By Piu Sur

I met Coco for the first time on a video call. My son was having his art exhibition in the Modern Gallery in Kala Ghoda, Mumbai. While talking to me, he bent down to stroke a small little cat sitting there. That caught my attention at once. My son has always felt close to cats and dogs, so at first, I thought this was his new pet. On asking he told me that the cat was friendly but he was not the owner. Modern Gallery owned the cat, Coco. 

The gallery owners, when they bought the gallery, the cat was living in the building. Ever since then, Coco has become a part of the gallery. Coco roamed about freely in the building as the gallery was set up. The owners adopted Coco and made sure the cat had good nourishing food and medicines when needed. 

Coco happily watched art exhibitions with equal intent as other visitors. At times, Coco would sit for a long time appreciating the exhibits of artists. Visitors often stooped down to play and talk to Coco. It led to wholesome connections. Nobody visiting the Gallery complained about Coco. The cat had a quiet safe space and felt very comfortable moving in and out.

Coco’s adoption by the gallery was the reason I went for frequent visits and was in constant awe of how a community decided to carve out a beautiful life for a cat, who otherwise would be homeless. This is a step that a whole lot of buildings, companies, and communities can cater to, bringing joy to the lives of both pets and humans in a neighbourhood. 

If one is adopting a cat, then being educated and informed on the needs of a cat is vital and necessary. All they need is to be happy in their environment, without feeling threatened. They need a quiet space that they can call their own. One has to keep in mind the diet and vaccination of the pet. Love, care, and concern should always be communicated to the pet by providing them with the necessary tools they need in order to thrive. In the case of Coco, the love and compassion were so strong that till now, Coco remains a highly regarded and loved cat.

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