Archive for the ‘Noodle’ Category

Excerpt from an email Mayank wrote to his friend who was kind enough to look after our cats Noodle & Dopey while he was out of town for 3 days last month.


“…..Here’s a guide for handling Noodle and Dopey:


0)         I’ve filled the cat food dispenser to the brim, it should last for almost 3 days. If you find the food running low on the third day, please refill it to the brim. Cat food is located inside the lower cupboard in the passageway, the one that has a chair propped against it. The chair is there to keep Noodle out, else she opens the door and helps herself to the cat food. Both these cats are kept on a strict diet, lest they get overweight. A small cup for measuring food is kept on the left of the microwave. To refill the food, just take the black rectangular cover off the top of the dispenser (might be slightly tight), add food in, and fasten it back.The water should be enough for a week.




0.5)      The two boxes of litter in the closet should be good for 3 days, you wont have to do anything. It might smell a bit after a day or two, sorry. Noodle has the unpleasant habit of not covering her droppings after she’s done her business, since she’s the boss cat of the house. Poor Dopey has to do it for her.

1)         Please be careful while opening and closing the front door, the cats might try to escape. If they go outside, they don’t know their way back.

2)         If you can’t find the cats anywhere in the house (particularly Noodle), good places to look are under the bed in the bedroom, and under the recliner, inside the cloth on the underside (heaven knows how they get in there). I’ve kept a small flashlight on the dining table, it’s useful for locating black cats hiding in dark corners. If all else fails, rattle the food in the cat food dispenser, and they’ll come running.

3)         If you find Dopey running around, it’s because he’s excited to see you. If you run after him, he’ll go hide under the bed.

4)         The cat toys are all kept in the second drawer in the chest of drawers in the bedroom. They’re in the second drawer because Noodle is smart enough to open the top and the bottom drawer on her own. She’s smart enough to go to college. They like the big read cat tease most of all, and Dopey likes to run after the small silver ball of aluminum foil. Noodle might act a bit pricey at first, but she likes to play as much as anyone.

5)         Please *do not* leave any sort of yarn/thread around Dopey, he always swallows it, and it can be fatal for him.


I hope you have a great time with these two!
Oh and there’s a box of Ferrero Rocher chocolates in the freezer, please help yourself to it! Or anything else in the fridge, for that matter.


Thanks again,






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It was the longest 3 hours and 25 mins flight of our lives. Both Mayank & I have had our share of terrible flying experience but were never as stressed out as we were last Saturday. Our cats, Noodle & Dopey were flying with us from Austin to Santa Clara. Southwest Airlines was kind enough to have a pet policy that allowed certain pets inside the cabin.

Knowing what a spoilt brat Dopey is, we had begun training the cats to stay inside their carrier and get used to the sense of motion. We took them out every evening for a drive in preparation for last Saturday’s journey. As the days went by they acclimatized or so we thought.Our biggest worry was them playing the escape artist during security check when we would have to take them out of the carrier and through the security check. Mayank would handle Noodle while I would wrestle with feisty Dopey.

Dopey does not suffer in silence. Period! He will ensure everyone around him knows he’s unhappy. From the time we put him in the carrier early morning to the time we got into our new home, he complained. He pleaded, cajoled, cried, threatened, fought, pushed, wailed and bit. He sunk his claws and teeth into the carrier mesh every now and then, trying his level best to tear it off. He rubbed his nose against the mesh which made it turn red as a beet. If this was his “calm” self after the stress relief medicine we had given the cats, I shudder to think what he would have done otherwise.

Noodle on the other hand was a Buddha. Not a word from her. Perhaps she was contemplating digging a tunnel and escaping. Or plotting our murder while we slept.

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Every other day, Noodle and Dopey have a sparring contest. The reason could be anything- Dopey in a playful mood, Noodle in a foul mood, Dopey getting bored, Noodle snatching Dopey’s toy. In short they get into a fight very often. At times several times a day. It’s not a playful kitty scrap. Even though it lasts briefly, the vehemence with which they attack each other is not lost.

A typical Round I match begins by Dopey attacking Noodle from behind, thus having an unfair advantage. But in no time, Noodle’s shaken him off and he’s lying on his back. From then on he’s lost the round. Noodle rains blows on him left, right and centre. Dopey can barely manage to save his face. And after a knock-out punch Noodle haughtily walks away while Dopey is left to wonder where he needs to improve upon next time.

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Noodle loves to fool people with her looks. But I know that behind this ninja look lies a very timid and good natured cat. She’s afraid of loud noises, the sound of running water, sudden movements, clothes hanger, CDs, in short everything that looks unfamiliar. Her avoidance tactics include sinking deeper into her cat bad, hiding in the closet among clothes from where only her eyes can be seen or going into the fireplace(no fire of course) where she is perfectly camouflaged.

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There seemed to be an inverse relation between the time at my disposal and the portion of a baby blanket that remained to be crocheted. For the second time in a row I was rushing to finish my blanket project. While in the first case the baby decided to come out a few weeks earlier, this time, I wanted to hand over the finished product to one of Mayank’s uncles who was visiting his brother in Austin and who in turn would hand it over to Mayank’s dad or sister in Delhi. No the baby(my nephew/niece) isn’t due anytime soon. But why take chances?

It took me five days to complete it from start to finish. As is always the case I started off with a feeling of having ample time. But by day three I realized I needed to put in more than an hour daily. Measuring 150cm* 100cm, the blanket was a lot bigger than the usual baby blanket. It was Mayank’s input. Surely, I would not make a “lungi” that the baby would outgrow in 6 months!

The wool was from Turkey. Soft and colorful it was ideal for baby projects. I used two shades for the pattern to stand out. I must acknowledge it’s one of the best crochet patterns. The possibilities of using that stitch are infinite. There are two variations of the same pattern, one calls for 12 stitches and the other 10. I used the second one. This pattern is also known as Pin Wheel stitch. There are many videos available online for both the patterns.

This is how the blanket looks. I was in such tearing hurry I could just about manage to take one picture from my 50mm lens. Hence the cropped look.

I had to keep my eyes peeled to protect the yarn from the mischievous cats. While I could shoo away Dopey and easily distract him with his toy mouse, a string, a shred of paper or whatever, Noodle the wily cat was difficult to give the boot. She sat beside me with her nose a millimeter away from the yarn but did not do anything else. I suppose she didn’t want to give me a chance to scold her but the instant I looked away she chomped down on the yarn. When I looked back she immediately released it. Only when I came across to the wet spot(s) of yarn while working on it did I realize what that crafty little cat was up to.

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I see a clear bias developing in the cats. Noodle who spends most of her time ignoring my existence is suddenly transformed into Mayank’s girl the moment he comes back from work. Without giving him a moment’s rest she attaches herself to Mayank’s legs, looks up at him and demands to be petted rather loudly. More so when he’s working on his physiotherapy exercises at home. Noodle just won’t rest until he’s petted her and picked her up. She also stalks him to the kitchen and demands her share of whatever he’s having. Which he gladly obliges. From my seat I can see her arched back, raised tail and constant weaving in and out between Mayank’s legs. A spoilt girl she is.

Dopey on the other hand is my ardent follower, even to the bathroom. A bundle of energy that he is, he often does not let me do much other than play with him. So I have to lock him out of a room often. And thereafter begins his piteous meows. As if he’s missing out on all the fun. Every morning like a clockwork he starts his meowing ritual outside the bedroom door. Once let in, he immediately jumps on the bed and begins to head-butt me on my face-his way of saying “wake up and pet me”. Shortly, he collapses very near to my feet and does not wake up until it’s breakfast time.

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It’s stressful at times to live in a house owned by cats. In between their nap time and food time, they like to run around, at each others heals, biting, chewing and ostensibly playing. Not only do they create a huge ruckus, they almost always disturb the human who might be trying to get some work done. They climb on the table, knock off a few things, walk all over the computer, sit on it and refuse to budge. The younger one often escapes carrying in his mouth, the pen or pencil that the human was working with.

Several hours pass, before the two fall asleep and silence reigns in the house.

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