“An animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language.” Martin Buber, German Philosopher
Just like this one, most friendships start as a surprise and walk a journey that surprises everyone.
As the famous American Author, Julie Wenzel, quotes, ‘sometimes, your pet picks you,’ this story of Mili Ray and her felines is proof that such circumstances do occur. She is a pet parent of 21 cats. They are all like her children; Milli Ray stated that she does not discriminate between her cats and her children.
Her husband Shambo Ray once visited a pet shop and returned with two cats. It was as though those cats were telling him to take them home. When he picked one cat, the other tugged on his shirt and pulled him; he felt a connection form between the cats and himself. It didn’t take him long before he decided to take them home; it was the day of Dhanteras and there could have been nothing more precious and valuable than these two beautiful souls.
‘I was quite astonished to see these two cats but more than astonishment, it was nervousness because I did not know how to take care of cats or what needs to be done to make sure they stay healthy and happy.
My father was a dog lover so I have grown up with many dogs but never had I even thought about getting a pet -cat. When they first came home, I had no knowledge and I wasn’t familiar with cats but gradually I started playing with them, caring for them, and spending time with them, it felt like I grew up with cats and not dogs. I loved these cats so much that our bond became irreplaceable and unbreakable.
The cats were very scared because it was a new place and everything was very unfamiliar. I would tell my husband that it is difficult to bond with them and I wasn’t able to create a relationship with them but as they say ‘time spent with cats is never wasted.’ They gradually began to sleep with me, wake with me, and follow me around the house like my shadow. Within no time, our bond became so strong that we went everywhere together. I had a different and unique experience with these two; it is one that I will never be able to have with any of the other cats that I love.
I researched everything I would need to know about caring for them. I used all the savings I had for the cats and I was completely engrossed in them.
Over time, we grew as a family. These small kittens grew, they brought kittens to the family and now we have 3 generations of cats in our family.
When our female cat got pregnant, I was very surprised. The thought of having so many kittens never crossed my mind. We live in a flat, our flat had quite a few restrictions and it would be very difficult to parent so many kittens so I thought of looking for nice families and giving them the kittens and getting the mother neutered. That was the plan until the kittens were welcomed into our world. I used to take care of their medications, their feeding, playing, care and everything. With so much time that was spent with them, we got very attached to them; we decided to keep them.
On 27th January, we welcomed the third generation of kittens to our family; they still haven’t even opened their eyes. They were the grandchildren of the cats that passed away; they were the grandchildren of the cats we brought home on Dhanteras.
When these kittens were born, it reminded me of the cats that passed away. I wasn’t going to give them away. We decided that all 3 generations of the cats will live with us and we will take care of them.
Many of our friends describe our home as a zoo because we have so many cats but we can do anything for our cats. It is as though the cats transformed us. What others tell us does not matter; many are open to the idea of us having so many cats, they also enjoy playing with our cats but many aren’t as upfront with the cats; it’s all mixed emotions.
Before our cats came into our lives, I was diagnosed with depression but it all changed when they came into my life. Even my son got transformed completely. He loves playing with the cats and they all live together in harmony but are all very mischievous. Apart from the countless mischiefs, having so many cats have given him a sense of responsibility towards the cats and himself.
We have a variety of cats – from Siamese to Persian to British to Bombay and the list goes on. I have had cats for more than 2 ½ years but I want to adopt an Indie cat to complete my collection of cats. I adore cats. Before the second generation of cats joined our family, I had a total of 10 cats.
These cats are my life. Even if one goes missing, I get very worried. Once, my 7-month-old Siamese cat went missing. I checked the whole house before telling my husband. He went to check in the garage, the kitten was curled up and very scared, shivering in the corner. Even when we took him home, he remained in that one corner and didn’t come out until after 13 to 14 hours.
I know for a fact that I will surely welcome the 4th generation of cats but I don’t think I will be able to provide for all of them. I always encourage people to adopt cats. If we get a 4th generation, I will choose families and people that I can trust and whom I can contact anytime. I am certain there will be the 4th generation because there must be at least one female but one thing I am sure about is that I will not give them to any pet breeder. I am against keeping them in cages for up to 2 months or more as they wait to get a home that loves them. They will go from my home to another directly; I will ensure that I am always in contact with the parent.
There are many people who I would like to thank for the immense support throughout the two years of parenting cats. My husband has been my constant backbone; without him, all this wouldn’t have been possible. I would also definitely recommend justdogsstore.com for always being there and providing the best for my cats. I love their service and I can say this because I have purchased a few times from different websites but the best is JUST DOGS.’
‘The memories and paw print of a beloved cat remains in our heart and soul forever.’ This is how we can summarise the experience Milli had with her pets.