Across the busy dockyard was a dusty by lane packed with rumbling houses, one of them being mine. The mornings and nights were incomplete without the ship honking and loud voices of sailors, ship men, cargo pullers; not to mention the violent voices of men engaged in brawls. Silence was a luxury, however I quite loved this maddening noise, I would rather like to call it bonhomie. I was the youngest of the three siblings and undoubtedly the closest to mother. Mother, my sweet mother worked hard day and night to provide for us; we didn’t have the good fortune to meet our father, he was conspicuous by his absence. Although mother says he was a good man and leaves it at that, our neighbors have quite the contrary opinion; they opine he was often involved in brawls and was quite a trouble maker.
My elder sister, a beautiful girl on the threshold of womanhood, was the talk of the town. She was immensely beautiful and knew how to use her beauty to get things done. She loved all good things in life and was ready to do anything to get the riches and luxuries of life. Mother tried to discipline her but in vain, she stopped at nothing to get what she wanted. One night just before Halloween, she came to meet us for the last time. She had found a very rich house and she didn’t mind giving up her freedom for the riches. Oh! how I hated that old man whose arm candy she chose to be. Mother was shattered and I couldn’t bear to look at her. As if this wasn’t enough, fate had more for us in store. My brother who was an absolute gentleman and our pride was killed in a road accident, the very road that he has been crossing for years, the very road which saw him grow, the very road that got him home from the docks; were now the witness of his death. We were devastated. However life moved on and so did we. Mother was my pillar of support and I was the only reason why mother lived on. I let mother rest and took on the responsibility of fending for us, slowly we were coming to terms with our life and everything seemed fine.
One beautiful winter morning, on my way back from a stroll, I spotted that ugly old man with whom my sister chose to spend the rest of her life. I tiptoed to eavesdrop, I was shocked to discover that the old man had set his eyes on me and had come to take me with him. Once I saw him and my sister leave, I rushed home. To my dismay mother had suddenly taken ill and she wanted me to leave at the earliest, back then I didn’t realise that mother was on her death bed. I simply couldn’t leave my mother in that state. As the sun set and it grew dark outside my mother breathed her last, she had just one piece of wealth to bestow me with; she said ‘There is nothing more precious than freedom’. As I heard the footsteps of my sister, I ran as fast as I could towards the dock and towards the ship that was about to depart. As I rushed towards it I saw a bunch of stray hooligans staring at me, they laughed seeing my face filled with fear; and told me ‘We aren’t like the human, who cause harm to their own kind, go get a life!’. With a smile on my face and my head held high I walked aboard on the ship and with a meaww and a purr I settled myself and curled my tail as I embraced FREEDOM.