From the poised, purring cats of Miranda House to the tail-wagging, sunny dogs of Jesus and Mary College, the collective adoption of campus cats and dogs by college students evokes pawfuls of pure joy.
Canteen specialties, daunting cut-offs, the area undergoing eternal construction and the inconspicuous niches (that allegedly only you and your clique know about) are some things that lend to the identity of a college. But, perhaps, the most aw-inducing of these peculiarities that characterize the day-to-day life in a college is the stray animals that are no longer stray and have found a dwelling in the campuses of different University of Delhi (DU) Colleges.
Along with the haggling auto-vala bhaiyas, hassling security-vala bhaiya, the forgiving canteen staff, and the red-bricked buildings, these animals become a permanent fixture for our colleges. The poised and dignified cats of Miranda House have been chronicled generously over the years and have been immortalized as an essential part of the institution.
The dogs who roll over for impromptu coddling and banish the woes of a morning lecture, and the cats who’s snarky yet validating meow adds a spring to your step, are appreciated by all. Across colleges, students adopt the initiative to care for these beings and instate them as campus pets.
Take the instance of Harman Mangat, a second-year B.A (Honours) English student from Jesus and Mary College (JMC), who started the Instagram page, ‘dogsofjmc’. The page conceived at the beginning of the year hosts about a hundred posts featuring the campus dogs; Draupadi, Leo, Shakuntala and her newly-born pups, accompanied by quirky captions and meme layouts. The account has amassed over two hundred followers with its wholesome content.
The campus dogs of Jesus and Mary College in their natural element Image Credits- Harman Mangat, Jesus and Mary College (dogsofjmc on Instagram)
She also took up the billet, along with a couple of her friends, to look after the dogs. “When I first met the campus dogs, I was taken by their cuteness and wanted everybody to adore them. I also felt the fervent need to protect them, come hell or high water,” said Harman. The dogs are quite independent and are provided with water in terracotta pots and boiled food by the college students. The earthen dishes are regularly washed to avoid the growth of algae or bacteria. A house was made out of a cardboard carton but was demolished immediately, upon completion by the canines, an enamored Harman added.
To provide regularity and structure to the fostering of JMC dogs as well as to pacify the college administration, Vanee Singh, a third-year B.A. Programme student, came up with the noble idea of ‘JMCanines’. The initiative, still in its nascence, possesses long term objectives that include getting the puppies vaccinated, the female dogs neutered and establishing a fixed feeding schedule. Vanee hopes on the solidarity and compassion of the students to further this endeavor.
Feature Image Credits– Harman Mangat, Jesus and Mary College (dogsofjmc on Instagram)