"Dude chill! Tigers are the poster boys of the species. People flock to Ranthambore to shoot photos of them, but you and me? We still get shooed away from under cars. There's a big difference," replied the cynical Tina
My cats Tina Turner (jet black) and Jack Johnson (sort of white) were chatting.
"Babe, you know last Wednesday was World Tiger Day, and August 8 is International Cat Day? Us felines are getting a lot of attention," observed Jack.
"Dude chill! Tigers are the poster boys of the species. People flock to Ranthambore to shoot photos of them, but you and me? We still get shooed away from under cars. There's a big difference," replied the cynical Tina.
She added, "And, to make matters worse, people are superstitious about us black ones. You don't hear anyone say, 'Oh shit. A white cat crossed my path!' Do you?"
"Yaar Tina! There's a Black Cat Appreciation Day on August 17, as well as a Black Cat Day on October 27. Why you getting so pi**ed off? There's now so much attention for you dark guys. In fact, I resent that we don't have at least an International White Cat Day!"
"Why do you need a World White Cat Day? Look at your skin, uhm fur… Years and years of applying Glow and Lovely, well Fair & Lovely. It's us black peeps who have faced racism all these years. We need the love, not you, Mr Gora Chhita ! You have it perfect," Tina exploded.
"Look, you carry this colour chip on your shoulder too far, babe. Do we have White Cat Commandos in the army? No, right? Only Black Cat Commandos! What more do you want?"
I tried to intercede, to which Tina replied, "Bro, this is kind of a private conversation. We totes appreciate the cat food and pyaar-vyaar you offer, but don't you have other issues to attend to?"
I slunk away. They continued.
"I was thinking of beginning a movement, on Insta and Facebook," Jack announced.
"What kind of movement?" Miss Turner asked "Some sort of a support thing, passed from cat to cat on social media, like a #ChallengeAccepted. You have to post a black and white photo of yourself looking coy or cute or pretty or nonchalant. You know, that perfectly cultivated, dishevelled, partly erotic, partly embarrassed, partly elegant, Marilyn Monroe look," Jack elaborated.
"What shall we name it? This Challenge, what do you think of #CatsSupportingCats?"
"No ya. Doesn't have gravitas. How about #FelinesSupportingFelines?" my white cat said.
"To me, it's too high funda," his sister replied.
"How about #BilliPower?" I suggested.
My two cats gave me withering looks.
"Listen yo! Please don't bring regional politics in for no reason. As it is, language is so controversial a subject in India. Plus, they don't appreciate Hindi in some South Indian states. So let's stay with English, yes, dear master?"
"Cool cool, got it," I said hurriedly.
The conversation got heated.
"Can we say "#straycatssupportingstraycats," to widen the net, as opposed to '#homepetssupportinghomepets?" Jack said.
"But then dogs will also want to join in, and pariah dogs will be Insta bonding with poodles and parrots and other animals will join, then you'll have PETA on your head."
Obviously, the lady had the last word.
"Calm down. I get your point, we don't want mayhem. I suggest we keep it simple, let's call it #IMeMeow #Challenge Accepted," Tina concluded.
Rahul daCunha is an adman, theatre director/playwright, photographer and traveller. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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