About a year ago, I wrote a series of articles titled Cat Chronicles for this column in which I shared the antics of our cute, cuddly cat called Tiger. It is likely that my wife Anchal will agree with the 'cute, cuddly' bit wholeheartedly, but I think Tiger is best described as a 'cunning and conniving' cat. I will let the readers decide which description is true at the end of this piece!
Tiger hates being home alone. Though one of us is normally at home, there are occasions when my wife and I need to travel. Last December, we were out for three weeks at a stretch. This is not usually an issue as Tiger has an open window through which she can come and go as she pleases. Her food needs are taken care of by our household help. Tiger can hunt her own food if she is hungry. What Tiger misses most is our companionship (or so we would like to believe). Tiger’s reaction to our return is predictable. First, she will bite our legs really hard to express her displeasure at our absence.
Then for a couple of days, she will want to sit on our laps all the time and be petted. This behaviour is accompanied by bouts of loud, seemingly helpless cries, when she tries to make us feel guilty as if by complaining, “You left me home alone for three weeks! Waaaaah!”
All of Tiger’s tantrums are accompanied by a need to be the centre of attention at all times. When I returned after my three-week travel, Anchal was not with me, so I had to deal with Tiger on my own.
After the first few hours of tantrums and petting, I sat down at my desk to work. Tiger would not stand for this. She hopped on to my lap, and refused to let me work. After some more petting, and lots of patience, I pushed Tiger off my lap.
While this tactic works on most days, Tiger was not to be placated. She repeatedly climbed onto my lap and positioned herself in such a way that I was immobilised and could not work at my desk.
Losing my cool, I pushed Tiger off once again. This time, Tiger got upset. “I will teach you a lesson,” she must have thought.
She waited till I got up from my chair and when I turned back; she was sitting on my laptop keyboard. From one 'lap top' to another laptop!
“Now try and work,” said the smug expression on Tiger's face. I pleaded and tried to reason with her, but nothing worked. Tiger sat on my laptop for 15 minutes and I had to satisfy myself by taking photographs of her perched jauntily on the keyboard! Cute or cunning — you decide!
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