Monday, April 13, 2009

Of Dogs, cats and other animals

Last evening I forgot it was Easter. I was kicking myself as I returned from the gym. Recession has made me stingy and now I count every mile that I travel.

As I came and parked my car, still surly, the neighbor’s pug saw me and before his owner could react he jumped out of her lap and came rushing to me. He reminds me of the Hutch advertisement. In his excitement he scratched me on my hands and kissed me all over. His owner apologized for the scratches. She didn’t have time to take him for clipping his nails she murmured.

I had to thank him and his owner for bringing the smile back on my face.

My community is a dog lover’s paradise. We have a terrier, a bull dog, a chihahua ( hope I got the name correct), a boxer and a german shepherd. These are my immediate neighbors. All in all perhaps there may be over 100 dogs in the whole community. Ours is a very large community. It is a joy to see them take their walk in the evening with their proud owners.

I once had a very funny experience. Coming from Amsterdam, the lady behind me was non stop praising the baby in her basket. She was like oh look at his eyes. Look how cute he is sleeping. Have you seen such a baby before. He cannot stay without an a/c blah blah. I thought she had kidnapped Angelina Jolie’s kid. Nosey that I am,I pretended going to the loo and stole a glance in the basket’s direction. There lay a week old Lhasa Apso , sure enough the cutest puppy I had ever seen. Luckily her co- passenger hated dogs. So we exchanged seats.
The lady and I are now very good friends. Thanks to the cute puppy.

The British on the other hand love cats. If you are walking down an alley, it isn’t uncommon for a cat to come and nuzzle.

Two Indian students were doing masters and lived next door. One of them used to work in McDonalds. He used to go by bus. But since he was late, he requested the other one, who had a car , to drop him. As he was about to start a cat crossed him. Now this boy believed that it was a bad omen and refused to budge till another car passed. And it was a very chilly morning. So the street was absolutely empty. It was hilarious the way they argued even the next day.

Once I learnt the hard way how smart the village kids are. We were going by car from Gwalior and had a flat tyre on the way. Luckily it was near a village. The kind hearted sarpanch invited us in for tea while the tyre was being repaired. I was taking pictures when his young grandson asked me if I would like to take the picture of Ganga, their cow. He lead me to the shed and as I went in told me that he was closing the door so she wont rush out. As I was adjusting the focus the brat warned, “ Bachna Uncle, Ganga ko seeng marne ki adat hai.” ( careful uncle, the cow charges with its horns.)

Imagine my plight as I saw the cow attack. Thank God his grandpa was agile enough to rescue me.

Tanmay is famous for making outrageous demands. He is my friend’s six year old and I his favorite victim. One day he suddenly demanded that he wanted fish as his pet and that too NOW!!!!!. I had a hard time searching for the fishes and an aquarium. Finally we settled for a small bowl with three very lovely fishes. We promptly christened them as Goldy, Blackey and Chandni. No rocket science why!!!!!

I loved to see the smile on his face. it just wouldn’t stop. Every day his mom had a hard time waking him up. But now he promptly woke up to feed them. On return from school, he would eat right in front of them telling them whatever happened at school.

On his birthday , tragedy struck!!!!

He invited all his friends for a party. The kids took to the fishes at once. A shy kid stole a piece of cake and some morsels of samosa and fed them when no one was watching. And at night all the three were as dead as only dead fishes can.

Luckily he was tired and slept early and the next day was Sunday so he was allowed to get up late. We went to the market and replaced the fishes. But the kid is smart. Not for nothing were they his pets. He knew each and every contour of the fishes. He was totally silent when he saw them. We were toughening ourselves for trouble.

And then he beamed.
He asked if the fishes looked weak because they skipped vegetables.
Eureka. We found our escape. And my friend gave him a big lecture on what happens when you don’t eat spinach.

Now the kid has a new hero. Popeye. His parents have a hard time keeping him off eating spinach. after each meal he goes and checks his muscles in the mirror. And demands spinach all the time!!!!!!!!

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