Snowy – The Joy of Our Life
There are few things in life more heart-warming than to be welcomed by a cat. This is the story of Snowy and how he taught us love, compassion, and responsible pet-parenting.
I shifted my base from Delhi to Ahmedabad. Little did I realize that I would be missing the most crucial part of my life in Delhi – ‘nature’. I lived on the ground floor in Delhi and the dogs, cats, squirrels, and birds were regular visitors and I used to feed them. Whereas in Ahmedabad on the upper floors there was no contact with my animal friends.
I had heard about Jivdaya, an animal shelter in Ahmedabad, a charitable trust which housed and treated a lot of stray animals. So, I paid a visit on my way back home from college one day. Needless to say, I loved the place with so many different animals. I saw a board that said ‘adoption’. That’s it! I started frequenting here. The pandemic had set in by then.
Love at first sight!
One day in the cat enclosure amidst all the pandemonium and commotion I saw two composed eyes, unperturbed by the entire fracas going on around. My heart was stuck on this huge white blue-eyed cat straight out of a fairy tale, a ‘Zen’ cat, deep in meditation with a tranquil gaze.
Then an attendant came, picked him up on his shoulder and walked off. The cat did not resist or utter a meow. The next few days I kept thinking about this composed saint and I decided whatever happens I would like to bring him home with me. I didn’t know anything about cats as pets but I convinced my wife.
Someone had abandoned him there for a skin problem which was cured already.
We were happy to give him a home and finally the day came. We learnt a great deal in the coming months about cat behaviour and how they respond to new environments and people. We found out he was a Siberian cat and we named him Snowy – the football. He was my companion during my classes every day. His place was next to my laptop and sometimes on it. Attendance and punctuality 100 percent. All my students knew Snowy. He used to be on my seat even before my classes started.
In the parks he was a celebrity, a crowd puller and people always requested photographs with him.
Every day is a new experience
There were a lot of first times both for him and us. On the first day he went around the house exploring every nook and corner. And finally found his peace spot. Well, the ‘spots’ kept adding every day. On the first night we locked him up in the balcony which was fortunately covered and safe. Next morning, we woke up to warm meowing at 5 am.
Cats are nocturnal so he hardly slept at night and wanted an early breakfast. It changed our work habits as well.
Two months after we shifted back to Delhi, I went on a very memorable solo trip with him to the Himalayas. He had no qualms about travelling in a vehicle. Only I made sure he didn’t slip on the seat, so I installed matts. He loved nature and being around trees and grassy lawns. I used to have him on a cat-harness usually, but it was never actually required. He wasn’t afraid of dogs or bigger animals around.
Strangely enough he didn’t mind change of place much, so we never had trouble travelling, only we had to look for pet-friendly hotels.
An irreplaceable loss
In the February of 2022 he fell sick. He stopped eating and his fever would recur. The test revealed that he has dangerously low haemoglobin levels and platelet count. I spared no effort in taking him to the vet every day. We still don’t know whether it was an infection or a genetic disorder. Alas, our feline friend passed away a week later.
Losing him was extremely crushing and painful. It meant the loss of unconditional love and friendship. The grief lasts to this day. From that time when I saw him in that cage, till his last day in Delhi, I just accept that he was happy those last 10 months with us and I feel fortunate I could serve him. He was in some way my angel. He was meant to go and I believe and pray he went to a much better place!!!