INDIA: I have written about this before but I have conveniently bumped into a security camera video, which I think is interesting so I am revisiting the story.
In summary, the basic story is that some residents of a block of apartments in Mumbai were unhappy with the presence of stray cats, one of whom was injured and pregnant. Not all of the residents were intolerant of the cats. Arvind Rao is a cat lover. He suspected that the cat hating residents asked the block’s ‘watchmen’ (officials who help manage the block) to remove the cats to clean up the place.
The video below shows us how they did it. The cat we see that the cats is clearly domesticated. She is what I would call a community cat who has been domesticated by continual interaction with various individuals who probably feed her.
The behaviour of the watchmen has the flavour of something that might have happened in the 18th century. The placing of the cat in a sack reminds me of the old saying ‘to let the cat out of the bag’. It comes from the practice of a trickster who’d place a cat in a bag and pretend that it was a pig for sale at a market. If the cat escaped his deceit would be exposed, hence the letting the cat out of the bag.
We can also see that the man who is carrying the cat hides behind a large plant while he waits for another to bring the sack. It appears to me that he is aware of the video cameras.
We don’t know what happened to the cat. It looks sinister. The report says that the cat was simply removed to another location but I have suggested that she might have been killed. The story throws up the debate about how to deal with stray cats in India. There are lots of them and it seems that there is a careless approach to spaying and neutering.
Animal welfare laws in India started with the British Raj (when Britain rules India). The Brits introduced animal welfare laws in India in the 19th century! They are still in place but perhaps updated for the modern era.
The act that we see in the video is a crime in India. It is nice to know that. It is something that Brits can be proud of. The police have been informed. Four watchmen were involved and I believe the matter is being investigated. The big question is whether anyone will be charged and convicted. I suspect that that is unlikely. The criminal justice system in India is hellishly cumbersome.
The block of flats is owned or managed by the Manavsthal Cooperative Housing Society in Malad (west).