CAUGHT IN THE FELINE WEB

Remember the cat that hates being called a cat! The sheathed claws that when drawn can count. The cat's paw that can finger the right choice from the multiple. The puss that's 'pals' with a parrot. The feline-folk's answer to Einstein.

By Sushil Kutty

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Published: Wed 20 Apr 2005, 12:54 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 2:49 PM

The Persian born in Europe, and now expat in Dubai. The 'Puss that Kicks Up All the Fuss' — the cat that answers to the name 'Cutie Boy'.

Last November, Cutie Boy took centre-stage on the City Times frontpage, mesmerising readers with his exploits in the company of man. The latest is that Cutie Boy has come out against exploitation of all those species who are not so “well off”, and who get routinely ticked (and kicked) off by members of that most arrogant of all species, the exalted human being, that mean and cruel denizen of the concrete jungle.

Cutie Boy — who shares a third floor flat in Bur Dubai with a dog, a parrot and four human beings — has a message to deliver, contained in his newly-installed website, www.cutyboy.com. The legend on the homepage says 'CutyBoy, the Genius Boy'...

"I live in Dubai. I am an expatriate here... I do have memories of my infant phase in a cattery in Europe..." begins the cat, who wouldn't for the love of milk or money pick up a fight with the barking, and the chirping sorts.

As far as Cutie Boy goes, birds of a feather and cats of a fur are friends forever. Don't believe that, ask Cutie Boy's pal and partner Meenu the Parrot. But when it comes to the barking-brave, "man's best friend", these four-legged companions don't rank that high in Cutie Boy's version of the 'Origin of the Species', and if anyone can read Cutie Boy's mein, the feeling that comes across is 'there's nothing to gain splitting whiskers over that'.

There are other things more important happening in the world that would concern an intelligent cat. Like the way human beings treat other members of the living planet. The cruelty of man, his disdain for all and every life other than the human. His lip-sympathy for animal-welfare.

Cutie Boy's message is for the world at large but for human beings in particular. Cutie Boy has taken on the mantle of 'spokes-animal' for "fellow beings of all species" other than the biped, mispelt human(e).

"I want to dedicate this short message towards the care and well-being of all others like me, big and small. I am privileged to have a loving home where I am just like any human member of the family. Sometimes I think I get more attention than even other (human) members in my home and I enjoy it thoroughly. Unfortunately, there are more of my kind and other species who are not so better off..."

Cutie Boy (believed and reputed to understand eight to 10 languages — Hindi, English, Arabic, French, Malayalam... Even a smattering of Chinese) says he is "appalled" by the suffering inflicted on fellow beings of all species by human beings. "Sadly, most of it happens for commercial profit and are avoidable. Call it research, call it entertainment; we are always at the receiving end!

"By being at the helm of the evolutionary chain, man has indeed become in charge of our planet (and we thought Cutie Boy was from Mars!). The way man deals with the environment is affecting not only his own destiny, it is affecting the very survival of smaller creatures like us. So, let us protect our planet and sustain all its life-forms for the sake of all our future!"

What cat-like vision! That it is, indeed. But what about the indictment, the contempt in it for all foibles human: "Just because we don't speak the same language as humans, should you be insensitive to our pain... You do not do that to another human being speaking a different language. We look different, we communicate differently, we are of all colours and we are less intelligent... Human values exhort you to be more considerate to others with disabilities, don't we qualify in that equation?"

For a cat who hates being called a cat, that is very well-put. Point is will a human being listen to a cat? Will the feline message slink into a thick head? The only CAT, as far as the world knows, most human beings listen to, and pay attention to, is the Cool American...



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