I have this vivid memory of watching Monsters Inc. in theaters and seeing the little girl pop out and yell “Kitty!” upon spotting a large, patterned, brightly-colored, hairy monster. The candid excitement incited by the horned beast causes the audience to burst out laughing (what little kid in there right mind would use that endearing/sweet term to describe something scary/monstrous/mean/not-like-a-kitten-besides-also-possesing-fur?).

At Bandhavgar National Park, the large, patterned, brightly-colored, hairy monster are tigers. And like the little girl, each person has their own reaction to seeing one:

Be in awe at the magnificence of the King of the Jungle and generally think “Wow that is a big cat.”
Think “Wow that is a big cat,” curse India for not allowing guns, and retreat back into the vehicle.
Retreat back into the vehicle and bundle up because it’s so damn cold outside and focus their attention away from the tiger.
Focus their attention away from the tiger and to the prospect of getting a fabulous picture that they can show off to their friends and family at a later point to prove they saw a tiger and that doing so makes them super cool.

I was the little girl from Monsters Inc. When I saw the tiger, I truly thought he looked cuddly and like a bigger version of my cat, Lily (the very definition of cuteness). But for fear of provoking laughter, I kept quiet and shook my head with ardent enthusiasm at comments like “Wow he’s beautiful!” and “This is amazing!” and “It’s f!@#ing cold!” and “Look at the great picture I took!”. Yet all that was possible for my unsophisticated mind to think of was “Kitty!”.

All Smiles

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon


2 thoughts on “Kitty!

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