Have you ever thought of making a cat your best friend? Shifa has made one – Oscar, the wonder cat! He makes her come alive, every time she is downhearted. Shifa shares with us the magical and soulful experience with her Bestie. Here are a few excerpts…

Tell us about your journey with Oscar so far. How and when did he come into your life?

Three years back, I flew down from Dubai to Mumbai due to some health issues and wanted to setup my business in Mumbai. I have a small work studio, which is also a co-living space to me. Staying alone in Mumbai, definitely, has its own pros & cons. And that’s when Oscar made his entry. Oscar was gifted to me by my father when I shifted to Mumbai. He was 3 months old when he came home. A British American exotic shorthair cat (not Persian) with a flat face and big round eyes full of curiosity. Oscar came across as a very different personality to me. He loves birdwatching and his sunglasses… well everybody now knows him with it.

Because of Oscar, I laugh a little harder, cry a little less, and smile a lot more!

He is my therapy cat. Having Oski in my life has helped me deal with my anxiety issues and has kept me sane during pandemic. He’s the one who fuels me up to keep moving forward and understand the fact that ‘ITS OKAY TO NOT BE OKAY AT TIMES’ and this is how you roll on with life. Life is happy and content with him. He makes me feel proud, he makes me feel alive, he makes me feel that no matter what the world has to say – you shouldn’t be bothered and that’s how you live your life.

What’s the story behind this name Oscar?

Nothing much to it; just loved the name and went ahead with it. Though, now I can say, he’s the best award of my life.                                                                    

What is Oscar’s diet and how do you take care of his nutrition?

With Oscar, I prefer giving him wet food twice a day and dry food for the entire day to nibble on. He doesn’t have a meal time in specific, but prefers eating in small quantities throughout the day. I also give him his health based supplements twice a week.

What is his favourite playtime activity?

Oscar loves to watch birds and be around plants. Since I’m a botanist by profession, having plants and flowers around, he has the best time looking at birds and chasing butterflies.

How do you choose products for Oscar’s grooming and hygiene needs? What products are you currently using?

Oscar, being an exotic short hair breed, doesn’t require much of grooming. But I prefer combing his fur coat once a day and bathe him once a month. I use Greenmade products (a brand from Russia); we source it out through a friend as the brand is not available in India.

From where do you like to shop for him?

With so many emerging pet brands having their websites, it’s easy to make an online purchase. I always buy his supplies from an e-commerce site or try new local brands on Instagram.

Do you take Oscar along when you travel? 

YES, he is my constant travel partner and has got used to it. Sitting comfy in his capsule bag and exploring the world through the glass shield; he loves it to the core! We are big time admirers of Suki – The Cat and wish to travel the world like her.

Oscar is a social media star with so many followers! How do you perceive this change of pets having separate identities on social media?

Pets raise endorphins and make people feel happy. People like to look at pets on social media as the content on pets’ account is usually full of cuteness. They are adorable to look at and are easier to connect with than human influencers. There’s no barrier like jealousy and all you see is people showering in comments like “Oh my God! Oscar you’re the cutest little chubster”. It makes us feel good that through his page we are able to make people smile. And currently, that’s what the world needs!

Have you got Oscar registered with FCI? Why do you think this is important?

Yes, Oscar is FCI registered. Getting pets registered is very important as the process provides you with an ownership certificate. Also, if you have international travel plans, these documents are a must and they ease out the entire ‘Travel with a Pet’ process.

Do you feel there is any gap between what you look for Oscar and what is available in market?

A year back or so, I used to feel that the market is actually dog centric with just a few things available for cats. But, with so many emerging brands and local businesses up on Instagram, now we have quite a lot of options for cats as well and this makes me happy!

Any message you wish to convey to other pet parents.

I feel each one of us is blessed as we have them in our lives. Nobody in this entire universe can understand emotions better than animals. With most of us going through an emotional turmoil and losing hopes on life, I believe these little fur balls are just a stress buster. Enjoy each and every moment with these li’l cuties, as when times passes, these will become memories to cherish on for lifetime.

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