Monday, October 30, 2006

Alex's New Bowl

Alex happy boy tonite :)
Read this article in Today's on the MRT to work this morning. The author, Anita Kapoor struck a raw nerve in me & I’m sure amongst a few of my compatriots. But I have to admit I am occasionally guilty of few of the acts she wrote about. However, this is not a Singapore problem but it is a problem faced by developed nations.

You can read the article here.

The same paper also covered the upcoming government's efforts to help Singaporeans cope with death, particularly end-of-life care & how people choose to be treated in their final stages. Some years back, the government introduced the Advanced Medical Directive (AMD) allowing Singaporeans (adults) to refused extraordinary life-sustaining treatment to prolong our life. Since its introduction, approximately 4000 Singaporeans have signed an AMD & a third did so after a high-profile case of Terri Schiavo. The campaign (?) I guess is to raise the awareness of AMD.

My family & I made up of that paltry 4k figure. :P

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Other Cats

On Wednesday, we found Asha (Xiao Hei), our resident cat, with a huge larceration on her neck – should have taken a photo of it but forgot. Vincent was kind enough to help me take her to the vet right away. Her larceration was infected & she needs to be put on antibiotics & have her wound cleaned twice a day. We decided to board her at the vet until next Tuesday, just to be sure she is completely healed. Everyone is joking that Asha’s on holiday at the moment :) but I have a feeling she’s pretty stressed out in foreign land. Poor baby. :(

People may be turned off by her looks but Peanut always win them over with her sweet personality

Sesame gave us a fright yesterday when he showed signs of fatigue & lost of appetite. The auntie was pretty sure one of the pubs had call in the pest control to kill the roaches & Sesame must gotten a whif of the repellent or something. There were a lot of dead roaches last evening, behind the alleged pub. Or it could a hormonal thing. Who knows. But he was moody, wouldn’t let either one of us touch him. Fortunately, he is alright this morning when I saw him on my way to the office. He is back to his playful self with a humongous appetite. Phew.

Sesame is still a little moody but he's eating & playing.

This morning, spotted a new tom-cat, white in color, very furtive, afraid of humans but friendly with Peanut & Sesame. He has a huge head & small beady eyes, no tipped ear - pretty sure he's not neutered. I only managed to take a picture of his bum. Will have to trap him soon.

And finally Goldie (above). She is a mature neutered female who resides the void deck where I live. I have a sneaking suspicion someone in my block feeds her upstairs because sometimes I do run into her on the 10th floor & sometimes she’d disappear for a week but always re-appeared (so far so good, knock on wood). But she spends most of her time sleeping in the bushes & on the deck chairs. She is a very friendly cat. She prefers a pet more than a feed most times (she definitely has a owner, I’m sure of it!). She is a sweetie-pie!

Finally! My New Passport

Finally I collected my spanking new biometric passport from the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) yesterday evening.

It’s pretty cool that we can apply for our passport online. It was pretty painless until I arrived at the ICA at 6pm yesterday, thinking that who’d except goondus like me who have nothing better to do on a Friday night but ‘hang out’ in a place like that. Like I said naïve. There were like 300 people in the room – 280 to be exact. I was the 281st – not counting screaming babes in their mommy/nanny’s arms & restless kids who decide to make ICA their playground.

My first instinct was to bolt but I decided to stick to it & collect the damn book. “How bad can it be? Singapore’s efficient. I should be out in no time.” I was so naive. I waited & waited & then I saw this disclaimer (which I didn't see when I first arrived - how can I be so blind??) on the waiting screen – “average waiting time is 2 hours”! Then I figured since I had waited an hour, what is another hour? Called my mom to tell I’ll be home later for dinner.

Right. By 8, there were still 60 numbers before it was my turn. But what am I supposed to do? I had waited 2 hours. If I leave, I would have wasted 2 hours of my time & I’ll have to start all over again when I return the next time. So, what to do but call my mom again to tell her I’m gonna take just a little bit longer… By 8.05, the waiting screen was switched off & the officers were shouting out our numbers – sort of like a fish market kind of scene. But suddenly the turnover was really quick & my turn came at about 8.30.

2.5 hours. Overheard a guy who was like 30 numbers ahead of me telling his friend he was there since 4.30! What!?!? Anyway, the officer imprinted both my thumbprints, I signed the papers & I was pointed out that I now have a new set of passport number (different from my IC) . Fantastic. As if there are not enough pin numbers & passwords in fill my life – my ATM, credit cards, internet banking, my Yahoo mail, my DVD online, my office door security, my office alarm system, my office PC & not to mention my office & intranet administrator codes.

I think my brain is going to explode. But I have my new passport :)

Say You Love Me

How does your cat/s express its love to you? My bunch of 5:

Alex – wet sloppy kisses on my lips, hugs & cuddles

Beauty – always greet at the door with a ‘welcome home hon!’ kiss

Carma – love bites, kneading, cuddles & head rubs

Junior – head rubs

Wawa – head rubs & basically following me everywhere like a dog

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Flea Market

Where: Substation (near Old National Library)
When: Saturday, 28 October 2006 (6pm to midnight)

All proceeds will go to the Paw Pledge Cattery and the stray animal welfare program.

The flea market booth is sponsored by an animal lover and an Event Management Specialist - Alan Chua.

For more information on the cattery, visit their booth this Saturday or log on to:

About the cattery
A non-profit, private cattery started by a passionate caregiver. PawPledge depends on donations and the goodwill of compassionate caregivers who contribute to the cattery's upkeep. PawPledge always welcome new volunteers, members and most importantly, good homes for their affectionate rescued cats from all over Singapore island.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Its 4 months now since I am a vegetarian.

I admit it hasn't always been easy. There are many times I just want to sink my teeth into a juicy cheesy burger or a succulent kong bak pao . I try to ban these thoughts out of my head, sometimes I succeed & sometimes I fail miserably.

And when I do fall off the wagon, I fall with a BIG thudd. Believe you me. It became a gorging fest. Don't get me wrong, I'm not proud of myself, I feel like I'm a hypocrite. But I figured while I'm off the wagon, I might as well make the best of it. I know tsk tsk tsk *head down in shame*.

Anyway, met Rumah Kuching Kechil last Thursday at Ajahn Brahm's talk & she asked how my vegetarian efforts are coming along. I fessed up. She was sweet & reassured me that people do fall off the wagon every once in a while (but I'm not sure if people fall off & into a gorge fest!).

She recommended Bocca burgers since I LOVE cheese burgers. Bocca's available in most Cold Storage, comes in a box of 4 soy patties. Tried them on Sunday with sesame burgers, cheese, tomatos & lettuce & they are really very good. So thank you RKK!

Since I chose to be a vegetarian, I become even more animal or rather planet friendly - conscienciously recyling my plastics, metal & paper, avoid buying stuff that's leather, going for organic produce than the regular ones in the market.

The funny thing is, it costs more to maintain this lifestyle than living in the mainstream. Take the Bocca patties for example - it costs something like $7.50 a box as compared the Farmland chicken patties that costs something like $3.50 a box. This doesn't make sense does it? A non-meat-made-to-taste-like-real-meat food costs more than the actual meat itself. Sure, Farmland is bad processed meat. So make a patty from scratch with ground beef, it still won't costs as much. But I guess its the economics of demand & supply. *sigh*

The annoying thing I deal with on a regular basis is to explain what a vegetarian is, what I can & cannot eat & why I am one. You'd be surprise, people still offer me fish balls & say 'its fish not meat'. Or maybe, I just work with extremely dense people.

I have to explain 'any food that comes from something moves, has a brain, I don't eat them. I eat the green stuff called vegetables.' Good grief. Next question 'Vegetarian you Buddhist ah?'. 'Well, yes I am a Buddhist but was not the only reason I became a vegetarian. There is compassion & love for life.'

Compassion & love for life is not a concept my colleagues can understand. And what people can't understand, they categorise. I 'm now sometimes known as 'that Buddhist' (with slight tone of disdain) or 'that crazy animal lover' (comes with a tone of a little sympathy). Look on the bright side, I added 2 more labels to my belt (the other being 'the crazy cat lady'). I feel like a PETA in the office sometimes. Whatever.

Other than a few predicted bumps on the road, it is not that bad. I do feel healthier & more energetic (contrary to classic conditioning that without meat we will be weak). At the same time, accept the fact that I'm human & I do have my weak moments. The next time I do, I'm not fessing up! :)

Monday, October 23, 2006

Did You Know ...

Persians & other longhairs are called "cobby" because of their stocky, rounded bodies & short, sturdy legs & rounded faces. Other features includes a broad head & big, round eyes.

When a domestic cat goes after mice, about one in 3 results in a catch.

A cat lover is an ailurophile while a cat hater is an ailurophobe.

A cat has a unique sense of taste - it lacks the ability to detect sweetness but it can differentiate the slightest variations in the taste of water.

Cats wrinkle their nose the same way humans do when they are puzzled or insulted. You have to look closely to see two or three wrinkles down the length of your cat's nose whenever a behaviour is beyond the cat's comprehension or offends his sensibilities.

One of a cat's most affectionate gestures is the 'love bite' - a gentle tooth-hold on her owner's hand or arm.

One of the most subtle movements in a cat's repertoire is the 'rocking horse' - an invitation to play that involves stiffening of all 4 legs and rocking slightly forward & back in quiet anticipation.

Every cat's nose pad has unique characteristics. Just as no two humans have then same fingerprints, its a fact that no two feline noseprints are alike.

Americans spend more on cat food than baby food! - over $3 million annually.

Many cats are partially white - a result of white-spotting gene that makes the cat's true color. There are special names given to the different degrees of white markings:
  • A cat with white paws are said to be mitted.
  • A cat with white patch on the chest is said to have a locket.
  • A cat with several small, white belly patches is said to have buttons.
  • A cat with roughly half his body surface white is said to be bicolor.
  • A cat with a predominantly white coat and a few color patches is a Harlequin
  • A cat with a white coat except for color on the tail & head is a Van.
  • A black cat with white legs, underside & chest is called a Tuxedo.
  • A black & white cat is called a Jellicle cat.
... & now I know!

Interesting Numerological Facts About Cats

The human equivalent in years that a kitten will reach at the end of his first year.

The chances of a human 'catching' AIDS from an FIV+ cat.

110 - 140
The average number of feline heartbeats per minute.

101.5 - 102.5
Normal temperature (Farenheit) of a cat.

The number of bones in a cat's body (about 40 more than humans).

The approximate number of kittens born in the U.S. each day.

The number of muscles in each ear of a cat.

The age of the oldest cat on record.

The number of vocalization sounds from an average cat

The number of permanent adult teeth in a cat's mouth.

The average life span (in years) of "unmanaged" feral cats.

The average number of days in a gestation period for felines.

The number of cycles per second in a cat's purr (about the same number as a diesel engine) -see "The Remarkable Purr of a Cat" for more.

13 million
The estimated number of animals euthanized in shelters every year in the U.S.

Record for the largest number of kittens in a litter.

The year of the first formal cat show in the world in London, England.

The estimated number of known cat breeds.

295 million
The approximate amount (in USD) spent annually in the U.S. for kitty litter.

65 mph
The speed at which Cheetahs can run, in short spurts.


Friday, October 20, 2006

Light A Million Candles

Light A Million Candles is an online petition to fight child abuse on internet pornography. They aim to light a million candles by 31 December 2006. So far, they have garnerd 700,000+ lit candles.

Give your support by clicking

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Crouching Tiger Hidden Kitten

Making An Art out of a Regular Music Video

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

A Hypoallergenic Cat Anyone?

Allerca, a California biotechnology company is set to deliver the Holy Grail of the $35 billion pet industry: a hypoallergenic cat. At the start of next year, the first kittens will go home with eager owners who have been carefully screened and have been on a waiting list for more than two years.

Read more here

Monday, October 09, 2006


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Why Don't You Do Something Charitable?

An old acquaintance asked me this when I told her about Chaos & the strays I care for.

Charitable? Do I save more cats, be more vocal, work with SPCA more actively? No. What she meant is - why don't I put my time and money to something more noble like saving a tsunami victim or a one-legged orphan.

First, I don't believe one charity or cause is more noble than another. To be charitable is to be generous and helpful towards the needy and the suffering. It is extending one's goodwill towards humanity. A charitable act is noble as long as one genuinely wants to make a difference to the lives we help. Besides, I like to think volunteers volunteer because we believe we can make some difference to the lives we touch & not because we want to be recognised for our efforts, to praised or awarded.

I told her frankly, I don't give a rat's ass that people like her think I am a crazy just because I happen to choose a cause not many will adopt. I am very happy and passionate about the cats I care for which is a lot more than I can say for other people & their charities.