Gulmarg and Bageera.
When we went to pick them up from their foster home, we were accompanied by our dear 8 yr old friend, an ardent animal lover, who was as excited as us that we were adopting two cats. She is the one behind the name Bageera. When you look at them the choice of Bageera is evident, black cat, looks like a panther = named after the adorable panther from Jungle book. It was this 8 yr old’s quick mind that thought of it during our car ride back home. And we were thrilled as much with the name as with the fact that she named him.
Then we were wondering what to call the other lil black fellow. The house we adopted them from was called Gulmarg, my partner and me love the idea of Gulmarg – the Kashmiri ski station we have been dreaming of since we moved to India. And this lil fellow had two white whiskers on his otherwise fully black fur, so we decided this would be Gulmarg with snow topped whiskers :). For a few months Gulmarg was distinguished only by his white whiskers and Bageera by his enormous scar on the left foreleg. That is till we became familiar with their otherwise very unique faces and especially their personalities.
We wanted two cats for so many reasons, we didn’t want them to get too attached to humans, we wanted them to keep their unique feline instincts which are nurtured when cats live with other cats. We wanted their bond amongst themselves to be stronger than their bond with us and it all worked out. They were tight, they loved each other and watching them groom each other was beautiful, a serene moment of shared bliss. They would sleep snuggled together in winters on our cupboards and in the sun. It is winter now and Bageera is unexpectedly alone and snuggles with us, and somehow this saddens me. Its over a month since we lost Gulmarg and tears still flow freely at every thought of him.