The Stray Cats of Worli Fish Market Mumbai

by Rudolph.A.Furtado
(Mumbai, India)

Mr Atam Wadhwani, the cat philanthropist with lucky survivor cat Rajesh in the Worli fish market of Mumbai.

Mr Atam Wadhwani, the cat philanthropist with lucky survivor cat Rajesh in the Worli fish market of Mumbai.

Mr Atam Wadhwani, the cat philanthropist with lucky survivor cat Rajesh in the Worli fish market of Mumbai. Rajesh (Radhe), the stray cat that defied death. A cat has 9 lives.

The Worli fish-market in Mumbai is almost a bi-weekly regular visit by me for purchase of fresh fish products. This market has a lot of stray cats feeding on the fish left-overs and I also happened to notice a gentleman who regularly fed these cats with fresh fish.

I have previously posted a video on YouTube about this particular group of Worli market stray cats...

In Mumbai, feeding stray dogs with left-over or throw-away food is not uncommon but feeding cats with one's own personal money is a rare sight.

Recently I happened to notice one of the fattest and largest cats sitting like absolute royalty at a shop's doorstep in the fish market.

The next day I again happened to see this same cat in the group of cats being fed by cat philanthropist Mr Atam Wadhwani, an elderly gentleman.

On inquiring I was surprised to hear that this fat cat was just a few months back almost on deaths door, severely infected with maggots due to either "Cat-Fights" or other injury.

Mr A. Wadhwani got this cat admitted into the "S.P.C.A" hospital at Parel at his own expense and its complete recovery took 2 1/2 months at an astronomical cost, same paid by Mr Atam Wadhwani.

This cat named Rajesh or Radhe is very popular amongst all the fisher-women and shop owners in the market and is absolutely docile, almost like a personal house-hold pet.

Another strange aspect of this cat is his abnormal size. He towers amongst the other stray cats, both in weight and height, a rare freak tabby and white stray cat.

On the arrival of Mr A. Wadhwani all the market stray cats rush towards him for their daily fish food and cat Rajesh holds pride of place, rubbing himself against his human patron akin to a domestic house cat greeting its master on arrival.

I was surprised at the familiarity of these stray cats to their human patron, especially cat Rajesh who loves being petted. Having visited and photographed London's largest municipal market, "Burroughs Market" in May 2010, viewers in Western Countries would be surprised at seeing numerous stray cats in a Mumbai fish market, that are also being regularly cared for and fed by a local Mumbai cat enthusiast.

Mr Atam Wadhwani has four pet cats at home and besides feeding and caring for them he spends his personal income on a bit of cat philanthropy, very uncommon in Mumbai city.

I personally thought that I was one of the rare Mumbai freaks devoted to "cat journalism" and was surprised to find a common Mumbaikar Mr Atam Wadhwani finding personal pleasure and relief by providing medical care and food to stray cats of a Mumbai fish-market.

Hence I decided to write this article and portray the rare cat philanthropist of Mumbai city Mr Atam Wadhwani as well as the luckiest stray cat of Mumbai, cat Rajesh.

Rudolph.A.Furtado

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The Stray Cats of Worli Fish Market Mumbai

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Mar 20, 2012
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It takes a special person to care for stray cats !! NEW
by: Anonymous

As I read/watch story about feral cats @ fish market in Mumbai, India, my eyes welled up, Mr Wadhawani is clearly a cat lover/rescuer/helper with an altruistic attitude, a great example to others.
Although he has 4 cats @ home, he extends that loving care to strays in need of food/care, an example is Rajesh, a white/black tabby that needed long term vet care, in turn Rajesh considers him his master, rubbing himself in fact saying "this gentleman saved me, he's mine".
As a cat lover/rescuer/helper for over 50 years I've learned a lot about cats, they're clean, loyal, loving, protective, intuitive as well as devoted; when a cat is rescued they demonstrate their gratitude in numerous manners, saying "Thank you for giving me a furever home"
Like dogs but cats are funnier & more intelligent.

keenpetite
Southeast Arizona


Mar 20, 2012
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A medal NEW
by: Michael

Mr Atam Wadhwani deserves recognition and if I was in Mumbai I would pin a medal on his shirt. He is one of us and I love what he does. He is one of the good guys.

Thanks for sharing this story, Rudolph. It is heart warming to see the same attitude in some people in India towards the domestic and stray cat as we see in some of the great cat caretakers who visit PoC.



Comments

The Stray Cats of Worli Fish Market Mumbai — 19 Comments

  1. Sir,I am also a cat lover. Can you tell me the contact details and mobile number of cat lover atam wadhwani.I also want to work for welfare of stray cats living in India.Please e-mail me the contact details of atam wadhwani.

    • Hi Ramesh. I will ask Rudolph Furtado to respond to your comment. Rudolph lives in Mumbai. Please allow a bit of time for him to comment. Thanks for visiting.

    • Hello Ramesh.I am the person who videotaped this film on the cats of Worli market.I Live in Prabhadevi and hence a regular at the Fish market and hence the observations and blog on the “CATS OF WORLI”.There are lots of websites on cats on “F.B” based in Mumbai for which you can do some work on cat welfare.One important welfare organization is “Bombay cat club”(https://www.facebook.com/groups/11369219453/) on “Face-book”.They do the maximum charity work on stray and abandoned cats in Mumbai.As for Mr Atam.Wadhwani, i personally just know him during my visits to the “Worli Fish market”, thats all.

  2. A beautiful Worli Market tortoise-shell feral cat taken on Tuesday(15-10-2013).This cat could participate in a “Cat Show” such is its unique and rare body colouring.There are numerous feral cats in this market as shown in the video that survive on waste fish and also occasionally fed by the famous “Fish Market Cat Fancier” Mr Atam.Wadhwani.

    • A beautiful tortoiseshell cat and the body is slender – what is called “foreign” or “oriental” in the cat fancy. The pattern on the face is striking too. Thanks for showing us, Rudolph.

  3. I m cat lover doing my bit to feed and treat and sterilise stray cats in my neighborhood. but people think that I am the cause of increase in cat population in my colony. They have threatened to make police complain. am I protected by any law ? or am I a cause of public nuisance

    • The answer depends a lot on (A) the local laws where you are and (B) the attitude of the local administrators (do they appreciate TNR programs – most do these days).

      The people of course are mistaken because what you’re doing in the long-term reduces the cat population. What they might see is when you feed the cats, cats are attracted to the area and so the population might be increased initially but over the long term as stated it will reduce because the cats are being sterilised.

      It depends as well on how effective your TNR program is. There was a well-known case in California which highlights the problem that you are going through. The problems you are encountering are very common across the country. The problem goes to the argument as to how best to deal with feral cats and how effective trap-neuter-release is considered to be. You might like to read this page:

      http://pictures-of-cats.org/help-fight-beverly-hills-municipal-code.html

      What I would do is to check the local law about feeding animals and about nuisance etc.. You can even phoned up the local authority and ask their advice. There are also many people involved with the kind of program you are involved with. You might find some organisation near you who can provide advice as to how best to avoid complaints. People complain because they don’t understand and they don’t like cats a lot of them. Good luck.

  4. Lovely article! My hubby & me are inspired to meet Mr Wadhwani Is there any way we could contact him We live in Pune & visit mumbai sometimes

  5. Hello Amita.Mr Atam.Wadhwani is well known amongst the fisherwoman in “Worli Fish Market” situated near Adarsh Nagar. If you go to the market just inquire with any fisherwoman and they could guide you.He visits the market regularly in the morning.

  6. In updating this article written in 2012 and keeping it relevant as does “P.O.C” the Internet cat encyclopedia i am sad to announce the death of the “Mascot cat Radhe” of Worli fish market. He died sometime in February 2014 when i was on a tour of Bhutan.Tragically this was also the time that my 22 year old Alexandrine parakeet “Mittoo” expired.The Worli fish market looks very ordinary in the absence of “Radhe(Rajesh)” as no other cat among the ferals match his size and dominant presence.

  7. Sir,
    There are cats with me , as I was staying on rental agreement(Borivali-East) I am worried where to leave them .
    Sir kindly advise me. Thanks & Regards
    Deepak

  8. The news about intelligent cat, Cutyboy has been published in many newspapers and magazines of the world like gulf today, gulf news, khaleej times and the hindu. Search information about intelligent cat cutyboy on google search engine and also visit the personal website of cat cutyboy: cutyboy.com

  9. hi, my name is Shonali. I live in Bandra West, Mumbai. I used to have a lot of cats for almost 20 years, mainly because i wasn’t aware of spaying. I finally did get the females spayed, and one by one over 20 years, I lost my cats due to age. I have one cat now who is 13 years old and she lives inside our house. I have heard a lot of complaints from neighbours and relatives because I had so many cats. Recently another female cat has come, and my mother gave it food once or twice, and she has got into the habit of sitting outside our door. I am terrified that someone will again say something to me. I am 40 years old, and couldn’t get married also, one of the reasons being extreme attachment to pets. Can someone please help me find a home for this cat, she is white in colour and very cute. I am willing to pay whatever it takes for spaying and other charges. Please help me someone. Thanks and God bless! Shonali

    • Hi Shonali. Bless you for looking after cats and thinking about the welfare of this cat. I wish you the best of luck in homing her.

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