Kushboo from Jabalpur is proof of the saying that cats have nine lives. From struggling for life on the banks of the Narmada about a year ago, the feline has become one of the finalists in Peta’s contest for the cutest rescued cats.
After sifting through hundreds of photographs of lovable cats and the stories of their rescue, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) chose Kushboo as one of 10 finalists.
But when Kushboo’s guardian, Pooja Rao of Jabalpur, found the kitten, she had wounds all over her legs.
"It was on September 14, 2014, I was travelling to the Narmada near Gaurighat in Jabalpur. I found this little kitten struggling for life, surrounded by stray dogs. Since I always carry biscuits for stray animals, I immediately fed the dogs and rescued the kitten, which was bleeding from several places,” Rao told Hindustan Times.
“The kitten was so tiny, it could barely open its eyes. I tried to seek help from people in the neighbourhood, but nobody came forward. I was hesitant to take the kitten with me as I had adopted a street dog and wasn’t sure they would gel. But seeing no way out, I took the kitten home.”
Rao’s fears proved to be unfounded and the kitten and the dog soon got along like a house on fire.
The cat Kushboo with the street dog adopted by Pooja Rao.
“To my wonder, they both became friends very soon. They used to eat in one plate even when I used to feed them individually. They would play and sleep together. Even today, they are very fond of each other and the dog takes care that other street dogs do not harm Kushboo,” she said.
Peta India is running the “India's Cutest Rescued Cat Alive” contest to urge people to adopt a vulnerable cat from the streets or an animal shelter, instead of buying kittens. Pet shops and breeders often keep animals in dismal conditions and animals purchased from them are often discarded when buyers tire of them.
Rao, who has always been around animals, said people should try to take care of at least one needy animal. She says her animals complete her family.
Pooja Rao who rescued and adopted the cat Kushboo.
"Kushboo is a lucky cat and she has returned the favour of being rescued by bringing much love and joy into her guardian's life,” said Peta India CEO Poorva Joshipura. "All rescued cats are already winners because their lives were saved by people who love them for who they are."
The top three lucky cats will receive certificates and gifts. They will also appear in an upcoming issue of Animal Times, Peta’s magazine.