We are dog people. We have been dog people for nearly a decade now, ever since I saw 2 little brown eyes and a drooling tongue look at me through an iron mesh and had impulsively bought ‘Mr.Dundu’ from a kennel nearby. Dundu is a Pomeranian, a very serious, broody guy with short legs and a wholfy tail. He was never a people’s dog, if you know what I mean. We later figured that he just liked to be fed, watered and left alone. He used to look like he was deep in thoughts, and i could almost see his brows creasing as if he was brooding. He barked at everyone in the house and outside alike but he loved me. He was my companion and aide till I got a Lasapso – ‘Mr.Appu’ as a birthday gift from a friend the next year!
Appu was just a few days old when he came home in a basket tied with a pink ribbon. He was sweet, cuddly and lovable and won the hearts of everyone, neighbors and friends alike. He was a true toy dog, like he was happiest when someone came home and he felt they all came to play with him, he never barked at anyone and his tail was always in the wagging format and he walked like he was dancing. He believed it was his moral right to jumb to the sofa and sit with people and put his head on their lap for a good pat.He was snow white and had long straight hair and used to let me tie his hair on his head in little pony tails and used to look adorable.I used to love shopping for little colorful clips from goodwill for his hair back then.
And that’s when we got Ammu! She was a stray black puppy with the shiniest coat and chocolate brown eyes. She was almost run over by a bus on a rainy evening when Amma found her, frightened and hungry. She let herself be picked up and be bought home and ever since she lived with us. But as days went by the small puppy grew in size and soon was as tall as a Ananya and strong as a horse. And anu loved her. Soon they were like Mary and the little lamp and sometimes Ammu took anu on her back and they played horse! But due to her massive size, soon it was a regular affair for things to fall and break in the house when she was excited. And I started feeling like Fred Flintstone from ‘the flintstones’ when he came back from work and dino was excited to see him that he always pushed him to the ground.:)
But she was the most chicken hear ted dog I ever knew and felt she would make the perfect wife for scooby-doo. ;). She had a powerful voice and used to bark the place down even if she saw a rat but if the rat came any nearer that a radius of 20 cm then she would give a yelp and run for her life and go hide under the cot ! 😉
The story of animals in my house goes way back into history. Before we were dog people we were actually cat people, ever since one fine morning Amma discovered a pretty little kitten on our sunshade and she lived with us and loved us till she died years later but not before expanding her family to at least 9 or 10 generations! And when the dogs came, all of them left us, some occasionally bringing new kittens for a few days before changing houses again.And before the cat era, we had birds – ranging from 4 talking parrots out of which 2 who always tried to elope, we also had 10 sparrows, some tame squirrels who used to come down from the mango tree in the compound when Amma called them. Amma also had some stray animals turned part time visiting pets. Like once, there was this eagle she named Shambu, and who I renamed Shikari Shambu :). He lived somewhere across the rice fields that were there once upon a time behind our house. I don’t know if you have seen a white eagle closely, but let me tell you they are majestic beauties, with their sharp eyes and curved beak and white collar they do elude respect.
Everyday morning he dutifully flew to our house and sat on the work area slab behind the kitchen and amma gave him tomatoes to eat, sliced and diced! I dont know how she figured out he liked tomatoes or that he never got bored with the same thing everyday but this was a regular affair for years. I still remember the mornings my mom standing near the kitchen door and looking at shikari shambu wholfing down ripe red tomato pieces and she sometimes spoke to him and it looked like he understood!well!
She also had a stray tortoise once. An old fellow who must have been over 80 years or so. He showed up one day and the cats found him and there was soon a pandemonium going on. He was ugly and full of dirt. She washed him and scrubbed his shell and finally he looked a little handsome. She named him ‘Kitto’. He was a real lazy fellow but he too dragged himself to the work area to have his favorite rice and yes, sambhar whenever he was around. In between for short intervals he used to disappear and Amma would be worried sick that someone could have harmed him. And once when he reappeared there was another tortoise who came behind him after a while and my mom was overjoyed. We joked saying Kitto bought his wife along to seek Ammas blessings. 😉
Well, this is not about any of them. This blog is actually about our new kitten who I , perceptually bored with all the traditional names amma puts for her cats ( some were even named Gauri and Mahalakshmi much to my aunts utter disbelief), I decided to name him Monochrome. 🙂 . Now monochrome is not just black and white like you would think he is. He is black, white, yellow and brown! He has green eyes and the pinkest little nose with a black outline which was so cute and the cutest little tongue and also long whiskers.:)
Monochrome or MC, like we call him now was the shiest of the 2 kittens who were born recently. The other one was also very cute and more playful but before I could name him he got infected with some really bad cat bacteria and died 10 days after he was born :(. So it was just MC and the 3 dogs and his occasionally visiting mommy! We were rather skeptical as the dogs never got along with his mommy because they found her arrogant and vain.
The dogs live in the downstairs of our house and they hardly come up. So we decided to keep MC in the first floor for his own safety. But I knew this was temporary and hell would break loose sooner or later.
It was Ammu who spotted MC first. One day MC who was bored with exploring only the first floor rooms spotted the door to the stair room open and decided to explore the floor downstairs. He gingerly sprang from one step to the other down the wooden steps making a small thud thud noise and immediately, Ammu who was basking in the sunlight that hit the floor from the open window after a rain under the stairs stood up. Her ears were pointed up and face was cocked to a side. She gave one loud bark probably smelling MC and MC literally flew up, the hairs on his neck and his tail all straight up!
The next time MC reached till the bottom stair when Ammu sprang on him and again he flew up the stairs. This went on for a week until one day MC who looked like he was having fun making a joke out of Ammu slipped on the stair and fell right in between Ammus legs, just like that! I almost ran down the stair to rescue MC but to my utter disbelief I saw him on his back and tail beating left and right and Ammu running to hide under the cot! So with that MC started going down, he soon made firm friends with Appu. I think it was mainly because Appu was too busy trying to be coy and making everyone like him, he dint really know a cat was different from a dog. He was very pleased to see MC and was soon licking him lavishly. MC sat like a ball next to him, his tail wrapped around his legs and was soon purring happily.
I love it when cats purr. Especially on rainy days, Its like a warm little motor going. So that just left Dundu. He has never been interested in cats and cohabiting with anyone – dogs and humans included were not really his thing. He was like the angry young man you see in indian movies. So yes, he had growled when MC came down and had also tried to chase him a couple of times, but MC being MC had never given up, until finally Dundu was bored with it and he decided to act as if MC was not there.The cat would walk around under his nose and he would just pretend not to see! So we heaved a sigh of relief now that the dogs and the cat were finally living together.
But MC had only started. Soon he made the house his own, claiming his place on top of the stabilizer or in Ammas lap when she sat down to read and had his own sweet way around. He cleverly figured out how to tap at the window hinge and open the windows and go out, wander and come back as he pleased much to the dogs irritation. He meowed the place down when he was hungry and it almost felt like he was saying’ what the hell are you doing, get me some food’. He chased rats and cockroaches, some he killed, some he made to flew the country, he was the perfect delight playmate when you were free. Anything moving excited him and he was ever ready for a game.
The 2 dogs played with him endlessly yet Dundu still ignored him. And knowing dundu he would never change. Yet still MC worshiped him and looked at him and meowed a little meow in a hurt tone whenever they passed each other. Other than that they were all happy. Days went on like this. Until one morning when I woke up to the loud chirping of a bird and opened my window to see a small sparrow sitting on a cable line hanging near the window. It flew away as soon as it saw me. But it came back and started chirping again as soon as I left the window and was heard chirping loudly throughout the day. At first I thought it was hurt but later realized that it was planning to build a nest in the henna tree close to the window. MC had heard the chirps and had come silently behind me and jumped up to sit on the window still and had looked at the sparrow with interest. I saw his eyes glint. ‘No, don’t even think about it’ I told him sternly wagging my finger at him. He looked at me and silently jumped down and rubbed against my leg.
But later that day as I was having my breakfast, I spotted him walking on the wall, his eyes glued to something on top. ‘The rascal’ I said and got up. I went just in time to see him making his first leap from the wall to reach the sparrows half build nest. But it was high for him and he gave up as he saw me. Soon days passed and the nest was ready and sparrow laid eggs in it. MC seemed to be or pretended to be bored with it and dint even bother to go near the nest anymore.
Soon the eggs hatched and the little baby birds started crying. Everyone went to see the birds. Ammu tried to bark but amma put her away and locked the side gate so she would nt go disturb the birds. And then it happened, I was again at the dining table the next day when I saw MC on the wall again. He was again on his way to the nest looking up. I went to shoo him down but he was already climbing the tree close to the wall. His eyes were glued on the nest. I tried to get hold of him but he shook off my hand and kept moving. I was in despair. I was sure he was going to get the chicks this time. I wanted to give him a smack but he was already out of my reach.
And then I heard a growl and saw Dundu standing next to me and he was growling at MC and started barking the place down. MC looked down and saw the scene and as if he understood what dundu was saying as quietly as he had climbed up, he climbed down and as if nothing happened he meowed and first rubbed against my leg and then went and rubbed against Dundus face. The barking stopped and dundu whined a little and soon I saw dundu licking MC ! I was open mouthed. I looked at the two of them one hand on my cheek unable to believe it! With that the ice broke between Dundu and MC and now our ‘domestic’ life with 3 dogs and a playful kitten is going rather well. And they all lived happily ever after. 🙂
The End! ;P Posted from WordPress for iPhone