I’ve always loved animals, I still do dream that someday probably before this life ends each stray animal would find a loving home. I love reading some amazing rescue and rehabilitation stories from around the world and so most of my Facebook timeline feed is full of these stories. I find them to be so inspirational how people have gone out of their way to save these innocent animals and give them a happy life. So while I kept reading these stories I realised I too have some amazing friends who have adopted strays and their story has to be told. So I asked my friends Ram, Ashwami and Nayana to send me a little bit about their “paw-tners”.
Ram and Leia
I wanted a cat for a while. We’ve always had cats while I was growing up. Also with a small apartment, a house cat made more sense than a dog though I like both. I saw a flyer in E-square, Pune for stray cats for adoption. Went there, had a look at her and she climbed on my shoulder and started purring (much like she does in this photo). That’s all the convincing I needed.
Ashwami, Lucy, Tang and Daku
Lucy is the black and white one. She is the oldest. Ashwami says she adopted her four years ago. She had wanted to get a cat after her first cat ran away. She finally convinced her mother, asked a few people and got in touch with a lady who had rescued Lucy from the street and was fostering her at her parents’ house. She wasn’t a very young kitten when Ashwami adopted her, Lucy was around 5 months old. She was a little aloof for the first few weeks. Soon she warmed up to her family. She is still not a very affectionate cat. She likes her privacy and she only plays with Ashwami’s tabby, Tang.
Ashwami got Tang one year after she got Lucy. She wanted Lucy to have some company. Ashwami already has have two dogs but Lucy doesn’t play with them. She didn’t play a lot with her family either. Ashwami thought Lucy felt a bit lonely so she wanted to get her a friend.
Tang was found outside a salon in Bandra. My friend used to work there and I would visit her often. I always played with the cats outside. Tang was tiny and very affectionate. Basically he just wanted to sit on my lap all the time. Soon we decided to bring him home as well. Lucy and Tang used to play a lot but I think Lucy bullied Tang quiet a bit. He is a very shy cat. He is also quite nervous.If he is walking across the room and you exclaim, “Tang!”, he will get startled and look super guilty as if he is doing something very wrong. He is the most gorgeous of all my cats. He loves papayas and fish especially bombil bones. I always share my lunch with him if I have fish.
This is Daku. He is the youngest and her favorite. We didn’t intend on getting him. Ashwami’s half sister called one day and told her that she found a kitten under a car. She took it to the vet and the vet said that the kitten is weak and will need to be taken care of. She couldn’t take him home so Ashwami picked him up, walked around with him perched on my shoulder all day trying to figure out what to do with it. In the end she took him home. He really was quite weak. He refused to eat and had to be force fed with a syringe. At the time she was living in another apartment in her building so she took him there. She lived alone with him for a year and thats where they bonded. She had so much fun, Ashwami says, “Daku is a baby and a brat. He is naughty, curious, funny and very affectionate.”
Daku is the baby of the family. He loves cuddling. He sleeps very close to my face, sometimes of it, sometimes on my. I love it. He also sticks to my dogs and sleeps. He troubles my cats though. He chases them, jumps on them, fights with them. Usual cat masti. He used to follow me around like a dog earlier. He also licks people. Like dogs lick people. He is my baby and only mine. I still thank my half sister for finding him for me. He loves mangoes and likes papayas too. (My two dogs and two cats eat papaya almost every morning) But he has ADD I think because he has zero attention span. He will be eating and then he’ll see something move and he’ll leave his bowl and go to inspect what he saw. He does this all day. I got him a few days before my birthday in 2012. Best birthday gift ever.
Nayana and Patch
One fine afternoon in December 2010, Nayana noticed a friends post on Flickr.com with pictures of some puppies up for adoption. They were all non-pedigreed but super cute nevertheless. One of them in particular just melted her heart and without a second thought she wrote to the friend saying ,” I’d like to take one home.” It was a white pup with brown-black patches over her eyes, ears & a couple of them on her back. So she named her Patch. She came home to Nayana in a cardborad box & her life was changed forever. Overnight she transformed from a carefree girl to this Puppy nursing Momma. :). Since then, each morning she wakes up to a pair of sparkling eyes and a truckload of energy. Each time she returns home to a wagging tail & a happy jumping dog. No matter how bad Patch has been scolded in the morning because she chewed on her bedsheet or perhaps did not have her food, its the same boisterous wagging rocket of energy who waiting to play with her .
Having a dog demands a certain level of commitment. For example- Sunday ho ya Monday, a dogs got to do what a dogs got to do, human!…. 😀 And like the Budweiser advert goes, there’s someone waiting at home for you. And then you’ve got to play fetch irrespective of your workday has been.There’s dog hair all over the house and black coloured clothes are a nightmare. But there’s also an innocent soul who madly, grossly loves us all. 4years of mad love. 🙂 4 years of non-pedigreed love. And I won’t have it any other way.
It is an amazing feeling to be loved back by an animal, it is a bond like no other. Despite these beautiful and heartwarming stories, the fate of animals on the street is very grave. From suffering with diseases to being emaciated for lack of proper food, abuse and neglect. There are no proper laws in place that will ensure a safe place for strays. Until recently Municipality could pick up a ‘nuisance’ causing animal and put it to sleep if they received a complaint. After a lot of petitions the Supreme Court has promised to look into this law which is entirely unfair to animals – you can read the complete article here
, I have met a lot of people who think stray animals are burden, they litter, they are flea infested etc but when rescue groups approach them for rehabilitating or spaying these animals they shy away from being part of the effort. I believe that every problem has a viable solution but we must have a constructive approach towards it – if the lives of stray animals has to be better first and foremost they need to have rights in our society. You would always most certainly go awwww seeing a Facebook photo of a cute cuddly puppy or a kitten or a YouTube video, but very few step up to the responsibility. At the same time strays do suffer from not being a ‘pure breed’ but that’s a topic for another day.
For now I have nothing but utter respect for my friends who have opened their hearts and homes for their furry paw-tners …..