Saturday, December 31, 2005

wondrous 2006 from the animal family

a great story to start the year with

it happened in 1996 but the story of a mother's courage in braving a burning building 5 times to bring all her kittens to safety continues to touch and to inspire. makes me darn proud to be a cat.

A condensed version of the story can be read from Moggies.

For the full version:
Scarlett Saves Her Family
Jane Martin & J.C. Suares, Simon & Schuster Editions, 1997.
NLB Code: 636.800929 SUA-[ANI]

(Photo from Moggies)

Friday, December 30, 2005

keeping safe, this holiday season

i mean the hamsters of course. despite constant surveillance...

a brand new life in a brand new year

both no name kitty and Doggy find new homes just before the year is out. Doggy (now named Cookie) goes home with a friend of Fruity's godfather, an avid dog lover with 2 kids who sadly, have an unreasonable fear of cats. but a trip to the animal family is an education to most dissenters and they change the minds (somewhat) about us.

it's a boon for Cookie to have found this family. the father used to be a taxi driver who regularly feeds the stray dogs at the place he pumps his diesel. to the point when they recognise his car as he pulls in and chases him down the road as he drives away. he holds Cookie like one of his own kids.

this adoption comes after a brief trial with Fruity's godfather's landlady which didn't work out after Cookie bit her maid and the aircon man.

its likely a case of high excitability. she goes crazy whenever she sees the kids, Fruity's godfather or the man and woman. heads straight for them bouncing like the energizer bunny, her tail wagging so vigorously its hard to even hold her still when carried as she plants wet kisses on their hands and faces. cats lick. dogs slobber. eww. they all love it of course. after this initial hurly-burly, Cookie will settle down snug in their arms, push her head into their armpits (favourite spot) and rest.

Cookie is fattening up slowly but surely and will be back at the vet's in a month's time for long overdue sterilisation, microchipping and vaccination.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

bye bye kitty

no name kitty goes home with a french family who will be in Singapore for the next 3 years. the man and woman deliberated about this but after meeting them feel that they make good adopters who will really love little kitty. They will bring him back to France with them when they leave. apparently, there is no quarantine for animals there which makes things easy.

so no name kitty is now a french cat soon to have a new fancy french name. Yves? Xarles? Montague? more sleeping on man's head.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

psychiatrist is in. step into my office...

i'm listening, i swear.


Monkey you speak too soon.

woman wakes up to find Rosie very excited about something. without her glasses on, she sees Rosie hunting a cockroach. what a big cockroach.

it dawns on her just as Rosie swoops down and has the furry thing in her jaw! she FREAKS OUT, grabs Rosie and screams to high heavens running left and right hysterically until Rosie drops the hamster from her mouth.

MIRACULOUSLY, hamster is not in the slightest bit hurt. once back in its cage (secured ten fold), it starts going about its hamster business as if nothing happened. in her post trauma deduction, the woman gathers that hamster escaped from its cage, jumped out of the cage condo and tunneled itself through the utility room barrier.

so not us cats' fault ok? hero hamster has it coming.

Monday, December 19, 2005

tis the season to be jolly

lucky thirteen. woman's friend's hamster sitter backs out at the last minute and her family is leaving for the holidays tomorrow. thanks to him, we have six fat juicy hamsters spending Christmas and New Year with the animal family. deck the halls! fa la la!

of course, the woman is no fun and puts the three hamster cages in the cage condo under the high security guardianship of Rambo Rabbeet.

did you know?
* In Iceland there are thirteen rather than twelve days in the Yuletide season. This may have descended from the old days, when a new day began not at midnight but at 6pm.
* Some eastern european congregations, called "Old Calendarists," still use the Julian calendar and honor the birth of Christ thirteen days later, on January 7.
* In Provence, the traditional Christmas meal is called le gros souper (the big supper). It ends with a ritual number of thirteen desserts symbolizing Christ and his 12 apostles.

a brimming, kindred holiday season, everyone!

deck the halls

Do you know the price of folly,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.
Tis the season to be dumping,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Better quickly fill the kennels
Fa la la la la la, la la la.
(coz) They are culling by the barrels
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

escapades with dog

gosh, dogs are dumb. for the umpteenth time, poo poo and wee wee IN the paper-lined cage. i just wish it doesn't look so much like sausage of liver. only the stink keeps everyone at a safe contamination-free radius. the man and woman are probably doing something wrong as usual because whatever they are doing is not working.

Fruity and Leafty put the cage to better use.

dogs are REALLY clingy. it follows the woman everywhere. whenever the woman gets off her chair for even a second, it springs up pronto to tag along. its a permanent attachment.

because it won't let her out of its line of sight, she got no choice but to bring it along when she goes out to prevent its piercing yelps from raining all kinds of unwanted attention on the animal family. dogs in general may not have our superior independent streak but this is not normal right? too many sad days on the street i guess.

the search is on for its previous owner. there's no microchip but ASD, SPCA and AVA have been notified and an ad will run for free in the Straits Times classifieds. because it is a relatively young dog and according to some, an expensive dog, chances are, it is lost. so hopefully there is a happy ending there.

if not, many people have already expressed an interest in adopting it. the worry, which Ricky from ASD and some of the woman's friends warn of, is that there might be people out to make a buck from adopting it for reselling or breeding.

the woman considers sterilising it before putting it up for adoption and imposing an adoption fee that will be donated to ASD.

no name kitty likes Doggy!

get him out of here!

potential adopter, please call back soon. this little guy is making himself way too comfortable!

Saturday, December 17, 2005


there is a dog in our utility room.

the man and woman found it tangled in a plastic bag near our block. it is bone thin. skeletal. and teeming with ants.

so tired of the same old story - Rabbeet, Leafty, Maneki, Rosie*, Suede & siblings, now Doggy. they obviously used to have a home but somehow or other ended up on the street.

ASD? SPCA? AVA? someone needs to tell the man and woman what to do because Doggy sure can't stay.

* found by previous owner

no longer the baby

Thursday, December 15, 2005

new kitty found

cleaner that alerted man and woman about Suede and her siblings brings them a new kitten found at a neighbouring block. he also says that Pest Control will be down soon to catch the cats in the neighbourhood. news like that really ruins my day. hopefully the woman can get more information from Town Council and AVA on this.

kitty has a sibling still out there that hopefully the man and woman or cleaner can get to before Pest Control does.

spread the love

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Suede and Bobby

after a long silence, someone finally calls about Suede again and comes to view her. by now, it seems too cruel to let Suede go away to a one-cat family so the man and woman make it a condition that the potential adopter take Suede and Bobby as a pair.

the lady is acceptable to this so quite out of the blue, i face the crushing possibility of losing 2 worthy cohorts. she leaves to prepare herself for the adoption before collecting the kittens, leaving a bag of muddled emotions back at the animal family.

the reality of it hits the man and woman in different ways. the woman postrationalises like crazy that if the animal family is about taking vulnerable cats off the streets, there will be more, a lot more. so finding and settling the cats in good homes becomes a crucial part of the process.

the man is crushed. he cannot care for the kittens only to watch them leave. so either he holds any new cats that come through the animal family at arm's length, or it is going to be rough on him from here on_ i love man.

they decide to leave it to providence and the man suffers. but the lady doesn't call back the next day and the animal family closes the door to all future applications.

froufrou heaven

what to do with an old wedding gown:

rambo rabbeet

in a dark corner of the utility room sits the solitary one.

but for all our feline bravado, it gnaws me to admit that not one of us has learnt to hold our own against that miserable miniature furball. there's no safety in numbers either. the woman likes to tell and retell this humiliating story about the first time Bobby visits the cantankerous one. up until then, Fruity and i had quite forgotten him really and Rosie didn't as yet know of his existence.

but when Bobby goes snooping beyond the utility room barrier, we just had to follow because cats are no spectators when it comes to sports.

5 minutes in the utility room, rambo rabbeet charges us from his barricade and 4 cats leap in unison out of the utility room. the woman fell off her chair laughing.

in our defence, he is not your ordinary garden variety easter bunny but Raging Rambo Rabbeet. he engineers his own barricade. when they first moved the misanthropic one to the utility room, the man and woman were floored when they saw their hokey homemade rabbit hutches turned into a combat ready battlement when they checked back an hour later.

but us cats being cats, we never can resist sneaking yet another peek at the mean old bastard. from a safe vantage. (Bobby never quite learns.)

Monday, December 05, 2005

a measure of population density...

there's always a queue at the toilet.

momma rosie strikes again

cat literature

the woman borrows the following books from the library:

Desmond Morris, Ebury Press Limited, 1994.
NLB Code: 636.8 MOR-[ANI]

Cats into Everything
Bob Walker, Andrews McMeel Publishing, 1999.
NLB Code: 636.80887 WAL-[ANI]

Why Cats Paint: A Theory of Feline Aesthetics
Heather Busch, Burton Silver, Ten Speed Press, 1994.
NLB Code: 750 BUS-[ART]

not enough that they live and breathe cats, they read about them. it pays off as their peanut knowledge about us has just increased by one semi-ripe seedling.

besides answering questions like, why we hiss, why we sulk, why we eat grass, Catwatching has this to say to "Why does the female scream during the mating act?"

After mating, the female cat almost always twist around and attacks the tom, screaming abuse at him. This is because the cat's penis is covered in short, sharp spines, all pointing away from the tip. This means the penis is easily inserted but rakes the walls of the female vagina when withdrawn! Female cats only ovulate after mating and the trigger that sets off the ovulation is the intense pain and shock that she feels when the tom withdraws his penis. glad i never have to go through that! something to tell the folks who think sterilisation is cruel... sometimes mother nature is worse.

the woman has always wondered why Rosie loves to sit quietly at this obscure corner of the bathroom and stare at the dynamo bottle. sometimes for a good half hour. Why Cats Paint says she may have found a "Point of Harmonic Resonance". deeeep.

a Point of Harmonic Resonance is where cats are able to experience a kind of localised force field (or energy waves) from which they derive a benefit, in the context of the book, a kind of artistic and creative motivation to paint.

the woman contemplates indulging Rosie in this insanity. Leonardo Da Rosie, yeah right.

fitting in

some people have been enquiring about Suede but no one has come to view her yet.

probably a week ago, i would be glad to see her go. tiny wee thing as she is, she growls and hisses at all us felines if we are unfortunate enough to be in her path. the brat would expect that WE get out of the way instead of her. Rosie and i just look at her with amusement and carry on what we are doing. Bobby likes a challenge. Fruity runs.

and she is very good at monopolising the man and woman's time and laps. when they watch tv, she will be the first there for a snuggle and throws a fit if any of us try to muscle in. the man and woman also notice that they don't wake up to a bedful of cats anymore, just Suede.

after a few days, she quickly learns that no friends means no games and no fun. so gradually, she lets Bobby sleep next to her, then me (with half-hearted grunts). in no time at all, she is adding a whole new dimension to our high-speed chases and play fights.

she remains vocal and her play fights are always accompanied by a cacophony of squealing. the man says it is the first time he hears a cat cry wolf. she squeals like she is badly injured even before we make contact. one day, we will really give her something to squeal about...

the man and woman are real suckers and are melting in the face of Suede's antics. because she likes to be held and cuddled for long periods of time, they don't have to fight over Bobby anymore when they watch tv, one each for their laps.

"sorry, i am naughty"

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

warm fuzzy feeling

the animal family's pronounciation of Bobby has mutated to something like Bpow-Bpee. seems more befitting of the cheena looking runt. he discovers a new favourite spot.

Suede comes home

the people who adopted Suede and her siblings Bronze and Rice returned her yesterday.

according to them, Suede is very naughty, always instigating the rest of the kittens to mischief and mayhem, so they can't keep her. she spends a lot of time in a cage as they can't deal with her antics. the woman decides then that it is best to take her back so that she has a fighting chance for another loving home that better suits her.

the man and woman are at least happy to see Bronze and Rice doing great when they visited the 3 of them last week. the adorable Bronze has even bonded beautifully with their timid 2-yr old persian cross.

Bonnet (now named Tiara) is also doing well, being the darling of her new family. she is no longer shy, bouncing happily around her new mummy's room and letting the man and woman hold and hug her during their visit. the difference a loving family makes to a wary kitty.

the animal family also received an update recently from Grey's (now named Skoda) new mummy and daddy. the little princess is at times amorous, at times playful, more times fierce. sleeping apparently remains her sweetest moment. they have 2 nicknames for her - Chia char bo (fierce girl) and Kaypoh Cat!

Suede is at this moment snuggling up to the man, rubbing her head on his chin and clouding his judgement on her fate. after all, he is used to lively kits after contending with Bobby and me. the woman still hopes to find a home for her.

i guess we cats will get used to a new kit in the house soon enough but one of us has to be the sensible one here and wonder about the rate this animal family is growing. looks like i might be the only one.

a sight to behold

paws over keyboard. eyes on monitor. something profound is taking shape in my head. if i get it right, it might just change the world... the thought hovers just beyond reach. it tickles my ears and i look up.

GOD, is that you??! oh. my delusions of grandeur.

snuggle therapy

Sunday, November 27, 2005

towards zero pests

that's what it says on Health & Environment @ eCitizen.

fair enough until you see what are listed as pests on some of those pest control websites: Ants . Bats . Bees . Beetles . Birds . Butterflies . Caterpillars . Cats . Centipedes . Cockroaches . Crickets . Earwigs . Fleas . Flies . Maggots . Mice . Millipedes . Mites . Mosquitoes . Moths . Rodents . Scorpions . Silverfish . Snakes . Spiders . Termites . Ticks . Wasps . Weevils . Worms

NEA lists mosquito, cockroach, fly, rat/rat flea & termites as the common disease carrying pests (vectors), but seems like these pest control companies will catch anything that people complain about.

particularly worrying: "In line with our mission statement, _______ aims to be (the best) when it comes to being environmentally safe with the use of non-hazardous substances for human and animals wherever possible." wherever possible?

perhaps it is unfair to see pest control companies as the bogeyman when all they are doing is fulfilling a demand (that just doesn't go away) and picking up someone else's dirty work. but their role as a point of final condemnation is cast over and over again. spot this example of a notice on NUS Eusoff Hall General Office News & Notices: Cat Found!! Will the rightful owner of this cat please claim it back from the Hall Office immediately. Please note that if the cat is not claimed by today at 4 pm, it will be given to the Pest Control Company. Please be reminded that residents are not allowed to keep pets in the Hall. In this issue, the owner of the cat will be fined for breaching the Hall's rule.

so either the cat goes with the bogeyman or you get it back with a fine. not sure about you but to me, a person who writes with such methodical dullness is either a nazi or a dead-end administrator. did the owner make the right choice in the end? i hope so. you would think higher education institutions would possess higher ideals, but of course not. the other big local university in town spots the same sweeping cat control policy but in their case, they had enough indignant staff and students to start their own cat cafe to ensure the welfare of the strays on their campus. the world certainly needs more of these people and less dead-end administrators.

but pest control as an industry is here to stay. perhaps to stop the trend of lumping cats with the rest of the vector pests, someone from this side of the fence should start a stray control company dedicated to solving the problem and not the animal, one that possesses more skills then netting and exchanging an AVA acceptance form for a TC pay cheque. they could starve but the world is certainly not saved by fat bottom-line driven men who drive mercedes benz.

tomcat thwarted... hopefully

now that all females in the family (eh, bar one) are spayed, hopefully tomcat will stop its regular amorous visits to the animal family. the horny bugger has even taken to urinating outside our apartment, possibly to mark us as his special angels.

the woman just got some cat traps from cat welfare and tomcat is top priority on her community sterilising crusade. tibby, leukemia and Bobby's momma suspect no. 1 are also marked IMPERATIVE on her hit list.

hoo wee, we are in for some fun and games.


fruity display signs of being in heat. (already?! i must be a late bloomer) she whines, she flops and she follows Bobby around tilting her ass up suggestively. down girl down! prepubescent Bobby has no idea what's going on of course. or how lucky he could have been.

her behavior gets us both waking up to a drafty underside and a hell of a sting from the needlework. by the way, where did the rest of my ear go?

Fruity comes home with a nasty green streak down her left cheek and leg. apparently, the woman's quarantine the night before was a complete failure. keeping away the cat food and water did not stop Fruity from stuffing her fat face with Leafty's hay. when she was put under, it all came out green and yellow. as for me, brown water came out the other end. the poor poor nurse.

after a full day's downtime, we are both our perky selves again.

designer cats

the woman gets a gorgeous che che new york's che2 bag for her birthday from Fruity's godfather. rosie wastes no time in showing it up. what can be more che che than the real deal?

Thursday, November 24, 2005

complaining kills

be it the long tail macaques, the reticulated python or the stray cat, when people complain, the animal often gets put down.

the woman writes to AVA about the culling of stray animals but does not get a satisfactory answer.

First reply: "We hope to see with greater awareness, less strays in our midst. Meanwhile, in order to reduce the number of stray dogs and cats we regretfully need to cull them as most of them are not adoptable."

Second reply: "The stray problem is a very complex issue and therefore requires a multi-pronged approached. Culling of strays is just one of the methods employed... The management bodies have to balance the interests of many parties and run it in a manner that best provides a pleasant environment and promote harmony amongst residence... As mentioned earlier, not all strays are adoptable. Moreover, few Singaporeans are willing to adopt strays. As a result, many have to be put down."

how about doing more to teach people how to live and let live? how to abide harmoniously with the animals around them? with all that we know, is there no way of preserving their dignity instead of culling them?

it is our hope that one day, the government and our community can come together to find better means for resolving conflicts between wildlife, strays and humans. humanity sure depends on it.

(Photo from Forgotten Cats, Inc.)

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