For a Western animal lover, it can be heartbreaking to observe the life of dogs and cats in India. The country is full of stray dogs and cats, and many are sick, injured and diseased. Wealthy folks can afford to buy and care for pets, but in a country with great poverty, there is necessarily a focus on human survival and less concern about the survival of non-useful animals. However, I also notice that many animals are fed or are able to feed on garbage. They trot around the cities dodging cars and surviving. (the dogs pictured below, by the way, are not sick or injured; they are napping. They live on a college campus and are probably fed!)
Perhaps there is less of a need for pets in this country, as almost no one lives alone and few people seem to be lonely. In a large family or extended family setting, one receives companionship and touch in good measure. In the West, there are a lot of single and lonely people- pets can help to provide physical and emotional connection and happiness. As a typical Westerner and as a single woman, I cherish my preferred pets, cats. Many Westerners enjoy dogs, which are more social, intelligent, and emotionally dependent on their humans. I prefer cats because they require less work and because they are small, beautiful, entertaining, and many are affectionate and entertaining.
I miss my pet companions very much while out of the country. But they do have each other- these cats are very affectionate! Please enjoy this little slideshow of my two current cat children, Thumbi (little brother in Tamil) and Rosie (named after my younger sister.) I wish that more Indian folks could afford to keep pets, keep them healthy, and enjoy their wonderful company. I look forward to cuddling with my cats again!