Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The caretaker cats

-By Swetha Amit
It’s not every time that one gets to read a piece in the newspaper that jolts them out of their sleepy Sunday syndrome. Especially for animal lovers and those gestures by the fauna clan that could even put humans to shame. It was the title ‘Cats keep toddler alive’ that made me read the passage intently. It reminds one of the popular Disney productions ‘The Jungle Book’ where the sound of a wailing baby instantly stops a snooty panther on his tracks. Paternal instincts take over as the basket is gently gripped by the big cat as he leaves the lost one to the care of the wolves pack which bring him up as their own cub.

A similar scenario took place in Argentina, where a one year old baby boy was tended to by a gang of wild cats near a canal. It was a surprised police officer who managed to get past the fiercely protective cats and take the infant to the hospital immediately. The doctor’s verdict had confirmed the role of caretakers by these gentle creatures which acted as a security blanket for the child eventually resulting in his survival in the frosty winter nights.

This small piece nevertheless left a huge impact on me as I pondered over several aspects of this rather unusual incident. Cats as species are usually labeled as cold creatures who do not exhibit much warmth. And yet they had when it came to a human baby which was left in the lurch. A gesture which probably would have led to a moment’s hesitation by the human clan. While the cats did so without batting an eyelid in their usual calm fashion. Indeed their maternal instincts were depicted in an unmistakable manner as they groomed the little one as they would do so with their own kittens.

Several such instances have been reported where dogs have rescued toddlers from a well or sewage, all over the world. Sometimes these animals portray that solidarity often failed to be done so by people who walk by like nothing untoward has occurred. Reliability as a companion in spite of their inability to talk the human language has made them popular as pets, often taking the place of a loyal friend. While there are one set of individuals who are considerate towards these four legged species, many choose to torment them in such a brutal way. Sometimes a lack of humanity is displayed as they run over these petite little things and zoom off like a whirlwind in a stormy manner, forgetting instances like the above ones. It pains one to realize that nothing or nobody is cared for in this fast paced world going as far as to cost ones life.

Another thought that haunted me was the fact that the baby was lying out in the cold with murky elements just around the corner. What should have ideally been tucked away to sleep with a warm cozy blanket and hot milk was mercilessly lying near the canal with fleeting winds blowing in a callous manner not caring of their dire consequences on anything/anyone. Parents seem to shed the responsibility factor and choose an escapist route to ward off the burden of their troubles. Be it financial, social or emotional, it is indeed an atrocious act to let their kith and kin bear the sole brunt. There are instances where the upbringing traverses the cross communications, yells and screams of the couple that leave them scarred for life. It seemed that the infant was saved out of all that and left to hear the howling gale of nature’s forces instead and crying in a helpless manner.

It ceases one to think if one deserves to have children if they aren’t ready to render maturity and sensibility. Why let the innocent suffer the consequences of unsorted messes? The word ‘care’ seems to be diminishing like the fading light during dusk which eventually spells nothing but darkness.

As I folded the paper back to its rightful place on the shelf, I couldn’t help but think whether things are really in their rightful place in the world. Meanwhile it was the role of the caretakers assumed by the cats that kept a slight smile on my face throughout.
Written for www.msn.co.in



Blogger Ayesha Parveen said...

A beautiful write-up, Swetha. Often, as depicted in your article, we are left to wonder who are more humane, humans or animals.
Best wishes.

9:51 AM  
Blogger Whirlwind said...

Thanks a lot Ayesha.:-)

10:25 AM  
Blogger Whirlwind said...

Comments on MSN:

VENCAT - Dar on 12/23/2008 11:40:52 AM
A very cat-chy article Swetha.

KP - Chennai on 12/23/2008 1:55:28 PM
Sweta,a touching piece.But human kindness has not run dry completely.Take heart such cases of abandoning babies are very few, more out of guilt and fear

10:25 AM  

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