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Friday, September 6, 2013

Elsa: Gata's gato

*Nuzzle* *poke poke* *puurrrrrrrrr*

His 1st night in my house, my arms and in my bed. I was delighted and yet very vary of handling this fragile, precious clump of life purring like a generator machine. Firoza, the foster caregiver, assured me, “Priyankka this means he has taken to you and feels safe and loved.” I smiled.

Elsa is a 2-month old Tabby-Calico kitten. Born from a rescued stray mom, he was the only 1 of his litter who had taken her sea green eyes and stripes and spots. Thus, looking like a cross between a baby leopard with a gorgeous grey mixed coat and a soft love bundle. Nothing however takes away from his gorgeous button like eyes that keep staring at me and my belongings, the room, the furniture and whatever else the world has to offer his barely few weeks old senses. He had been shuttled from foster home to foster home and was last on the list to be set up for adoption ahead of his more troublesome and less likely adoptees. But, after what seemed like weeks of trouble to just get a cat, Elsa was a 5min decision into my life. Best 5mins of my life.

At this point he has been with me barely 3 weeks, yet he has seen it all. The excitement of the 1st week. Exploring the house, the people, the corners and the possibilities to create trouble. The 2nd week he was away from me. Well I was away, in the hospital, being operated upon my leg followed by an intensive recovery phase. The 3rd week I came home to a feeble and quiet Elsa who refused to come to me with the ease with which he snuggled up to me the 1st night. I accepted. After all dad had done the caring for both cats: Elsa and me. Elsa took time but brief. He soon warmed up to me. The 1st night back home for me ended with panic and his 1st emergency vet visit. Not the way I had planned it. But with enough added panic from Firoza and composed advice from Nishadh (who cares for Elsa’s mum), I was able to get through the evening limping and in intense pain. The heart was already wrenched and worn from extensive emotional bruising from the previous 2 weeks and couldn’t hold anymore for the ordeal with Elsa. The tiny tot that he was, jumped, sneezed, scratched and snuggled up all he could. I was glad to have someone love me back, unconditionally, after a long time. I guess I could say; he came to me at a time when I was broken and needed to feel fixed.

I have grown to accept that my cat is occasionally a yogi, a closet jedi and many characters that just keep springing with each passing day. He loves to treat my dad and me as pawns and pit us against each other; always guessing which team he is ‘batting for’. This especially comes handy during feeding time cuz he knows I am the time and scheduled feeder versus my poor father who gets fedup at the 3rd painfully long soprano meow and ends up feeding him. His sleep patterns… well most interestingly his positions vary from normal cat like to anarkali-like stance with dramatic human poses. He thinks he is super smart but his mommy is smarter. I know them button eyes and each expression; the most common being – “I’m the cutest thing to walk this earth and you can’t deny me fluffy, unconditional love.” His idea of exercise begins sharp at 6am and involves a live stream of NeedForSpeed. Chasing anything that he pretends is a terrorist mouse and that he is under National Security advisement to take down the target. One of those targets he has recently taken to is a beautiful plastic belle with a golden outfit and a purple feather veil. Poor gal. Whatever did she ever do. I tried to save her… but it was too late (FYI she was exposed by a very amused Abeer who thought she made an excellent candidate for target practice).

The more rarer antics involve getting locked into drawers and cupboards, finally scaling the kitchen counter only to find that the water filter leaked on him, scurrying through garbage and answering my phone. But at the end of the day or at midday when I see that look on his face, that extended paw and a slower than usual gait I know what he wants. To sleep. On my lap or my tummy or my chest. At 1st with his face near mine – like a James Dean movie being romantic and securing his spot thus making me immobile for the next 3hrs minimum. Once comfortable beyond royal treatment with a cat-spa like experience, he does not hesitate to kick me in the arm or face or extend out his paw and grab my hand to place on his belly. Thereafter, his idea of returning that love is to treat me like his eternal scratch post. I would like to say we have clear communication but clearly our dialects are different.

I can’t complain as I have been touted as lucky for landing 1 of the best pets ever. Not just as a cat but Elsa. He is truly a personality and has amazed even a seasoned vet with his docile behaviour and his trust in me. For a 1st time pet owner/adopter I feel compelled to be right and to do things right. Moments where you feel that vulnerable life and his full trust in your hands or crawling all over you, a wave of selflessness washes over. I had my maternal hormones kick in in my early 20s. I guess they are indeed on overdrive now. I think of him when I step out and when I see something that invokes a warm affectionate feeling towards my baby Elsa. He is not a pet but a part of my family. Fortunately (as I hoped and wished), he has taken very well to Abeer. Thus, completing the extension to my immediate family as well.

Now dear Elsa, I was named Gata but I am not nocturnal… at least not the way you are you crazy lil button. Good night! (soft kisses and paw).

For more pictures of Elsa visit Facebook at: and Instagram: GataCDO7