Thursday, February 11, 2010

Indian or Pakistani?

My husband and I love cats. We decided to keep one when we shifted to Islamabad. 

Within a fortnight, we had a litter of three meowing all over our house and a month later, my husband further upped the tally by “kidnapping” a three-month-old who was being kicked around at Melody Food Park near the infamous Lal Masjid.

It was a challenge keeping the original trio alive because they came in without their ‘Ammi’. Thanks to my husband’s time-tested trick of feeding kittens with droppers, we now have the second generation of the feline family running our house!

During our first winter in Islamabad, it would not be unusual to see my husband with four cats firmly ensconced on his lap while he struggled to file a report on some breaking news story. Soon he got so used to it that he could report on a terrorist attack, give a beeper to a TV channel and maybe even take care of something else, all with the four cats on his lap.

The number has gone up to six since. We live with General, Motu, Chutku, Mohtarma, her daughter Kitu Singh, and the latest addition – a Black Beauty who walked into our compound one evening some months ago and decided rather single-mindedly that she would live with us henceforth.

Even though our six cats drive us mad – actually my husband more by sleeping atop the TV covering half the screen with their tails, using his chair as a scratching post, sleeping on his laptop or worse spraying on his blinds – yet we cannot imagine a life without them.

We often surprise our Pakistani friends by telling them that our cats are not “Indian” but “Pakistanis”. Pakistanis, who were born and raised in an Indian’s house. Motu particularly likes meeting all new guests and will sit and cry at the drawing room door till he is let into the room and allowed to brush himself against our visitors.

My husband and I often ask Kitu Singh, our most talkative cat, in jest: “Are you Indian or Pakistani?” Her answer always is a long “meeeooww”. So we tell her that she is an “honorary Indian” who will be bestowed Indian citizenship when she returns to India with us and we both have a good laugh.

The truth is they are six lives we truly, truly cannot do without.


  1. It's truly 'Aman ki Asha' team out there!!
    They are indeed cute!

  2. Yupp they are cute Ranjini -- the only Pakistanis we cannot do without! Thanks for reading.

  3. The following comment was emailed to us by Jamal:

    …are the cats Indian or Pakistani? We are talking about cats, they are not us -- homo sapiens. They lack the spectacle of our divisive tendencies, but since it’s about India and Pakistan let’s start discriminating, pelting stones and cutting off each other -- just for fun!

    News Flash: Two Indians in Pakistan are holding many Pakistanis (cats) in their custody for the last 94,670,777.9 seconds and counting. Reacting sharply PAWS (Pakistan Animal Welfare Society), which aims to create a more just and equitable relationship between humans and animals in Pakistan, called it an unprovoked act of nuclear-armed neighbours.

    Some controversy was reported from India too as several people are upset that non-vegetarian food is being fed to the cats by twoindiansinpakistan.

    Till this report went into print pressure was growing on twoindiansinpakistan to sign up the Nonproliferation treaty to discourage further multiplication of cats. However, nothing could be said because of the many scheduled power cuts in Slamabad.

  4. Hi,

    It's really cute photographs. Don't stop with only six.

  5. Hi,

    The photographs are really cute. don't stop with only six.

  6. manoooooooooooooooooooooo caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaats !!!

  7. I am cat lover too..we have two cats right now..Two cats' father was my best pet. He brought his girlfriend along one day..and started a family..Girl Friend threw couple of saris from my mother's wardrobe and gave birth to twins in wardrobe itself..Unfortunately, father was a courageous person..stand and fought with any cats big or small(Anti-status quoists)..last died from ghastly wound which exposed almost half his brain..and I can go on and on..Its a big drama in the house..cats are very protocol-ish and formal..

  8. Jaydev, glad to interact with a cat-lover!

  9. HI,I'm a cat-lover too...lovely cats you have there...wish we could overlook the boundaries of nationalities as easily as these felines do...on that hopeful note...

  10. 'we now have the second generation of the feline family running our house!' So true! My cats and kittens are doing this in our house!

    This post is really hillllarious! I feel as if I am reading about the atmosphere in my house!

    You have got very good sense of humour. Thanks for a good happy laugh!

  11. I had a cat 13 years ago who was like a son to me. People living around us had him evicted, just after he had turned 1yo. I have never taken in another cat or had children of my own since.

  12. SM, Sandhya, BP, thanks for reading.

    BP -- that's sad!

  13. Hey dear cat-people, I am cat-less these days...somebody stole my cat a few days ago. Can anyone of you email a cat to me?

  14. Emails can bounce :) Will hand-deliver!

  15. I want the black kitten! Pretty please! Not only is s/he super-adorable, s/he will also help me drive a lot of people I know up the wall if I let her/him lose strategically so s/he crosses their paths. And then kitteh and I will take over the world and enslave all humans. Muhahahahah!

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