Rescued eagle, stray felines, find safe haven at Arifa's Jasola home
New Delhi: As you enter the house, you will be surprised to see an eagle sitting comfortably on the bed. You might take it as an intruder before you see a red colour 5 kg fat cat slowly crawling towards it and sitting barely a feet away from the eagle which seems unfazed by the cat's advance.
Arifa's small house in Jasola is home to several pets and even birds that keep making an entry as she feeds them with delicacies throughout the day.
Daughter of an Army man, Arifa developed a soft corner for animals when she moved to Delhi from Roorkee.
"Five months ago, I saw some kids playing with a small eagle after tying a long rope to its leg. The helpless bird was exhausted with its open beak. I snatched the bird from the children and took it to a veterinary hospital. However, the response there was pathetic so I brought it home," said Arifa Zaidi.
Since then, Arifa share a special bond with the bird and has named her 'Allah Rakha' after Amitabh Bachchan's pet eagle in 1983 movie Coolie.
Allah Rakha clutches Arifa's white duppatta when she tries to leave the room, feeds from her hand and if she is out of sight, the eagle makes desperate voices for her return.
"I have been close to 13 cats too. Some come to me at the time of delivery. They trust me and I thank God for the blessing," Arifa grins proudly.
Arifa's cats too respond to the names such as Bitto, Bhainga, Ranga, Billa, Ena, Meena, Dika, Jojo, Lucy and Juliet.
Apart from the cats, she also feeds crows and birds that make a gathering at her house. "Who knows because of their prayers I am getting my earnings," says Arifa.