Let’s Talk About Your Cat, one of my favorite posts, is back for 2019 and this time it features Media Director of the non-profit charity Global March for Elephants and Rhinos Toronto (or No Ivory Toronto) and full time Registered Early Childhood Educator for the YMCA in Pickering Ontario, Simi Vadgama. Simi took time out of her busy schedule to tell us about her 3 beautiful mini house panthers and how they have changed her life.
Tell us about your cats and how they came into your life
Aragorn aka Aro is a big 5-year-old male who is independent, a little needy (when he is meowing for treats) and very intuitive – he know exactly how to comfort us when we’re sick or sad. Currently Aro lives with my parents and younger sister, about 8 minutes away from where I live with my fiancé Luis, so we visit quite often and arrange weekend play dates with him and our other adopted cats Luna and Stella. Aro loves to be around people, but when he’s alone we often find him cuddled up on the couch, rocking chair or on top of an air vent during the winter.
Growing up my sisters and I always wanted to have a cat companion but our parents would firmly express to us that they didn’t want any pets in the house. For some reason, when we asked them after returning from a trip to India where we had we gone to spread our grandfather’s ashes, they had changed their minds. My younger sister Keya, and my twin sister Siya went with my dad to a shelter where they met and adopted Aro who was just 8 weeks old, my family instantly fell in love with him! We found out that he had been rescued from a home where he had been abused – he had been kicked, frightened by loud noises and cruel people, so it took him a few weeks to adjust to his new surroundings once we got him home.
Aro was a great comfort to us all and he especially helped me while I was still grieving and struggling with the loss of my grandfather. My Mom always says he was a blessing to our family. We love him so much!
My fiancé Luis and I adopted Luna next in July 2018 from Pickering Animal Shelter. She was found in Cornwall and brought to the shelter during the wintertime where she had been for over a month, 8 other ginger/grey kittens who came in at the same time had all been adopted within a week. Luna has a dislocated joint on her front left paw which healed incorrectly and a missing claw, that in addition to the stigma of her being a black cat was very likely the reason she had not been adopted. I told Luis that we HAD to rescue her no matter what. So we adopted her and brought her to my parents house to meet Aro. They were both curious about each other but bonded pretty quickly which was amazing to observe.
Finally there is Stella who we adopted in November 2018 from North Toronto Cat Rescue. She’s about 9 months old so she’s still a kitten and definitely acts like one – rambunctious, very curious and affectionate. It took Stella quite some time to adjust to her new home with Luna as she would hide and loud noises scared her. Stella didn’t like to be picked up at all and would run away when we’d try to come close to her which made me sad because I kept wondering what she’d gone through before she was found. I suspected her behavior was also due to the fact that she had just moved from being surrounded by kittens and playing with them at the rescue, to a completely new home with just one cat.
Happily, after a few weeks Luna and Stella bonded, and we slowly gained her trust. Now Stella is always near us, constantly sniffing around and stealing our food – she loves to eat! She is also a hoarder and a little kleptomaniac! Luis and I often notice that items around the condo are missing, but we don’t have to look far to see where they are or guess who took them. Stella has stolen sandwiches from our plates, bread bags, makeup items – pretty much anything she can pick up with her teeth. She’s so entertaining!
She’s also a very floppy cat when she wants attention. She flops on the floor and waits for us to rub her and she is like jelly when we pick her up – she LOVES it. We constantly thank the universe for bringing Luna and Stella into our lives and look forward to seeing them both from the moment we wake up to when we come home from work.
What is your first memory or experience with cats?
I was born and raised in England and lived there for the first 10 years of my life, we had neighbors who had cats and they would often visit our backyard and my sisters and I loved to play with them. We always wanted to adopt a cat growing up, and remember our dad telling us stories about the cat he used to have as his companion when he was growing up in Uganda, in East Africa. I think that’s why he loves cats just like we do.
Anything else people should know?
I always tell people to adopt, not shop, when they’re looking to care for an animal and also to ignore the stigma around black cats because none of the nonsense and superstitions about them are true! Black cats are magnificent and equally as beautiful as any other cat out there. For those who live in Toronto and surrounding areas I would recommend North Toronto Cat Rescue, Pickering Animal Shelter where we adopted Aro and the girls from, and Toronto Cat Rescue, another great no-kill charity.
If you would like to have your cat/s featured on Let’s Talk About Your Cat, feel free to contact me at purrandroar(at)gmail(dot)com