December 22, 2011

Of Cats and Dogs but Mostly Cats

The question has been troubling me for a long long time. Am I a cat or a dog person? Well, for no apparent reason but for the fact that more often than not this is a question which was asked in almost all random tests in Quizilla. I wonder if the site even exists anymore! Also, genetically I was confused. My dad will shudder to have animals prowling around and my mom is the self professed saviour of cats, dogs, crows, sparrows, almost every living creature near our house.

Somewhere last year, I figured out my answer – thanks to Sheila and Munni. Of course, their slave prefers to address them in more anglicized names of Tiu and Whiskey. Now when Sheila came to stay in our house, we had all thought it was temporary. She had been abandoned, would have died if left behind and my friend, who perhaps will not bother to come to Cal to meet me, suddenly had this epiphany and got Sheila home.

And I loved him for it. Behind the hard, tough exterior was always the man I knew he was and it took a kitten to bring it out. The conversation had gone as follows:

He: “Dude I am bringing home a kitten.”
Me: “Niceeeeeeeeeee.... you want me to leave the house?”
“nahhhhh. Why should you?”
“Dudeeeeeeeeeeeeee... Won’t you need some privacy?”
“ and your kitten”
“yeah. Just found her”
“Dude!!! Are you serious? How long you’ve known her? It’s not safe you know.”
“I know. Have to figure out the vaccination bit.”
“Hang on!!! What??? You mean kitten as in some babe you are seeing right?”

Well I should have known better.

And then after few days Munni followed as he studied and figured out, a cat needs a friend beyond him.

So while I shared my house with Sheila and Munni, I realized I was not a cat person even though they are fascinating creatures. They like their own private space. If you are the one who is feeding them, you should feel grateful that she is allowing you to. Cats are royalty. And it shows. Animals who move in packs, like wolves and dogs, can’t claim to be so. The way a cat arches her back and gets ready to spring is ergonomically beautiful and if you press their paws open, you see the claws come out. It’s scary. The feline species are amongst the most gorgeous in the animal kingdom and not without reason.

They don’t love you. They tolerate you. They own every minute of your existence. You must be at their beck and call, not like a dog who you can train to fetch. You can never be the master of a cat. Their cleanliness is legendary. I still remember, V had to show Sheila where to poop just once on the night he got her home and a kitten barely a few days old never once missed. Way smarter than human babies!

Sheila slowly dominated the household. She was the undisputed queen of our lives. Munni was reduced to being a chambermaid for her Royal Highness. And Sheila realized very early that I am scared of her. So while my room was out of bounds, Sheila like the Queen she is, never once tried to get in while I was at home. But Munni, the little lost chambermaid would always try to snoop in. She epitomized the story of the curious cat.

I love Sheila and Munni. They stayed with us only for a little while before they went to stay with V’s parents. But while they were here, they made our lives a little more humane in Mumbai than just going to office and coming back. Swati Didi loved them too and did not ever once complain. And that’s a big thing.

But because I myself fall amongst the proletariat, handling royalty becomes a challenge for me.

So I guess, it’s Bow Wow for me. Get Pluto home next to figure out!

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