Sunday, May 31, 2015


My Simba in happier times before Bella arrived
Simba was 6 weeks old when we brought him home from the basti behind our building. He was my birthday gift and the best one I ever received in my life. Almost four now, he’s adorable and extremely friendly.

It took us three years to leave him at a shelter a few months ago, as we planned a family holiday for the first time since his arrival. CD runs the shelter at Wadala and loves cats. Incidentally, someone else in his family runs a dog shelter on the first floor of the same building. At any given time, CD has 7-8 cats at his home-office. He picks strays from the roadside, gives them a bath, has them inoculated and gives them away as pets. What happens before they are picked up? Well, CD and his girlfriend take care of these cat babies.

A couple of weeks back, CD called us because of a minor emergency. He had 13 cats – both kittens and adults at home while one cat had just delivered 5 kittens. He was looking for pet owners who would take care of another cat for at least a week. I got quite excited with the idea of getting company for Simba on a trial basis. Venkat and I immediately agreed and CD came over the next day with 2 kittens to pick from.

Spiky was a 4-month-old male who was as curious as a mischievous kitten can be. The moment he came out of the basket, he roamed all over our flat. At this time, Simba was up on a pillow on my wardrobe, fast asleep. Spiky kept moving away from me until I pinned him down and petted him. I am sure he became a slave for life from that moment. He followed me all around.

Studying the guest from afar
I saw Simba’s head perking up and went over to introduce his new friend. I was amazed to see Simba giving Spiky the “royal ignore”. His nose up in the air, His Royal Highness Simba the Great refused to even look at the new kitten.

Bella, fast asleep
By now, little Bella (2-month-old) had had her nap. She woke up and ran all around in a frenzy, highly energetic. She looked too cute for words. While all cats are cute, the females are that much cuter, with their attitude.

Lord of all he surveys
Since Simba was awake, Venkat lifted him from the wardrobe top and put him on the ground. The next second, Spiky ran and hid under the computer table as he was petrified by this huge Tom. That’s when I decided that we would rather keep Bella. She was bold to the point of suicidal.

CD left Bella with us, taking Spiky away with him.

The lady who came for stayover
It took 4 days for me to realise that Simba was not going to get friendly with Bella. She tried to make friends, swatting his tail. He didn’t like it. The moment I poured Simba’s catfood in his bowl – I had kept a separate one for Bella, not that she cared – she jumped in and started eating. She did it every time and I could see Simba didn’t like it at all. I had a difficult time not to roll on the floor laughing. With a straight face, I shooed her every time and made him eat. He did so, with great reluctance.

Bella is curious while Simba does his best to ignore her
Simba went down and got into a fight with the street cats – probably in anger and frustration. He usually wants to be petted by all of us and also play with us. He found the loneliest of spots and the highest of perches to keep away from the family. One night, he went down and never came back until Venkat went and got him up. I don’t know, but I thought that he appeared like a grumpy old uncle during Bella’s stay.

Ms. Curious with large dark eyes to die for
In the meanwhile, my kids were in love. They had decided that they would persuade me to keep Bella, while I had been hoping to persuade the others about retaining the little one. But Grumpy Uncle Simba changed our minds for us. He was looking so sad; unlike his usual cheery and friendly self, that we thought it best that Bella went back to CD’s shelter.

Grumpy Uncle Simba (Google Pics)
The one week got shrunk to 4 days as I couldn’t see Simba looking so sad. Yeah, I can read cat expressions. In fact, all of us could see that he was sad.

We called CD and with great sadness, gave back the frisky little Bella.

Lo and Behold! Within barely an hour, we had the grumpy uncle transform into an adorable black and white fur ball that wanted to play and cuddle.


  1. Aw, it must have been so difficult to let little Bella the Bold Beauty go! <3 It's a pity Uncle Simba felt like playing Grumpy Cat. Maybe you'll be luckier next time.

    1. That article got a lot of emotions off my chest. Our home revolves around Simba. So, we will go with his decision. :D

  2. Awww! Wish we can keep them all. Good to read about them. Adorable.

  3. aww they are such an adorable bunch. I loved how you could read their signals, it's so important for an owner to understand their pet. Although sad that you couldn't keep the other two.

    1. Thank you Rajlakshmi :) I think Simba and I understand each other perfectly. Not both the kittens, but one definitely - as company for Simba. But as you see, he didn't like the idea

  4. Pets can be so human, can't they? Our Veeroo is very friendly when it comes to meeting up with his doggy friends as long as they are all outside his turf. But if any of them ever come into the driveway.. he gets all huffy! Enjoyed your writing :)

  5. Beautiful Narration Sundari. I was lost reading this piece of yours.

    1. Thank you so much Rubina. So glad you enjoyed reading this one :D