The Hindu Paper

Purrs of meaning
Sangeetha Unnithan, Date: 23 May 2010

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Cuty Boy is a quiet chap who prefers solitude and appreciates good manners. He loves listening to music or simply lounging around at home. But if you are lucky enough to meet him at the right time and in his right mood, he can bowl you over with his charms.

A Persian Cat, owned buy Dubai-returnees K.N. Chandramohan and Hema C. Mohan, Cuty Boy is a beautiful biscuit-coloured feline with exquisite qualities and manners that can put even grown-ups to shame. This hazel-eyed hero recently moved into his new home in the city, making a grand addition to the list of rare pets in the city.

“This is the first time he has come down to Thiruvananthapuram to stay. So far, he lived with us in Dubai. We bought him from a pet shop in Dubai in 1998, when he was just three months' old. And now he is an integral part of our family,” Ms. Mohan says.

What makes Cuty Boy special is his communication skills. The owners claim that the cat can respond to questions through his unique sign language.

“Cuty Boy has a unique way of communication. He can answer your questions in yes or no through sign language. If you hold him and he throws his head backward, it means no and if he tilts his head towards your face it means yes. Sometimes, he answers the question in number of kisses,” Ms. Mohan says.

But what kind of questions will you want a cat to answer? Cuty Boy's owners say that he can answer almost anything in the world. It is this talent that has left a huge fan-following for Cuty Boy in Dubai.

The documents and questionnaire, with remarks of the visitors who interacted with him, are one of the biggest assets of his proud owners. S. Janaki, singer, is among the people who have met Cuty Boy and asked him questions.

“We trained him in numbers early on. However, he does not respond to sensitive or private questions. Also, he must not feel that you have come to test him,” Ms. Mohan says. Cuty Boy has a web site,

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Geliebte Katze (German Magazine) , Feb 02, 2007

Khaleej Times Online

15 November 2004

The cat that's not a cat! We met him on Sunday afternoon in a third floor apartment of a building in Bur Dubai. We are told not to call him a cat. Cutie Boy does not like being called a cat. And Cutie Boy can not only count his chickens but also yours.

    He can give answers to queries but in keeping with the times, he prefers multiple choices to the old-fashioned 'one-question, one-answer' sort.

    Far as nationality goes, Cutie Boy is Persian, an expat in Dubai. Has been for almost seven years. Indian housewife and self-confessed researcher on cat-behaviour Hema Chandra bought her from a pet-shop in Satwa in 1998.

    To her surprise, Cutie Boy didn't want to play kitten with her — no kittie-kittie smoochings, no cuddling and cooing... "He was different. I know cats. I grew up with them. I realised Cutie Boy was not the same as other cats. He was almost human..." At least human enough to know the ceiling from the floor. One of his first forays in impressing human beings was by identifying the ceiling fan whenever the words 'ceiling' and 'fan' were uttered together. Cutie Boy made heads turn by turning his head up, towards ceiling fans in apartments all over Dubai, mesmerising people in Karama, Bur Dubai and Satwa.

    If that wasn't genius, there was more to come which pointed to the Einstein in this cat ..oops Cutie Boy! Next step was to say 'no' and 'yes' to questions, the 'saying' done by way of rocking the head back and forward, and by way of 'kisses' to Hema's cheek. By then word had gone out. About "this wonder cat in Dubai". The world media picked up stories. Cutie Boy featured in Animal Fair - "'Cat that Counts - Page 40'". Other reports appeared in other publications on Cutie Boy, about how he can identify body parts and colours, even take orders (like a dog!). Tell him 'go into the living room' and would slink into the living room, head held high!

    "I've taught him numbers up to 20," says Hema. But when tested in higher mathematics, Cutie Boy impressed even high school principals and teachers. Sahadevan Panicker, a mathematician at the Gulf Modern School, has given Cutie Boy his certificate of approval. He says Cutie Boy is "extraordinary" and that he certainly has some "peculiar gift" with Math. "I tested him in algebra, geometry, Pythagorean and square roots, and he was right every time."

    Forget mathematics, Cutie Boy even knows the chemical formula of sulphuric acid! Also what is blue vitriol? "I'm wonderstruck," writes a round-eyed Mrs Mini, a chemistry teacher.

    Oh! By the way, Cutie Boy — who unlike other cats doesn't drink milk — is a linguist, too! He knows about eight languages among them Gujarati, Persian (his mother-tongue), Malayalam (Hema's mother tongue), English (he was born in the UK), Arabic (now that he is living in the UAE) and French (Ou est la lampe Cuty Boy). Formidable, is how Nimy Gopinath, French teacher, Indian High School, Sultanate of Oman, describes Cutie Boy. "I never expected this ...he can understand French very well." Enchante!

    Unfortunately, Cutie Boy is not his "usual self" on Sunday afternoon. If at all he is even more reclusive than reputed to be, his disdain for human beings (other than Hema and family) complete, and total. Finally, when he does condescend to come out of 'hiding' he does that with a marked reluctance. So much so, when it comes to answering the usual lot of questions which is his usual lot whenever strangers troop in, Cutie Boy pulls back his head and rolls his cat-eyes, his way of saying 'No'. "Are you scared of them?" asks Hema, and Cutie Boy — the intelligent cat who does not like to called a cat — answers with a kiss to her cheek, his way of saying 'Yes'

    To many people Cutie Boy gives the impression of being the laziest cat in town, if not in the world. He does not like other cats. Is not friendly with dogs. His only friend, if he has any, is a parrot called Meenu. Surprisingly, so far, Cutie Boy has not made Meenu part of his menu. Evenings, the parrot chatters and Cutie Boy seemingly lends her an ear, interested or disinterested nobody knows, and allows Meenu to sit next to him while he ponders the world around him.

    For all that, photographer ILS Hameed is not impressed. He refuses to play cat and mouse with a cat who does not like to be called a cat. So Hameed clicks Cutie Boy and it turns out ...Cutie Boy is a cat! Picture-purrfect! Then again, for all we know, Cutie Boy might be out of this world, a Martian in disguise or from some planet that's not even in the Milky Way, where cats rule and man meows!


 Dubai:Thursday, June 23, 2001

He's really different. According to his owners, the palomino-coloured three-year-old Persian, who lives in Bur Dubai, has a purr-fectly extraordinary passion for numerical problem solving.

They claim to have discovered their cat's uncanny calculating abilities when he was just a kitten, and say their fawn feline can not only count, but add, divide, multiply, subtract, find square roots and even work out algebra.

Hema Mohan Chandra, 47, from Kerala, who purchased Cuty-Boy from a pet shop in Dubai, said she was baffled by her pet's seeming feline genius. "We didn't think there was anything special about Cuty-Boy when we first bought him as a kitten – but as time went on, we realised he was better than the average cat.

"I have grown up with cats in Kerala and adore them but I've never come across something like this. I don't know where he gets this talent from. It is a complete mystery but we've tested him thousands of times and know it can't be coincidence," continued Cuty-Boy's stage mother.

Her son Renjit, 25, recalled: "We realised he had good understanding when he was given a bath for the first time. Speaking generally, we told him he needed to be cleaned up but he clearly understood what we were saying and put his ears back and pulled faces."

Hema claimed once she realised the potential of her puss, she began to experiment. "I started to ask Cuty-Boy if he knew about numbers, and as he's always been able to indicate 'yes' and 'no', it was easy to find out what he could learn.

"I taught him numbers up to 20 and he shows he can count by touching my face lightly with his nose the correct amount of times. He even knows left cheek from right cheek.

"I thought I'd stop teaching after 20 because this seemed like an enormous number for a cat to take in. I left things for a week, then came back to it, and found that he was working things out in leaps and bounds on his own.

"Since then we've progressed to much more complicated arithmetic and he gets the right answer every time. However, some of the numbers are too big for him to count for me, so I display a range of answers for him on cards and he indicates which ones are correct by twitching his tail and looking at them."

To convince sceptics out there of their cat's acute mind, his proud owners also had him tested by a math teacher who supports the bizarre findings. Sahadevan Panicker, a mathematician at the Gulf Modern School in Dubai, described Cuty-Boy as 'extraordinary', saying: "I don't know how that animal does it but he certainly has some peculiar gift with mathematics. I spent just 10 minutes testing him with algebra, geometry, pythagoras and square roots and he was right every time!"

But pressures of fame may yet press too heavily on this temperamental feline's fragile shoulders who has to be pushed by his family to perform in public.

Currently, other academic gymnastics on his educational curriculum include understanding commands in eight different languages, colour recognition and even extra sensory perception. Let's hope there is a happy end to this extremely shaggy cat story.


The Gulf Today, PANORAMA, December 3-9, 2004

news about cutyboy on Gulf Today Magazine


The Gulf Today, Friday, May 11, 2001


Animal Fair Magazine, New York - Winter 2003 Edition

animal fair magazine Newyork


Arabia International Malayalam Weekly Newspaper, March 19, 2004

Arabia Malayalam Magazine