We feel proud to introduce you to the India’s first Virtual Cat Show Winner – Cookie, the Queen. With her playful, attractive, elegant, and kohl lined green eyes, she has been the heartthrob of many. Naazneen Shaikh, her parent, shares with us the journey of Cookie’s transformation from an unrecognized ‘Indie Cat’ to a popular and loved ‘Celebrity Cat’…
When did Cookie come in your life?
A two-month old roadside female kitten was kicked by my tailor for disturbing him. I bought milk from nearby tea stall and gave her. Still she didn’t wantme to leave, and that’s the moment when I picked her up and brought her home without thinking that my parents won’t allow this.For so many days, I used to lock her in the basket at night, so that my parents couldn’t see her. She was so understanding that she used to be quiet the whole night. This is how my journey with Cookie began.
How Cookie and you like to spend time with each other?
Cookie loves playing with cardboard boxes,paper balls, though she has so many toys. We love playing hide and seek together. Of course, she hides most of the times. She also loves to be patted when sleeping, and once you stop doing that, she will wake up and look at you. That means more patting needed. There are times when we watch animal shows on National Geographic and Animal Planet. There is not even a blink of an eye while she watches those huge animals.
What is Cookie’s diet like?
Cookie has fixed diet suggested by the vet. She eats wet food tins and pouches. However, she absolutely loves dry food and she is crazy for it. The noise of dry food packet or container, even for a second, makes her alert and she comes running all the way to have it.Sometimes, we get fresh fish like salmon,mackerel, and prawns; boil it and give her.
Why you chose specifically cat as your pet?
I never thought of having pets. Cookie was rescued and she is a fur child.
How do you take care of Cookie’s grooming needs?
Cookie’s grooming is done at home as well as at vet’s clinic. Since her fur coat is not that dense, grooming becomes really easy. I am very particular about brushing and combing her every day. Also, I read a lot of articles addressing grooming needs of Indie Mau, which helps a lot.Bathing is rare as she doesn’t like it at all and we don’t intend to trouble her.
Do you take Cookie along when you travel?
Cookie travels with us always, we can never think of leaving her alone. We make sure we use our own vehicle or hire one with all medications intact.Once we travelled to Lonavala, and we just went near a lake leaving her in the Car with driver. The driver put off AC even in scorching heat of the sun and she was palpitating when we reached back in an hour or so. Her mouth was open and we were scared like anything. I started feeding her water, trying to pat. Finally, she was better and then slept. There was a sigh of relief.
Cookie has been to various pets’ fashion shows and has her own Instagram page with so many followers. So how did you think of engaging Cookie in all such activities?
Cookie is an Indian rescued cat. She used to win amongst all breed cats. However there was hardly any recognition even after winning, reason being an indie cat. I remember a fashion show; she was wearing the best of designer dress along with a pretty choker, acing the ramp with her walk (2 rounds) vis-a-vis no catwalk by other breed cats, and still she didn’t win. It really felt bad. Experiences made us believe that we need to find a way out of this. Then we thought why not make her ‘a celebrity cat’, so that the other indie cats are recognized, loved, rescued, and adopted.
Have you registered Cookie with FCI? Why do you think this is necessary?
Yes, the only institution that recognized Cookie as the ‘Indie Mau’ Breed. Her breed is registered by FCI. It is necessary because an FCI registered cat has its breed authentication ownership as well as microchip with identification code.Thank you FCI for taking such an initiative.
Do you feel there is any gap between what you look for Cookie in the market and what is available?
True. There are a few brands that Cookie’s vet does not recommend. Also, there are limited options available. I hope to see more options in the near future with quality.
Any message you wish to convey to other pet parents.
I would encourage all pet parents to adopt and rescue Indian cats as well as dogs. Their basic need is shelter and food.Or else, the least we can do is to feed the strays nearby us.