To put it mildly, I am a very passionate person. To put it bluntly, I am a very obsessive person. If I like something (usually a game or something similar), I like it to the point of obsession. I play it all the time neglecting food or protests of my eyes until either the obsession wears off or I end up finishing the game/activity or whatever the source of obsession was.
Even among all the different sources I stumble across, one source stands above else: cats. I love cats…to the point of obsession. People around me immediately become aware of this aspect of mine. Even on my facebook profile, if anyone on my friends list comes across a video or a picture of a cat, or anything related to a cat, they either post it on my wall or tag me in it. It’s common knowledge and perhaps, by now, my distinctive feature. A cousin asked me about two days back if I was ever going to get over my obsession of cats and my reply was a single “no”. That word summed up my feelings towards felines — domestic or wild.
I am not entirely sure when this started; I just know that it has been deteriorating since the moment it started (not that I’d wish it otherwise). I am an animal lover — perhaps I love them more than people. When I was about 7 or 8, I saw these two pigeons in the bazaar we were shopping at and, of course, I had to ask my dad to buy them. The pair stayed with us for about 4-5 years (not entirely sure anymore) and grew from 2 to 13. We ended up selling them — for what reason, I am still unclear because I was pretty small that time — and, as a rebound, I got three chicks.
About two months later, one died and the other two chicks ended up being food. How I found out is an interesting story. I woke up one day and opened the refrigerator to find two headless, skinned chickens right in front of my eyes. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the 2 chickens I had were not in their usual place.
My pet addiction was still not over. After about 4-5 years of having pets and suddenly not having one anymore leads to withdrawal. This withdrawal led me to think it was now time to move to four-legged land animals and so I demanded a cat from dad. Few days (or was it months) later, I got one. And so began the cat obsession.
The first cat, Mano, stayed with me for around 6 years during which we had a lot of experiences together. Mano was a great friend. He tried to wake me up in the morning, or would lick my ear for whatever reason. I received a lot of scratches from him as well. Yet, through it all, he was my beloved friend. Close to his sixth year with us, we changed houses. Mano did not have a litter box at home. Rather, he would leave the apartment, do his business, and return for food and sleep. That time, in the new apartment, Mano was quite restless. When we let him out for his business was the last time we saw him. We later found out that he was seen in the area where our old apartment was, but since he was a stray to begin with, we cannot be too sure.
Few years later, I got another cat (pet obsession kicking in again): Billu. Billu stayed with us for 1 or 2 years before deciding it was time to move out and start a family. My memories of him involve him sleeping as I try to get him to play with me or him deciding that any random place in the house can be utilized as a toilet. He once decided my blanket was as good a place as any. Billu has the same toilet routine as Mano (when he was not finding new places to use as toilets). He would leave, do his business and return. One day, he did not return and we did not have a clue where he went. We waited for a few days after which we decided he probably made up his mind to move on. However, Billu did return…with a little kitten in tow (we are still unsure whether it was his kid or just a friend). Both of them had their fill and left…never to be heard from again.
I did not have a chance to have a pet at home after that since I moved to college. But college…that was another place. After much trial and error and experiments with pets, in the senior year, my roommate and I finally got one: a cat! Bhookee (because it was always meowing for food) was a kitten born in the neighborhood from a cat who was lovable but cling-y. It is a joke between me and my roommate that Bhookee’s mom taught him the tips and tricks of getting food from us because Bhookee always used to stand outside our door and meow loudly — and continuously — until we would give him something. Eventually, we took him under our wing and the three of us became best friends. Bhookee used to sleep with us at night and stay out the entire day. He was a great source of entertainment for us. Sadly, when the year ended, we had to leave him behind with others in the place we were staying at. Unfortunately, contrary to our expectations and even with the presence of other cat lovers right next to us, Bhookee was thrown away never to be heard from again.
A year after college, my cat obsession kicked in again and I got my latest cat, Xuki. Xuki is a loving and cuddly cat who likes following me around. In the bathroom, she likes to sit outside the door until I am done. Near my computer, she likes to sleep on my lap, on the floor by my feet, or on the bed next to me, while I work on the computer. She likes to play with hands (and bite them), play hide and seek, run around the house, torture little bugs, and wage war on her toy mouse. She is now an adored part of the family (except for mom because mom dislikes cats) and I hope she stays with me for a long, long time.
As for my cat obsession, through all these years and experiences, it has only continued to grow…so much that I have been asked if I have seen every cat video on YouTube and cat picture on the internet (which, of course, I have not). I imagine myself, a few years down the road, surrounded by family and a lot cats; some domestic, some exotic (I once told my dad I wanted a lion for a pet). I am still unaware of how my pet obsession turned in to cat obsession but it is now one of my defining features. Even while walking on a street, if I happen to glance at a cat, I rush towards it trying to get it in my hand. However, perhaps the cats sense their impending doom at the hands of a weird, cat-obsessed human and run for their lives.
There are no other animals that catch my attention as much as cats do. I love felines…and I proudly declare it to everyone.