Just like chips
They say a cat is like a potato chip. Meow? Well, because you can never have just one! Someone said this to my human and I overheard. I thought it was rather cute to compare us to potato chips, but it holds true for the fellow who said this to my human, because he has just taken in his fifth cat. He found it abandoned, by the roadside, apparently starving and took it home. It is also said that us cats being clever little things, probably have a sixth sense that takes us to cat lovers who love to look after us, feed us and pamper us. The point is that once you have one adorable kitty, it is very easy to get tempted into having a second, a third and even a fourth or fifth. According to an estimate, the average number of cats in an American household is 2.1 and most people like to have a pair of cats. Again the potato chip simile comes to play in my feline mind — it is hard to have just one! Let me tell you a secret. We cats have learnt how to give humans the ‘perfect look’ that melts them. This is a mix of irresistible plus helpless plus please-feed-me-now-won’t-you look! In seconds you have humans running to the kitchen to produce saucers of milk and other delectable morsels. This is how the love story begins. Another report says that in the US, there are as many as 40 million free-roaming cats looked after by a large percentage of households. So how does a cat make the transition from being fed outside to becoming a regular or sometimes even an indoor pet? This cat who wanders up to a human, gives the ‘look’ and gets fed, starts frequenting the home that it has found for him or herself. A few more trips later, the cat claims ‘squatter rights’ or ‘refugee status’ and begins to guard that territory from other cats. In addition to that, it also starts to build stronger ties with the family or the person who produces food for it. Let’s call this person the ‘food bank’. Now, whenever the food bank steps out of the house, he or she is escorted from the front door to the car or as far as the cat wants to walk along. The human starts noticing and strokes the kitty that lets the human touch him or her, look at the human and makes friends even though it is not allowed inside the house. The regular food provision is good enough for the cat at this point. This takes my mind straight to the skinny little tabby mother-daughter duo outside our home. They hang around a lot here and probably have some devious plans to come into my home. Well, whether they will be able to do that or not requires some serious thinking on my part. But I have spotted some empty saucers lying around the garden just outside the front and the kitchen doors, which certainly weren’t put out for me. To share my food bank with other cats makes me feel a little uneasy, as I stretch out and dig my nails into the soft carpet. Time to think, ever heard of jealous cat? More later.