Tuesday, May 29, 2007

more doing, less ranting

i had a look back on this blog. dear departed Maneki and i have been ranting our faces blue about the state of cat welfare in our estates and i wonder if it is time to stop rehashing the issues and get the cerebral juices in this family running on solutions beyond the mainstays of foster/adoption and Trap-Neuter-Return and Manage (TNRM).

in a fit of productiveness, i have devised a grand social plan -- for world domination muah ha ha -- and em, like all grand plans, not much of a way of achieving it. but it's a start at least by putting some thoughts down on paper. unfortunately, it's mostly based on what i know or guess (yikes), so any fellow fervid felines out there who can shed light are greatly welcomed to add to or dispute what i have here.

it's by no means finished so check back for more in the coming weeks, hopefully with fresh inputs from you knowing folks out there too.

main thing i see is that we throw the idea of a sustainable social enterprise up in the air because that is likely where social activism is heading. maybe someone has a better idea. or maybe some smart brave soul out there might just make it work.

(email animalfamily for a draft)

"you done saving the world, Toots?"

yes, you can take that tongue out of your cheek now, Blackie.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

change is inevitable

i just knew he'd be back. after waiting patiently for days by the lift lobby to catch glimpses of the man or woman, they cannot help themselves but bring this lovesick tom back up here. and he doesn't want to leave.

it was a testy introduction. most of us took a look at his big mean face and ran claws out with a snarl, while he follows behind with a wounded whinny wondering why we don't like him. Papa is not used to such feline adoration and whacked him a few times but he just lies down and pleads for affection. it's really hard to keep up any indignation in the face of such sweetness. you just look like a real chump.

i have to say he has in his week here added a much needed boost to the animal family. sedentary cats came out of retirement in force for once forgotten games like hide and seek, police and thief and street soccer. we take turns hiding at a strategic corner in the utility room waiting for an unsuspecting passerby. that usually kicks off another round of chase. he does have some weird habits, like fishing dried poo from the litter box and kicking it around the house like a ball. he knows to go for the ones with the most aerodynamic curvatures. when carried, he puts his two front paws around the man or woman's neck and lays his head on the shoulder.

he is now called Bak Bak. not to confuse Blackie, we dropped the L.

Smally benefits most from the fresh buzz of activity, which has broken her timid and solitary ways. still not exactly in with our crowd, she is like that slow cousin we allow into our games who neither understands its rules nor knows who's on her team. she stands on her hind legs paws up as we fly past and falls on her pom pom tail in her excitement. she thinks she is in the game and that is all that matters.

yep, animal family life is a whole lot more exhausting with the arrival of Bak Bak (in a good way). we thought we outgrown our kittenish ways but quite unexpectedly, its right there just waiting to be reclaimed.

not too bad for 2 calicos at the grown-up age of 2.

Friday, May 18, 2007

the butterfly effect

i can't watch the episode of Planet Earth where the exhausted polar bear swim to find food. i feel sick.

while we are still deeply stuck into our insular debates about supermarket plastic bags, emission limits and green auto performance, a polar bear can't make the next ice ledge.

don't they say the flap of a butterfly's wings can cause a typhoon halfway around the world? its done more than flap this time, it's flown to exeter and taught scientists how to make better flat screen TVs.

(from Daily Mail)

there's no doubt people in Singapore and much of the world enjoy great privileges. arguably in our privileged minds, we have the excess idle capacity to ponder global warming, animal rights and our own excesses with time enough to watch Simon Cowell get emotional over african children on Idol Gives Back. all as the rest of the world struggle to see the next day. also because of that, many of us have seen the egocentric glitter dreams from the enterprise culture of our youth as what they are: hollow, hungry and deadly.

and now a billion chinese people want it. are you scared? i am petrified. they and other developing countries make a case against resisting green policies because so many of their people are deep in poverty. and then you read about indigenous people uprooted, overrun or infected by the need for currency, coal, oil and whatever. so these people get displaced and they argue we have no choice but to enlarge our chug chugging economic system so that we can feed these helpless people into it.

so why do we care about the environment and polar bears when there are so many hungry mouths to feed? because somewhere along the lines someone will put their finger on a humane socio-economic system that works so that people set back on their feet have an alternative to glass towers and non-detachable cell phones and the ones who choose to join the system will not go on to sell fake milk powder and spiked animal and fish feed with useless chemicals in the name of profit. because their dreams will be different. better.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

mummy no more

this toothless carpark calico has mothered countless litters although the feeder never figured out where she hides her annual output. she will slink in for meals with her swollen titties and disappears as quietly to her phantom brood.

her feeder is heartbroken. over time, this plumb doe-eyed cat has become a mangy hag before her eyes.

not a moment too soon, her time as a biological cavity has come to an end. freshly in heat, she was courted by a tom just 2 nights ago, who alas, proved too wily for ensnarement.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

star performer

this ginger tom is a diva. it's all in a day's work when he finesses a captive audience in the open quadrangle with bunny hops and belly flops. the kids are a little afraid of him at first because he is a big cat. but his innocent effervescence wins them over again and again as they laugh at his and their own youthful playfulness. the adults look on.

quite often, the man and woman have seen this tom curling up to sleep by the feet of couples courting on park benches or peek-a-booing out of bushes at friendly faces. there's no doubt people love him.

we need more cats like this who transcends psychological barriers and elevates himself from mere stray to community resident. he makes people reevaluate their assumptions and that is good for everybody.

on the home front, our own ginger Suede has lifted out of her melancholy. she is still the woman's best lap cat.

Monday, May 14, 2007

clandestine caped crusaders

it was great to see the community rally quickly around an animal like it did for doggy yesterday. i just hope the same burst of community concern can happen for a cat wandering in the road too. still waiting for that story to be told.

i really don't think it's because there are less cat lovers out there. for some inexplicable reason, they are just the more clandestine, often preferring the cover of night for their caped crusades.

since the animal family first took root in this neighbourhood, we have noticed more and more cats in a widening perimeter turning up sterilised that didn't all enjoy the hospitality of our utility room. and these lucky community kitties sometimes get more than their fair share of meals in a day, left out by no less than 3 different feeders at different times.

there's no doubt a flame burning for our community cats here although it's really a mystery how these caped crusaders tend to always miss each other on their nightly rounds. nobody seems to know each other. other than the rain or shine feeders, there's a bigger underground network yet to unmask.

it's our hope that we can somehow rally these people into a single coherent voice for our community but if our cat loving neighbours are anything to go by, these unsung heroes do love their cloak of invisibility.

papa: senior citizen by day, crusader by night

Saturday, May 12, 2007

community lost & found

man and woman saw this dog wandering around the neighbourhood coffee shop at lunch. several people, including the stall owner, were worried that it could be knocked down by a car and had it tied to the rail outside the shop in hopes that the owner will show up. the dog looks well taken care of so could not have been lost for too long. shortly after, she was thankfully reunited with her family so all's well that ends well.

speaking of dogs, the woman visited Cookie recently. she is much calmer now through the care of her new family but some things are the same, she hasn't lost her taste for ice and muffin crumbs :) Rachel, you have strength enough for the ones you love and certainly what it takes to take good care them. chat anytime.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

maine coon kitten for adoption

a neighbour found this little kitty in the bushes of the unused park near our estate. she is a pretty one. although its hard to say what breed she really is, she does have all the tell-tale features of a maine coon: lion's mane, very soft fur and her large ears spot the fur tip. if so, she can potentially grow to the size of Papa.

she's been here a couple of days with no fanfare so a multi-cat family would not be a problem for her. she has been getting a lot of attention from us cats for sure but is desperately in need of more human attention. the man and woman try but they got lots on their hands. so kind soul, committed adopter, we need you! please drop us an email at myanimalfamily at gmail dot com.

(update: cooney is going on home trial on sunday. thanks for all your interest, we will keep everyone updated on her adoption status.)

Friday, May 04, 2007

Blak Blak well enough to rejoin community

raspy-throated Blak Blak goes back on the streets fixed and tipped. he is a smart one and is the very first cat that has actually found its way back to our front door after being released. he spotted man out on the corridor and up the stairs he came for hugs and belly-rubs. this is one tame tom.

he now forms a pack with Frazzle Black, Orange White and their friends downstairs, in no hurry to head back to his original hang-out block.

Gin Gin and Bon Bon are also back on the streets as no one answered the adoption ads. we pray for them everyday that they will not be caught again.

secretly, Fruity and i thought nimble little Gin Gin might just come back to see us. when woman's mum had a cataract operation, she shuttled back and forth for a week making it possible to keep Gin Gin, then down with the flu, at her mum's to relieve the animal family from overcrowding and to contain the virus. but because the place is not cat-proof, Gin Gin actually disappeared one morning through a split second opening and that was shortly after they lost White Grey to illness. when she couldn't be found, man and woman were in shock that their whole rescue operation seemed to be falling apart. only late that night they got the call when the woman's mum found Gin Gin sitting content and quite oblivious in one of her rooms. the woman's mum is no cat lover but admitted an unexplainable pride when she saw the little cat has found her way home.

we have yet to see Gin Gin again after her release but we can still hope.

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