Heart-Warming Stories Of 10 Indians Who Adopted Or Rescued Their Pets - Homegrown

Heart-Warming Stories Of 10 Indians Who Adopted Or Rescued Their Pets

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”

-Anatole France

If you’re even remotely familiar with our content—and our efforts to be somewhat objective in our views—you probably also know that animals make us lose any semblance of balance in our approach. We belong to that not-so-exclusive group of ‘pets > people’. And of late, it seems like we need to band together to protect these creatures a little more. India’s been having a bit of of a split-personality crisis as far as the issue of animal rights goes. On one hand, we recently became the first country to become a cruelty-free cosmetics zone in South Asia, but on the other, the Kerala government is brutally slaughtering thousands of stray dogs in direct opposition to the Supreme Court’s ruling. There’s the numbers game too: according to recent surveys, our country is home to over 250 lakh street dogs and cats. While it is has been proven that the most humane and effective solution to this problem is neutering and vaccinating them, we’ve come to realise that there is another, mutually-beneficial option available to us all—adoption. In fact, according to People for Animals India, if one out of 50 persons were to give a stray dog a home, there would be no strays left in the country.
Despite the seemingly unrealistic statistics, we’re thrilled that animal welfare NGOs like World For All have created a system and space through which stray animals in need of rescue can be adopted. There are many reasons why adopting a pet is a better idea than buying one: you’re giving an animal a second chance at life and some much-needed love and care; by adopting, you’re making room for another pet to be taken in by organisations like WFA and you’re not patronising the (often) terrible breeding industry.

In case you’re undecided, or even just looking for a little happiness in your afternoon scroll, we rounded up 10 incredible individuals and got them to share their own pet adoption stories in the hopes that it might encourage you to do the same. As we spoke to the proud foster and adoptive parents about their experiences, there was one point they all agreed on—their abandoned stray is family. Scroll down to find more about these lucky pets and their families, and you can check out volume I and volume II of the series.

I. Ananya Sahni + Noel, the dog

Ananya is 23 years old and a student of M.Sc Human Development and Childhood Studies in Delhi University. Besides a love for reading and writing, she has been an animal lover since childhood. She’s currently trying to pursue a career in animal-assisted therapy and just finished a dissertation on the topic.

She’s been wanting a dog for the longest time, so when she saw this little thing, her heart just melted - it was love at first sight.

“Adopting a pet has made me a much happier person and now I know what it feels like to experience unconditional love”

The adoption story: “On December 21, 2016, my boyfriend Vaibhav and I were walking home after lunch. It was a warm winter afternoon and we decided to take the scenic route home through a park. We came across a lot of dogs on the way. I, being a complete animal lover, have a habit of stopping to pet every dog I meet, and that day was no different. We were walking home petting every dog in sight. I was complaining to my boyfriend about the fact that there were so many street dogs around but hardly any puppies.

Then, almost immediately we caught sight of a very tiny puppy run outside from the park into the open gate of a temple complex. I squealed with excitement and we followed him. As we approached the puppy, we saw that he was very scared to come near us. When I tried to hold him he yelped and I let go. He ran to a water tap inside the temple and lapped up the dirty water that had collected under it. Since we had a water bottle on us we decided to give him clean water to drink. I picked him up again and tried to make him drink. He was shivering from fear. The men in the temple complex saw the little puppy running about and us indulging it and told us to go out. We picked up the puppy and took him out. At that moment, seeing the malnourished and fear stricken state of the puppy I decided to take him home on a whim. Vaibhav, was supportive of my decision all along. We picked him up and after struggling for a bit he settled in Vaibhav’s arms and fell asleep. That’s when I knew that I had to keep the little guy.

When we reached home my father freaked out about the fact that I had brought a dog home. I told him that the puppy was very weak and would not have survived for many days in the cold. My mother was at work that time and dad called and told her that I had brought a dog home. She called me immediately after that and told me to stop kidding. I sent her a picture of the puppy and told her I wasn’t. She was mad.

Later that day Vaibhav and I took the puppy to a nearby vet to determine his age, sex and treatment plan. The vet did a preliminary exam and told us that the puppy was very weak and had thin chances of survival. He gave some medicines and told us to watch him for 48 hours. He said if he survived in that time, he’d have greater chances at survival. I did everything I could in those two days to help him cope. Wrapped him up in a towel, put a hot water bottle near him, cuddled with him most of the day. He began to eat and drink by end of the first day and when he willingly crawled into my lap, my heart welled.

It was a true Christmas miracle and hence, we decided to name him Noel; french for Christmas. He was 2 months old when he came into my life, and now, he’s a 6 month old healthy and happy puppy. It was a struggle to make my parents agree to keep him, but they warmed up to him over time. He is family now and we love him.”

Three words that best describe her relationship with her dog: Full of love, fun and my baby.

II. Anita Ajnikar + Zombie, Lulu and April, the dogs

A lover of cooking and writer by profession, Anita has been weaving experiences and stories through the digital medium for nearly a decade now. Moreover, she’s co-founder of Paws of India, an initiative she has undertaken along with her husband and co-founder, Sushant Ajnikar. Paws of India aims to spread awareness about caring for street dogs, one bike ride at a time. Their key message to people is to be empathetic in the least to street dogs, by spending five minutes of your time and 5 rupees on a pack of biscuits - that’s all it takes. Feeding a dog, although smaller in action, is definitely easy to do, and anyone can do it.

In that way, adopting was obvious for her. She initially thought they were doing an amazing thing by rescuing a dog, but then later realized that the dogs had actually been rescuing them.

“Adopting a dog has been, by far, the most fulfilling and the enriching experience of my life, and I hope to continue to feel so.”

The adoption story: Zombie, our first dog, was a malnourished little fellow, who we found prancing around our older home. He was just a little puppy, very thin and wants food and love. I doubt he would have survived if he had stayed on the street. He is my first dog and I like to think that I adopted him, but I think he really adopted me. We used to pet the regulars in the area and at that time we didn’t recognise this new face. He came scampering at us when we stopped to look at him. He submitted to us and allowed us to pet him silly.

We fed him for the next couple of days, and thought that maybe we can keep around and nurse him to health. We chained him to the gate, because we weren’t sure that the landlord would allow us to adopt him. Zombie would cry every night, and eventually we succumbed, convinced our landlord and brought him home.

Lulu, our second dog, followed a year and a half later. We had found her bouncing about near our office, mindless of vehicles, hyperactive and playful. As I played with her, I realized she’d be a perfect playmate for Zombie. We also realized that such a spirited dog would not survive on the streets and is most likely to come under a car in her playfulness. We brought her home that day and the two have been inseparable ever since. April, our third dog, came in a year later and is a very special case. She was grievously injured in a bike accident that had fractured her skull and put her into a coma for 7 days. Ahe was barely 3-4 months old, and was left to die on a pavement. She had a broken jaw, a fractured skull and was completely blinded in one eye, with barely any vision left in the other. Miracle angels Jen Lopaz, Preeti Chellam, Vybhav Chandrasheker, Sahithi Sagar Reddy, Aadya Avinash and Prarthana Prathap attended to her, healed her back to health and spoiled her silly with compassion and love. She survived but her vision remains impaired. Her fosters were furiously looking for a home that was willing to adopt her.

Her pictures of adoption appeals were being floated around on the interwebs for a good 3-4 months, and every time I came across them, I would sink. Eventually, we took the plunge. We realized that we were taking on an enormous amount of strain upon ourselves, as at that point in time, we stayed in the outskirts of the city, had no support system and travelling to any place was pretty hectic. There was also the problem of socialising a blind dog with two territorial dogs, not to mention the biggest problem of them all - having a blind dog adjust to you, and you to her. We somehow pulled through it though, and countless pitfalls and hurdles later, April is happy and settled!

All our doggos are our lucky charms and we cannot imagine a life without them, Our world revolves around them and we wouldn’t have it any other way! The dogs have brought my husband and I closer to each other - they’ve brought out the best in us, and in our relationship. They’ve tested our stamina to sustain hardships and in the bargain, have made us realise what we are capable of. They’ve give us a new lease of life, and every day is a new day of discovery with them. They’ve made us more compassionate toward each other. The dogs have led to the fruition of Paws of India, which has brought some much needed recognition to the need to care for Indian dogs, and of course has also put us in the limelight.”

Three words that best describe her relationship with dogs: Love, family, acceptance.

III. Anuja Gopidas + Cleo, the cat

Anuja is a 25-year-old architect and designer in Bangalore.

“The only thing you can learn every time you look into the eyes of the animal who looks to you for a little love and care is that nothing is ever enough. There is still so much to do. There are many strays out there and if each one of us decide to adopt and not shop, and give these loving beings a good home, the world will definitely be a little better.”

The adoption story: “I have a very handsome cat who goes by the name of Cleopatra. We thought he was a she and so did the doctor. Hence, the name. The cat at my parents house in Delhi was a British Bombay Cat as well and I had already named her Toothless! Since Cleo came later to me, at my place back in Bangalore, we went ahead with Cleopatra. So it was a surprise when one day I saw his balls pop out of nowhere (apologies for the language but I don’t know how else to express my surprise at such an event) but we retained the name. It is a weirdly cool name. So Cleo is how it is! Dad calls him ‘Kili’ which is the Malayalam word for ‘bird’. K dad.

The story goes such: My work colleague had a farewell party for one of her friends who was leaving town. One friend of hers had gone to buy flowers from a nearby florist. He saw a kitten in the shop and when he asked the florist about the kitten, he responded by saying that she turned up 2 days ago. The friend asked if he could take the kitten with him, and the florist agreed. And then my kitten-to-he rides behind a bike, in a slightly open backpack to a farewell party. I get a call from my work colleague at night. Do you want a cute kitten? I say hell yes.

Then Cleo came home! I go pick Cleo up the next day. Almost like a road trip! 2 hours of travel in Bangalore to the other end of the city, but totally worth it.

I have attached a photo of him, where he is stuck on my clothes stand, at about 6-7 months old. He climbs things and then can’t come down. He doesn’t know how to cat. He has a slight bulging bald spot on his forehead near his eye and is extremely afraid of everything, and thoroughly enjoys pouncing on my head randomly for fun. Doctor said he is fine and healthy. So he came home in November 2016 - a tiny furball at 5-6 months old.”

Three words that best describe her relationship with her cat: Hilariously crazy, sprinkled with cuddles and bites.

IV. Anya Gupta + Twitch and Trix, the cats

21-year-old Anya recently graduated from Sophia College of Women, Mumbai, studying Mass Media and majored in Advertising. She is now working as a Web Designer in Chandigarh, and spends her free time playing piano, travelling and freelancing as a model. Since she was young, she has always been surrounded by dogs, but had never interacted with cats, and really wanted a pair of her own.

“Adopting a pet has been satisfyingly overwhelming. Adopting a pet has given me more love than I asked for.”

The adoption story: “By the end of class 10, I had a lot of time to myself, and would often wonder what it would be like to have cats along with my two (adopted) labradors, Tofu & Fifi, who were extremely friendly. I could just imagine all of us walking around the house, like a squad.

November 2013, my 18th birthday was approaching. My sister was in Mumbai for college and my parents would always be at work, leaving me a big empty house, lots of time by myself and my two floofs Tofu & Fifi. Over time and out of absolutely nowhere I had the urge of being surrounded by a pair of cats I could call my own, and figured I would be able to get that if I demanded it as my birthday present. Two beautiful cats playing around the house. Easy.

My parents are sneaky, so they told me ‘haha NO,’ but coordinated with my sister Ada in Mumbai to find a pair of cats which, believe it or not, she found on OLX up for adoption. She got in touch with the foster mom Arnaaz, set up a meeting, went and met Twitch and Trix and managed to fly them to Chandigarh!

Sure enough a day before my birthday, Twitch and Trix had arrived. One of the most heart-warming feelings is to look at two kittens and know you’re going to have the opportunity to raise and love them. After getting bullied by a bunch of stray dogs as a little kitty, and making it out alive, into a house that they can call theirs; there’s nothing more I wanted to do!

PS: All of the above is in memory of my cats Twitch and Trix. We lost Twitch in February and Trix in May 2016. However, they live in my heart forever.”

Three words that best describe her relationship with her cats: Unbreakable. Confidant. Companions.

V. Asha Suparna + her dog

Asha is an editor from Bangalore. Originally she wasn’t going to adopt, but buy a puppy instead. Her friend who’d rescued a dog told her that adoption was the way to go. He’s the one who then helped her find a shelter and her puppy.

“Adopting a pet has taught me that no matter what your dog/pet looks like or where they’re from, pedigree or otherwise, the love is the same - absolutely unconditional.”

The adoption story: “My puppy was returned to a shelter because he pooped in someone’s house. Yes, you got that right. When I didn’t even notice him at the shelter, my friend pointed out this adorable, sweet-looking puppy who had the most gorgeous sad eyes I had ever seen. He didn’t have an issue with being picked up and nuzzled and put in the backseat of a car. But when we got home and set him down on the floor, the first thing he did was sniff, took three turns and pooped right in the middle of my dining room. When I looked at home with absolute humour, he flipped out a little and went and hid under the sofa. I had no idea what went through his head. We cleaned up and I tried to get him out from under the sofa. He slowly came out and just huddled at my feet. My heart broke that day. This sweet innocent creature had not been loved and shown only anger when he made a mistake.

Ah, but don’t get me wrong. He’s a total brat now. He uses those adorable eyes on everyone to beg for table scraps and extra treats after he’s already had his meal. He no longer hides under the sofa unless it’s Diwali and he can’t handle the fireworks. But even then he’ll come out once in awhile to simply get a treat.”

Three words that best describe her relationship with her dog: Love, acceptance and patience.

VI. Bhagirathy June Panth + her cats

Bhagirathy is a 20-year-old student of Graphic Design at MIT Institute of Design, Pune. Her boyfriend and her have been helping animals around them whenever they needed the necessary aid, mostly kittens because she is well acquainted to them.

“Adopting a pet has planted virtues in me, personally which has brought about all the changes one would’ve said were necessary in me up until a few years ago.”

The adoption story: “My mother is solely responsible for inculcating a love for animals which surpasses my tolerance for my own species. Recently, which is to say in last 5 years, my mother has become actively involved in animal rescue as we’ve settled in Delhi. Having a stable house (we used to move in different cities because of my father’s job) allowed her to rescue any animal she would see injured on the streets, with kittens and injured cats being the top priority.

She would bring home kittens and my brother and I would look after them. We’ve had too many rescues where the cats eventually gave in to their wounds because of the sad state in which we found them.”

Bhagirathy’s home is a foster home for cats and dogs, with endless stories. From all the lovely ones she shared with us, we have posted one below:

“We adopted our first ever kitten when I turned 15, it was a gift for me and my mother because our birthdays are on simultaneous dates. We noticed her loneliness and our inability to interact with her on a feline level so we decided to adopt her elder sister from the same woman. We were the only household to have cats and it was a spectacle at our doorstep for weeks, people and children mostly wanted to see what a cat as a pet looked like. We wouldn’t allow them near our cats because the kittens got very scared. Eventually, I became very sensitive and attached to cats as a species and every time that I would see a child kick a cat or even hurl a stone at them, I would scream at them with an inexplicable motherly-instinct. I eventually gained the moniker of ‘billi waali didi’ around my society and the residential societies nearby. Once, during Diwali there were a few children who wanted to hear an animal respond to fireworks because they noticed the street dogs hide under cars or vanish completely when the bijou bombs would go off. Their target? A kitten, black as midnight, who had probably wandered away too far from her litter and was shivering in fear which she couldn’t understand.

I was home, I was proud to have been commemorating my first green and firework free Diwali when Zain (the young boy who had developed my billi-didi nickname in the first place) came running and bashed his hands against our door. He was out of breath, and as soon as he caught sight of my opening the door he pulled me by my hands and made me run towards the other block. He was shouting about how kids were being mean to a cat and I ran past him when I understood what was saying.

I saw the kitten backed into a little box of fireworks, sacred of children and the kids there, who responded exactly as the kitten when they saw me.

Needless to say, they abandoned their plans and the black kitten became the the first cat I had rescued. I have never felt as much anger as I did that day. The only time it ever recurs now is when I see people being mean to animals for the sake of garnering a few laughs from their friends on the street.

We named the cat Diwali. Since we already had two cats, I was handed with the responsibility of looking for another home for her. She was very, very naughty and would beat up out two cats furiously. She had anger and confusion boiling almost all the time. Controlling her was becoming a problem till I decided to take responsibility for her ‘rehab’. It would take me five weeks thereafter, of relentless scratches to my hands and face and neck and every inch of visible skin to make her friendly to me, and everyone in the home eventually. We found a home for her and she relocated with her new owner, who turned out to be a woman with exceptional culinary taste and a houseful of cats and huskies. She took Diwali to her bed and breakfast in Shimla and last I heard, Diwali had jumped off the second floor after a pigeon, believing she could fly and catch her own dinner. I saw an image of her in a plaster, with two cats on her either side, licking her clean as she relished her bacon.”

Three words that best describe her relationship with her cats: Patient. Trusting. Silent.

VII. Devika Arora + Milo and Joey, the cats

After living in Vancouver, Canada, for a few years Devika, an entrepreneur and writer, just moved back home to Bangalore. She also runs ‘420 aka Char So bees’, an events collective in Kolkata as well as an online publication called Magic Mind.

She already had pets, but this was definitely the first time she’s taking care of pets alone, living by herself. She realized that animals bring incredible energy and love to her space, and makes it truly feel like a home - they’re her babies.

“Adopting pets has made me far more grateful for the little things, every damn day. I think sometimes we all need nonverbal love and connection, especially after a long day at work and dealing with the outside world. Animals are therapeutic and loving, and the best part is that I get to give these babies a home and food, which makes me so grateful. I love watching them go about their business, doing their thing.”

The adoption story: “My best friend Shaapla moved in with me in January, and she’s the quintessential cat lover. It rubbed off me, and I started learning about cats and what they are like to live with, what their temperaments and moods are like, and how much work goes into raising them. I had always thought cats were cute, but that was it. A bona fide dog lover, the love of my life, my cocker spaniel Jazz, passed away a few years ago and I just couldn’t imagine going through that again. And besides, I live in an apartment now - it would be cruel to keep a medium-big sized animal in this space. I didn’t want pets. Not at all. But lo and behold - life has different plans for us, and it all just happened really quickly. I was shown a picture of a kitten that needed a home at Cartman (a clinic and rehab centre for dogs and cats) in Koramangala, and for some god damn reason unknown to me I actually went to visit. Oh boy, that was it!

I laid eyes on this scrawny yellow little kitten and the minute he dug his tiny claws into my shoulder, I knew I was hooked, pun intended. I named him Milo on spot because of a movie I watched growing up (Milo and Otis - a classic), and took him back home. A few days later, Nidhi, the vet at Cartman, gave me a call. She said they found another kitten from the same litter, and asked if I’d like to give Milo a sibling. I thought about it, and realized its far better for an animal to have a brother or sister so that they never ever feel alone. I was sent a picture of the black/grey kitten, and went... damn, she’s stunning. I was told it was a boy, so I named it Joey - a cute boy name, right? Well turns out it was a girl! I had a baby boy Milo and baby girl Joey in the house. Brother and sister. Yin and yang. So the name stuck and it’s been 3 months since I adopted them from their little cages and I swear, I can’t imagine a day without them. It is undiluted pure 100% animal entertainment. And joy. I am now a bustling independent business woman by day, and a cat litter cleaner extraordinaire by night.”

Three words that best describe her relationship with her cats:Playful. Gorgeous. Hilarity.

VIII. Kannagi Shanbag + Yoko Ono, the dog

Kannagi is a student of veterinary anesthesiology in New Zealand. Right from the day she was born, she has always had a deep love for animals.

“Adopting a pet has always made me feel humble towards anything that’s living. It’s made me feel things that I haven’t ever felt - love, compassion, respect. Animals are so unconditional with their gratitude and love. I’m talking about even a small gesture, like me giving the crows clean water to drink.”

The adoption story: “It all began 7 years ago when I was walking my grandmas’ dog - Beauty. Beauty found me while I was on my way to the ATM. I was standing at the signal waiting for the green man to come alive and suddenly felt a wetness in the palm of my hand. I turned around and found beauty wagging her tail. I petted her and proceeded to walk when the signal changed. I walked back the same way and she was still there on the other side of the road. Waiting. She walked back home with me and stayed outside the gate for 4 days. Of course, I fed her and gave her some water.

4 days later she decided that she wanted to walk into the building. She came and stayed on the porch.

She managed to sway my grandmother and she eventually started living at home. I think the universe knew that this whole journey of mine with rescuing pets had just begun.

6 Months later. I was getting late for a friends party and decided I would walk beauty for about 15 mins and not give her the whole nine yards. We stepped out of the gate and the watchman from the opposite building called out to me. I ran. There was a little pup that was lying there wet due to the rains. She was scared and shivering. The watchman then proceeded to tell me that there was an SUV type car that drove by that building and threw her out of the car. My heart had a mixture of emotions. Sad and really angry. I picked her up and took her straight to my grandmoms. She was cut by what seemed to be a barbed wire that had been tied to her left front leg. My heart sank a little more and the rage inside me grew. I gave her some dog food and took her upstairs to my house.My folks were out for the night and only got home at about 1 am. I showed them the pup and they said we can deal with it tomorrow.

Morning came and we decided that we would give her all her Vaccinations and then let her stay at our farm. Now if any pet owners know anything about the puppy vaccine schedule they would know it takes a couple months for the whole process. As time passed, from sleeping with me she started sleeping in between my parents and that’s pretty much the story of my darling - Yoko Ono, and how I rescued her. 6 years later of having Yoko in my life and after studying to be a Veterinary anesthesiologist, my affair with rescuing animals had greater horizons that I couldn’t have seen. But I’m sitting here on the verge of launching a project which would ensure proceeds from business activities would be utilized towards running a shelter and rehabilitation center. In the heart of it, the essence Of Paw Haven is to pamper one to protect one.”

Three words that best describe her relationship with her dog: “My relationship with my pet is unconditional love, beyond bounds and this sense that she will always have my back.”

IX. Mallika D’Sylva + Snowy, the dog

Mallika is a fashion stylist from Bombay. Adoption has never been a conscious decision for her, she’s grown up surrounded by puppies and kittens living in a bungalow. When her family moved into an apartment she realized that wasn’t the natural way to live anymore.

She has always been the one to have animals follow her home and then sneakily feed them till they got accustomed to living on her street. But she doesn’t want to say that out loud because the residents of her complex would have a fit if they knew that the dog and cat population on the residential street was thanks to her!

“I think for me, I can never say that I or family adopted Snowy, it was more an effort on our part to allow to get live inside the house. She adopted us, and for me she is my love at first sight... You would understand if you ever had to look into those gorgeous chocolate almond that she has for eyes.”

The adoption story: “In 2011, I had been working out of Bombay for a couple of months when I returned back for a 4 day gap to see my parents. I walked walk around St. Andrews church area and back to my parents house, I met a skinny bald maingy scale skinned wide eyed happy faced little dog on the road. Me being me HAD TO stop and play with her. She was full of licks and hind leg stands and ever ready to play. She followed me home while I walked. This isn’t the first dog/cat that has followed me home, my parents are used to this by now. I played with her that day, snuck some food out of the house and fed her. She didn’t leave for those 4 days that i was in town. I left and went back to work for another 45 days.

Everyday that I was away my mother would call me and say - ‘the dog is sitting and waiting for you on the doormat’...soon my mother would call and say that she gave the dog some food and that the dog greets them when they go in and out. I came back after 45 days to permanently stay and the dog was right there. We started to play together everyday. She was over friendly and a very happy one, but she had a skin disease that needed to be checked. Soon I gained her confidence and got her to go for a rickshaw ride with me… I took her to the vet who gave me some cream and shampoo to bathe her with.

The next weekend I bathed her under the building tap, made a complete mess of myself because don’t forget - all she wanted to do was play. But i did manage to out the medicine on her skin and continued to do so for the next few months.

In those months she would come into my house in the daytime when only my mother was there, we would feed her, play with her, and we would shove her back out before the rest of the family got home from work because they were dead against this dog in the house. My mother was against it too because it was an apartment and she didn’t think that a dog would be happy within the walls of an apartment.

Soon this became a regular thing and this dog started to heal. Her fur started to come back and everyone was falling madly in love with her.

The days I would be out at work, when I got home in the evening, I would go to the window and whistle and within 5 minutes there’d be a ‘scritch scritch’ on the door and we knew she was outside.

It was then that Snowy was hanging out in the house till bedtime on the condition that she would be put out at bedtime. Within a month of this rule my mother decided that is was killing her to put this baby out of the house at night while I peeped through the peephole to see her sleep on the doormat and just like that Snowy became the 3rd sister in the house. She picked her own spot by my parents bed to sleep at night and became the only kid that ate so well that my mother had. But she was always my baby.

She knows when I’m coming home when I’m at the gate and she stands at the door and whines to let everyone know. She greets each person coming from out like she missed them for years, evening if you just went down in the building to pick something you dropped out of the window.

Today this chapatti-loving white fluff ball who was once bald lives with me in Andheri and visits my mum and dad every other weekend for holidays. She gets more christmas presents from my dad than we ever got.

She loves a snuggle but also loves her own space. She loves her Nut-a-clock which a tradition of hers and my father - 5pm she wakes him up from his afternoon nap to remind him that he has to give her nuts and she won’t stay quiet about a late dinner either.

She has the cutest paws, the waggiest tale that’s so fluffy (my mum calls it the maharajas punka) and her heart shaped nose is so cute I could just die. She’s superbly disciplined, will scratch the bathroom door to let you know she wants to go in there and a peepee. Sleeps on her own bed with a blanket every night and will whine if you don’t cover and tuck her in and place one of her favorite toys besides her.

A lot of people see her and ask where we got her from because she’s a pure white Spitz (please don’t mistake her for a pom). She’s tall like a female Alsation (only maybe a few inches shorter) and pure white with chocolate almonds for eyes...but the truth is I don’t know where we got her from except for the day that she followed me home (which we celebrate as her birthday). So I always tell people that she adopted us. There were some people on our street who tried really hard to catch her because they wanted to keep her and give her a home but she always refused.”

Three words that best describe her relationship with her dog: “She is hands down my best friend and baby sister all rolled up into one fluffy ball of loving licks. I’m definitely her protector, but nothing like letting her feel like she’s protecting me day and night. “

X. Mohan V + Diego, the cat

Mohan defines himself as an owner of a cat, player of bass, haver of naturally curly hair. Mohan is a “part-time mallu and a full time nerd,” and is commonly referred to as ‘that wine guy.’ He takes to heart the words “Wine improves with time, and I improve with wine.” He also runs a fun blog for people who want to know more about alcohol. He has rescued plenty of animals over the years, but when he got this cat, keeping him was a split-second decision - it’s been 11 years since then.

“The best things that happen to you lie in those everyday, easily missed moments. Don’t miss them.”

The adoption story: Our story begins on a rainy June evening. It was raining outside, and the month was June. Yes. I remember being engrossed in the most engrossing of activities, when I heard, quite clearly, the unmistakable sound of a cat mewing. A parent and I ventured into the dark, and altogether quite wet abyss of downstairs, I wondered what sort of cat would be so silly as to mew on a night so rainy as this.

Cats were not uncommon in the area. Many came, few stayed. However, the cat in question had been around for a few days at least – it’s incessant squeaking was testament to that – and being responsible citizens, we decided to go and investigate. Armed confidently with a flashlight and a saucer of milk, downstairs we went, and the cat was looked for.

Finally, we found it under a very wet car. The cat was wet also. It was still squeaking. We deposited the saucer of milk at the base of the car, and moved a safe distance away. We waited for several minutes, but the saucer did not explode. The rain stopped and the cat felt brazen enough to take two steps forward. Finding no opposition, it took yet another step forward. Three steps in all. Covering a total distance of about three inches. Eventually, it approached the saucer. The milk was consumed. Seeing no further need to have anything to do with the saucer, it assumed it’s previous position, and carried on meowing .Parent and I shook our heads. The rain had stopped, but the cat would not come out. The saucer was reclaimed, sent to HQ for refilling, and brought back. The cat was left alone to drink.

A few minutes later, a less muffled meow was heard. The creature had abandoned the car, and had presumably found the gumption to emerge from under it. As we were a certain distance from it, and unable to sample its DNA to correctly determine its species, we concluded, from the observation of its gargantuan ears, that it was some sort of rabbit.

Further observation revealed that it was indeed a cat, which was consistent with the meowing we had heard previously. We felt the urge to rescue it, but as soon as it sensed our presence, it fled to it’s place of safety – the car – going as far as to climb INTO it, from the bottom. How it quite achieved this is, to date, a mystery, but what was evident is that the meowing could still be heard, and the cat was no longer visible under the car.

As we pondered what to do, the cat’s noises became more frenetic, and significantly more blood-boiling. An executive decision to leave the silly cat till morning, was made. But we waited. Played chopsticks. Called the cat names. Still it did not come out.

At almost midnight, we decided to return upstairs. The cat would still be there in the morning. The milk had strengthened it’s voice, and we were soon regretting our decision to have fed the accursed thing at all.Morning came, the cat was still somewhat alive. It was still inside the car. Big, strong men were called. The car was thumped. It did not dent, but the cat was nicely scared. It ran out of the car, and was grabbed by me. It was then taken upstairs. It was still very wet and squeaky, but also quite lovable.

It was then cleaned and wiped and dusted. It protested very loudly. Pathos was there. It then ran under the couch. I could reach it, but I decided to leave it there. It was reasonably safe.

It likes being under things, I thought. It was, in hindsight, a very accurate finding.

One day, it came out from under the couch. There was a tiny ball of sponge. The cat was enthralled. The ball of sponge was sniffed, pawed, soon clawed, and then chased around the room by a very happy cat. I am unaware how the sponge felt about it, but the family and I were nicely entertained. We noticed that the cat’s movements were consistent with a soccer player’s. Also, being somewhat diminutive and having monstrously large ears, we decided to name him after a famous soccer star. Diego was christened.

The story is pretty self-explanatory. That one rainy night in June when we rescued Diego has been one of the luckiest things to happen to us. He’s not just part of the family, he’s quite literally a part of our souls now.”

Three words that best describe his relationship with his cat: Bother. Bother. Bother.

You can share your pet adoption stories with us by dropping a line to [email protected]! Alternatively, if you’re looking to adopt a stray, Mumbai’s very own Adoptathon is barely a few days away. Click here for more details.

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