by Rudolph. A. Furtado
Since 1976, when I owned my first dog, a Spitz named "Blondie", I have been a regular visitor to the "Veterinarian", in Mumbai city.
Since 1976, the number of Veterinary clinics have increased tremendously as has the economic income of the average working class and very wealthy Indians.
My present veterinarian Dr Shivani Tandel of Phoenix Veterinary Specialty clinic is an "avian and exotic specialist" with owners of exotic birds seeking her suggestions and treatment for their very expensive pets.
Mumbai's economic progress can be gauged by the rise in pet ownership, and pets are seen as status symbols akin to a fancy car or a costly apartment.
In 1976, when I used to visit the Bai Sakarbai Animal Hospital, Mumbai's largest animal hospital, exotic birds or dogs or cats were a rarity. In 2011, for the first time in my life I saw a beautiful macaw parrot at Dr Shivani Tandel's clinic when I had gone to seek treatment for cat Matahati's mouth ulcer, later cured.
In the clinic I noticed an ordinary cat with a harness, a stray rescued cat, and hence requested permission to write an article on it.
I have copied the article written on this cat by the writer of WIR Mumbai, a local animal welfare organisation that helps in rescuing animals and birds in the city.
Here is the story of "MOUSEEKA":- "A stray cat had badly injured itself as it had tried to gain entry into a lift shaft to access her kitten which she had littered.
The working lift came completely on her back, breaking her spinal chord thus paralyzing her waist down. The cat was brought in for treatment which needed special medical attention and care.
After painstaking efforts by the veterinarian and their team with multiple X-rays and medication the cat that lay lying on the ground for nearly two months showed immense spirit to live.
Her courage to fight back and survive kept the spirits of our team and staff high. After several months of treatment and love this adorable cat has become a member of Phoenix Veterinary Specialty family and it lives with them.
Today with specially made wheels the cat, "MOUSEKAA" rules the clinic and brings joy to all the creatures that come in distress for treatment.
MOUSEKAA with her wheels now has the freedom to roam around and do her things in the clinic. She greets all the patients with her loving meoooow and makes every owner fall in love with her with the sparkle in her eyes.
She has shown immense determination to survive when she was frail and bed ridden for two months. An excellent example to state that if given a chance these animals fight back with immense spirits."
P.S. - The photograph is my own taken in the clinic on Wednesday (20-7-2011) as is also the introduction to the topic.
The Harness wheels attached to assist Mousekaa in walking is imported from either U.S.A or Europe and costs approx $330 (USD or Rs 15000, a huge sum of money.
Phoenix Veterinary Specialty Clinic symbolizes the modern India's growth in pet care and pet welfare with the local pet industry becoming a booming business.
In 1976, the term "dog walkers" did not exist in the city, but, today in 2011 there are numerous professional dog walkers in my own locality, let alone Mumbai city!
Sadly, unlike dogs, the cat enthusiasts have never formed a organization to conduct cat shows and cat ownership is strictly a private pet hobby.
By the way cat declawing is non-existent in India to the present day.