Purrfect In My Eyes!

Veera is a published Author (‘Endured’ and ‘#LoveBitesLifeHacks’) and Columnist; a passionate Educator and Counsellor; Poet and Philosopher… but most of all, a lover of all things literary. 

If you’re contemplating having a pet, chances are dogs will always be the obvious choice of preference. It’s true – dogs are top of the list and win hands down every time! The choice, rather matter-of-fact – a dog or a cat? One rarely thinks of adopting a chimpanzee swinging from the ceiling rafters, one chandelier to the next! Or have a lazy alligator lounging in the backyard making a splash for the pool along with your kids. Nope! Not even if wildlife authorities granted you permits for the same. The fish in a glass bowl and the odd Parakeet constitute a mildly different experience when it comes to having a full-time, hands-on pet!

With my husband and I living on separate shores, with oceans and deserts between us, the time to procure a little ball of fur seemed inevitable. In keeping with his love for pets and to beat the blues and keep him company in an apartment devoid of companionship, it naturally followed that we foster and then adopt a pet. With his erratic schedule and my relatively frequent but intermittent trips back and forth, a cat seemed the more sensible choice. We decided to wet our toes and thus our little, 8-month-old, delightful Persian Chinchilla kitten – Leo – entered our lives. A tawny, golden-coated, gentlest of creatures with the most amazing brown eyes, Leo had us falling in love with him at first sight. For anyone contemplating adopting a cat, there are a few facts you need to know.

Cats are typically low-maintenance; they tend to be somewhat aloof creatures that manage perfectly well on their own. It’s true what they say – dogs have owners but cats… cats, my dear, have staff and a whole lot of attitude! While dogs are the epitome of unconditional love – jumping through hoops for you, cats will instead charm you into jumping hoops and rings, probably with silver spurs and bells on your feet, working to charm and worm your way into their hearts! They’ll have you eating out of their furry paws and trained in accordance with their schedules in no time at all.

For all their nonchalance and distant demeanour, cats always know what they want – you’ll never find a cat doing something it doesn’t want to! If you have this crazy notion that you’ve adopted a tiny creature that stole your heart, think again! Your cat thinks he is fostering you!! Every day is a trial-and-error phase for your cat, whose contemplating whether you’re worth it’s time at all!

Sitting in his favourite corner, while we go about our business, I’ve often caught Leo regarding us with long sidewise looks; there’s that inward veiled expression, something curiously omniscient and knowing, with an air of curiosity wondering what these two odd persons are up to… all with an air of some surprise, but consequentially of n very little relevance to him.

Now, from the beginning, sans a written contract or verbal acknowledgement on either side, Leo – our introverted little kitten, belonged to my spouse. I’m guessing my long absences had much to do with it, rather than his obvious preference for my husband… for some strange reason. For, in the human world, I’m just as likable as my spouse… perhaps a little more, or so I’d like to secretly think. Though I’m never really mistreated, scratched or ignored by him, I’m evidently acquainted with the fact that I am second-in-command and the less favoured one. I rest easy with the thought that in his kitten world, the hand that feeds, pets, brushes and grooms his kitten glory, reigns supreme!

This fallback consolation hardly eases my disconsolate spirit. Cats have this innate ability to know when you’re trying too hard.  And the harder you try, the less they like you, apparently! They float from room to room, person to person, with effortless ease, sometimes with adorable graciousness and affection and sometimes a sort of ‘catitude’ that reeks, ‘I need my me-time’ loud and clear. “Leave me alone and deal with it as best you can,” he seems to say.

Cat-owners know that cats run on their own agendas; a 3:00 am wakeup call – not unusual. The demand could be anything – food, water, treats or simply, some attention! One soon realises that cats don’t much regard daylight or night-time hours. It’s bizarre how they can sleep off an entire day, while you try every trick in that loud and cattish book to engage them. A pounding headache, along with the deprivation of sleep, may have you wishing for a pleasant night’s sleep, only to be rudely awakened with soft purring and slight taps of furry gloves on your face. Ignore those and within minutes you’ll have your cat bouncing off your stomach, intent on chewing the wires running along your bedside-lamp, clamouring for all that attention which could as easily have been given at some polite time of day.

Be prepared to have constant interruptions as you prepare to work. Cats have this extraordinary umbrage to an object that may claim more of your attention if the mood at the time is playful. Your book, laptop, art, essay – all will be stepped on and fair game, in due course. By and by you won’t mind this, but will look forward to their tiny paws, leaving charmed imprints on all your things! Nothing you own is off limits or out of bounds!

You will pamper and fret, spend more time grooming them than you ever did yourself; brushing him is now  more a therapeutic endeavour for you than him! You will find cat hair everywhere, even on your favourite jacket… but it’s something you just won’t mind. You’ll buy baskets, boxes, beds and shelves; you’ll craft tents and pick up cosy blankets. You’ll spend hours in pet-shops picking up toys and gizmos for your pampered feline. You’ll become a cat food expert spending more time debating pros and cons over cat food and treats than you ever did your own investments! You’ll happily pay overpriced bills for them. You’ll worry every moment you are apart and have a web cam installed in every room to watch over them. You’ll photograph them in every living, breathing and sleeping moment, thinking the ways in which they’ve changed your world and all the while wondering how you every lived without them! You will research new ways to entertain them or just stop them from getting bored around the house. Your whole world and heart will soon belong to that tiny creature and your constant fear will be to let them know, just how much you love them because  most of the time you worry that they really don’t. It’s true – cats were worshipped in ancient times, once you have one, you’ll know why!

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