32 cats, 3 dogs, a Guinea pig live under one roof

32 cats, 3 dogs, a Guinea pig live under one roof

32 cats, 3 dogs, a Guinea pig live under one roof

There are many cat lovers in the city, but few can match Sudha Venkatesh’s passion for the felines.

At her house in Banashankari 3rd Stage near Kathriguppe Water Tank, there is hardly a corner where you won’t spot a furry creature roaming freely or perched royally – be it the refrigerator, almirah, bed, sofa, atop the microwave oven, in the shoe stand or the dining table. Visitors are forced to submit to these inmates’ writ as the purring pets perch cozily on their laps or climb on to their shoulders and lick their faces. In all, Sudha has 32 cats of different breeds and eight more will soon join the extended family. Apart from these felines, she has three dogs and a Guinea pig, all living in perfect harmony.

As if these are not enough, she takes care of at least 15 stray dogs and four stray cats. On her love for cats, Sudha says laughing, “My husband got three cats and a dog as dowry.” Sudha never had these many cats until seven years ago. “One of our neighbours, who knew we had three pet cats, informed us about a stray cat in trouble. It was badly mauled by some stray dogs. We brought it home and gave it medical attention. It recovered and since then, our journey of rescuing cats began and our cat family swelled.”

Today, she has different breeds of cats – Persian, Semi Persian, Kashmiri, Turkish Van, a variety of Indian cats like the short hair and long hair. “We did not buy any of these cats. They were either given to us by their owners or we rescued them,” says Sudha, who says she never paid heed to superstitions surrounding cats and even has breeds with dark black fur.

And tending to them doesn’t come cheap. She spends a whopping Rs 30,000 a month, with food accounting for the largest component. Being a strict vegetarian, she buys branded cat food, which is very expensive. The cats lap up 10 tins of the food everyday, each one costing Rs 50.

“It is a hefty sum for a middle class family like ours but we are managing it. My husband, daughter and son too contribute. We do receive donations, especially from those adopting these animals or those willing to leave them with us,” says Sudha, but adds that it is meagre.

To meet her expenses, she has registered her activity with the Animal Welfare Board of India under the name Sudha Shelter Home.
DH News Service