November 28, 2020
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If ever I need a pet, I'll draw myself a virtual cat that'll purr in MIDI stereo and die only when I tell it to.

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Ever since City Limits has been appearing on New Delhi’s streets, I have been away. So it’s only very recently that I saw an actual physical copy of this column in print. That’s when I noticed the little graphic of person who
looks much too cute to be me, holding an animal of some sort. Possibly a cat. Or maybe a rare variety of lemur, with stripes on its back rather than its tail. Whatever.

The time has come, however, to tear away the film of untruth that has lain for five months upon my public image: the fact is, I do not belong to any pets. I like
animals, but can’t face being responsible for their health and well-being. Even casual looking-after is more stress than I can handle.

For instance, the upstairs cat was left with us for three weeks while his owners were away. He’s a big handsome beastie, with thick silky fur and enormous canine teeth. He was on a course of medicines and had to be given pills twice daily. Well! It took three of us to manage this task and left us scratched, bitten and traumatised.

By the time his owners came back, the cat had grown sleek and huge, while I was a gibbering, cross-eyed wreck.

Even plants are too much for me. If I water them too much, they die. If I water them too little, they die. If I water them just right, they sit in their pots beaming guilt-thoughts at me, because I like to eat baby corn, brussel sprouts and other infant-veggie items. Then they die anyway, to spite me.

So—enough! If ever I need a pet, I’ll draw myself a virtual cat that’ll purr in MIDI stereo and die only when I tell it to.

This article originally appeared in Delhi City Limits, January 31, 2006

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