Very unlike cats and dogs...

A year ago, residents of Turuvekere had complained to the Town Panchayat to check the menace of stray dogs. One of the grievances articulated by them was that stray dogs entered compounds of houses and attacked and killed pet cats.

In Gandhinagar locality, a pack of stray dogs had attacked a clowder of four kittens and had mauled them to death. How do such bitter enemies co-exist under the same roof, is the question that assails anyone who visits the house of Thimme Gowda. The environmentalist has not reared cats and dogs in his house on purpose.

A pet dog of his died some time ago, leaving a female pup, whom Thimme Gowda named Lakumi. Lakumi grew up to be the darling of the family, and recently became a mother.
Lately, on a visit to the house of Dr Krishna Singh, his friend, Thimme Gowda saw a small, cute, grey, striped kitten and wanted to adopt it as a pet. Krishna Singh gave in. As he was bringing it home, Thimme Gowda suddenly realised that cats and dogs do not exactly get along.

Worried, he brought the kitten home nevertheless. The family members immediately developed a crush on the new arrival and named it just that - Crush.

Surprisingly, Lakumi did not attack the kitten. In fact, it was quite friendly to it.
But the kitten, displaced from its original home, went on a protest fast. It would not eat or drink anything. With a heavy heart, Thimme Gowda, who had grown fond of the kitten, took it back to Dr Singh’s house. But Crush’s mother refused to  accept the kitten back.
In a dilemma, Gowda took Crush back home. He was also worried how an unwilling Crush and the original resident of the house, Lakumi, would get along.

Next morning, a strange sight awaited Thimme Gowda. Lakumi was feeding Crush. Soon, there was a stream of neighbours and friends to see the amazing sight.

Lakumi seems to have adopted Crush as its own, and Crush too sticks to Lakumi. Both eat together and sleep together. Lakumi is fiercely protective of Crush and fends off any attacks by other dogs with ferocity. “Humans who preach and practise hatred and vendetta have a lot to learn from animals,” says Thimme Gowda.

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