Saturday, November 13, 2010

Of human-animal bondage!

Wherever we are posted, stray animals find their way home, so much so - that "dogs and cats are fond of him" better describes my life partner rather than "yes, he's fond of all non-humans."
In an earlier location, a cat adopted the house, and we were simply co-habitants that she happily put up with. (Please read Kittens in my cupboard and More kittens in more cupboards when you find the time).
Here in Delhi, Blacky strayed into our porch, and has stayed there since. And one day brought Browny along. I am not fond of pets as such, (though James Herriot and Gerald Durrell are a couple of my favourite writers) - but I can see who, and what makes husband and son happy!
Other campus residents complained, and we have had to call the MCD's (Municipal Corporation of Delhi) 'Aawaaraa kuthaa' squad. But well, that's a Government Department after all, so B&B are spared yet.
I feel guilty to term them as strays - they are lovable companions, now made cozy for winter in the garage (you see Blacky was ready to litter in more ways that one, probably courtesy Browny) and getting branded nutrition supplementary to homely vegetarian meals (Rice/bread well mixed with milk, fresh curd, ghee, cheese / combinations thereof, tasted, then passed for canine consumption. Perhaps most pet-owners do this, it's possible that I have witnessed only these stray-pet-caretakers!).
It's been about 4+ months now. Browny seems smarter than sedate Blacky. When he reaches the bottom of his bowl, he makes it stay using a paw, then licks the bowl clean. Blacky moves along with her bowl, unless one of us is around to hold it in place for her. Something else we thought unusual - Browny has 2 dew claws in his hind legs.
Blacky has since delivered - she found a very safe place, rather ingenious we thought (she dug a comfortable hole under a huge discarded cable spool, about 50 feet from our lawn).
We could guess, because she didn't turn up that day, or the next.
What was new to me was Browny's self-styled sentry post. (we are still not sure that he's sired the litter). He stands, sits or sleeps guard very near the nursery - constantly.
We placed Blacky's feed very near her den for a couple of days. Since Thursday, she has been knocking (read clamouring like a pack of hungry kids) for her meal, taking precisely 90 seconds to leave the den, gobble up, and rush back before she's missed.
God's creatures, all of us....
The proud mother

Camera Critters