Parenting A Pet
For Smriti Dwivedi, student, NIT Silchar, communicating with her cat ‘Lord Galaxy’ through ‘eye language’ was just so simple…
It is a popular belief that animals have always been more faithful and loving than humans. Dogs already hold the title of being ‘a man’s best friend’. But one species that has been ignored as a pet or portrayed in negative light is the cat. There is a certain stigma associated with cats in almost all mythologies and they are portrayed as something evil or ill omen, but I have been a cat parent and find them one of the sweetest living beings. The college life gave me a chance to pet the native Assamese whitish brown cat. They would roam around everywhere in the Girls’ Hostel and I was one of the 300 cat parents these lucky cats had. There was one particular male kitten with whom my association was the strongest and I would call him ‘Galaxy’. Galaxy was different than other cats.
Cats are infamous for not giving attention to humans but Galaxy was something else. He would every now and then come into my room or just call out in his oh-so-sweet voice ‘Meow’. He would make himself comfortable on my chair (sometimes on my tummy when I was lying down) and we would talk in ‘eye language’. I would keep a Tetra pack of milk and biscuits for him which ‘Lord Galaxy’ would seldom eat. He was pampered by all the girls in hostel and he just loved fish fries and chicken popcorns. Now, I was a pure vegetarian Brahmin girl, but this cat made me break my rules and I found myself buying chicken from canteen and requesting the mess staff to give me popcorn along with veg food on my plate for him. Otherwise ‘Lord Galaxy’ might find someone else to hang out with, I feared. Did I mention his love for photographs? Yes, ‘Lord Galaxy’ loved camera and we have great pictures together. One night I remember, I heard him crying in bathroom and when I found him, I felt he was hungry (‘Sir’ had come back to me after two days) and now was crying near my room. As usual I gave him milk and biscuits and he refused by simply walking away from the bowl. Luckily one of the hostel-mates was also a cat parent and that night a third year senior knocked the room of a second year junior asking for cat food because ‘Lord Galaxy’ was hungry. After feeding him, I took the details of the cat food from her and from then, a Brahmin girl kept non-vegetarian chicken food for her cat!
These are my few special moments with Galaxy. Cats are famous for scratching, tearing and Galaxy was not an exception but what compensated for all that was his gleaming eyes every time he looked at me. The innocence with which he used to sit on my bed and the authority with which he used to enter my room every time brought a smile on my face. It always felt surreal to know that somebody was there to look out for you every time you come back to the hostel. He was an adorable, sensible animal who understood nothing but love. Someone who always came back after being out with his other cat friends for, say, two days! Cats are a wonderful pet, especially for people who don’t want to spend, or simply don’t have, much time for pets. They understand instructions but more than that they understand and reciprocate love.
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