KARACHI: From the time Chintu has gone missing, Khalid Afridi and his family have been left visibly perturbed. While gloom prevails throughout the day in their home, it is at night that the husband and wife miss him the most.
"At night when we would watch a movie, he would watch it with us. When we would sleep, he would either snuggle in my blanket or cuddle in my wife's lap. He was like a person to us," says Afridi.
Chintu, the family's Siamese pet cat has been missing since May 1. Afridi recalls that the cat would often cling to the roof of his car. One night, while he was going to get bread and eggs, Chintu was on the top, and Afridi did not notice him. Apparently, on the way in to the Creek Vista Apartments, Chintu jumped off. Later, Afridi was informed by his guard that the cat was on the roof when he had left but wasn't there when the car returned.
Afridi's wife, Seema, who is a college teacher, then turned to the social media and also asked her students for help in locating her pet.
As word of the missing cat and her picture spread on social media, the Afridis came to know that a family living at Khayaban-e-Bukhari had found the collared cat and handed it over to a vet's clinic, Animal Care Centre, at Badar Commercial.
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Happy that the ordeal was finally over, Mrs Afridi rushed to the clinic to claim her beloved pet. Little did she know the disappointment that awaited her.
"When my wife went to the clinic to get Chintu, she was told by the vet, Dr Isma Gheewala, that Chintu had been handed over to a navy officer." The next time Seema went, the doctor misbehaved with her.
According to the family, the vet did not share the contact details of Chintu's new owners, making them suspect that she had sold it to the officer. "It was surprising that the she had no details of the officer who regularly visited her clinic. She is not sharing his details."
With no option left, the heart-broken Afridis approached the Darakshan police station and submitted an application requesting them to take action. Nothing has been done so far.
Meanwhile, Dr Isma's staff told The Express Tribune that she is currently on vacation in the United States, and would therefore be unavailable for comments.
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Chintu, who was like a family member to the Afridis, came to their home three to four years ago. "We got him from our acquaintance in PECHS who had 22 cats. He was already named Chintu and was two to three weeks old."
Afridi says that he and his family are ready to give money to the officer to get the cat back. "Just give us the address. We will get him ourselves," is his appeal to the doctor.
"We obviously are sad. We really miss him," says Afridi.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 17th, 2015.