Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Call of the wild

We have had one or the other pet as long as I can remember. Initially, we had a couple of dogs. After they grew old and died, we did not pursue the option of having a pet again. Then again, there were stray cats who ended up as pets – paying guests but still retaining a modicum classification as pets :-) !

Our first pet was a cute black-and-white kitten on which I took pity and put some milk. I am still blamed for this act of kindness for the simple reason that we have fourth generation litter of the same cat currently ruling the roost in our house ! We had a variety of kittens – multi-coloured, fluffy-tailed, long-haired (cute furballs :-)…) – some born right in the household (usually a designated maternity dabba) and some born-somewhere-else-but-left-here-for-babysitting-by-their-Moms. And it was the latter type which presented a great challenge for us they were wild and not used to human touch, unlike those bred in the household.

Recently, we have had our cat bring her litter of four kittens to our house. Small, furry, damn cute, fun to watch, but difficult to pet :-|! Any human presence was welcomed by terrible snarls and spitting! But oh, they seemed so very adorable that I was determined to 'win their affections'.

Initially, I used to make myself scarce during their feeding time so that they could eat in peace without any unwelcome human intervention. But with my resolution in place, I started baiting them with food from a safe distance. Oh, they remained watchful… so much that the slightest movement I made sent them scurrying back. Gradually, after the initial days of wariness, they got used to my presence, enough to come close to me for food. And one fine day, they started eating right from my hand! That prompted me to reach out to stroke their soft pelts. After initial (loud) hisses of rejection, slowly, but surely they got used to being touched and petted. They are still wild, still easily frightened by any small noise or movement. But it is heartening to see them come bounding to me, mewing plaintively and rubbing themselves against my legs!

When this particular 'experiment' took nearly two months, the most surprised individual was yours truly! Simply because I never considered myself a paragon of patience! On the contrary, I sometimes sorely felt the lack of it (especially while waiting for company to eat!).

Ah well..... the wild can sometimes be tamed with (tons of?) patience. But the absolutely free.....well......they are a different lot altogether !


Ashma said...

yet another lovely post.. the kitten in the picture is cute.. :D.. and u r patient ma'm.. i have seen u, for things u want u can be patience personified. :) btw what's this absolutely free bird thinking about?

Chitra said...

Tee hee.....thanku thanku ! As to the free bird which I am alluding to, I guess you know the identity ;-)!

Endevourme said...

cho chweet!!!
wish i were a cat...(~sigh~)

Prashanth M said...

nicely written!! loved it!!

Chitra said...

He he...! Well...join the list :D!

Thanks ! And how was Mangalore?


i've heard that cats think they own you rather than the other way round. thats why i prefer cats to dogs - more dignity & character :)
btw chaeck out
especially Game #2 : Ponpaarkatennis

Chitra said...

Teee heee !! Well said ! Maybe that's why I like them too :-)! And sooper conversations! Looooved them to bits :D!

Amrita said...

I am more of dog lover. But i can understand the call of the wild making you be in your 'patient' best :D

Chitra said...

Have any of your own :-)? We had dogs a long time back. It is fun to see the young pups right?