Lots of them. The original pair - 'Tiger' and 'Snowy' begat more kittens. And from those others were begotten.
So at any given moment in time there were usually at least 3 cats in the home.
Here is a picture from about 1981 or so - taken by Sterling Swan where the three of us kids are with what look like 3 generations of cats!
Growing up in 'Elim' in the leafy shady compound of the John Wilson Education Society at Nana Chowk, there was plenty of room for cats to roam (and strangely not too many stray dogs roaming around the compound).
Sadly, though Asha and Enoch have clamoured for cats (or dogs) many a time, we just can't have them here. It just isn't fair for an animal to be indoors all day - which is really the only option if we were to get a cat. We live in a 650 sq foot flat - too small for a cat!
And what's worse, downstairs it seems that half of Thane's stray dogs have taken up there abode. There are plenty of folks in our building society who take it on themselves to feed these curs with biscuits (never seen them giving food to humans) and so their numbers are many and the baying of the hounds does not just belong to a Sherlock Holmes story, but is a nightly chorus that mingles with the sound of traffic and filters up to our home (as if in confirmation - a number of stray barks has just started up - maybe they are reading about this through dog-telepathy).
Anyway, you can imagine the joy in the Eicher home when we heard that Oma and Opa have got a cat!
In keeping with Eicher tradition, this beast has been 'donated' by folks who have left. This was the source of most of our menagerie when growing up. It seems that a teacher who left Woodstock School handed the cat over to a local pastor - who called up desperate to find a home - and Mum and Dad welcomed another member to Shanti Kunj.
This beautiful feline (note how better fed it is than the strawny things that we used to have in our Bombay days) was called 'Anu' by her previous owner.
The verdict is not in yet on her new name - Oma calls her "Ginger" (obviously) while Opa calls her "Pushy." She was brought over to Shanti Kunj in a back-pack with Opa speaking soothing words to her.
Not surprisingly, she has taken to Opa - and loves to lie on his lap. At night she is put up in the warm attic and deals with any possible rodents. A happy place for a cat to be.
The next gen Eichers can's wait to meet the new Shanti Kunj pet!
And so at the end of a lovely wet Saturday in Thane-town, its time to be like "Ginger / Pushy" and curl up to sleep. Bon nuit!