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Pawsome Pets: Nivetha Pethuraj’s Persian cat likes to play fetch
He has more dog traits than feline, says the Chennai-based actor, but that doesn’t stop her from loving him. He can frequently be seen accompanying her to film shooting sets
Nivetha Pethuraj’s life revolved around her two cats, well, not just hers but her entire family is in love with them, says the gorgeous actress. She got her first feline as a gift for her birthday, and found the second one on the streets of Dubai (where she lived) and decided to adopt it. “It was my parents’ job to take care of them, my only duty was to bring more cats home,” she jokes.
When she moved to Chennai to pursue acting full-time, she began craving for a companion that she could take to on shoots as well. So one day, she walked into a pet store and spotted a pure white Persian cat with blue eyes — “I had no intention of actually buying him but just wanted to explore my options,” she says. However, the 45-day-old furball stole her heart and in a matter of no time, he was going back home with her.
“When people found out I got him for Rs. 12,000, they would exclaim, ‘Pannandu aairam ah?” So we began calling the cat ‘nandu’. It felt incomplete without a second name — at that point of time, I used to live near the Murugan temple in Besant Nagar — so ‘Murugan’ became a suffix.” Yes, the cat is actually called Nandumurugan.
Her cat is as weird a creature as they come; she tells us through this incident. “He usually sleeps next to me but one day, I suddenly woke up from deep sleep. It was around 3 am in the morning and I found this guy sitting far away and just staring at me! Unfortunately for him, what I usually do is I stare back, so he gets freaked out and turns his face away. I’m equally weird,” Nivetha giggles.
One thing she likes about being a pet parent is the additional responsibility that comes with it. She says, “I’m the only one here to take care of Nandumurugan so I come back home on time, I don’t use my phone much because he’ll stare at me and seek attention, and I feed him only natural, home-cooked food.”
He loves playing fetch, likes bird-watching from their balcony and is quite well-travelled too.
“He isn’t too scared of people so he stays with me in pet-friendly hotels whenever I travel. I ensure I take him out so he’ll get to see new places,” says this proud pet mom.
Nandumurugan seems to be quite the pampered child but apparently is a cheeky one too!
“I am a huge fan of white cats with blue eyes so he basically tricked me into buying him just because of that. But over the course of three months, the colour of his eyes changed to brown! I don’t even know how that evil genius managed to do this…” she chuckles, before getting back to her shoot for the day.