Friday, March 31, 2006

Time to Fix Feral Cat Problem

Denise Flaim,Animal House
March 27, 2006

In this acronym-happy world, TNR has become the mantra of every cat advocate.

Feeding feral cats may be kindhearted, but it's only one piece of the puzzle: Trap, neuter and release, or TNR, is the only hope for controlling and eventually eliminating wild cat colonies, which spring up anywhere there is a food source, from deli Dumpsters to industrial parks. Unneutered and well-fed cat populations reproduce like, er, rabbits, only exacerbating the problem.

"If someone takes the responsibility to spay and neuter the cats, they can be assessed, and any cat that is tame or a kitten can be adopted out, which right away reduces the number in the colony," says veterinarian Gay Senk of County Line Veterinary Clinic in Farmingdale, who limits her practice to feral cats.

Cats that are too feral to be in home situations are returned to their outdoor stomping grounds, where they can live out their lives in a static population that will eventually disappear by attrition.

The humans in the neighborhood also benefit, Senk adds, because spaying and neutering eliminate most of the annoyances associated with breeding cats - males fighting over territory, yowly females in heat, smelly urine from spraying, and a proliferation of kittens that are sick and malnourished.

While TNR is wonderful in theory, it's often difficult to execute in practice. "Some people have big hearts and want to help, but they don't know where to go," Senk says. To that end, she has helped form the Long Island Cat Project, a resource and information network that currently has eight contact points, or "hubs," across the Island.

"If someone calls, they're directed to a hub in their area, which will educate them about feral cats," Senk says. The hubs loan out traps, and some have volunteer trappers who can assist elderly residents. The hubs also direct rescuers to local veterinarians who will do spay or neuter surgeries for as little as $50. The hubs work with colony caretakers, not with those wanting cats permanently removed or euthanized.

Starting next month, the Long Island Cat Project will also take its show on the road, using a spay-neuter van lent to them by the Suffolk County SPCA. On April 1, the surgical suite-on-wheels will be parked at an auto-body shop in Island Park, where pre-trapped cats will be brought in to be snipped. Thirteen more of these mass spay-neuter events are planned through October and are coordinated through the individual hubs (listed at the end of this column). As far as success stories go, Senk points to a Pathmark in Centereach, where individual rescuers were feeding a cat colony but leaving the area disheveled and trash-ridden. Senks says volunteers from her group put signs up asking feeders to contact them and met with the supportive supermarket manager to explain the basics of TNR. Not only are all the cats now spayed and neutered, and friendly ones adopted, "but all the people who were feeding them have met each other, and they have a schedule," Senk says. "So now each person goes to feed every week instead of every day."

In an effort to reach the humans involved in these complicated feline societies, one of the Cat Project's hubs, Long Island Cat/Kitten Solution - which has a catchy acronym of its own, LICKS - is sponsoring a lecture about feral-cat management on April 29 at the Long Beach Public Library. (For more information: 516-431-8794.) Senk encourages those who don't like the colonies in their communities to attend, too, since the focus is one they will welcome - working to lower the number of stray cats.

Senk has been donating her time to helping feral cats on Long Island since 1992 as a way to "give back" to her profession. She wishes some of her colleagues would follow suit. "If every vet did two free spays or neuters a month, how many would that be in a year?" she asks.

More, certainly, than if they did none.

Feral & Stray Cats Rescue

Its good to know that we're not the only country where volunteers work tiredlessly to save the cats. Although these stories may not be current, still, it warms my heart to know that good work has been done. I am sure there are alot more of such stories. I found these 3 in between my workload.

A group of volunteers, work long hours to trap wild feral & stray cats. Some of them work from dawn to dusk, travel thousands of miles (from Washington to New Orleans) a year in a quest to help the cats. In 2004, approximately 40,000 homeless cats were put to sleep in Washington. Like our volunteers, they are running to save the homeless cats from becoming statistics. Read more here.

The Czechs are dog lovers but not cat lovers. It is estimated that there were as many as 40,000 - 300,000 stray cats in Prague alone. The Prague Society for the Protection of Animals runs shelters across the city. They would rescue the cats, vaccinate & sterilise them & then try to find new homes for them. Here's the story.

Val Thompson and her husband holidayed in Gambia in 1997 and the hotel that they stayed in had many stray cats. There was no neutering programme then & the locals got rid of the strays either by poisoning the cats or dumping them in the bush. This prompted the couple to start a neutering programme.

In 1998, GambiCats was formed with a team of 4 which included a vet surgeon. Today the Gambian government - Dept of Livestock Services are involved in the humane neutering programme and they fully endorsed GambianCat's methods - catch, neuter & release.

The first Cat Cafe was established at Kombo Beach hotel which provides a central feeding point. The Cat Cafe is well patronised, not only by the cats, but by guests who enjoy seeing the cats and feeding them.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

A Day in the Life of a Persian Dude

6am Wake the crazy cat lady up with soft gentle meowing. If she doesn't wake up after 5 meows, sit on her belly & lightly scratch it. If she turns, be brutal. Sit on her face. That always does the trick. Heehee...

6.30am Demand for food, food food!!! The only way to get food quick & fast is to meow incessantly, weave in & out of her legs. If she still takes her time, scratch her legs. She'll scream, but she'll feed us. Sucker ... The rest of you, watch & learn.

7am Follow the crazy cat lady into the bathroom. Walk round the toilet bowl. This is a ritual that must never be broken otherwise .... Actually I don't know ... Anyway, watch her shower. That never fail to spook her.

7.30am Ok, she's out the door. Now for some cat fun. Dim Sum & Junior lets play high speed chase. Beauty, I know you're too 'atas' for such childish play, but STOP BEING SUCH A WET BLANKET!!! All your growling is not gonna stop us from having fun, so stuff that attitude. Carma, join if you like, but no fighting please. I'm a lover not a fighter. Dim Sum run carefully now my dear, don't want to hurt those sexy legs now, do we? *wink*

8am Nap with light snacking in between.

12pm Flirt, act sweet & cute with sexy Aunty Abby. She's a hot momma. And watch Abby clean my castle. What more can a man ask for? Life is great. *shake legs* (If I can whistle, I would, at this point).

3pm More naps & more snacking in between.

6pm Soccer time. Junior you're the defender. Beauty, you obviously goalkeeper lah! Dim Sum, will you be my 'delicious' cheerleader? *wink wink* Me, attack. Carma, sorry, you're the only one on the opposing team (nobody said this is a fair game). Now play ball! Watch the pictures, aaargghh!!! & I dodge & I kick & ...

7pm Did the I hear the crazy cat lady's footsteps? She's outside! Ok everyone, get in your positions at the door. Look cute. Maybe she won't notice the broken picture frames (cross my eyes & hope ....)

7.01pm Ok ok, she may be crazy but she's not stupid. Or blind. Hey, I'm a cat! Whatdaya expect? I need fun, I need exercise, I need to impress cute babes (yummilicious Dim Sum! Dim Sum!)

7.05pm Enough nagging, now feed me. Quick! Everyone, on the count of 3 - meow, weave, scratch. C'mon cats, how many times must I tell you, we've got to synchronise. SYN-CHRO-NISE! Haven't you learn anything after watching me this morning? Do I have to do all the work around here? Good grief!

7.10pm Food. See, I told you so. She will cave in. She always does. So Dim Sum, how are gonna thank me? Uh, do I get to smell your butt? or maybe, get a nose rub after dinner? Surprise me.

7.30pm Gotta to do the poo-poo now. Hey crazy cat lady, a little privacy here please?!? Can you clean the litter after I'm done & not before?? Humans!!!

8pm Quality time with the crazy cat lady. Sit on her lap, kiss her & let her brush. Aaahhh ... shiok-a-doo ... Now now Dim Sum, curb your jealousy.

8.30pm Ok, there's only so much the good cat can take. I need my space now. May be I'll snooze, a little while.

10pm Hey Junior, wanna play catch the tail? Ouch! Stop it. What I meant was .. Ouch! Quit it you little twit! Catch Beauty's tail, not mine. Hey! Stop biting my tail! Not funny anymore...

10.15pm That's it. I'm sulking.

11pm Bedtime. Love this. Best part of the day. Sandwiched between the crazy cat lady & Dim Sum *hugs*

11.05 Lights out *snore*

Dim Sum: another sexual innuendo from that hairball, I'm biting his ear off ....

& God Created Cats ...

On the first day of creation, God created the cat.

On the second day, God created man to serve the cat.

On the third day, God created all the animals of the earth to serve as potential food for the cat.

On the fourth day, God created honest toil so that man could labor for the good of the cat.

On the fifth day, God created the sparkle ball so that the cat might or might not play with it.

On the sixth day, God created veterinary science to keep the cat healthy and the man broke.

On the seventh day, God tried to rest, but he had to scoop the litterbox.

- Bob Hanson

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Cats in History

The first true cats were found 12 million years ago, at the start of the Pliocene Period.

The first tamed cats were used for pest control, probably around 3,000 BC in ancient Egypt.

The oldest known fossilized record that has a similarity to today's cats has been aged as 12 million years old.

The ancestor of all domestic cats is the African Wild Cat, which still exists today.

In ancient Egypt, entire families would shave their eyebrows as a sign of mourning when the family cat died.

The Ancient Egyptian word for cat was mau, which means "to see."

In ancient Egypt, cats were mummified; and embalmed mice were placed with them in their tombs.

Morris, the 9-Lives cat, was discovered at an animal shelter in New England.

Nostradamus the French Astrologer, 1503-1566, had a cat named Grimalkin.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Hardware or Heartware

I was reading Hillary Rodham Clinton's biography "Living History" during lunch today. And I came across this passage which was part of an article written by Lee Atwater.

Atwater, from what I understand from her book, was the principal architect of the Republican ascedancy in 1980s for both President Reagan & Bush's campaigns. Shortly before he died of cancer in 1991, he wrote about a 'spiritual vacuum at the heart of American society.'

That article inspired Hillary Clinton & when I read it today, well, I was inspired too.

Here's the abstract:

"Long before I was struck with cancer, I felt something stirring in American society. It was a sense among the people of the country - Republicans and Democrats alike - that something was missing from their lives - something crucial ... I wasn't exactly sure what 'it' was. My illness helped me see that what was missing in society is what was missing in me: a little heart, a lot of brotherhood.

"The 80s were about acquiring - acquiring wealth, power, prestige. I know. I acquired more wealth, power and prestige than most. But you can acquire all you want and still feel empty. What power wouldn't I trade for a little more time with my family? What price wouldn't I pay for an evening with friends? It took a deadly illness to put me eye to eye with that truth, but it is a truth that the country, caught up in its ruthless ambitions and moral decay, can learn on my dime ..."

Although this was written more than 10 years ago, I found it to be still true in today's context, at least to me.

Many of us get so caught up in our daily pursuit for wealth, power & prestige that we lose our perspective of life. Wealth, power & prestige does not have to be the biggy stuff but still, it is apparent in our daily lives - at work & at home - comparing ourselves to our colleagues, neighbours, relatives - who has what, who has more etc.

I'm not saying that it is wrong. After all, we are brought up with this mantra drummed into most of our heads - "study hard, get good grades, get into a good university, get a good job, earn lots of money, find a compatible partner, get married, have a couple of kids, get a dog (pedigree no less), aim to buy landed property or a condo, then retire to enjoy life."

But what happens to "love & respect all living things on earth, live life with compassion & integrity?" Chucked out the window?

Now, the recent happenings digust me. Especially, that Hooi fella who gets away with a 3-month jail term for torturing a helpless cat. Despite numerous protests in the media, his sentence doesn't change.

What Hooi did was not just morally wrong. This man is a menace to society. Three months after his sentence, he is going to walk out of jail & continue to do what he does best - torture & kill defenceless animals. What's next when the thrill of torturing animals ceases? I hate to be in his neighbours' shoes because I will be living in constant fear of this monster, that one day, he may not just prey on the cats, but on my children, my mother & I.

Or the case of the neglected Alaskan malamute. The poor dog died and all the owner got for punishment was a fine of a mere $3,000.

And then there was a recent article about the 2 kittens posted on the MSN Singapore. Probably abandoned, got ran over by cars in a heavy traffic. Innocent lives lost in one of the most horrific way, just like that. That article shocked me beyond words. These kittens would probably have been alive if people are more socially responsible & aware of other lives apart from their own.

Interestingly though, I read somewhere that if one is caught touting fake goods, the jail term is 10 months, 7 months more for taking a defenceless animal's life. Where is the logic? You ask. There isn't, in my opinion.

But it is sad when legislation places priority on commercial crimes. It is sad when a country is so hang up on improving the hardware that heartware has to take a backseat. Sure, the improved hardware puts better food on the table and fancier clothes on our backs. But seriously, is that all we want?

You know, the kampung life ain't that bad.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Junior's First Bath

This morning Junior had his first (long overdued) bath since he joined the Chaos.

I was prepared for the worst. So I had on an old long-sleeved T-shirt, trimmed his nails, before I carried him into the bathroom.

Turns out my fears were unfounded. Junior takes to bath like a duck to water. Unusual. When I poured the first scoop of warm water on him, I half expected him to whine or jump or both but he purred instead.

It was as if he knows what was expected of him in a bath. He stepped into his little green tub, let me soap him & rinse him, all within 5 minutes, without any fuss at all. The only time he got upset was when bathtime is over & had to be towelled dry.

I never had an easy bathtime with the Chaos until now. In fact, I gave up trying to bathe them. Now I look forward to our next bathtime. Meanwhile, he's all fluffy & smells nice.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Trivial Information 'bout Cats

Cats are either left pawed or right pawed.

When in a hurry, cats can run over 30 mph.

Cats don't sweat.

Cats eyes comes in three shapes: round, almond, and slanted.

Cats lick themselves to calm down.

Cats that lack a certain gene will ignore catnip.

Cats were brought to North America by the Pilgrims.

All cats are born with blue eyes.

The first cat litter, a dry granulated clay, was "invented" by Ed Lowe in 1947.

Most cats do not have eyelashes.

A kinder is a group of kittens. A clowder is a group of adult cats.

Most blue-eyed white cats are deaf; cats with one blue eye are deaf in the ear closest to the blue eye.

Aspirin and chocolate are toxic to cats.

Cats' jaws cannot move sideways.

Each kitten in a litter can have a different father.

The first cat to live in The White House was Tabby, who was one of Abraham Lincoln's cats

Cats have a third eyelid (haw) which is rarely visible (usually when the cat is ill).

Cats should not be fed tuna on a regular basis as it lacks taurine, an essential nutrient.

Scientific studies show that petting a cat will lower a person's blood pressure.

Sir Isaac Newton invented the swinging kitty door.

All cats are members of the Family Felidea.

A polydactyl cat is one with 6 toes (one more than the normal 5).

Cats' whiskers are called vibrissae. They grow on the face and the back of her forlegs and...

The top two rows of a cat's whiskers can move independently of the lower two rows and...

The whiskers act as a sensor, helping the cat to judge whether he can fit into a space.

Cats can't see directly under their nose (making it seem they sometimes have trouble finding treats on the floor).

95% of all those who have cats talk to them.

Cats ears can pivot 180 degrees.

People who are allergic to cats are usually allergic to cat saliva or cat dander.

Cats can jump up to seven times their height.

Julius Caesar and Napoleon were among those who suffered from ailurophobia, the fear of cats.

Cat urine glows under a black light.

Orange peels and lemon rinds are offensive to cats.

Besides using their noses, cats can smell with the Jacobson's organ (located in the upper surface of the mouth).

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Who are These People???

A colleague paid a visit to my place on Monday evening after work.

Her first remark when she stepped in was, "Wah, your house is so clean, no smell at all!"

Puzzled, I asked "What do you mean?"

She said, "Well you have 5 cats. I was expecting cat hairs & shit all over. You know, we always read & hear in the news about how dirty & smelly a house can become when there are multiple pets & owners always get into trouble with the AVA."

I was offended but I held my tongue, not wanting to be rude to my guest. Multiple pets don't neccessarily equate to a dirty & smelly household. Its the owner's responsibility to keep the household clean. It basically boils down to individual's hygiene habit. What has it got to with the animals? Some apartments housing just humans are simply filthy. Duh!

Anyway I introduced her to Chaos. She was quite taken with them, especially with Alex & Junior. I wasn't surprised. Alex & Junior are good-looking boys.

I was telling her about the issues I have at the moment, with Junior & Carma not getting along & me trying every imaginable method to encourage cat harmony at home. She 'kindly' offered to take Junior (I have no intention of giving up Junior in the first place!). Then she saw how boisterous he can be. Dashing about, biting & scratching any animated objects & humans.

And when she saw the battle scars I got from Junior in just over 2 weeks, she gave me a lecture on discipline.

"How you can put up with such nonsense. I will never allow anyone, not to mention an animal, to do this to me. If I were you, I will slap Junior. He needs disciplining. He needs to know who's the boss. If you don't teach them now, he will climb over your head!"


With alot of self control, I calmly replied "Well thank goodness, you're not me then. Otherwise, poor Junior. And what makes you think I'm giving Junior to you?"

I gave an excuse that I got to clean the house & she'd be in my way. That got rid of her. Good riddance!

By the way, she is a mother of 3 kids. Her kids have my sympathy. One would have thought that as a mother, she would be more tolerant. Looks like I am wrong.

On a separate & happier note, Dim Sum & Junior have since become buddies. They have this exclusive hide-&-seek game which nobody can play except them. Not even Alex.

Monday, March 20, 2006

My Prince Charming

With this handsome fella, who needs a bloke? Well .....

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Soccer Anyone?

"Ok, Alex, rule of the game is, I pass you the ball, you take it & you pass it back to me. Understand?"

"Duh, what do I do with the ball again?"

"Do I really have to play with him??? Persians!!"

Holy Paddy! I'm a Momma!

Now I know for sure, I'm a mother. Doesn't matter whether I'm a mother of a child or an animal. The job description is the same.

Its not just the feeding & the picking & cleaning up after them. When one of my babies fall sick, I worry about them, sponge them, medicate them, sit by them until they get better. When they fight or quarrel, I'm not only angry but sad because I want them all to love each other, as delusional as that sounds.

Friday was St. Patrick's Day & I was at Muddy Murphy's ... again, honouring this "holy" day with countless pints of Kilkenny & Guiness. Believe me, both are Irish but they don't mix very well. But that's another story for another day.

So there I was, in the midst of revelry, picture taking & posing, picking up toy boys from all over & suddenly my thoughts wandered to my Chaos - did they have enough to eat? did they quarrel? did they miss me?? With that, I knew it was time to call it a night & headed home. Good grief.

This morning, Carma was all paws naughty, picking fights with Junior & Dim Sum. Like all mothers do, I scolded the naughty girl, smacked her rump & sent her to her room. She's grounded for the day. Its tough grounding her because she'd make those pitiful whines that will melt even the meanest & hard-hearted men. But I just have grit my teeth & turn up the radio to drown her whining.

But Beauty was in a FANTASTIC mood this morning, all lovey-dovey, kissy kissy. So, she & I spent the next hour together, just the two of us shut in the bedroom, grooming, talking & kissing each other. You know, girl stuff.

I'm in heaven after that.

Its little moments like that that made motherhood what it is - there are ups & downs & the spins. But the reward of love is priceless. I'm going home to hug my mom tonight.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Girl Talk

Met up with Letter B a couple of weekends ago in Muddy Murphy's over a couple of pints of Guinness & Kilkenny.

We had a blast, lots of laughs & talked virtually about everything - men, mothers, cats (obviously), life in general. On top of that, I discovered she has talent with her hands - making necklaces, chokers & lariats.

Check this out:

If you are interested to see more or know about them, get in touch with Letter B at

Cats & Dating

Cats & dating don't necessarily go hand in hand. Unlike a bloke with a dog who naturally draws 'oohs' & 'ahhs' from the girls, when it comes to single women with cats & a bloke, in his mind, it usually translates to "she's that crazy cat lady".

The dating life was good when I had Beauty. She's a gorgeous cat & the guy would go "you are so kind, adopting such a beautiful cat from a shelter". Yes, good impression. Score! More dates with him cos according to him, I'm nice :)

Then 2 cats. Still not too bad, still managed to leave a pretty good impression. Right.

Then 7 cats - 3 adults 4 kittens and the fun begins.

"7??? Did you say 7?"

"Yes, 7" with a deadpan expression.

"You must be very busy then. Maybe we should catch up another time." If you read between the lines, he meant - "you've got to be kidding if you think I'm gonna take you out, you crazy cat lady!"

Needless to say, dry spells for the next few months.

Now armed with 5 cats, I'm back in the dating game. Last week, first date. All went well, nice looking chap, lots in common, yap about everything & nothing & then he had to ask the question towards the end of the night.

"What's with those scratches on your arm? In a cat fight? haha"

"Well, yeah ... I was in a cat fight, caught between 2 cats, at home"

"Oh! you have 2 cats? How nice"

I figured, the hell with it, might as well tell the truth, the whole truth & nothing but the truth.

Took a deep breath, I replied "Actually I have 5 cats ..... &, here are their photos!" Whipped out my phone & starting scrolling the photos like a proud parent.

"Hang on, 5??? Really? .... Oh, wow .. That's alot of cats .. haha ... Wow 5..." [translation - crazy cat lady!]

"Yes, 5" *grin* "Shall we get the check?"

Oh! A surefire way to end a date real quick is tell them that you have a FIV+ve cat.

"Yes, 5 & 1 of them is a FIV"

"What's FIV?"

"Feline AIDS" *shrug*

"AIDS as in the AIDS?"

"Yes, but exist only in cats, not transmittable to humans, don't worry" *shrug again*

"You sure??!!???"

"Well, I'm still here talking to you right? So how bad can it be? Haha"

"Check please"

By the way, the bloke from the first date, asked me out again! He must be that crazy cat guy. :)

Sunday, March 12, 2006

New Living Arrangements

Since Carma & Junior are not getting along after a week, I decided to change the Chaos' living arrangements.

Although Junior survived the scuffles with Carma, he came out of it with a couple of minor battle scars.

Scratches on Junior's nose

So I thought about Dim Sum & how little she had interacted with Junior so far. As I ran out of rooms now (Carma dominating the front room & the Chaos spending the most of part of the day in my room), I decided to put Dim Sum & Junior in my bathroom for the night.

It started out a little rough, with Dim Sum hissing & growling at Junior. But judging from Junior's demeanor, he is not so much intimated by her but rather, he's curious about her. Given that Dim Sum is gentle by nature, I left Junior in her hands or rather paws, checking in on them every 1/2 hour. After 2 hours, this is the living arrangement they've come to an agreement.

New HDB living?

So far so good. Beauty & Alex did a great job as bouncers at the door. We survived the night with the 5 of us in 1 room & Carma outside for now. A little claustrophobic but what the heck. Its a small price to pay for peace.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

If You Die Tomorrow, Would You Be Contented?

Came across this article in the Singapore Cats MSN Forum this morning.

It got me thinking at 8am on a Saturday morning. Girl, you've got a get a life!

Point taken. It took me 10 minutes evaluate and my answer is if I am to die tomorrow, I will not just die contented but I will die happy. Honest. Swear, cross my heart & hope to die (happy) if I lie.

4 years back, I wouldn't be. I would be angry. Well, I was angry. Angry with life, with friends & family for not understanding me, with my meaningless job, with men, with my boss, with unfortunate circumstances (you get the picture). I WAS AN ANGRY BITCH.

Then a year ago, or to be exact, 28 January 2005, Beauty entered my life. Suddenly my life took a different turn. I am now responsible for the well-being of another living creature and I had absolutely no clue how to. Thank goodness for people like Phyllis & VeganCat who stood by, dealt with my ‘first-time mommy paranoia” phone calls & emails with Buddha patience.

Of course, over the months, I learn, some through text books but mostly through my gut feel or ‘mother’s intuition’. No doubt I still give in to an occasional bout of paranoia, but its very much under control. ARC is not getting money off my hands so easily these days.

And all of you know, over months, I have not just learnt, the family expanded. From 2 of us in the flat to now 6, it’s a population explosion.

But the cats did not just give me something to do. They have exposed me to a world out there that I had consciously shut off because it was ugly & I didn’t want to deal with it. That is, the cruelty of mankind. How mankind abuse, exploit the defenceless mother earth & her children. As men, we have the power to burn down the rainforests & pollute the ocean for commerce & kill animals for food & game.

Of course, I can’t single-handedly save the earth but I can make a tiny difference. I began showing interests in cat welfare. Speaking up for the poor defenceless felines who were almost always blamed for the unpleasantness in HDB living. Sponsoring cats in shelters. Its not much, but its my tiny bit.

But more than that, the Chaos bunch taught me that life is meant to live by & fight for one’s integrity & beliefs & not bend to rules & expectations of others. Ever seen a cat compromise her will to please someone? I've not. None of the Chaos ever compromise, sure they adapt to circumstances but never compromise. Beauty is still Beauty, the perpectual grouch, that will never change even if her tuna bowl depends on it. Fudge fought to her last breath to live, never once gave in to her illness.

So family & friends may not understand me to the T, so what? As long as they love & accept me for who I am & not what I am, that's what that matters right? So what if I’m single? Men come & go, if one chooses to stay, it’s a bonus, otherwise, life still goes on, why cry?. A job is just a job, it pays the bills. That’s it. If recognition is not given, then speak up. So the boss doesn’t appreciate me, so what am I going to do about it? Change the job. Simple.

So life became much simpler since. I have learnt to detach emotion from a problem. And when that happens, I became much more clear headed & patient. And besides, I know, no matter how bad my day is or bad the news are in the papers, I know that the day will come to end. And tomorrow is another fresh start.

As chaotic & crazy as Chaos are, life is simply life to them. So live & love to the fullest each day. That is their mantra. And that is my mantra now. And with that thought, yeah, I will die happy because I am contented.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


What have I gotten myself into??? I asked myself - I have 5 cats mad at each other & at me, all at the sametime.

Beauty is very annoyed that Dim Sum & Alex are now sticking to her like glue. I call them the Three Muskateers now. Heehee. But I'm sure she's not amused.

They are cramming her style & no matter how nasty she gets with them, she can't shake off Dim Sum & Alex. Beauty is one very very grumpy girl. SHE WANTS HER SPACE!!!! She's been giving me the look of "GET-THEM-OUT-OF-MY-ROOM!" If looks could kill ....

Dim Sum absolutely abhorred Carma. Wouldn't let Carma come within 5 feet of her. The moment Carma is within her sight, Dim Sum gets into this saliva spitting-hair standing fit. But Carma get a kick of out of this. She enjoys making Dim Sum go psycho. So every now & then, she'd go up to Dim Sum & 'stir some shit'. I could smack that woman.

Meanwhile, Alex continues to corner Carma & gets her to submit. I'll try to take a picture of Alex with a foot on Carma. (Imagine Sir Hillary conquering Everest).

Right now, Alex is giving me a cold shoulder. He's probably jealous of JR or Carma, I don't know anymore. I just suspect he resents sharing.

The four cats are very lovey-dovey but the difference is, Alex & Carma demand for attention & love while JR & Dim Sum are just naturally affectionate & loving. All like to cuddle on my lap. But I have only one lap. Children, take a number & deal with it. Thank goodness, Beauty's not the lovey-dovey sort cos 8 kilos on my lap is no joke.

As for JR , he's like a pile in Carma's butt (vulgar, I know). Carma does not like Junior, at all. She would seize opportunities to bully him. Guess she's upset that she has to give up her room for him. Well, tough.

Last evening, she scared him so much so he peed in his bed. Poor boy. But he does try his best to put up a fight. He'd find little nooks & corners that he can hide that Carma can't get to. Still, it must be pretty intimidating for him - to be surrounded by 4 bigger & older cats.

Despite the chaos, the other three seemed to have no serious problems with JR as long as he knows his place. Sometimes he forgets & gets an occasional twat on the head by Beauty. Alex has started showing some curiousity in Junior. He'd hiss at him at little bit. I hope they will get along eventually. It will be interesting to see how Dim Sum will relate to him though. Although right now, she hasn't shown any interest at all.

Fingers & toes crossed, may this mayhem end soon. Otherwise, I'm checking into a hotel.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Junior's Adventures

Junior's 'dirty laundry'

& Now There Is 5

Ladies & gentlemen,

May I introduce Sanji Junior or just Junior (JR) for short.

JR was rescued by VeganCat & Carol a few weeks back. He was named after Sanji, another rescued ginger. Sanji Sr was malnutritioned when VeganCat rescued him & the poor soul didn't survive. JR looks like carbon copy of Sr, therefore VeganCat decided to name him Sanji Jr. I am keeping his name in memory of Sr. (I am breaking the trend of my maniac obsession of alphabetising my cats' names.)

Anyway, brought JR home tonight & he immediately made himself at home in Carma's room. Carma wasn't too pleased to share & made her feelings shown. It backfired on her. I decided that Carma should sleep in the kitchen. She's now staking out little JR. Meanwhile, little JR oblivious to the cold reception, is very happy cat, left in a room full of Carma's toys.

Let's see the reaction of the rest of the gang in the next few days. But one thing for sure, there will be some chaos to come.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Change of Behaviour

I have noticed a change of behaviour in Alex recently.

It started sometime last week, I think. When he tried paw Dim Sum. She fought back & he jumped on her. She somehow managed to get away.

I didn't think too much of the incident, until earlier this week. When he tried the same tactic on Carma. He would corner her, then paw her & if she resists him, he will jump on her until she crouches in a submissive position. Then he backs off.

This has been happening over the past few days. He keeps trying to dominate both Dim Sum & Carma. I wonder what causes this change in a cat from a sweet & gentle feline to this.

Luckily he's wise enough not to make a pass on Beauty. She's bigger & heavier & she'd probably pound him if he tries to be funny. She'll probably give him an equivalent of a black eye.

He has also become demanding of my time. He would stick very close to me, wouldn't allow Carma & Dim Sum to come close. When I do play with either girls, he would butt in, demanding to be played. Hmmm.

Nevertheless, I am concerned & how I wish there is an explanation for this change ...

Thursday, March 02, 2006

AVA says OK to sharks as pets

So its ok to keep a shark as pet without licence in a confined space but it is wrong to keep domesticated cats in HDB? What the hell is wrong with these bureaucrats????

Its high time for these government agencies to review their archaic rules.

2 Mar

RESIDENTS and readers concerned about the welfare of a 1.7 metre nurse shark and two black-tipped reef sharks in an aquarium at Parc Palais condominium have been informed by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) that a licence is not required to keep sharks as pets.

The incident came to a head after the Animal Concerns and Research Society (Acres) was told that an aquarium attached to the swimming pool at Parc Palais condominium was home to the three sharks.

The largest of these, the nurse shark, has been in the aquarium for nearly six years and is fed daily by a caretaker who feeds it through a manhole.

Following the reactions, the AVA has advised the condominium management to remove the two black-tipped reef sharks, which can grow to one metre in length, as the tank may not be able to "accommodate them when they are fully grown".

Acres, however, has expressed concern about the interpretation of the law and the ownership of wild animals, pointing out that under the Animals and Birds (Pet Shop and Exhibition) Rules 2004, the AVA does not permit the sale of sharks in pet shops as these are fish that have a large territorial range in their natural habitat.

"So it's contradictory to say that it's acceptable to keep a pet shark in a small tank, when it isn't legal to buy it," said Acres' president and executive director Louis Ng.

The AVA explained that sharks are not allowed to be sold in pet shops as they may not have the space, but sharks can be sold in fish farms, which have more space to house larger tanks.

Some of the residents at the condominium, however, are none too pleased.

Science enrichment teacher Shanmuganathan Kasibyravan, who moved out six months ago, said: "It was sad to see the shark in such a small tank. Some residents and I wrote to the management about it, but nothing was done."

Teacher Mary Lynn Cogliano said: "The apartment has been a preferred location to many expatriates I know. But I don't think that will be the case in the future unless the captive sharks are moved to an appropriate location."

A group of 20 people who live at Parc Palais or are friends of residents living at the condominium like Ms Cogliano, have signed a collective letter to express their feelings.

— Vinita Ramani

EU Plays Down Fears After Cat's Bird Flu Death

Mar 1 2006 by icWales

A leading veterinary expert sought to play down fears amongst British pet owners today after the first case was reported in Europe of a cat dying from the deadly strain of bird flu.

Cats have not played any significant role to date in the spread of bird flu and owners should keep the case in perspective, Dr Bob McCracken, avian flu spokesman for the British Veterinary Association, said.

"I think some people do not realise that this is not a new finding, it has been known now for two or three years in south-east Asia in both domestic cats and big cats in the zoo," he said.

"We know that there has been no significant role to date by those cats in the spread of avian flu."

His remarks come after pet owners on the island Ruegen in the Baltic were advised to keep their cats indoors after the death of a domestic cat from the deadly H5N1 strain.

Dozens of birds have already been found with the disease on the island and it is thought that the cat had eaten an infected one.

The case has raised fears that cats could help bird flu mutate to become a flu pandemic.

It comes as national veterinary experts from across the EU will today meet for crisis talks on the spread of bird flu in Europe.

Sweden became the ninth EU member state to be affected by the outbreak when it confirmed that the virus was discovered in two wild ducks.

The European Commission has also moved to calm fears about the role of cats in spreading the disease, emphasising that the cat on the island of Ruegen had almost certainly eaten an infected dead bird.

The Commission's aim now is to help minimise the chances of the disease gaining a hold in the commercial poultry population - but no-one holds out much hope of preventing its further spread across Europe via the migratory wild bird population.

The latest developments will be considered today by veterinary experts when the EU's Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health meets in Brussels.

Last night, samples from the Swedish birds were sent to the EU laboratory in Weybridge, Surrey, for more tests to check whether, as experts expect, the case is another of the H5N1 strain.

A Commission spokesman said Sweden had already triggered control measures obligatory in any EU country finding bird flu.

They involve a three-kilometre (1.86-mile) "protection zone" around the outbreak and a "surveillance zone" extending a further seven kilometres.

Within the protection zone poultry must be kept indoors. Its only permitted movement is direct to the slaughterhouse.

In the wider surveillance zone, farms must carry out full-scale disinfection programmes, and the hunting of wild birds is banned.

The H5N1 strain has now been confirmed in Greece, Italy, Austria, Hungary, Germany, Slovenia, France and Slovakia. The latest discovery in Sweden, and the case of the dead cat in Germany, do not change EU-wide control measures.

"All necessary measures to combat the spread of the disease are in place, and of course we are continuing to monitor events closely," said the Commission spokesman.

Sweden's agriculture minister Ann-Christin Nykvist said the latest outbreak was serious "but not unexpected" - reflecting the fact that most EU member states are resigned to the prospect of a bird flu outbreak on their territory.

The H5N1 strain has killed 90 people in South-East Asia and, earlier this year, two children in Turkey.

All the victims caught the disease from direct contact with infected birds and there is still no evidence that the virus can be transmitted between humans.

Cats are the most popular choice of pet in the UK and are growing in popularity, according to the Pet Food Manufacturers' Association. There were an estimated six million cat-owning households in the UK in 2003, with the feline pet population in the UK that year standing at 9.2 million.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

HDB's Policy on Disallowing Cats in Flats

I am sure by now, everyone is aware of HDB's stance on cats in flats.

As cat lovers residing in HDB, many of us are trying to convince & persuade HDB to review this policy. HDB's current view of cats are quote "cats defecating at the common area, noise nuisance, cats entering into flat, shedding of fur etc". They claimed to have receive around 500 cat-related complaints each year. We all know, that cats are not the main culprits of these acts.

72.3% of Singaporeans reside in 4-room & above HDB flats as of 2004 (source: Singapore Department of Statistics). This number can be higher if we include 3 rooms & below. So for 500 complaints each year, in the words of Mrs Goh Chok Tong, is peanuts!

And yet, HDB is using this number as one of their reasons to rule out cats in flats.

If you, like many of us, think this is an unreasonable basis, please, please write to Mrs. Fo0-Ho of HDB at & cc. to

United, we can make a difference.


Bird Flu Seen Spreading

This is going to create another widespread panic attack calling to step-up culling of innocent birds & cats here!

Tue Feb 28, 2006 6:08 PM GMT
By David Evans

PARIS (Reuters) - Bird flu is likely to hit poultry flocks in a number of European states, experts said on Tuesday, while alarm over the spread of the H5N1 virus was fuelled by a report that it had been found in a dead German cat.

Scientists said they did not believe the case of the German cat increased the risks to human health from a virus which is known to have killed at least 93 people since late 2003. However, one expert advised cat owners to keep their pets indoors in affected regions.

Sweden became the latest in a series of new countries to report an outbreak of bird flu. Two wild ducks found dead on the Baltic coast had an aggressive form of bird flu and officials said it was likely to be confirmed as the feared H5N1 strain.

Iraq, which has reported two deaths from bird flu, said it was making checks for three suspected human cases in Baghdad and one in the northeastern province of Dayala.

The poultry industry is being hard hit as consumers shun meat such as chicken despite reassurances it is safe to eat. France last week became the first European Union country to confirm an outbreak on a poultry farm.

"The spread of the infection to domestic poultry in other European and neighbouring countries is highly likely and may even be made worse by the arrival in Europe of possibly infected birds from Africa and the Middle East next spring," the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said.

France, Europe's biggest poultry producer, has confirmed the first outbreak of H5N1 at a farm in the European Union. The news has prompted 20 countries to ban French poultry and France said it was in talks to reverse the bans.

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) warned the crisis would depress demand for poultry and hit prices.

"The U.N. agency expects poultry consumption shocks in many countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa that have been hit by the avian influenza," it said in a statement.
"Poultry prices are expected to continue declining, threatening industry profitability around the world," it added.

German officials said the cat was found at the weekend on the island of Ruegen off Germany's northern coast, the same location where the virus was first identified in birds earlier this month.

The finding may increase concern that the virus could spread to other species in Europe as it has in a number of cases in other parts of the world.

Germany's Federal Research Institute for Animal Health said it was still conducting tests to see whether the virus was the deadly strain of H5N1.

"It has been known for some time that cats can become infected by eating infected birds," Thomas Mettenleiter, the institute's president said in a statement.

Albert Osterhaus, a virologist at the Erasmus Medical Centre in the Netherlands who has conducted research into the virus in cats, said he was not surprised by the case.

"Cat to human transmission is theoretically possible and not to be excluded. We have seen cat-to-cat transmission in laboratory experiments.

"People should keep their cats inside in regions where the disease was found," Osterhaus told Reuters.

The H5N1 virus has been detected in around 20 new countries over the past month alone, crossing into Europe and Africa. The virus is endemic in birds across parts of Asia.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said H5N1 was spreading relentlessly.

Every day there's another country ... and it's going to go all the way across (the globe) -- there's no doubt about it," he told a conference on bird flu in Washington.

It has led to the culling or deaths of some 200 million birds since late 2003. In poultry flocks it can cause sudden severe disease, rapid contagion and a mortality rate that can approach 100 percent within 48 hours.

Although essentially an animal disease, humans can contract the virus through direct contact with sick poultry.

The real fear for humans is that the virus will mutate into a form which passes easily from person to person, sparking a pandemic in which millions could die.

Tests on dead chickens found dumped on the outskirts of the Kenyan capital Nairobi came back negative for H5N1. However, East African neighbour Ethiopia had sent samples from dead poultry to Italy for laboratory checks.

Experts fear the virus could spread rapidly in Africa where chickens live in millions of homes and health, veterinary and laboratory services are often poor.

The virus had been found in birds in the West African states of Nigeria and Niger and also in Egypt.

(Additional reporting by Niklas Pollard and Simon Johnson in Stockholm, Tsegaye Tadesse in Addis Ababa, Silvia Aloisi in Rome and Paul Majendie in London)