Rajani Subramanian has donated to charity, adopted rescued animals and, leading by example, inspired people to take pets with them while relocating — all this by the ripe old age of 10. The India-born America-based wonder kid insisted on a ‘no gifts' policy on her birthday last year and asked friends and family to contribute to a cat welfare programme instead. The funds were given to an animal rescuer who used it to fund spay-neuter surgeries for homeless cats.
While visiting a shelter in her hometown Chennai, Rajani once noticed a staggering grey kitten that she recalls as being “small and sickly”. Wobbly was in luck that day, as Rajani and her mother Ramya decided to adopt her, knowing that a weak kitten's chances of adoption were lower. Wobbly joined their other rescued cat Tipu Sultan on a flight from India to New York when they returned to the States. “When they came out on the special cargo belt in JFK airport, they were complaining loudly but have settled quickly in their new homes,” says Rajani's mother who is an animal welfare enthusiast herself, having adopted many shelter pets in the past.
Rajani reveals that her pets' quirks are her greatest joy. “I always come down the stairs to the kitchen to eat breakfast and see Tipu Sultan on his perch, meowing tunes like a musical cat. He's calm and slow-moving — he tells us to just enjoy life. Wobbly still has a lopsided walk and is clumsy, but will play with the tiniest speck in the house.”
The 10-year-old signs off with some good advice for all of us: “Take your cat with you wherever you go, even if it is to the North Pole. Your pet is your child!”
(To adopt a shelter pet, contact Red Paws Rescue, Delhi, at email@example.com. To participate in their online charity art auction, visit their Facebook page, facebook.com/redpawsrescue)