Tuesday, January 22, 2013

His First Dog, Their First Dog

SUWANNEE is on a cat blog because she has supervised the lives of all the many cats who have come through or stayed at our animal ashram. She has tuned in on our disapproval when some feline crossed the line and barked or herded the erring one so impressively that she was immediately recognized as a force to deal with---THE force to deal with---in the future. She had to leave on heavenly business after only 11 years with us, and we'll never forgive god for this. But she criss-crossed the length and breadth of India with us, from the Himalayas and the Ganga to Cape Cormorin, Kanyakumari, and all three converging oceans where she swam and collected merits galore, at least three dunkings from the 22 teerthas at Rameshwaram, to the god's blessing at Parasinakadavu Temple in north Kerala, and every temple of consequence to dogs in between. Her favorite song was "Suwannee," and the singing  of "...how I love you, how I love you, my dear old Suwannee" never, ever failed to make her jump out of her seat and shower the singer with kisses. What a dog person. Never could enough be said to her credit and about her adorableness.

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Our cat ashram has been relocated 130 miles south, to an idyllic spot on a river, but lots of remodeling and cat customization has kept us from our blog. Seventeen cats moved with four dogs together in a Tempo Traveller van, following the rear ends of our temporarily docile three cute cows in a mini lorry. THEY WERE NOT PLEASED! We're still fixing things up as our semi-remote location is full of carpenters, plumbers, and electricians who take it easy and only work when they feel restless. One new resident has joined us since moving. LAKSHMI, a little spotted young one wickedly kicked out of one vegetable stall and into another at a village called Alumpedika. The kick caused some sort of permanent injury hard to diagnose but she's better after a month and very bright eyed. Climbed a coconut to the roof of one of our buildings, and had to be hauled down. Good sign.

Friday, December 30, 2011


IF THERE'S SOMETHING that cats aren't known for, it's being straight. When was the last time you saw a straight cat? Well, here's what one looks like.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Kitchu the Profile Model

For some reason, this cat is mostly seen in profile. A little leery of eyeball-to-eyeball contact, yet really likes her eyes cleaned. What to think.


All by himself, bicolor boy Mauvi ran his paws across the keyboard, resulting in this "message," which he insists is a Meow, not a Tweet. Whatever. Undoubtedly has something to do with chicken.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


CATS ARE SO PREDICTABLE! Put a thick handwoven sheet over ANY surface, in a casual way, mind you, and a cat will just BE THERE in no time. They all love books, of course. And bookshelves. Is this sofa big enough for Mauvi? For the time being, it'll do.

Monday, September 19, 2011


THIS SAVY CAT KNOWS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FOWL AND FINGER! Didi (short for Didier, although he is not REALLY French) was handed to us by another neighbor whose own cat was being routinely pushed out of his dish by this interloper. Well, we known how to handle customers like this! Had to take him for the same ol' reasons: not wanted and cute as heck. Didi has an outrageously beautiful designer tail, which we will feature at another time, and is too smart and affectionate. A real prize---like all the others.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Well, focus isn't everything. The whole birth process is sort of an out-of-focus event. You don't want to intrude with a flash, and the details of paws and faces are a bit undefined in these tiniest ones. There is constant motion, which is no help in a low light situation, either! Here, Mathya is starting the clean-up process with the baby still in the placenta. The only intervention we did was a little snip of a cord getting wound up around a kitten.


The last kid on the block can be seen in this photo right at the tip of mother's nose. And it's her look-alike, Biscuit, who came 45 minutes after Daboo. The rest were 15 minutes apart.
HERE'S DABOO, NUMBER 3. This cute boy is still very wet as mother maneuvers him into place for more grooming while having his first milk. Each birth was a silent and simple affair. One minute there was no kitty, the next minute a new arrival. We soon put up a cardboard strip barrier around the base of the cage so no one could leave the "premises." However, at this stage, in their sightless world, there was only milk spigot, milk, fur, and momma's tongue in their world, plus some wiggly entity on either side to keep them warm.


On the right is her first baby, Miscalla, a boy. Then came Cookie, a girl, and her placenta is still attached in this photo. Mommy was resting up before cleaning up. What excitement wondering how many babies there will be and how long the births can take! (Potentially 48 hours.) Mathya means "change" in Sanskrit and that's what we were determined to give her ... a change from having babies and losing them every few months, and no worries about where her food was coming from or their safety as they grew up.


What a delightful restaurant! Food is never served cold, you're always welcome, congenial companions, the house specialty is always available, and you can go to sleep afterwards curled up on a soft purring pillow. There are four kittens here but Biscuit is represented only by the tip of a white ear and a bit of her white back.

Miracle on Palliparambu Road

ONLY GOD CAN MAKE A CAT. And as It's agent, Mommy Cat is authorized to set up another franchise to produce one of the cutest baby families in the world. Anyone who hasn't enjoyed little kittens playing hasn't lived!


A HELPFUL NEIGHBOR IS ONE THAT GIVES YOU A PREGNANT CAT ABOUT TO DELIVER, RIGHT? Well, she has the reputation of leaving her many kittens over the years all over the neighborhood as she nervously moves them daily in search of a "safe place." Who in their right mind could resist, however, the chance not only to spay her but to enjoy the birth of her kittens and make this mama's life easier? We took the bait, and three days later, there were four babies beside her, one looking just like her, another tortoise-shell, one calico, and a lovely bi-color.

Cat's Idea of Privacy

AH, THE SAFETY AND SECURITY OF A BOX! You get in your box where none can see you because you can't see them, and you feel really shrewd. They'll never know where I've gone! (Except that cat coming in on the left, barely visible.) This is Mauvi's notion, that bi-color boy with the huge complaint audio.