I came back home a bit late this evening. Bagha was not waiting for me in front of the building, as he often does, so I toured the neighbourhood to find him.
It gave me a chance to talk to a couple who live in the block behind mine, and who saw me pick Bagha up from their ground-floor balcony, where they were having a late supper.
He had been coming to their house very regularly during the last weeks (months?), sleeping there during the day, and eating too. They bought canned food (oh my God!) and fish to feed him. They actually gave him a name, thinking he was a stray.
I was wondering why Bagha’s appetite seemed to have diminished since I left for India.
I knew very well that the unfaithful feline found his way into other people’s flats. I also suspected that he probably got more to eat in his day than what I fed him (he did spend his youth stealing from kitchens in India, so he has the practice). I knew he could charm people. But I never suspected he had actually been adopted.
I think I’m really going to put some fancy collar around his neck with a notice in a bottle: “Hello, my name is Bagha. My mistress lives in the neighbourhood and feeds me very well. Please do not give me anything to eat, even if I know how to be quite persuasive!”