Cats on the couch, and on your armrest


Last week I met up with an old friend after 30 years – while that was supposed to be a happy reunion, the visit had me on tenterhooks. Viju Menon has four dogs and 18 cats – all living happily under one roof. So in between sips of tea, I had kittens (and cats) darting though my feet and jumping over my shoulder. One little devil even got into my rather roomy shoulder bag and settled in for a cat nap.

There were times when six of them would snowball together and shoot across the room. Quiet moments were punctuated by the clamor of pots and pans besieged by an army of kittens. And right in the middle of all this my friend was calm, collected and eager to catch up on the last 30 years – while his wife looked heavenward, each time a stack of plates went crashing to the floor.

Looking back at that episode, I begin to wonder about people, and pets.

What’s a good number of dogs, cats, birds, and other animals? (In terms of normal / not so normal.) How do people actually manage to look after and feed them? What happens when the wife is a pet lover, and the husband is not? How do you go on a holiday, if you can’t find someone to feed four dogs and 18 cats? How much would your vet charge on home visits?

And lastly, one math question – how many liters of milk do you need in a day to feed 18 cats? (I didn’t see a milk vending machine in his house.)

Sharath Bhat

Image (c) sharath bhat

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