Wednesday, December 30, 2009


SOAN girl doesn't notice much difference between a shoulder, a bookshelf, or table. They're all basically "mountains" with a view. This eager-eater copied her brother Papadi in people-mountain climbing. But that claw "axe" equipment for holding on is a little tough on shoulder skin.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Here, we have a brother (left, PAPADI) and his sister (calico SOAN), and their best friend, a street rowdy named NERJI, an extremely busy individual but who always has time for his new, just a little older, friends. He didn't offer them his friendship as an option; just jumped right on them, and that was it. The boys rough it up often, and actually hold the long-playing record in our house.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


is so young and so small, yet the personality is out there. No time for cuddling with people when the other cats are so interesting. Watches the bigger fellows and then tries to copy them. A tough street-cat environment full of asphalt was his birthplace, and he's learned what's important to survive: being cute and playing!


UPPALI, King of the Kats, in a relaxed moment, one of many. Most cats feel compelled to get all formal with ramrod posture, etc., when they line up their paws, as though someone with a camera were following them all the time (instead of most of the time, like me). Uppali writes his own rules. Paws look like they just got a new coat of white cat shoe polish.Uppali is a silver tabby from the Santa Ysabel Native American reservation in San Diego County, now resident in the state of Kerala in India. There is a rumor that all cats in India worship the elephant god Ganesha, simply because he has a mouse and loves sweets. Reasons enough.

Friday, October 16, 2009


MUBOO, the boy in the brother-sister team Muboo-Foobu, is one of those extra-special ones, a bit uncannily like a person and fascinated with the human face. Experiencing a Muboo is a privilege we know we couldn't possibly have earned, but we'll take it! Look for the butterfly on the head. Maybe that's a sign that an angel on paws has flown into your life, as his sister has similar qualities (a cuddler #1 also).


Here's how you do it: Get in a place where you'll look good. Stretch out and close your eyes. Dream about a fish dinner, and if you live at the Animal Ashram in Cochin, it's likely to come true. Tell all your friends.* Everyone seems headed here!

*On second thought, I, Papadi, would rather everyone else but my sister Soan and best cat friend Nerji go somewhere else and we'll deal with the fish surplus here. Thanks.
Soan (girl cat on right): "I'M ALWAYS GETTING THESE HEADACHES, AND I CAN'T FIGURE OUT WHY! They start on the right side just over the eye. Then suddenly they're gone. What do you advise? Getting rid of my brother Papadi?! You gotta be kidding! What is Soan without Papadi*?"

*Soan Papadi is a famous flaky North Indian sweet.


WHY BOTHER PICKING UP BABY KITTENS? Here's a good answer: Soan (f., right) and Papadi (m.), now growing up into their gorgeous teens. We have not really seen any sign that cats know how decorative they are, which is one of a millon reasons we love them!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

WOOTSER! You've GROWN! Congratulations. Elsewhere on this blog you'll see him as a little blob of black fluff. Now, here's what can happen! Wootser is also know as Wootsie, Woots, Dracula, and Sucky Sucker, the latter due to a kittenhood habit that still persists of sucking human elbowpits (mother substitute) until he falls into a trance with his oh-so-watermelon-colored tongue out and goes to sleep.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


FIRST, you put your two feet close up tight ... no, no, no, those are the lyrics to a song much older than this cat boy. First, you brace your rear feet against one chair leg, then you push your head hard against the opposite leg, and presto, no headache. If you wedge yourself right in there, cat physics will do the rest while you relax. Another clever cat contribution to stress management. Thank you, Uppali the Silver Tabby.

Monday, September 28, 2009


What conclusions has FUBOO come to after staring at her sleeping co-caregiver for 10 minutes? "He doesn't seem to be able to grow hair on his nose." "Ears are too round." "If he had a soft towel on his chest, this place would be perfect." "I just know the moment I let myself fall asleep, he'll get up." Thought is obviously happening, but in what language? That's what we wonder. (Post below shows Fuboo even younger.)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Sometimes it's hard to believe we live in a world where an exquisite, loving little generic kitten like this has no value to the vast majority of humans. Not only are beautiful cats feared by many but you can't even give kittens away where we live. Inside this fluffy exterior is a big heart that for some reason shows real love in exchange for the smallest amount of kindness. FUBOO, you are a work of art that excels any ol' flawless diamond, and a first-rate, self-taught companion who is only too happy to accomodate herself to us demanding humans for reasons far exceeding a little fish for dinner. Well, okay, so you get chicken, too, and eggs, Pokali hand-pounded rice, steamed vegetables, homemade curds, milk, idlis, dosas, puttu, and whatever else you see us eat, basically. But a human would demand much more than that .

Sunday, September 20, 2009

THE PLAYERS (in order of arrival)

UPPALI: Big silver tabby from Native American Indian reservation at Santa Ysabel, California, near San Diego. Rethinking his usual peacenik stand due to a reordering of the present cat power structure due to maturing fellows. A giant among thoughtful cats, leader of the nonpack. He and his "friends" (as much as a cat goes for associates) Kittu and Poodi embarked together from the U.S. to India in 2001. Kittu and Poodi shed their forms in 2008 after long years of appreciated service and rubbings. Another fine and beautiful cat foundling who joined them in India, big-green-eyed Yogi, was our only indoor-outdoor tabby due to our reluctance at having the house completely destroyed, but he evidently met his Maker after one night out on the town, not returning. Suspected: a pack of dogs.

GYPSY: A big, beautiful orange scaredy cat who has requested a room of her own and creeps out reluctantly once a day when the premises have been clearly of other suspected terrorists for her benefit. Found on a garbare pile next to her all-white sibling's dropped form. Tweets like a baby bird.

DOLBEY: When in a foul mood, this darling black-and-white girl sounds like she's got a built-in amplifier. Tolerates only Suboo-Foobu, off and on. Very affectionate. Found inside the engine of an abandoned vehicle when about four weeks old, complaining incessantly about conditions. Took three people only a couple of hours to fish her out.

SUBOO: Orange-and-white girl half of team Suboo-Toobu; found chasing her brother down a business thoroughfare in Cochin when they were about six weeks old. Hard on other cats but loving with her bro and caretakers.

TOOBU: See above. Grandmother was a borzoi, judging from his looks. Strong, silent type, currently going through identity crisis as he hits the people-equivalent of his late teens.

FUBOO: Won "Miss Personality Cochin" contest as a kitten. Found bounding into an open sewer-drainge ditch following her brother who was contemplating life as a furry fish when his luck turned. She and brother have matching silver-tan-mixed butterfly decorations on heads.

MOOBU: Gentle, peace-loving, face full of people-like expressions, older than his years, a cuddler. Tends to be a worry-wort.

WOOTSIE (alias WOOTSER, DRACULA, SUCKY SUCKER): The official poised black cat at Animal Ashram (AA), parted from his mother somehow at tiny age of about two weeks; reidentified the soft skin inside his caretaker's elbow pit (?) as the closest thing to a mom milk bottle available, despite its unproductivity in that regard. Raised on kitten milk replacer and lived to tell about it. Still seeks out said elbow pit and sucks at it loudly, drooling and making quite a retro scene of himself. Totally funny. Was adopted by Fuboo-Moobu team who came along a little before him. Wootsie was discovered at our front gate, complaining loudly. Neighbor said he had a tiny white sibling with him, which was gone when Wootsie's plight was discovered. People here prefer white cats, are skeptical about black.

SOAN: Female half of the duo Soan Papadi (a flaky North Indian sweet). Put inside our gate when we weren't at home one day, along with her brother Papadi and another sweet tiny sister, Lotsa, who didn't survive malnutrition and an amebic problem at her very tender age of about two weeks. Soan is a soft-shaded calico, very enterprising, loving, and too-clever.

PAPADI: Deep-silver-and-white loving guy. Favorite hang-out: back of neck of caretaker. Favorite food: gold chain on neck of said caretaker, plus anything else. High-horsepower purr. Was very tiny and scrawny like his departed sister, but survived long enough to take to vet where an antibiotic did the trick.

NERJI: BREAKING NEWS! THIS JUST IN! The latest arrival in our house, that is! Wow! Another fantastic male kitten, all white except for a black em dash (fellow editors, you only will recognize this shape) on the top of his head and several hundred black fleas. Our lucky day! Okay, forget flea powder; this is a case for hand-picking with a bottle of skin lotion and tweezers. Immobilize the intruders with a drop of lotion at the end of a search-and-destroy finger, dispatch them with the tweezers, and dunk the tweezers and remains into a cup of water. Shake well. Only took two short hours for this four-incher. Actually, the kitten wasn't all white but all grey and grimy. Got our usually soaping (twice) with the finest Himalaya Shampoo for Normal Hair (that is, normal for a kitten who grew up on a major downtown gutter in India). His first and last bath. The rest are up to him. So thin, could be mistaken for a freshly washed sock. But super fluffy. Hair is almost as long as he is. We took his little self to the nearest vet, another elephant doctor, but any port in a storm. Deworming always a must. Fellow is about 5 weeks old. Will buff him up in no time, until his wants will spiral from thrown-away crusts of street-cart samosas to the whole gamut of South Indian cuisine and high-end (but fresh) junk food. Wonderful to watch someone get lucky! (Named for Banerji Road where he was found.)

AND OUR DARLINGS WE HOPE ARE STILL PLAYING BUT IN A SAFER WORLD: Tingle, b&w, too cute, precocious six-weeks-older and with us only four days, left 'way too soon but taught an invaluable lesson--always take new kittens for worming and antibiotic shot immediately, regardless of no symptoms; orange darling baby Booka, fought poisoning with incredible courage and will-power, almost made it, but her little liver gave out after a month; irrepressible Kalady who found a friend who could play as hard as she could in Hathi; Doony, the little paralyzed kitten in the mountains of Uttarkund who we said yes to before she left anyway; dearest little Lotsa; wanderer and gentle lover Yogi; deeply devoted long-time friend Poodi; serious-funny calico Kittu; the teeny Monsoon Four; never-say-die beautiful Desi; loving, dignified, beautiful and courageous Tuxi; cutest fluffy dear Gunji; gung-ho and gorgeous Chucki; "angel cakes" most innocent Poppy; my brilliant sister Cashew and her lovely loving sister c.b.; and my first childhood doggie, Jolie, who learned to sit up when she was 8 and died rather than be abandoned.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


FUBOO (l.) and MOOBU know that every long tail eventually has to have a wrap. (At some point, that was obviously turned into a film industry term by directors with cats.) This sister-and-brother duet can be found elsewhere on our blog at different fetching ages. They are both intense cuddlers, Fuboo having the edge and male Moobu being more of the silent and deep type. "Fu" usually yawns when she greets a loved one. The design of these white cats with the butterfly "hats" and silver stripped tabby tails is more common in some areas of Cochin than others.

Monday, September 14, 2009


SOAN, the girl half of the duo SOAN PAPADI, is seen here imbibing with gusto her pre-breakfast milk substitute, which has just come to India within the past year in a couple of brands sold at pet stores. Soan was started on it when she was about two weeks old. Unfortunately, a photo can't give an idea of the powerful grip of those two front paws as she tried to wrench the bottle away from the caregiver and swallow it whole. The braced position of the back feet suggests her interest in this product, even though it didn't come from her absconded Mom.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


SUBOO & TOOBU (left & right, she & he) share a lot in common, like hair and fish and curds and cockroa ... well, we don't need to go into it all. But they obviously have an understanding that is quite touching ... even quite biting at times, but they're firm believers in patching it all up on the sofa by nightfall.


FOOBU (left) and MUBOO (underneath) have been growing up into fine specimens from extremely cute kittens. Both continue to be love bugs to one another and ourselves, really turning it on at bedtime.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


"THIS CHAIR IS A PERFECT FIT! In front of me is that huge warm, moving thing with the small silver box in front of her nose again. Long dangling poles from either side of her body can have food at the ends. Those are the places to watch from high up like this. If I suddenly jump on her neck, she may scream and drop the food. That happened last time." ---Papadi, Baby Boy Blogger

Monday, August 24, 2009

Uppali (Lord of No Salt)

ONE IN A MILLION, that's Uppali, head of the cats. A beautiful silver tabby Native American born on the Santa Ysabel Reservation in San Diego County who suddenly found himself in India in 2001 and didn't miss a beat. He's a kitchen cat, but inspects the rest of the premises regularly for irregularities and newcomers. Could be he's nearing his tolerance for more cats in HIS house, but to date has been patience personified (or catified). Is a little on the huge side, especially for India, where the chronic food shortage on the street and the heat have produced smaller specimens (but a lot of them). The story behind his name is told in the Comment to this post just below.


TAKING THIS PHOTO with a hand-held camera with no help wasn't easy, but we do what we gotta do. Papadi is taking a snooze in one of his favorite (why?) places, upside down on my shoulder. This choice of "beds" is time limited due to space and weight restrictions coming up in the near future, so we have to enjoy it while it lasts!


DON'T BE FRIGHTENED! He has been captured and everything is now under control. This is Papadi (history in following posts) saying something to someone. Looks scrawny here because he was still in recovery from a severe bout with malnutrition. But the will to live flamed brightly in his little frame and he's REALLY scary now. But loving.


WHY DOESN'T EVERYONE RESCUE BABY KITTIES? Maybe they aren't as lucky as we are to find them! Here is Soan Papadi (top to bottom), named for a famous sweet and found together all of the time. Nothing more fun than watching kittens play, get big tummies, grow up competent and clever, and urinate all over the house, marking their territories and increasing local vinegar sales. Our spray bottle fingers can't wait to take on these cuties!

SOAN the Calico

This female fragment of a calico cat is called Soan, part of the confection called soan papadi. This is a big complement re her sweetness. She's a survivor, found out in the street by a hand cart where people reportedly nudged her away from cars. Then, a neighborhood anonymous person picked up her, her sister (Lotsa; R.I.P., too tiny and sick to survive), and brother Papadi and tucked them under our gate. Why the doberman, boxer, and indigenous dog didn't find and swallow them is another mark of these kitties' good karma.

THIS IS SOAN PAPADI, formerly known as Firstly (boy, left) and MaKa, and still sometimes known as that. The etymology is obscure. "MK" refers to our dearly departed calico Muttu, also known as Kittu, and Firstly was the first of this 3-person family we found placed inside our gate. Firstly's dear sister, Lotsa, very affectionate, died from an ameobic problem that could have been zapped with antibiotics under better circumstances. So the little family had to reboot without her and M. called them after a fine sweet, the little calico girl becoming Soan and the tiny boy, whose future was uncertain, becoming Mr. Papadi. Our cook Kuttiamma buffed him up, as will be seen in later posts. He's become a head-rubber for sure, and now has a giant tummy and is puffed up in general.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Twice later in this blog it was alleged that Tuboo, of stripped silver and white tabby fame, actually had a borzoi in his closet.Here is proof from our archives, also showing the Blogmistress in her prime, she wishes. We hope this lays to rest the controversy over Tuboo's ancestry.

Friday, August 14, 2009


Exploring deep ideas, Papadi and Soan have climbed the heights of metaphysics and have a good grasp of Advaita Vedanta at a very young age. Papadi is recovering from a stomach ailment so looks a little drawn. But he'll pump out soon.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Earlier in this blog, it was reported that Tuboo had Borzoi ancestry and we would prove it. We have been very busy and have had no time to do that, but we will eventually. Meanwhile, we have this picture showing his uncanny resemblance to Sri Krishna's cat. That will have to do until later.

FOOBU & MUBOO are as delightful a duo as can be. Sung to the score of Hotel California, these lyrics have been created especially for them:
On a broad jungle byway,
Cool wind in their hair,
Sweet smell of stolen payasum,
Rising up in the air.
Up ahead in the distance,
They saw a shimmering krait,
Their backs arched skyward,
And their eyes grew bright,
I said, "Watch out, this thing can bite!"
(To be continued)

(top and bottom)
Siblings often share the same characteristics, and these two both love the camera and people and each other. Boy Muboo is bigger.

I'M WIRED! And ready to go, wherever. In the meantime, I'm going to do a little creative wire art here. Fuboo's the name, naughtiness is my game!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


THIS IS HIM AND THAT IS HER, HER BODY IS ON THE RIGHT (Suboo) AND HEAD ON THE LEFT, AND HIS (Toobu) HEAD IS ON THE RIGHT AND ... Oh, what does it matter?! The point is it's cozy when your sibling feels exactly the same as you do, and shows it!

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Q. Who in this photo is not a cat ? A. It's that kind of so-called funny question that has earned Chihuahuas their reputation of being vicious, dangerous dogs. Here, we have Tuboo (l., male) and Soobu (r., female) making a Chihuahua sandwich out of Suwannee, ever alert for insults from anyone. Notice the animal-friendly upholstery, which couldn't look worse no matter what the four-footers do to it, its various components having been replaced haram-scaram after "accidents."

Friday, July 10, 2009


MOOBU and FUBOO (left, m., and right, f.) have their favorite actors just like anyone else. And they follow them closely. Probably would only recognize them in public by the tops of their heads.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

SOME GUYS LIKE TO WEAR CHAINS, SOME LIKE TO EAT THEM! Moobu's in his play box, looking cute as hell as usual, and breaking off his teeth, which is okay with us, pin-cushioned as we have become after raising four litters in a row. Mooie is a lovely boy, a love-bug type and cuddler who has no interest in stalking anybody. Let's hear it for MOOBU!
AFTER A HARD DAY ON THE SOFA, it's good to catch a little TV, see what's on for animals. Viewing it from the front like people is too easy and, besides, on a cool day a warm tummy from the tube feels good. Here, MOOBU and FUBOO point out a cat in a commercial to SUBOO and TOOBU still on their easy chair, who depend on M/F to alert them to a good show.

wOOtie, also known as WOOTSER, was a standout from day 1, a born individualist who obviously knew who he was. Only we were confused. He seemed like a pacifist but growled at his first meal of chicken like it was his own prey. I mean, we paid for it in a store. He has a distinctive three-level descending growl. He sucks elbow pits under the illusion they are some part of his wayward mom, then after coming out of the subsequent trance induced thereby, leaves his tongue sticking out a bit. He has a Siamese face, even though he is a Malayali, and like the Siamese, has a big voice when he wants out of a room. Very cuddly and a good bedfellow, not prone to endless readjustments like most cats we could name. You're a piece of work, Wootser!

WOOTIE, left, and MOOBU, what's left, have been chums since the start of their residency on Ashram Lane. Wootie was the late-comer, but Moobu and sister Fuboo still welcomed him into their little circle at about age 2 weeks. Took him a couple of weeks to get big enough to properly play with them, but he figured out how to have fun fast!



YYFUBOO!YYBorn to be cute, a Hallmark card candidate, that's little Fuboo, sister of Moobu---two exceptionally loving characters. Fuboo is very kissy and rubby, won't take no for an answer in that department. A great future ahead for this little miss, who has an innate fondness for human noses.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


MOOBU was just watching TV from the top of the set when, suddenly, this elephant, Guruvayur Kesavan by name, appeared on the wall. Next step was to ignore it and never look that way again. But those teeth certainly don't look very functional for eating fish.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


INTRODUCING wOOtie! An infitesimally small and nervy black kitten badly photographed in an impossible attempt to capture a fraction of his charming, about-two-weeks-old, fast-moving essence.

wOOtie in his first handbag. "This is an amazing experience," he said.

wOOtie and a non-cat, Suwannee. He is thinking maybe he shouldn't stare at her and, also, moving over a little to the right might be "good."

wOOtie makes a decision ... and the right one! It's amazing to see such wisdom in a newborn fluffball. Note slightly more accepting look in Chihuahua face.


wOOtie is caught here trying not to get caught as he practices the sideways getaway. Grabbing wOOtie is like holding onto a large, hairy piece of overcooked pasta, boneless and so soft.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Announcing ... THE BOOS Series II

Fuboo and Moobu, sister and brother, are both graduates of the Hallmark Cards School of Too Cute Animals. Here, they are showing their stuff on the stage of our cook, Tiruvannamalai Kuttiamma. They were found diving enthusiastically into a canal opposite our office. First, Moobu disappeared into the dank water, then Fuboo dashed across the road and trustingly plopped in right behind her brother, both landing on clumps of water grass. I leaned over and grabbed one but had to harangue an indifferent bystander to give a hand and scoop up the other. Since, designwise, they were off the same drawing board as our Tuboo and Soobu, their names followed suite. Their personalities are very different from T&S, both being wise-looking beyond their years (seen in a certain light) and unwarrantedly affectionate. They are also known as the "Swirlytails" due to a lot of tail-tip waving held high when they are pleased.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Sister and brother Suboo and Toobu are household words on this blog now, and you can follow their evolution as love bugs starting at age about 7 weeks if you click at the bottom of the blog on "Older Posts." Suboo's favorite food is potato chips, which we understand provides excellent nutrition for cats as well as humans. Their male co-caretaker regularly gives them what he calls just a "small amount," and indeed it is a small amount for a human 30 times their size. The yellow cast in this photo is from all the sunflower oil in the chips. If you know of a chip that uses whiter oil so that our photos will look better, please write to us.


Suboo and Toobu have been practicing this act for three months, and it looks ready to roll, except that Suboo, the girl on the bottom, says she can't keep her eyes open with Toobu on her head. Well, unless we've walked a mile in her shoes, who's to criticize?


Love bugs Suboo and Toobu sleeping sweetly as usual in this photo, one of 5,000 shots of them lying side by side. Suboo, the girl at top, is the agressor here, a bit of an alpha cat whose arch enemy is Gypsy for reasons known only to them, if that.

C O P Y C A T S These are the famous fraternal twins from our "Boo" Series: Suboo girl, top, and Toobu boy, bottom. We charge a nominal $5 a foot to look at them. Although there are only three legs showing, they do have the standard eight legs between them. Stay tuned for release of our Boo II Series, featuring Muboo and Foobu.

Yes and no. The photo illustrates Dolby girl in the "no" mode. The statue of this village god in South India makes a perfect vantage point. There is no reason to think he would not appreciate a cat headdress. He seems a bit surprise to suddenly find a cat on his head, but that's only natural. This form of god is found on the outskirts of villages in small wayside shrines, often without the cat hat. Our cook put the pottu on his forehead and the eyeballs one day when we were out. I retaliated by adding the gold ornaments from candy wrappers, which the cats subsequently redesigned. Dolby, by the way, is mentioned in a previous post as the cat who was spayed inadequately. She went in four days ago for a second operation by another vet ... who found that the first had not only left in the one ovary he first admitted to forgetting, then later denied, but both! And still had the gall to charge for the operation! Incredible INDIA!