Hidden Gems of ABFRL

ABFRL’s Own Dr. Doolittle! Celebrating Pet Day with Kakuli Mitra from Pantaloons.

by ABFRLadmin | April 17, 2024

Raising a pet can be a life-changing experience – but what’s it like to raise 5 different kinds?

There’s no one better to tell us how than Kakuli Mitra, Executive, Operations – Pantaloons, whose eclectic collection of pets brings her joy and makes her house a home.

When one first encounters the collection of pets in Kakuli’s house, it’s only natural for their first reaction to be that of surprise. In our fast-paced world where every second counts, some of us find it hard enough to care for ourselves, so the idea of now being responsible for the lives of 6 different animals with their own varied diets and lifestyles can seem to be a daunting challenge. However, in Kakuli Mitra’s case – this touch of care she provides for her pets, her husband, and two children is what brings serenity to her household.

First, a little bit of background. One might assume that taking care of such a collection of critters is acquired by practice, since childhood, of taking care of pets. However, in this situation, this is not the case. Kakuli’s journey with taking care of pets began about ten years ago, but with a relatively low maintenance creature to care for. Her parrot Mithu entered her life a decade ago and has been a constant companion ever since. This was followed by her tortoise, Elsa. Then came Happy, her pet Labrador (and apple of her eye) and finally the queen of the household, her cat Alexa.

So how exactly does one provide for and care for such a diverse collection of little lives? As we speak to Kakuli and hear her story, it becomes clearer that this isn’t a story of struggle in providing care to these pets, instead, it’s a story of a person who found a higher level of love, peace and purpose while devoted in the service of these creatures.

Q. Is this experience something you grew up used to, did you raise pets since your childhood?
You’ll be surprised to know I did not have any pets in my younger years, neither do I remember even wanting a pet back then. This started with my parrot Mithu, who quickly became a cherished companion to me. When he first began talking to me, I was amazed at how I felt. It’s an incomparable feeling when you realize your pets feel like they need you.

Q. So what is the total count of pets you have at home right now?
A. In chronological order, I have my pet parrot Mithu, like I’ve mentioned before, he’s been a part of my life for 10 years now. I have a tortoise, Elsa, who I found through a pure stroke of luck during the rains and I have cared for her in my house ever since. It’s hard for me to say how long exactly I have had my fish, as they all joined the aquarium at different times.

My dog Happy came to me a little over 2 years ago. My children kept asking me to adopt a dog, so when the chance came up, I adopted Happy immediately. Finally, my last pet is my cat Alexa, who came into our lives about a year ago.

Q. What was the reason behind getting the pets?’
A. When you experience a pet’s love for the first time, like I did with Mithu, it’s only natural that you want to fill your life with it. However, caring for a parrot is still relatively easier than taking care of a dog or cat, so I was unsure back then if I wanted to take that step.

Even while adopting Elsa, it wasn’t really like it was a big undertaking. Tortoises generally keep to themselves and don’t require such a high level of care.

Happy was brought into our home on the insistence of my children. They kept asking my husband and I if we could get a dog, till we finally caved in and brought that bundle of joy into our lives. My kids absolutely love animals so we couldn’t stop there, a little over a year later and we also brought our cat Alexa into our lives.

Q. How do your pets show their personalities?
A. Believe me, they all have very distinct personalities.
Happy is mischievous, but one can’t help but love him. He runs out of our house quite often, but we’ll always find him in the building compound much later surrounded by an adoring audience petting him and giving him attention. He loves to eat and will often go to our neighbour’s house after smelling food, asking them with his big eyes if he can get something to eat. He loves to make new friends.

Alexa is the undisputed Queen of the household. No one gets in her way, and she always gets what she wants – whether it being where she wants to sit or what she wants to eat and play with. She has already claimed a spot in my wardrobe as her space, now even I can’t take it away if I want to

Mithu is like a grumpy old man, but very loving. He will call out to my son or me if we don’t give him breakfast on time in the mornings. He is never satisfied with a meal till I give him a green chilli to chew on. However, he also does call out to me saying “Mummy!” and for that all is forgiven.

Elsa has always kept to herself; she is a very private person. I consider her to be like a gift from God, considering how we found her all those years ago during flooding because of heavy rains. We didn’t choose to have her, but it was definitely destiny.

Q. How would you say having all these pets has affected you personally?
A. They have brought so much happiness to my life, I cannot even describe it.
Happy especially has given me so much joy, at this point anything I do for him only feels less. I would be very sad if I must spend any time without him at home. Once you love a pet like that, there really is no going back.
Overall, I would say that I have become far more sensitive and have learned to care for myself a lot better over time, just as I take care of my pets.

Q. Time for a Rapid Fire Round, I want you to describe give each of your pets a title, the first thing that comes into your mind.

A. For Happy – My Golden Child
     For Alexa – Ghar Ki Maharani
     For Elsa – God’s Gift
     For Mithu – Sabse Purana Dost

1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1 month ago

Wow didn’t knew you had a such brigade of pets. U r truly blessed and so are they to have u as their parent