Mystery of the missing cat
Owner moves cops & courts in hunt for Julie
Calcutta: Businessman Tejash Bole has fought casual cops, roused their boss, moved magistrates and stirred the high court to action.
But his beloved Julie, the mother of three who disappeared from his life and fourth-floor flat 13 months ago, remains untraced.
That fateful morning of November 14, 2016, is burned into the 45-year-old Central Avenue resident's memory. He remembers seeing the slight parting in the window mesh of his Chandni Chowk home and thinking that, like many times before, Julie had sneaked out to explore a neighbour's kitchen.
But unlike those past occasions, the one-and-a-half-year-old female cat never returned. So, Bole decided to go to the police. He had good reason.
"Some of my neighbours hated my cats because Julie had once wet their kitchen," Bole, who runs an online directory of medical equipment, said.
"I had kept silent when her kittens, whom I wanted to give out for adoption through OLX and Quickr, had vanished one after another a few weeks earlier. But this time I put my foot down."
Bowbazar police's light-hearted treatment of his complaint, though, left Bole aghast. So, on November 18, 2016, he emailed a stiff letter of complaint to police commissioner Rajeev Kumar.
The next day, an officer from Bowbazar police station came scurrying to meet Bole. Three days later came Kumar's reply, saying the deputy commissioner (central) would do the needful. Four days on, a case was started under penal sections dealing with theft and the killing or maiming of animals.
But May 2017 arrived and yet the Mystery of the Missing Cat resisted all solution. If the cops, however, thought they would get away filing a closure report with the additional chief metropolitan magistrate II, they had another think coming.
In August, Bole filed a narazi petition - a protest plea any complainant can move if dissatisfied with the police investigation report. The magistrate fixed the hearing for November 24.
Bole wasn't going to wait that long. Three days after he approached the high court, Justice Joymalya Bagchi ordered "expeditious disposal" of his petition by the trial court.
On October 17, the lower court asked the Bowbazar police to start a fresh probe.
"I hope justice will be delivered to my cats finally," Bole told The Telegraph.
"I have given the police evidence and screen shots of text messages to support my suspicion of some of my neighbours," Bole added gravely.
In July 2015, a 10-month-old cat, One, had disappeared from its owner's home in Patuli before being found dead at an under-construction building, prompting the police to start a murder case.
If Julie has a cat in hell's chance of being found alive, she has to thank her stars she has a loving owner like Bole to whom the lives of all creatures, great or small, matter.