Always, there is a 'wrong notion' about cats in India. 7 out of 10 say, 'I hate cats ... they bring bad omen, they are selfish' and rest 2 will say, 'yeah cats are ok ... but I love dogs, don't you love dogs?' and there is this 1 last person like me (perhaps) who will say 'Cats are so cuteeeee'. I am not saying everyone in this world should love cats as I do, but definitely I would like to say, respect all animals and have compassion for them. If you don't feel for them, who will?
My passion for cats has been there from the time I started seeing things in this world. There was a 'mother cat' we used to call it 'taayi bekku' gifted to my Dad by his close friend 'Abbas uncle'. She was very dignified, polite and homely. I have been with cats since then. It was always 'Cats first' and 'School next'. Not that I did not have other pets, historically my parents had kept rabits, deers and even leopard cubs. Thanks to my dad's profession, as a Forest Officer he was not only committed to protect trees, he also had compassion for animals - wild or domestic. We had 2 dogs - Tiggy and Twinky ... both of them were so dear to us that loosing them was most bitter experiences. Somewhere, a young me thought 'I can't cry again in my life like this for another dog ... I can't be this emotionally drained for a dog' ... perhaps Tiggy and Twinky remained as the last pet dogs in our lives. I shall cover some other day, a detailed blog on both of these wonderful personalities, both of these wonderful friends I had.
After seeing many different cats like 'biliya' (white one), 'kariya' (black one), 'gunda' (round one) I had almost experienced several cat personalities. After my marriage to Srinath, it was very comforting to realize he too dotes on cats. One of our first cats after our marriage was 'Tuxi' (a short form of name Tuxedo). He was very fat, old and tabby in appearance. He was very dignified and never asked for a cup of milk when I was making Aloo paratha's ... his parience was enduring. Only a few days with us, once we saw him limping with a bit of pain in his leg. After that day, we never found him ... even today, he remains as 'Dignified Cat' we ever had, we think very high of him.
I was looking for a full time cat for our home, thus my search ended when I spotted this white bushy tailed stray cat. He was hungry and happy to see an enthusiastic pet lover like me. I actually walked 200 ft to keep some milk for him from my house. He would gulp milk very fast and run away. This happened almost for about 6 months and finally he entered our house. He did not mind me or Srinath or my in-law touch him too. He was so lovely, so majestic in appearance. He had only one weakness of fearing of others who visited our house. Often he relished curd rice and he ensured we cook rice for him early morning, that too regularly. He chased off almost all other cats who visited our house like 'Tutu' (Tuxi's Two, a look alike of Tuxi) and 'Brownie', a wonderful stray kitten.
Sadly, during one of my trips to Indonesia ... he passed away after he had some injuries. Srinath and my inlaws tried hard to save him, but ... he never returned to die in isolation.
Bushy will remain in our hearts for ever for his strange qualities like 'possessive about his domain', 'gracious and good looking', 'had a passion for a multicolored lady cat' and also 'his love for home cooked curd rice'. My in-law shed tears ... but something in me said, I can't break down .. I must be strong to take this moment of loss.
After we moved into our new house, one fine day Srinath agreed to take me to CUPA, so that we adopt a cat. The feeling was lovely and I wanted a little grown up tom cat. To my surprise, In CUPA, I actually met my dream cat ... my second 'Bushy'. He was beige in color with bushy tail, hungry for love. He had enough good food available there like fish, milk and other grains but what he craved for was 'love and attention'. He hugged me and never left me from that moment. Bushy's home coming brought back our lost happiness ... he was everything, a centre of attraction in our house. Like other cats, he broke an umbrella, a telephone instrument, some crockeries and we praised him for that! He was so creative in his games, we often played hide and seek. I also loved it when he behaved like a kid, pampared with attitude!! Bushy fell in love as he came to his teens with 'kitty', for his love life sake we even adopted Kitty. Bushy and Kitty spent many good moments together ... but like it happens with any other pet, it either disappears or dies, this time ... he disappeared. His loss can never be componsated, for the very personality he was .... so different from other cats. He was emotional, cute, good looking, loving, intelligent, full of attitude and a real fish foodie. Many other cats will come in my life, in future ... but I know for sure ... I can never share the kind of rapport I shared with Bushy - II. Bushy was more than a cat to me ... he loved me endlessly and in my life, he remained number one priority. Bushy ... I hope you are alive and doing well, no one can fill your space. Love you.
Today, we have Kitty and her kitten Panda with us ... life goes on ...