This story took place in a cafe when I was on my way from Ulan-Ude to Irkutsk. We were given a lift by a Kamaz truck driver. It was around 4 PM when we stopped at the rest area and went in the roadside cafe to have dinner. There were not many customers. We ordered our dishes and tea, and I went to wash my hands. When I was washing my hands, a 40-45 years old man came in. He wore big black glasses and a fur hat. Upon seeing me, he said some words in Georgian. “Gamarjoba. Genatsvale.” “Psycho,” I thought of him. But later, seeing the tattoos on his hands I realized that he was not a psycho at all, but a jailbird, just released.
Our orders were on the table already and we were about to start eating, when his wife and son came in with some friends. They bought a bottle of vodka and smoked fish. One of the friends opened the bottle and filled the glasses.
“Well, son! Let’s drink to our meeting!! You were waiting so long, and here I am now,” said the jailbird, and as he finished his speech, they emptied their glasses.
“Yeah, finally I met you,” the son replied.
“How long I haven’t seen you?”
“You were away for quite a long time,” said the wife.
“Shut the fuck up, you bitch! I’m not talking you!” The man shouted on her. Then turned to his son.
“How long?” His voice was calm and soft now.
“It’s been five years.” There was sadness in the voice of the son.
“Meow, meow, meow.”
There was a little kitten in the cafe. The jailbird, once he noticed the animal, jumped out of his place and came closer to the kitten. He took it into his hands, saying “Oh, you poor little kitty. Are you hungry? Hungry, my little? Don’t worry, I will ask them to cut off the fish’s head and then I’ll feed you. Don’t worry, my little.”
As we were done with our dinner and we had to leave, I can’t say what was the end of the relationship between the jailbird and the kitten. But later, sitting in the truck I couldn’t forget the scene in the cafe. And I couldn’t understand how the jailbird could be so rude to his wife and so nice to the hungry kitten. He who probably killed someone, showed such a deep love for the animal.