Monday, June 22, 2009

We find the final cat that we would meet in India in a rather fruity situation

There is a certain fruit shop near Soundarya's home in Bangalore where she likes to buy and she had recently discovered that a kitten had moved in. So she took us there.

Have you noticed how many orange and white cats there are in India? They seem to be a majority.

Tryskuit snuggles the kitten.

The shop owner said that the kitten had moved in about two weeks before and that he liked him. He wanted him to stay, and grow up as a store kitten.

"What is his name?" I asked.

"Cat," he answered.

Cat takes a great leap.

If he were a vegetarian, Cat would be Fat Cat. 

Soundarya snuggles little Cat. As you can imagine, she had been feeling quite down about the calico. Yet, as hard as life is, live moves on and so she smiles again.

And she hugs her little friend. The next day, we, the humans, would all say goodbye at the Bangalore airport. There would be many hugs and tears, too. Tryskuit and I would fly home.

So that is it. For now.

Tomorrow, I head back to Alaska's Arctic Slope.

The world is forever changing before me. And always, I look to meet new cats.

Friday, June 19, 2009

We stop by to see a talking parrot and find Persians for sale

In the evening of the day that we learned the horrible news about the little calico, Sandy took Tryskuit and I into downtown Bangalore to buy some gifts before we left for home. This would be our last night in India this trip.

She knew of a pet supply store where there was a talking parrot and she wanted to go see that parrot. "Are there any cats there?" I asked.

She did not think that there were, but, when we walked through the door, we saw a cage full of Persians. Their price - about $350 US each. That's a huge sum for the average person in Bangalore, although as the high-tech capital of India, the place has boomed and many people have become prosperous and a substantial number downright rich.

It is my hope that these cats soon find humans who will open not only their pocket books to them, but their hearts.

Tryskuit opened her heart and made a connection.

More Persians waiting for prosperous people to adopt them.

This orange boy is not for sale. His people have gone on vacation and the pet store is providing hotel services until they get back. He is not happy with the accommodations.

Sandy reaches through and gives him a pet.

Very shortly, we would go into another store and meet yet one more cat. I will introduce him in my next post, and then that will be all for this trip to India.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Momma Cat is left to cry for her calico baby

We arose before the sun the morning after the reunion and took off on a three day drive. It was marvelous trip, during which we experienced a small but significant part of the wonder that is India. 

On the second night, after we checked into a little hotel in the village of Badami, which sits in the midst of a region of ancient Hindu ruins, many of which are not ruined at all, I heard the cry of a kitten.

I stepped into a nicely kept lawn surrounded by the "u" shaped hotel on three sides and a swimming pool on the fourth. A man sat, eating, at a table.

"Did you hear a kitten?" I asked him.

"Oh yes," he said. "It will show up soon." And it did. But it was wild and frightened, and neither Tryskuit or I could draw near to it. I failed to get a picture.

At the end of the third day, we turned back toward Bangalore on a drive that would last all through the night.

As we rolled down the busy Indian Highway, lightning blasting around us, my mind frequently turned to the Momma and her babies. I wondered how they were doing. I worried, but then I worry about many things. I consoled myself that they would be fine.

When we arrived back at the house at about 5:00 AM, I listened, but could hear no cats. Trusting that this meant that they were asleep, I went to sleep myself for a few hours - as did everybody else.

About 9:00 AM, I was woken by the forlorn and lonely "meow" of Momma cat. I listened, but did not hear the answer of a kitten in return. 

Tryskuit and I then searched and searched, but we could find no sign of the kittens. We asked those who had stayed behind, and they said they had seen both kittens the day before, but not today.

Then, as I downloaded the trip pictures from my camera into the laptop, the woman next door, the one who had been feeding Momma cat, opened her door. There, standing beside her, next to her very own bowl of milk, was the orange kitten.

The woman had not seen the calico, but had heard a bit of commotion, found the orange kitten on the ground and had brought it into her house for its safety. I understood that she would now adopt it, even as she continued to feed the mother.

We continued to search. We put out our inquiry as to the whereabouts of the calico as far as we could - then we learned the horrid news. It had been eaten by a street dog.

Look at the Momma! How she did cry. No tears - but she cried. Her pain was bitter. I petted her and petted her, as did Tryskuit in turn. She seemed to take some solace in those pets, but they did not wipe away her pain.

I felt as though I had been kicked in the chest. Tears came to my own eyes. I did not let them linger, for to do so would do no one any good.

And as she cried, a male black came wandering by, a tom, then quickly disappeared.

Little One: I saw your great desire to live - I saw it in your eager posture, the glow in your eye, the plea in your meow. I saw you frightened, and alone, when your mother and your orange sibling got stuck in the little building and, with Tryskuit at my side and Buddy amused but eager to help, we did not stop our efforts for you until you were reunited with your family.

Then I saw your relief, your joy, and how quickly you put the fright behind you as you romped with your sibling, and suckled your mother.

I did all that I could for you, Little Kitten, but it was not enough.

How I wanted to pull you in and give you shelter of the safest kind, but I was not in a position to do so. How I wanted to pick you up, hold you, stroke you, comfort you, but I did not want to frighten you so I never did.

Some who will visit this page will say that you are at the Rainbow Bridge. For those who find comfort in the thought of such a bridge, where the spirits of deceased pets play and romp until that day when they can be reunited with their humans, fine, that is all very good and I encourage you to take your comfort there, for comfort should be taken where it can be found.

Thoughts of such a bridge do not comfort me, for those thoughts slam into hard reality.

Those who I was with at the time of your death believe that you will come back again, in another body, another form, perhaps human, again and again until at last you are perfected into ultimate happiness and glory.

To me, you were perfect already.

As stated in my previous post, I have but one source of solace. That is the happiness that I saw when you and your family were all reunited, when you suckled at your mother's teat. For that moment, which I helped to create for you, as did Tryskuit and Buddy, all was well. For that moment, the world was a warm and beautiful place.

In this matter, that knowledge is my sole solace.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A mishap separates the family; Tryskuit and I launch a rescue effort to reunite them

Later, that very same day, I was working on my laptop when Tryskuit burst into the room where I had set up shop. "Dad!" she exclaimed. "There is a big drama happening with the cats!"

Apparently, the small orange one had worked its way off the roof and had then fallen through a high window in a tiny little building connected at the back to the home of our hosts. Momma Cat had then leaped through that window, knocking out a pane of glass as she did.

Now, she and the orange kitten were stuck inside. The little calico was stranded, all alone, on the eave where they had made their new home - as you can see above. I followed Tryskuit out to the second floor overlook. We could hear the Momma and the calico meowing to each other.

It was a sad and forlorn sound.

We could hear nothing at all from the little orange kitten.

The calico retreated to a position beneath the tin roof. Her tail and one leg protruded beyond.

The calico peeks back out at me. At first, I thought it would be an easy matter to reunite the little family. As the little room where the Momma and the orange had gotten themselve stuck in was connected to the home of our hosts, Murthy and Vasanthi, I figured that it was theirs' and that they would have a key to it.

It was not theirs' and they did not have the key. It belonged to a woman who lived on the second floor of the house directly behind hers and she had the key. They figured that in time, she would appear, hear the meows and let the kittens out.

I had no idea how long such a thing might take or what might happen in the meantime. As I pondered this situation, a raven landed on the wall over the calico kitten, took a good look at it and then flew away.

If that raven - or others - were to become convinced that this calico was alone and helpless...

And then we learned that the lady had rented the little room out to a man who slept there, but who was gone for four or five more days to come.

We could not wait. Something had to be done now. I felt rather odd about it, but I climbed over the wall you see here, then crossed the flat roof on the other side to the door of the second story residence.

I could hear voices inside, speaking in their native tongue. I knocked on the door. The voices went silent. No one answered. I waited. Then knocked again. More silence.

So Tryskuit and I went and got Buddy, Vasanthi and Murthy's nephew, on vacation from school. Buddy was a little amused that we were so worried, but he was also willing to help. He went and knocked on the same door that I had and then waited for about half a minute. Someone came to the door.

It was the lady and two children. They came over to peek down at the calico, but it had hidden beneath the corrugated roofing.

Buddy then acted very quickly - quicker than I wanted, because I wanted to photograph the process. He got the key from the lady and headed down, so quickly that, by the time I could secure my camera, cross over myself, find the stairs and prepare to go down, he had already opened the door. The Momma cat had stepped into the entrance.

The Momma cat steps outside the door.

She does not want to leave her orange kitten behind, however, so she steps back in and hunkers down.

The orange kitten rests on a gunny sack inside the home. As I take this picture, Buddy scoops up the Momma cat and heads back up the stairs. I then reach down, take hold of the frightened little orange, lift it to my chest and follow.

Fortunately, Tryskuit was in position on the deck at the Murthy, with her own camera. She documented the action as Buddy came carrying the mother kitten back for a reunion with the calico...

And then Tryskuit photographed me, as I came carrying the little orange kitten. Tryskuit and I were a true team this day.

After returning the mother to the eave, Buddy took the orange from me and prepared to reunite the whole family.

Buddy climbs down with the orange as the Momma cat watches.

As Buddy puts the orange cat down, the Momma retreats beneath the tin roof and the calico steps out.

The orange kitten takes off to join its mother and sister.

Soon, they all reappear. We can feel the joy and relief the family feels at being reunited once again.

Momma cat opens up to her kittens, so that they might have nourishment.

The neighbor lady, who did her part to help, admires the little family.

Tryskuit and I could see and feel the relief and joy the mother felt to be reunited with her baby calico, and to have her orange freed from the little building, to be together with both of them. 

Yet, I also thought about all the dangers of this world, and what a harsh place it can be - totally indifferent to the happiness, health, safety and well-being of a tiny cat family. To the natural world such an individual family and all the members of it are of no consequence - should they go to feed a raven or a street dog, that is just fine with the natural world.

So I thought of these things and I felt most uneasy. In a very short time, Tyskuit, Vasanthi and Murthy and Buddy would leave on another tour and we would be gone for three days. There would be other people at the house and they all knew about the cats; furthermore, the lady next door to the side had taken a strong interest and was feeding the mother. We could only hope for the best in a dangerous world.

And I felt something else as I watched the mother suckle her babies, as I saw the look of contentment, relief and happiness radiate from her countenace - solace. I felt a sense of solace that, whatever the future might hold for them, at this moment, they were together. They were safe. They were content. The kittens bellies were being filled.

They were experiencing this only because Tryskuit and I had taken action, and then the others had joined to help us. So, whatever sorrows the future might hold, this would be my solace - that we had given them this moment, this beautiful, beautiful, moment.

This story will continue.

Slash and Bronzy honor the Kracker Cats with The International Award

My cats have received an award, and there it is, up above. It is called the International Bloggers Community award and it is among the highest honors we could ever have received - right up there with the Nobel and Pulitzer prize. So we thank you, Slash and Bronzy. It was sent June 9 but I have not had the time to formally accept it by making this post until now.

And let it be known that Bronzy is undergoing a health crisis right now - but is expected to recover. So, everybody pull for Bronzy!

The hard part about receiving such an award is that I must now pass it on to seven other bloggers. That means I must leave out the many bloggers whose work and cats I enjoy and admire and I hate to do that.

Anyway, I will pick five almost at random out of my cat bloggers list and let me say that everybody on that list is worthy of this great award. So, here are the seven mnnnnnnnnnn: (I was going to correct the "mnnnnnnn" but it was typed in by my black cat, Jimmy, so I realized that it was correct to begin with. Jimmy is never wrong.).

Standtall - The Activist - Africa is known for its great cats - lions, cheetahs and the like - but in all of Africa there are no greater cats than those that prowl the roof and sleep in the bed of my good friend, Standtall.
The newly-wed Michico - pet of the very serious Adan and impossibly mischievous Lego.
Zippy, Sadie and Speedy - Who are Kattonic, but definitely not catatonic. Sorry about your woofie buddy, Alfred
The felines at ourcatablog - would that all the cats in the world could receive the love and care these fortunate ones do.
The busy mom at kazokuneko  who busies herself with the rescue of kittens
Sharyn - Things seems to have gone a little batty at the Kitty City Gazette lately.
Sweet Praline - just like candy, but if you lick her you will get fur on your tongue.
Us Four Gatos - these four go about meowing in Spanish.

Links for all these sites will soon appear to the right.

And here are the rules:

Link to the person who passed you this prize (that would be me).
Display the badge, the rules and the questionnaire in all or one of your blogs
Publish the date when the award had passed to you.
Answer four questions following this rule.
List at least seven (7) friends in its list of blogs.
Come back to BLoGGiSTa iNFo CoRNeR and leave the URL of your Post in order for you/your Blog to be added to the Master List.
Have fun!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The happy day for this little feline family - Tryskuit and I get to witness it

As you can see, the three were very happy. They played and played. They had a very good time.

Kittens need to eat - and that means that a mom must eat. So she goes off in search of a meal.

And she finds it - right next door where a kindly lady has been putting out food for her. She dines, and soon her food will be kitten food.

She returns to the kittens.

They continue to play.

How they play!

I can't tell you why, but I find myself feeling very fond of these two - and their mother.

She nestles in the corner. They come to her. Maybe they will dine now.

Nope - they play on.

Next: big drama unfolds for the little cat family.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tryskuit and I suffer a big scare, then find the family has moved inches upward

We spent three days on the drive that took us past the roadside stop where we met the pregnant momma cat of the previous post and got the quick glimpse of the black kitten. We arrived back at the home of our Bangalore hosts about 4:00 AM.

After we got a few hours sleep, I arose, ate one of Vasanthi's exquisite breakfasts, then went out the back door, climbed up and took a peek into the alcove to see how the momma and her two kittens were doing.

They were gone! No sign of them.

Both Truskuit and I were very worried. 

We searched, and we asked. We learned that they had been seen through a high kitchen window - the very window that you see here.

But even there, we could not see them.

Then, as I was sitting working on my laptop, I suddenly heard a call from Tryskuit. "Dad!" she said. "I found the kittens!"

I followed her to an overlook at the back of the house. The picture above is exactly what I saw.

I was so relieved.

The mother cat soon showed up.

Mom and her two kittens.

The calico snuggles up to the mom.

The orange sees something beneath the ventilator. What could it be?

We will never know, but, presumably, the orange found out.

The orange goes for the mom's tail.

The calico goes for the orange's tail.

The calico and the orange snuggle.

The scene, looking beyond. As you can see, the homes are all very close together.

The orange looks for a meal while the calico plays with Mom's tail.

Tryskuit and I, observing the beautiful little calico. As you can see, their new home is just below the small segment of tin roof. This is only inches above the alcove where they had been living.

This story will continue.