Rescuing and adopting one cat will not change the world, but it will definitely change the world for that one cat, and we think it's one of the most beautiful things to do. There are cat lovers who do everything possible to ensure that the feline is safe and sound. These people are working for cat adoption and rescue for years, and they deserve all our respect and applause.
It is very usual to see cats and kittens around us all the time. You will find them in all nooks and corners, running from here and there. You will see them hunting for food, playing with each other, or saying hello to the passerby. But, at times, you will also find them dead on the streets, because someone carelessly drove their vehicle, or you will see them scared, because they are way too young, or shivering because they dropped themselves in a puddle of water by mistake. It's true when we say that animals on roads are not safe, and cats are one of them. Local Samosa got in touch with some people, working for cat adoption and rescue for years.
What inspired them:
Bhargavi Acharya was 19 when she found a couple of 4-week old kittens abandoned in front of her society. She took them inside and felt that there is a need to take care of other such felines. Her journey started right after this incident.
"Kittens need their mother or professional foster care for at least 2 months after they are born. These 4 kittens were my first rescue, and that's when I actively starting contributing to grassroots animal welfare NGOs. The heartless way our human society at large treats animals is not something I can stomach. I try my best to do whatever I can to save these innocent furballs to have the life they deserve. ", says Bhargavi, who is in touch with seven animal NGOs and has a cat family at her home.
For Sejal Sawant, it happened during the lockdown. She found many cases of abandoned pets, and that inspired her to work for adoption. "All these abandoned animals were breeds. So, for them surviving on the streets was difficult. They needed homes and that's when I decided to work for adoption.", says Sejal, who is associated with a Navi Mumbai NGO named CAP (Citizens for animal protection foundation) Foundation. Another volunteer at CAP foundation, Purva Desai, started working by giving homes to felines, dogs, and those who couldn't survive on the roads. "Seeing them at home with their parents keeps me inspired and working all the time.", says Purva. Purva is a photographer by profession and has been working for adoption for the last four years.
For Anjum Khan, who has been working as an animal rescuer for the last 20 years in Mira Road, it began when she saw an injured dog on the street. "He was bleeding horribly, and after a lot of struggle and work, I took him to a doctor in Bhayander. I was with him and fed him until he was okay. During that time, I realized there are other animals too. So, I started feeding them as well, and since then, I have not looked back.", says Anjum. She keeps a record of all the animals she has rescued & helped and has four thick long books filled with the data.
While for Sandeep, who is the co-founder of PUPS Pet Store, has been helping cats and other animals for the past five years. " We started PUPS to be able to do the shelter work on our own. This isn't just a store, and we do have a shelter house in Lucknow. We always had pets at home including mice and parrots. My mom is an animal lover and a rescuer, and that's how we grew up. I think that's why I love helping felines and other animals too.", he says.
To those who are planning to adopt a cat!
Adopting a cat or any animal requires one major thing, and it is to have a genuine intention. They are not toys, and they need proper care, just like human beings. "Please keep in mind that you're adopting a life. A life that will stay with you for well around 20 years! They are not for trial and error. Adopt them and treat them how you'd treat your own child, they are nothing less than that.", says Bhargavi.
Other than this, there's one more thing that needs to be taken care of. Understanding cat behavior is important and will help you treat your feline in a better way. "Do thorough research on how to raise a cat, ask as many questions as you wish to the rescuer about the behavior. Be sure along with your entire family on board with adoption, since it is a new family member you getting home.", advises Purva Desai.
Vaccination and getting them neutered is another important aspect. One should get their cat vaccinated and neutered, as it's extremely important for their health. " Make sure if you're getting a cat home, your windows are netted so that they don't intend to run away. The last and most important thing would be to adopt a cat who is in an actual need of a home, and someone who cannot survive on the street by themselves at all.", says Sejal.
There are many NGOs who will help you adopt the cat in the simplest way possible. "I help people adapt cats for free and without any hassle, but then there are some people who are picky about it. I have come across many people, who are so choosy that the demand for a particular breed and even a particular colour. Well, I say all cats are equal, and please go for Indian cats too because life is a life.", says Anjum Khan. She also requests that when the cat reaches its heating phase, either help them with the mating or operate them as early as possible, otherwise they will be in pain.
While Sandeep says that there are a lot of things you must know. "All cats are different, and you have to take care of their basic necessities. Please get in touch with the right people, and if you can, call us anytime."
Bursting the myths about felines:
There are endless myths about cats. Some call these adorable feline aggressive, while some literally change their ways because of their colour. It's sad, and disheartening to see people talk rubbish and being insensitive about cats. "Black cats are cool. It breaks my heart that people affiliate babies like my cat Void to ill omen. Also, cats are not insensitive and snobbish. They're just like us. They enjoy their space and our company in their own way.", adds Bhargavi. While Sejal says that cats are considered to be selfish and not caring but it's completely untrue. "Cats are extremely loving and social. They equally want love and attention from humans.", she says.
According to Purva, there is a notion around people believing that male cats are aggressive, while they are not. "
When they are not neutered, they do have territorial issues, but once they get neutered, they become fine. People also avoid adopting female cats, because of their heat period, where they usually shout a lot. Again, neutering can solve this issue too.", says Purva.
While Sandeep believes that there will always be a genuine reason if they are behaving aggressively. "There are many things one should know. You have to be knowledgeable about it. Cats are the coolest animal on earth. Even though they have complex minds, they are so easy to understand. You just have to love them.", he says.
These people are working for cat adoption and rescue for years, and they are doing it for nothing but the love they have for felines. On this World Cat Day, let's give them a hand and take a step forward towards this cause. Local Samosa appreciates these people who are working for cat adoption and rescue, and if you also know a cat warrior, let us know in the comment box below.