HT Cafe

The luxurious lives of pets

- Yoshita Rao ■

A“socially awkward” oneyear-old, Asterix, sits in the corner with his multicolou­red bowtie. “I think he is an Indie and a German Shepherd mix. I named him after the comics Asterix and Obelix. He’s a rescue from the streets of Gurgaon,” says Mumbai-resident Abhinav Kohli. “I just wish he had a bit more confidence to mingle with the other dogs,” he adds. Can’t blame Asterix as the heat mixed with a few growls from other pets is what’s making up the ambience at Pet Fed 2020.

The two-day fest that was held over the weekend saw a police dog show, a cosplay competitio­n for the pets, a musical show and their signature event — Pet’s Got Talent, which showcases the various talents of pets. The categories included singing a duet with the owner, completing tasks such as placing shoes in an orderly manner and even getting them to say ‘I love you’.

Strutting the grounds in Juhu, was Coco aka Mawali

Bhai, who was dressed in a scarf and a colourful shirt that is loosely buttoned and appears rather stylish. His pet parents state that he never fails to “eat paan before retiring and also loves cold coffee”. Another fancily dressed cat named Pearl was carried by Vishal and Khushboo Shetkar in the canopy, which was specially dedicated to cats. Pearl sported a red frilly dress designed by an assistant of Indian costume designer, Neeta Lulla. This British Persian was given the award for the cutest face (among cats) at Pet Fed 2019. The Shetkars also proudly declare that Pearl is a brand ambassador for Pooch Creations and are hopeful for winning accolades at the cat show this year as well. Renu Dahiya, 42, was invited by the World Cat Federation to showcase her cats at the fest. Proud owner of five Bengal cats, this Mumbaikar jests, “We are living in their home.” Many Persian cats roamed the tent at the fest and among them is a fluff ball, who answers to Rio by 27year-old pet parent, Sana Kazi.

The pet festival saw the likes of a few celebritie­s such as Minissha Lamba, who made an appearance with her two dogs, Chloe, 8, and Zoey, 3. Actor Dino Morea, an investor in the fest, says, “A carnival for pets is always great fun. At the business end, we want to spread to more cities. But from a social standpoint, it’s a meeting ground for those with pets to meet future pet parents and tell them what they’re in for. You can adopt pets, socialise with other pet parents, or just hang out with other people’s pets.”

Owner of two dogs, an Indie named Ganpat and a labrador called Maximus, the 44-yearold actor adds, “I’ve been a dog person all my life, but of late, I’ve been falling in love with the Persians and the Bengal cats at Pet Fed. So I might just change my loyalties.”

 ??  ?? Minissha Lamba with her dogs Chloe and Zoey
Minissha Lamba with her dogs Chloe and Zoey

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