INDIA – A few years ago, a cat decided to cross his path when Upendra Goswami was rushing to strike an important business deal in Gandhidham. Like many, Goswami believed it was a bad omen and decided to return home and drink some water to try and ward off the evil. However, time was running out and instead of going home, he went for the deal, which actually earned him a fortune!
On Thursday, Goswami went ahead and organized an elaborate whole-day function with yagna and a gala dinner to mark ‘cat grahpraveshotsav (first entry ceremony)’ which was attended by nearly 500 people. Just like any other religious ceremony, a nine-hour yagna was then performed from 9 am to 6 am.
“I was so fascinated by stray cats that I started bringing them home. Their numbers started rising and it reached nearly 128,” stated Goswami, who currently works as an executive in a private shipping company. As he gained the reputation of a cat lover, people from many other places also came and left their cats at his house. Facing space crunch, Goswami then bought a plot just adjacent to his bungalow and decided to develop the place as a garden just for cats. His wife Pooja, who is a school principal, is also a cat lover. When she rings the bell, the cats immediately come in order to drink the milk and take the food in the kitchen from different parts of the house.
A special home for cats in the garden has 10 cottages, 50 sitting stands and swings beside a maternity facility.
“We have also installed a TV set as some of the cats are used to seeing cartoons,” stated Goswami, who spends nearly $735 a month on these felines. The couple feeds 26 liters of milk on a daily basis to the cats besides giving them specially made food. The garden currently has 200 cats and it is open for public viewing.