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Anju Virmani

By Blossom / Joan Sauers
Mehta Publishing House, Mumbai, 2014, pp. 156, Rs. 200.00

VOLUME XXXIX NUMBER 11 November 2015

For many years my children looked after stray dogs in the colony, feeding them when pregnant or lactating, taking injured ones to the vet, getting a couple ligated and rabies-shot. Then we moved, and a family of stray cats adopted us, including eventually a three day old, still blind, tabby whose mother was killed by dogs, and who survived because of my daughter’s sheer persistence. Naturally, our perspective became more feline than canine. One of the mysteries of life is why dogs love humans so unconditionally, often regardless of how they are treated. Cats are much more logical creatures: centers of their own universe, but if you look after them well, willing to indulge you occasionally with affection. It is a wonderful feeling to have a cat purring in your lap, as it lifts its neck so you can scratch it just at the right place, but it will not come to you on your command. It is not surprising that the enigmatic looks cats give you, their self-assured demeanour, bring out the philosopher in one. The sketches of Hobbes, whether sleeping in the sun or stalking Calvin, make it obvious that Bill Watterson has had one or more cats in his life. The sheer, self-indulgent stretch can only be captured by someone who has observed it closely. Thus I found Eat Spray Love thoroughly enjoyable. It is written by Blossom, who lives in Sydney, Australia, and has discovered herself without ever leaving home. Her body language is very eloquent, and her gems are worth sharing with the world, particularly with us confused humans. However, she was handicapped by her inability to write English, so she has used fellow author Joan Sauers’s services to communicate her wisdom, and we are fortunate that Mehta Publishers have brought this wisdom to us. Each photograph of this tabby, furry philosopher is accompanied by a pithy lesson. Thus: ‘When you begin to think the grass is greener elsewhere, climb into the lap of someone you love.’ ‘Learn the art of the “subtle nag”. Wait patiently until your flatmate’s nearly finished their meal, and then stare at the plate until they think it’s their idea to share.’ ‘The trick is making them think they’re at the top of the pecking order when in fact you run the show.’ On first look, it takes just a few minutes to flip through ...

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