Lucknow, May 1 (IANS) Love of pets is not new to this part of the world - be it from horses to varied breeds of dogs to exquisite birds, but a visit to a particular house in Dilkusha beats every pet lover in the city by yards. Meet Frank Huzoor, the man with 44 cats.
"Madly in love" with his band of big and small, desi and Persian cats, the journalist-author is so hooked to the felines that his small family of actress wife Mukta Singh and son Marcos at times get a complex. As his wife shuttles between Mumbai, where she shoots for a daily TV soap aired on Doordarshan and Lucknow, Frank spends most time with his cats.
As one enters his two-bedroom yet sprawling government accommodation, pictures of cats dot the entire house. In places where the cats are not there, are portraits of his friends, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, Samajawadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and Pakistani cricketer Imran Khan, on whom he has written a political biography, "Imran Vs Imran - The Untold Story".
His 'family' of 34 grown-ups and 10 kittens is slowly turning into a "serious subject of debate" among his high-profile neighbours comprising bureaucrats, scribes and politicians. An eminent bookseller of the city, Gaurav Prakash concedes "having never seen anything like this".
"His passion may be a crazy act to many, but he surely shares a different bonding with his cats," Prakash told IANS.
As editor of an English monthly magazine 'Socialist Factor', his work keeps him busy but a boy from the hills tends on the cats. With 'goat liver' (kaleji), cat food and four litres of milk every day, the doting journalist spends about Rs.20,000 per month on the cats. And if you thought the love for the felines ended here, you have to sample the names he has so possessively kept.
The names have been "selectively chosen keeping in mind their traits", he informed. So, there is a Tipu (Akhilesh Yadav's nickname), Lady Gaga, Governor, Lt. Governor, Platinum, Pluto, Napoleon, Stalin, Lenin, Pope, Brutus, Caesar, Blair (named after former British prime minister Tony Blair) and a range for tipplers too - whisky, brandy, rum and vodka.
(Mohit Dubey can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)