Mandhara the cat crept stealthily up the stairs of Spinach Restaurant in Khao Lak. Hunger was gnawing at her like she had gnawed at all the delicious fish in her mistress’s fishbowl last night. She chuckled softly as she remembered the look of horror on their faces when they realized that even a pet has a peyt(stomach), to fill which she could go to any extent, especially when their common owner was away on a holiday.
But the fish had been digested and egested by early morning, and since then, Mandhara hadn’t had a morsel of food. It is not as if her owner was wicked or irresponsible and had not left any provisions for her, but cat food was so boring, like cabbage-mutter, or sabudaana khichdi. She needed something juicy and meaty when she was on her own, comfort food as humans called it, real food, as she called it.
And so, she had her heart set on some chunky and crunchy chicken. And the crunchiest of them were to be found at the aptly named Spinach. Mandhara had not even had breakfast in the morning in anticipation of the veritable feast of the senses that she knew awaited her. And she knew it would be a ridiculously easy ‘hunt’, if you could even call it that.
For Hua, the rooster, and his young daughter Hin, were also alone in the restaurant, as their owner was the one with whom Mandhara’s owner had gone on a holiday. Mandhara had been toying with Hua and Hin since the start of the week, even telling them when and where she would eat them, and the recipe that she would use to make them as delectable as possible.
And that day and time had finally arrived. Mandhara reached the verandah, and puffing out her chest, started walking confidently, with a bold swagger, towards Hua-Hin’s room. She had nothing to fear now. It had been important to be cautious outside the restaurant, for the owner could have potentially asked someone to keep an eye on things. But now that she was inside, there was nothing anybody could do. Only a door remained between her and Chicken Patiala today.
She reached the door, gave it a mighty kick, and rushed inside…and within seconds, she ran right back, out of the same door, across the verandah, and down the stairs, stumbling and tumbling at breakneck speed. For Hua-Hin’s owner had not just left food for them, she had also asked her boyfriend to check in on them periodically.
And the boyfriend just happened to be a commando of the Thai Special Forces!