An evening of purr-formances

Updated: Aug 03, 2018, 08:31 IST | Shunashir Sen

Love cats? Then show it at a charity event meant for their welfare, with music and comedy on the bill

An evening of purr-formances

There is no statistical evidence in our knowledge to support this theory, so we will leave it up to you to form your own opinion. But one thing we have noticed about Mumbai is that upwardly mobile youngsters — constantly on the move chasing successful careers — tend to keep cats as pets more than other animals. Many of them, moreover, are migrants living in rented matchbox spaces that mushroomed in the suburbs at the turn of this century. And they are all looking for someone — a human being, an animal, anyone really — to build a connect with when the hours get lonely. So you might say it's just us, but we feel that there is a trend among them of keeping kitties as pets.

Lamya Kapadia
Lamya Kapadia

Lamya Kapadia, however, is at least one other person who supports this notion. She is in charge of rescue operations at The Feline Foundation, the NGO wing of Cat Café Studio in Andheri. And she says, "Ninety per cent of our adopters are bachelors living alone who simply want company. And cats know how to take care of themselves. You feed them in the morning, play with them for a bit, leave for work, and then they realise you have been away only when you come back home in the evening. They are a lot like human beings, really. Plus, they don't take up too much space. So whether you have a 2BHK or a studio apartment, cats make for convenient pets in this city."

That sounds fair enough, and with it being the case, the NGO will host Catnip 1.0, a new property aimed at generating funds for the welfare of the cats under The Feline Foundation's care. It will involve an evening of music and comedy. So, there will be Aadar Malik and Urooj Ashfaq in charge of leaving the audience in splits with their stand-up routines, while the bands Kanchan Daniel and the Beards, Runt and The Sidd Coutto Experience will take care of musical responsibilities at the suburban venue where the event is taking place.

Sidd Coutto

We reach out to Coutto, who has two feline friends at home himself. He admits, though, that he wasn't always a fan of the I-couldn't-care-less- about-you attitude that cats seem to have. "You put three angels and Hitler before them, and they will treat all of them the same," he says. But then his girlfriend, Tulika, brought a cat home from office during Diwali, promising to keep it for just 10 days.

CatsButterball and Cookie, Sidd Coutto's feline friends

Those 10 days have now turned into six years and one more kitty, and Coutto's change of heart is evident not only when he says, "I absolutely love them." It also shows in the numerous photos of Butterball and Cookie that he keeps putting up on his social media pages.

Varun Sood with his cat
Varun Sood with his cat

Similarly, Varun Sood, the drummer in Kanchan Daniel and the Beards, had never had a pet before he shifted to Mumbai. But the thought of creeping loneliness in the big city made him get two cats, Dexter and Deedee. "I just think that they are awesome to hang out with. They have all these mood swings and it's really entertaining to watch them go about it," he says, adding that though he loves both dogs and cats, it was more logical to get the latter as pets in Mumbai. Which, of course, gives credence to our theory about youngsters in this city preferring cats as pets. But, again, since there are no relevant statistics available, we'll humbly accept any differing opinions on that observation.

ON August 4, 7.30 pm
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A pet on their back

There are various establishments in the city, apart from Cat Cafe Studio, that are pet-friendly. Bandra-ites can choose from The Bagel Shop, The Village Shop and Gostana. The denizens of Andheri, meanwhile, can head to The Burger Brasserie, Leaping Windows, Doolally Taproom and Pefe — The Pet Cafe. Powai, too, has Earth Cafe and Madeira and Mime, while there is also The Messy House in Kandivali that welcomes pets in.

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