Stop Feeding the Cats

Cats in the canteen

There are many cats in the canteen of the college where I work. To nobody’s surprise, they are always found during the lunch and dinner times. Sometimes near this table, sometimes near that one. Meowing in front of the inhabitants of the chairs of those tables, looking for food. Non-veg days being their favourite!

Most students and faculty, including me, don’t approve of cats in the canteen. Some students are even scared of them and jump around whenever a cat is found meowing nearby. The cats have become audacious enough to touch the students’ chairs, their legs, at times even jumping up to their thighs, demanding food rather than asking for it. It becomes a scarily interesting sight to watch.

Interestingly, some of the students – cat lovers, do-gooders, do heed the call. They take out a portion of their food and give it to the cats.

And that’s the problem.

It is no doubt that the cats are coming because they are being fed, and because they are being fed, they are coming more often. Alternatively if everyone refuses to feed the cats even for a small while such as a week, the problem of the ‘cats in the canteen’ will be there no more.

But how do you ensure so many people don’t feed the cats. Said another way, how do you ensure so many people don’t ‘defect’ by feeding the cats? In a decentralized situation such as this, you don’t. The only way it works is if each one of us individually understands the ‘cat cycle’ and stop feeding the cats on our own.

It turns out in a group setting such as this it is quite difficult to eradicate this problem. But what happens on a more individual level?

Cats of our canteen

In our lives, do we not have our own cats which keep coming because we keep feeding them? From the cat of ‘I can’t forgive that person because s/he did this to me’ to ‘This work is so difficult, I can’t succeed in this’ to ‘I can’t get an excellent, high paying job/work assignment because of fill in the blank reason I have created for myself.’

As it turns out, we keep feeding cats of our own canteen which then keep coming back and then we feed them a little more and they get hungrier and come a little more and thus go on the perpetual cycle of feeding and hunger…

Think-it-over: Are there any cats in your life that you are feeding perpetually? To get a sense, any place where your life is stuck at the moment, is perhaps a result of a cat you are feeding inside the canteen of your head.

What would our lives be if we stop feeding these cats? We may perhaps get into our maximum productive, hyper efficient and effective mode once that happens. Then perhaps there would be nothing stopping us from doing what we want.

My wish, for you and for myself, is for us to stop feeding the cats of our canteen in this year 2018.

Happy new year everyone.

P.S. Of course, my wish is also for the people to stop feeding the cats of our college canteen and to break the cat cycle. It’s a big jungle out there, I’m sure they can take care of themselves.