Recently, we posted a short video about one woman’s obsession with feeding dozens of street cats outside her house. It made a splash online because cats rule the internet.
My editor thought it would be a good idea for me to meet this lady, and talk to her. So, I went with two cameramen to Gulshan, where she lives, in the heat of the day.
Our mission: to see what’s so exciting about feeding street cats.
We got there an hour before sunset and were told by the chowkidar that the lady feeds the cats right after maghrib.
In the meantime, we walked around the park to take some pictures and see if we could find some neighbours to interview.
It was easy to get a hold of a few guys to talk to; they thought that the cat lady was the coolest person in the world. They told us how they've been seeing this lady feed the cats every day for as long as they can remember. They also recounted how the lady scolds them every time they walk too close to the cats or how they're too scared to ask her why in the world she feeds so many cats.
The chowkidar said that he is the third person from his family to work at this house and that the previous two members of his family also told him about the cat lady. If his calculations were correct, she's been feeding street cats for at least 17 years.
As if this wasn’t impressive enough, she's been doing so every single day for all these years without fail. This is what she told me, when she finally stepped out of her house with five bags of meat. The cats had already started gathering across the street as the sun was setting. By the time she came out with the food, there were about three dozen hungry cats around.
One of the guys we interviewed said that the cats are like her children. Someone said she hates people and only loves cats.
Her own story went something like this: years ago, she found a hungry cat on the street outside her house and couldn’t bear the thought of the cat dying of hunger. So she fed the cat and never stopped since. The cats started growing in number —she started with one, but must have fed thousands of cats over the period of time.
The lady never skips a day. She says she doesn’t go for iftari or anywhere else at this time. She doesn’t even go for Umrah or Hajj.
The one time in her life she was unable to attend to the cats was when she broke her leg and was unable to move. But even then, she made sure to arrange for someone to come and give food to the felines while she recovered.
She looked extremely tired though. She isn’t young and walks with a stick. She says that she is now exhausted after doing this for so many years. She said that if other people started to take care of the cats, she would stop doing it herself.
But it’s not common for anyone to care for so many cats and I’m not sure if anyone in her area would be so keen on doing so. She didn’t seem to have good relations with her neighbours. Many mock her, though sometimes she does hear nice things about her as well from people.
I don’t know for how long she’d be able to continue doing this, but I think when she stops, people in her street might miss her.