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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Ubiquitous Cats of Sri Vilas

This isn’t my first post about the cats at home, here in Sri Vilas, but their sheer omnipresence never fails to surprise me. You can bet your bottom dollar that this sure won’t be my last post about the cats either, but I promise to intersperse the another-post-about-the-cats-at-Sri-Vilas with other random posts, to make for some varied reading. Before I begin, here’s a picture from a couple of evenings ago to tell you what I mean about the cats being all over the place here in Sri Vilas.
Here are four of the “many” cats that roam these premises neatly arranged on the single-seater sofa, like sardines in a can. The two juveniles near the bottom of the picture were only kittens a couple of months ago (Link 1, Link 2). The one immediately above it, seems to be pregnant, and so we’re trying to figure out where she’ll give birth and when, so that we can avoid any Oh-My-God-there-are-kittens-in-my-cupboard kinds of situations. Now, please notice how there’s a sheet of plastic that they’re laying on, which has been placed specifically for them so that they don’t ruin the furniture. This is a result of people at home giving up with trying to discipline the cats by not allowing them on the furniture in the first place, and resorting to eke out a peaceful coexistence with our now royally-treated felines. I have a feeling that the cats are winning this slow war of attrition, but I seem to be alone in my opinion. Anyway, here you have an example of cats in places and spaces all over the house. Thank God they’re all using the same sofa, right?

Next up, there a scene of the cats feeding, and I know I’ve posted pictures of this before but there are some changes that I’m sure you’ll notice. This is the usual lunch feeding frenzy. Yesterday’s rice mixed with the dregs of today’s fish curry seem to be a favorite. I say “seem to be” because that’s usually all they ever get for lunch, which is usually before any of the people at home have eaten; around 12:30pm or so. Trust me, even if we forget to feed them, the cats will remind us with loud meowing and treating the kitchen door like a large, flat scratching post. Here they all are, chowing down on “the usual”. It looks as if my intrusive camera and I have been spotted by the cat we call Cleopatra. The reason for that name? Well, her coat resembles that of one of the cats that came before her, but the original Cleopatra had these beautiful black lines under her eyes like they’d been drawn on using a fine eyeliner.

Also in this picture, are the three newest kittens. As you can see, they appear to have grown up enough to be eating together with the adults. The funny thing about this habit seems to be, and I’ve noticed this to be a pattern with all the kittens we’ve had, they will unceremoniously start picking out tasty fish bits from the portions of the other cats. Without a care! And the cats always seem perplexed enough by this behavior to not make anything of it and give them way. It’s weird, because this is exactly how the cats used to behave when they were kittens.

Speaking of the kittens, they’re quite a boisterous lot. Always clambering on the firewood in the kitchen, trying to reach a point higher up one day than they were able to climb up to the day before, they manage to constantly keep themselves occupied and their audience delightfully amused. It’s quite rare to get a shot of them altogether, except when they’re fast asleep. That’s what this next photo is, the three kittens sleeping.

This picture is grainy because it was really dark when I took it, and this is the best that the Photo Fix option on my SE K850i could do. As you can see, I have lots of work to do regarding my stealth capabilities because one of them woke up with a “Hey. What do you think you’re doing?” look on its little face.

So, there you have it, the ubiquitous cats of Sri Vilas. Omnipresent not only in space, but also in time. I say that because we’ve always had cats around the house. There was a time about six or seven years ago when only one, maybe two cats at the most would come by and eat the fish guts that we’d dispose of. Prior to this, more than 20 years ago, I remember there being well over 15 cats and kittens that used to treat the house like their own, much like how these cats do. And that’s how it’s always been, as far as I can remember. Sure people get annoyed at their cavalier manner and attitude when it comes to making a mess of the house, but deep down inside everyone at Sri Vilas loves cats. Hey, what choice do you have, right? They're everywhere, all the time. ;-)

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