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.