I still remember, vividly. The first moments we were together. The taxi ride from Balintawak to Cubao. How you meowed and meowed, afraid of the neon lights that veiled Manila at night. How you clinged to my arms, climbed my shoulders, and then perched on my head like a ginger crown when we walked the concrete sidewalks of Cubao at rush hour. You continued to meow loudly, attracting the attention of the crowd in front of the New Frontier Theater and forcing me to buy the pet carrier at a corner store in the huge supermarket that occupied Fiesta Carnival of my growing up years.
That night, acquainting yourself with the geography of your new home, I wracked my brain deciding on a name to call you, not because I was in a hurry but the cattery you were born into had an obligation to register your name. At midnight, I decided to call you Natarajan Beckham, after the character in Amulya Malladi's The Mango Season which I was reading that time, and my then favorite football player to commemorate the 2015 World Cup.
We were the best buddies for seven years until the affliction took you away from me.
It has been two years now, but the memory of you remains with me. You are missed every single day.