Monday, December 22, 2008

Of Canines and Felines

Cats are supposed to be the least friendly and most unresponsive of all domestic animals. I would add one more adjective to that list: Street smart! I have had many pets;pups, fishes, parrots, and have adopted all the dogs in my street, and have always been rather partial to the canines. Now it is common knowledge that dog lovers don’t particularly like cats. The ‘cats or dogs’ debate has been going on for ages and will continue for ages to come. The canine supporters argue that dogs are ‘man’s best friend’, and are the most faithful animal on earth. They have this emotional bonding with their masters and express unconditional love. There have been cases of dogs sacrificing their lives for their masters.
The feline lovers are not far behind though! Cats may not show affection like dogs, they argue, but they are nevertheless amiable. They are easily satisfied, you don’t need to take a cat for a walk, and best of all, you are not required to give them a bath! They mind their own work, they rub against you occasionally to show that they care, and that’s about it. Till last weekend, I considered this whole idea extremely silly.
Last weekend my brother and I ‘rescued’ a kitten from the ‘murderous weather’ as we put it to mother, who, for reasons best known to her, has an anti-‘animal of any kind in my house’ attitude. It was a tiny, ‘starved’ kitten, barely two months old, dripping wet, wailing so mournfully it would have wrenched anybody’s heart! Soon enough, my mother came with some raw chicken that she was shredding, and nonchalantly asked nobody in particular, ‘So, do cats eat chicken?’ The poor baby did, right out of my hand! Then it lay on me, and as I kept stroking it, watching the television, it fell asleep! Watching it sleep, we named it Sammy. The rains had stopped now, and my mother was getting back to her normal self. ‘The cat has to go’. Reluctantly, I took it out. The moment Sammy came to comprehend the reality of the situation, right there, in the threshold, it started wailing loud, piteous meows that made me drop it down. It then walked back into the house like royalty, making me think, ‘Gosh, now that is attitude! No wonder it’s called CAT WALK’! So in went Sammy, making itself comfortable in a rug under the bed, and fell asleep again. It woke up in the evening and had some milk, looked around with beady eyes, and settled in front of the television. I was thinking, what a spoilt prat of a cat, when my neighbour came home. ‘Akka, have you seen a small grey cat anywhere?’ I mutely point out to Sammy, reposing on the carpet, appearing to understand every word that Bharka Dutt was speaking into her microphone. My neighbour squealed and carried Sammy away, and my mother heaved a sigh of relief. As for me, I’d prefer dogs any day to cats, and this incident just served to cement it!

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