you.
That is when trouble starts. For that is when you discover a whole ocean of love, hidden within a white, furry body, love that you thought you could only give: to your wife, your son, your daughter, your granddaughter, but now you see that same love being given to you, without question, without condition, without demand.
Which is why, when you see that little furry white body, made frail by age and a little illness, going limp before your eyes, you call up your son and with a shock, he listens to his father crying, crying his heart out, crying like he has never cried before, crying as if his world has ended right there, right then.
For more than a decade, if there was one factor constant to our family, then that was your presence. You were always there, Kutty. But most importantly, you were always there beside Baba. You werethere beside him when we fought with him, rebelled against him; you were there when he was unwell; you were there at his side when he faced financial problems; you comforted him when people much, much beneath his stature insulted him just to prove that money is more powerful than anything else under the sun. He kept quiet. You comforted him. He hugged you. You loved him back.
When he would buy fresh chicken breasts for you (and later, for Kiara too) and proudly tell Maa how much time he had to spend in the queue at the meat shop and how he fought with the shopkeeper to give him fresh pieces, you would look at him straight in the eye and tell him, wordlessly: “What care I for fresh chicken? Is being your Beloved Daughter, your Constant Companion, not enough for me, Baba?”
You were jealous about him. You were jealous to no end. To the extent that you could not bear the thought of sharing his affection with anyone, not with his biological daughter, not with your own daughter. We still remember how you had pushed Mamma—literally—out of Baba’s lap one day and positioned yourself in that place in such a manner that there would not be space for anyone else.
If Baba has been the roof, the walls, and the floor of the building that houses his loved ones, you were the air in which we all breathed, the river of love that Baba drank from, that kept him going. He keeps us in his heart, sure, but you, Kutty, run in his veins.
We love you, Kutty. We all love you and miss you. But Baba misses you most of all. You should not have left him like that. Not while I still wait to finish my sentence away from home, away from him.
If you can hear us, know this: no one, not even God, can give you as much love as we, and Baba in particular, gave you. Nowhere will you be more at peace than you were at home, amidst your own family.
This is one visit to my own home that I am dreading, Kutty, and all because of you. There will be only Kiara to pounce on me, lick my face like crazy, wash away the dirt and grime of my tired being, when I go home from now on. When Baba clicks a photo of those moments, there will be only Kiara and me in the frame, not you, Kiara and me. This is one time when I will be greeted at my own doorstep not with smiles and laughter and yelps of joy, but with a whole lot of heart-wrenching sadness that is here to stay, a season of tears and bittersweet memories that will be in the air until the day Kiara takes over from where you left off, and the whole cycle of Love and Pain begins all over again.
There will be no goodbyes
I don’t want you to go to heaven, at least not yet and not by yourself. Stay where you were brought up, stay with us, so that you can greet the rest of us when we pass on. I will get you those protein chewy sticks you loved. Mamma will get her camera phone to click you and will continue to bug you as well, and you can keep giving her the royal snub. Kiara will come in all her bounding glory and you can give her a wash. Maa will get your water bowl and your red pullover, and also that red short pant of yours, in which she had cut out a small hole through which your tail poked out. Best of all: Baba will get your collar-belt and his walking stick. We will travel together, my Love. And we will all live together again. Do not cross over yet.
But if we know you, you have not. You are still here. We may not be able to see you, but we can feel your presence everywhere. Life in your absence is already killing. Life without your presence would be worse than the worst death of all. Stay, Kutty. Don’t go. Please stay.