It was a quarter to six in the morning. The crimson-tinted rays of the dawn leached in through the thick foliage to rest on his skin. He rubbed his nose onto the hairy dorsum of his palm and let out an unrestrained yawn. Last night had been uneventful. Not that there were many ways for him to keep himself engaged during the night, but usually he managed to immerse in one activity or the other so that he didn’t feel bogged down by the lullabies of boredom. But last night was unbearable. He had been hungry for most parts of the night. At one point of time, the hunger turned so grave that he had to let go off his sleep and set out into the wretched coldness of the night in search of food. One would expect him to be akin to a night owl, what with the innate traits of the beings of his like who felt utter bliss in breathing in the serene, placid wisps of the midnight air as they embarked on their soulful journey into the heart of their passions – be it feeding nutrients to the wanderlust, setting the streaks of adventure ablaze or even rolling themselves into a bundle on the ice-cold floor so that they would finally have their much needed moments of introspection. But last night was simply about satiating the glum pleas of his weary body, which he had not been able to achieve quite the way he had expected. And so also, as he had been doing for most part of the night, he was still trying his best to shut tight his eyes and roll up into a ball on the smooth, pale, marbled floor when the house- maid arrived at the strike of six. If he wished she would be kind enough to lend him something from the kitchen he was wrong, and he knew that more than those irrational nerves of hope that sprang up inside him intermittently. Perhaps, she was scared of losing her job by doing so. Perhaps, she simply despised him for what he was. How could he know what was going through her mind?
He went back to his nap as the maid closed the door behind her. He had to suppress his yearning to eat something for at least half an hour more. The boy who resided in the house was the only person who treated him with love and he always woke up at 6.30. He knew it for he always approached him in the morning with his hair unkempt and his eyes puffy, just as someone would be right after long hours of sleep. A short yelp from him was enough for the boy to carry a tray of biscuits from the inside cupboard to the backyard. How the boy’s eyes shone while he kneeled down beside him, watching him lick away the delicious crumps from the ground. Those were the moments when he wished he too was a human. How could he be sure if with his soft moans and the deliberate nudges with his head, he was being successful in letting the boy know that he was grateful? However, the boy seemed happy every time he did that, for he always patted his head or scratched his neck all the while whispering something in his ears. Maybe he understood nevertheless.
As the motes of sun pressed hard against his back signalling the relentless motion of time, his heart fluttered with relief. The boy would be awake in no time. His stomach made somersaults inside him and abandoning his sleep, he sat erect facing the house. His quivering eyes were glued onto the closed door and his ears pricked up for the slightest movement from inside the house. The wait was about to end and the joy of being rewarded for being patient was always worthwhile.
Sometimes he wondered how he knew the exact moment when the boy would stride out and that too on every morning without fail, but he always knew. Somehow, he always knew.
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P.S : This post doesn’t put forth a view that animals are dependent on humans for their survival. This post is a work of fiction, though the inspiration heavily leans towards the cats who wait for me to wake up and feed them. Infact , this story is dedicated to them who with their presence simply brighten up my day.