He is at the foot of the stair- case of our apartment block from 9 p.m. to 7 a. m. During the day he keeps himself busy in the pursuits of living and loving. Ours is a four-story block with two apartments on each floor. We live on the second floor. I believe in the old saying of “early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise” and therefore I am the first one to move out of my apartment for my daily routine i. e. morning walk. Thus I do not get to see Tiger in the evening but I am the first one to see him sleeping at the foot of the stair - case in the morning.
I call him by the name ‘Tiger’ given by me. I am not sure if anyone else knows our secret. At least I have not told anyone and I am sure he cannot do it except of course within his own community. He instantly recognizes me the moment I call him by the given name and seems to like it.
Our day starts with my coming down the stairs and he greeting me with his habitual grrrrrrrr, grrrrrr, grrrrrrr. This is the only way he knows of assuring the apartment owners that he is performing his duties as a loyal friend. It is his job to show some attitude when he senses someone crossing the marked area. He is particular at showing his loyalty by barking once or twice during the night also. It is also his duty to be equally friendly once he realizes that the intruder is no one but a friend like yours faithfully and therefore with a few woooons, he goes back to sleep.
Another selfless and job he does is rather annoying. I am not sure that he does it but then who else? We apartment owners keep our kitchen garbage outside our main doors early in the morning so that the garbage picker may pick the same without disturbing us. After my departure for my morning walks and he having been already disturbed, he takes upon himself to examine each garbage bag lying outside our doors. He rips them apart spreading the contents all around for thorough check up. At times he gets some meat or chicken bones and that is the only remuneration he gets for his time and efforts. Keen observers can say with guarantee what was cooking in each apartment. By the time I return from my morning walks, he is gone. Some people do not appreciate this and have tried to whisk him away but like a lost and found case he is back at the foot of the stairs in the evening.
I do not see Tiger these days. The garbage bags are also intact. Discrete enquiries have yielded no trace of him. For the last 6-7 years he has been at this spot every day and now he is not there. It is possible he has found greener pastures. It is possible he has met his mate and has migrated. It is possible he has been captured by the Municipal stray dog -catchers. It is also possible he is no more. Whatever, he keeps on lingering on in my memory. The spot under the staircase is empty. Grrrrrrrs and wooooooons are missing. There are many stray dogs in the locality but no one has occupied his spot. Tiger never asked for any favors. He fended for himself. He wandered for company. Come night and he was back at his spot.
If he is alive, I am sure he will be back at his spot someday.