My latest book is The One Who Swam With The Fishes.

"A mesmerizing account of the well-known story of Matsyagandha ... and her transformation from fisherman’s daughter to Satyavati, Santanu’s royal consort and the Mother/Progenitor of the Kuru clan." - Hindustan Times

"Themes of fate, morality and power overlay a subtle and essential feminism to make this lyrical book a must-read. If this is Madhavan’s first book in the Girls from the Mahabharata series, there is much to look forward to in the months to come." - Open Magazine

"A gleeful dollop of Blytonian magic ... Reddy Madhavan is also able to tackle some fairly sensitive subjects such as identity, the love of and karmic ties with parents, adoption, the first sexual encounter, loneliness, and my favourite, feminist rage." - Scroll

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23 March 2015

Balcony cats

Sniffing the flowers back when we first got her
Back in Delhi for a bit now after a few months of being in and out and there is so much spring cleaning to be done! I sneeze every morning, which sucks, but we haven't been opening any windows or the balcony door because our three cats, unlike TC The Great And Glorious, are not super trustworthy when it comes to the outdoors. Or so we thought.

This morning, Olga da Polga got out in the five seconds the Good Thing had stepped into the balcony for, and as is her practice, clambered into the huge neem tree adjoining it. We called and cajoled (bribed her with bangles, see below) but she'd keep making eye contact and dashing off. Finally, after she did a good explore of the tree, she coolly jumped off the branch and back on the balcony ledge, walking past us as if to say, "Guys, chill, I can totally handle this." In this time, Bruno got out too and was sunning himself by the wall  and Pablo Squishy stepped out, his eyes full of wonder, and it was so nice to have sun, and they were so happy, Olga was rolling around in the dust, her eyes closed, her tail spelling out paroxyms of pleasure. We also thought of our friends' Goa cats, in and out of the house, happy healthy cats, and while living in the city means we can't let them out (dogs, cars, unfriendly people), we could at least let them get some fresh air.

So, cautiously, we left a balcony door open, and Olga The Explora only went out to sniff about, before retreating to her cool spot on the living room floor. Pablo Squishy is hiding out under a chair outside, having ousted Bruno from that spot, and Bruno has found himself a place to nap and to dream.

Indoor cats are often bored and look for trouble (scratch marks on my legs from Pablo Squishy trying to amuse himself by jumping on me) or eat a lot. If I give them enough credit for being smart animals who still have their hunting instinct, I have three happy occupied cats. And apart from Olga, the other two are too cautious to take any flying leaps.

Meanwhile, our windows are wide open and my sniffles are subsiding.

UPDATE: Maybe I spoke too soon. Leaving the windows open led to Olga leaping down onto a ledge, and performing acrobatics from there, giving me heart attacks. We tempted her back, and she scornfully walked in, only to leap out again, taking Copycat Bruno with her. Urgh. They're now ignoring me completely and gazing at the trees. Douchebags.

As far as indoor/outdoor cat spaces go, it could be worse. We're on the second floor, completely surrounded by tall strong trees, and the neighbouring plot is a temple, so the cats aren't going to get stuck in someone's house or something. 

I still wish they'd come in though. So hard to let go!


  1. That is so nice! I wish I could try that with Fiona too! But her previous owner has given me strict instruction to not let her out, or she'll run away. And frankly I'm too nervous to even try.

  2. If the previous owner also abandoned her, no wonder she was trying to run away! No, I'd give it a shot anyway, cats are quite clever creatures & except Olga, none of my cats has ever tried to jump OUT of the balcony. (Except in my old house, when TC did, but that house sucked anyway, and he stopped as soon as we moved to a better flat.)

  3. Nono previous owner did not abandon her! Fiona has a habit of darting for open doors, so I'm not sure this is such a good idea, at least not now. I'll try after a few months.


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