Life isn’t always easy if you are a cat out on the street. The members and volunteers of the Bangalore Cat Squad (BCS) know this better than anyone else in the city. This however is not a story about the Cat Squad. It is a story about a young scared cat named Gowda.
It was the 3rd week of February 2016. Vijaya Sitaram (one of the most active cat rescuers that I know off) got a number of frantic calls around 8:30 in the evening. As one call after the other rang, she soon managed to pick enough of the information to realize that a young kitten was running around a busy road near the Devegowda Petrol Bunk.
The situation required immediate action and Vijaya has never been a person to delay. When she arrived at the spot, she found that the kitten had been running around scared. Luckily, the young little thing had not come under any of the spinning wheels of the cars and bikes that were passing that way. In fact, the kitten sought refuge in one of the nearby pharmacies but that was only after he had a near miss with a bus. That was where Vijaya finally managed to catch him.
Since she had found the kitten near the Devegowda Petrol Bunk, Vijaya decided to christen the little mite and give it the name ‘Gowda’. The name that stuck with him throughout. In fact, ask anyone from the Bangalore Cat Squad who Gowda is and they will tell you that he is a celebrity of sorts within the group!
When Gowda was with Vijaya for the first part of his new journey, he wasn’t exactly what you would call a cute kitten. He was covered with a black color substance that resembled grease. We assume that he got covered in it after he came in contact with the bus!
To make matters worse, he was scared. It meant that he refused to trust anyone. This made it almost impossible to clean him.
The first few nights at Vijaya’s house were spent with him yowling at the top of his voice. For those of you who know Vijaya, you will also know that her house is perpetually full with rescued kittens, puppies, cats and dogs. Gowda however was finding it difficult to fit in. He wasn’t human friendly and he was still very scared. He even managed to escape. Vijaya launched a search for him and found him in her neighbor’s compound. It was only with great difficulty that her driver (who often acts as her helper) managed to catch him. That’s when Kausar Parveen (another member of the Bangalore Cat Squad) decided to step in and help.
Kausar took on the task of acclimatizing Gowda to humans but first he needed a good clean up. Try as she might, Kausar found it hard to get all the gooey stuff off. Gowda too was agitated! He did not like being handled and he ran every time he thought that she was coming near.
The picture above is one Kausar clicked after she tried to clean him up. You can see that even after all the cleaning, he was not a pretty sight! The picture on your right however is one that was taken much much later!
Let’s keep those tiny details aside and continue with Gowda’s story!
Something really magical happened when Kausar brought Gowda home. Puchu, Kausar’s feline companion stepped in to comfort the little guy. It wasn’t long before Puchu used his magic tongue and licked all the grime away. Gowda now looked like a transformed kitty. He was no longer bedraggled and forlorn. He now looked sharp and mischievous (Kausar later learned that looks don’t always lie! Gowda turned out to be a mischievous imp!).
Take a peek at the photo below. The change that took place was really visible! Gowda had evolved like Phoenix and his new appearance certainly looked majestic!
It took her a while but Kausar soon realized that even though Gowda was not comfortable with humans, he loved the company of other cats. She found herself watching as Gowda tumbled and played with her own fur babies and fosters. In fact, whenever a new foster was brought home, Gowda seemed to be the first cat to make friends.
Love and patience brought him far from where he was. Soon Kausar found her bottle caps, pen caps and small trinkets disappearing. They would magically reappear in Gowda’s paws a few minutes later. A laser light would drive Gowda crazy. He would chase it till he could move no more.
The once sad and downtrodden cat was now playful! Anything that moved attracted his attention. He even began to follow Kausar everywhere. While so many hurdles were overcome, Kausar still couldn’t touch him without him bolting away.
In the meanwhile, the Cat Squad had promoted his pictures and he was up for adoption. The main criteria was that the adopter needed to understand Gowda’s need for space. They also needed to be experienced in handling cats. Which if you think about it was a fair deal. Sadly, no one came forward. Everyone seemed to want a cat that cuddled and snuggled. No one wanted to give this little one a chance!
While the Cat Squad searched for leads, Kuasar and Puchu continued to work their magic on him. They got him vaccinated, dewormed and even neutered! Gowda slowly began to change. The old Gowda can be visible very rarely. Today, he comes up to her and allows her to pet him. He follows her around the house. The greatest breakthrough of all was when he came and slept next to her on the pillow.
While Gowda still doesn’t like to be picked up, you can see the obvious change that love brings to the table. The bond between Kausar and Gowda is strong. It is the same bond that every foster parent shares with their babies. Ever optimistic, we are still searching for a forever home for Gowda. He has been through so much and he deserves a happy home.
In case you think you fit the criteria and you can give Gowda a forever home, don’t forget to call. While you may give Gowda a home, he will give your home a lot of love!
Give Kausar Parveen a call on +91 7353696985, if you want to adopt Gowda!