Sunday, October 23
India has an unlimited amount of stray dogs and cats that live on their wits or get temporarily or permanently adopted. Many live in a gray area between tolerated and encouraged: not quite pets in the European sense but closer to people than the term wild animal suggests.
Last time we stayed here a cat, which we decided to call The Cat, befriended us. We fed it when it arrived at the front door and a loose cat/person relationship developed. It came and went and slept wherever it slept, but it turned up at least once a day to eat and hang around. One day we realised that The Cat would soon have kittens, so we arranged for our neighbour to feed it when we returned to Helsinki.
When we got back here things had moved in a different direction than we had expected. The Cat had had 5 kittens and then got killed by a car or motorbike. One of the kittens had disappeared, presumed captured or killed by one of the many eagles or hawks that live in the trees around here.
The remaining four kittens have all lived with Usha in the house behind ours since they arrived in the world. We have only ever seen two, though, and suspect the other two have disappeared. Either they have run away or they have gone somewhere else as pets.
The two remaining kittens – Haze and Maria – have started to come into our garden, and lately into the house. Another loose cat/person relationship has started, except that this time we know exactly where they go when we jump through the garden gate and leave.
Maria has white fur. Haze doesn’t.