Thursday, November 30, 2006

6th Chaos Rules the House

This is Ruby.

I met Ruby in foster-mom’s home about 6 months back. On impulse, I said I’d like to take her home. And now I did.

On my way to pick Ruby up this afternoon, I mentally prepared myself for the riot that is to start all over. The gang of five has just settled into a familiar routine and I am just beginning to enjoy the peace that I thought I’d never ever going to get back. So what the hell was I thinking, taking the 6th cat in? Then I tried to rationalize – well if Ruby proved to be a handful, I would have a legitimate excuse to return Ruby. Yeah I know, it is pitifully lame.

Ruby as it turned out is a marshmallow. Soft & mallow. Without resistance, she allowed herself to be put in a soft carrier where she sat quietly for the next 20 minutes while I try to locate a taxi. When we finally arrived home which was almost an hour later, she calmly stepped out of her carrier, explored the flat while Chaos just looked on. I think they are not DNA-ed for zen. After all, they are Chaos (even Wawa has her hissy moments with Carma every now & then!).

Ruby absolutely threw them off. Then again, a lot remains to be seen. This is only her first evening. But steady lah, girl!

Removing vocal cord?!

I was amused when I read this thread in the Singapore Cats MSN Forum.

Going by this logic, can I politely my neighbour if he should consider removing his baby's vocal cords? After all, his baby does cause me many many sleepless nights & I am sure many neighbours' as well. And we all have very important work to do the next day.

What the heck, why don't we just demand the same treatment be metted out to screaming brats in shopping malls, supermarkets & cinemas?

But we don't because it is wrong. If it is wrong to treat humans in such a way, why would it be right to treat animals such?

If animals can talk, I'm sure the first thing they'll say is "Respect our rights!" At least the ones in Singapore.

Pet owners, ask yourself why you'd like to have a pet & be brutally honest in your answer. A pet is like a child. In fact your pet will always be a child. So unless you are prepared to be a parent to a child for the rest of its life, I suggest you stick your playtime to a stuffed toy.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

A Tender Moment

A Busy Sunday

For the Duxton cats, that is.

This morning, I found Xiao Hei & Ah Hua in another confrontation. It is obvious to me now that Xiao Hei is a bully despite the popular belief that black cats are demure. She was clearly in Ah Hua's territory & yet she tried to pick fight with Ah Hua. Ah Hua ran to me to hide behind my legs (clever girl).

Another face-off between Xiao Hei & Ah Hua

Spotted Ah Wang (above) again this morning although he walked away once he saw me whipping out my camera.

As I mentioned in my entry below, Tua Tao is finally warming up to me. He calmly allows me to take this snap shot & the video. What's next, he lets me pat him?

Tua Tao has very small blue eyes & they are severely crossed. I think he is a Siamese-Cross.

Tua Tao the Big Brother

Tua Tao has assume the big brother role to Peanut & Sesame. They share their meals together & he watches after them.

He is also warming up towards me :)

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Spotted 2 more males on Duxton this afternoon by the Auntie & me.

One was running after Patches (the elusive mother cat). We saw them from a distance & all I had with me was my mobile phone's camera. Took the picture anyway but it wasn't clear. When they saw us, they headed into the bushes on the left. Auntie thinks it is a male black cat.

Patches & Newbie heading into the bush ... for some jiggy action? Uh oh we're in trouble ...

The other is a ginger male. Although he wouldn’t allow us to come too close, he doesn’t appear to be too afraid of humans. We called him Ah Wang (which means good fortune in Mandarin). Hopefully we have the good fortune to trap him soon.

Ah Wang taking a siesta under a car

It is strange that in the space of two months, we have had the Peanut & Sesame & their 2 other siblings (fortunately adopted), Tua Tao, Patches & now Newbie & Ah Wang. Judging from their behaviour except for the kittens they are all wary of humans so that ruled out dumping. But where did these cats come from?

On the home front, lately Beauty has been rather chill. She was even hospitable. Recently she changed her sleeping spot to the kitchen bathroom & this evening, I came home to find her sharing her space with Alex & Junior!

Miracle in the House of Chaos :)

Monday, November 20, 2006

Face of a Killer?

This article was featured on TIME's 20 November 2006 issue. Singapore made the list! Shame.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Kiehl's for Pets

I was given a Kiehl's lipbalm a few months back but I only started using it a couple of days ago. Its great - as good as Vaseline - for cracked lips.

Anyway, I was checking Kiehl's website & guess what? They have products for dogs with a posh price tag. A good webpage though.

Check it out .

By the way, according to Kiehl's, they do not test nor have they ever tested their products on animals. Now I'm tempted to try their face lotions :)

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Speaking of Peanut & Sesame ...

Peanut & Sesame, the babies of Duxton are blossoming. They are actually pretty big for their age. Soon we can't call them babies anymore.

Tua Tao (below video) is very friendly with them & auntie is worried that he may 'take advantage' of Peanut. Maybe he sees Peanut as his future mate - she is a pretty girl, afterall. :)

I told her not to worried, he is sterilised now, so he's pretty much useless in that department. Although he will still think that he can 'do the job'.

As long as Peanut is neutered before she reaches puberty, we are safe.

The kittens' personalities are becoming more distinct.

Peanut is the social one, always ready for a pat while Sesame is more reserved. He reminds me very much of Wa-Wa. Maybe that's just the personality of black cats. Quiet & demure.

He does look healthy, doesn't he? Very glossy coat. He is a handsome cat.

Both kittens are scheduled for a vet visit around the Christmas period. Hopefully the vet will deem them old enough to be neutered. It shall be my christmas 'present' for them :P

This is Ah Hua, the arch-enemy of Xiao Hei. Ah Hua is a gangster. Very fierce, almost unapproachable despite losing her mojo yonks ago. She's been around almost as long as Xiao Hei & they've been enemies for who knows how long.

Like Mi-Ni, we suspect her tail was cut off.

When Ah Hua & Xiao Hei crosses path, it is A catfight. Spit, fangs, growls - hair raising moments.

But of late, Ah Hua has been friendly with me (after 3 years of remote feeding).

Something good does come out of patience.
Black & White Mother Cat

Another elusive cat. Have been trying to trap her for a while now but she's always a step ahead of us.

Recently gave birth, looks like we have to leave her alone for the time being.

According to the auntie who works next door, she is the mother of Peanut & Sesame.
The Elusive Tua Tao

Recently neutered, now sporting a tipped ear, Tua Tao is still very camera-shy. However, he is friendly with Peanut & Sesame
Alex & Junior

My maiden attempt to capture my boys on video :)

Friday, November 17, 2006

Just finished a strange phone conversation with this woman.

She is a friend of a friend of Fargo’s owner. Fargo was one of Dim Sum’s babies who got adopted last year. I’ve been in touch with her but I never recalled giving her permission to pass my number to strangers.

Anyway, from what I can gather from the conversation, she is a divorcee has 12 cats of her own & feeding another 6 strays. She has financial difficulties & personal problems which she didn’t elaborate & decides not to have anything to do with the cats until she sorts her life out.

She heard that I know people who run catteries & may be they can take the 18 cats in.

The catch is, none of the cats are sterilized because she doesn’t believe in sterilization & it is expensive. Also, she doesn’t want to pay for the cats’ boarding in the cattery because she can’t afford it.

I said I can help her on the following conditions:

1. She has to agree to sterilize all her cats. She has to apply to CWS for subsidies & I will pay the balance. I will pay for the transportation of the cats to the vet. And I will go to her home to collect the cats.

2. If she wants to put her cats in the cattery, she has to contribute a token amount for the cats’ boarding. If $20 is all she can afford each month, fine. I am happy to top up the rest. Otherwise, sterilise & release them.

I don't want her to dump the cats on me or the cattery just because it is convenient to do so. If she cares for her cats, she has to take ownership for them. I explained to her that she has understand there is no such thing as free meal - her cats (all 18 of them) need to eat, shit, sleep somewhere. Someone has to feed, clean & provide a roof for them. These things don't come free.

I insisted on going to her home because I want to know where she lives & to see if she is telling me the truth. And in the event she stops paying, I can take the sterilised cats back to her.

She asked what if she puts all the cats up for adoption. Maybe she doesn’t need to pay anything then. I told her she can try.

She said she’ll think about my proposal & will get back to me.

End of conversation.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

My good mate, Sharon's newborn prince & her tortoiseshell Mivvy in London.

Someone I know picked up a stray kitten a couple of months back, took the kitten home to be her pet. That's good news, I thought.

Since then, she has been complaining to me that her kitten is a psycho - hyper, disobedient, loves to scratch & bite. I reminded her kittens are LIKE THAT. Even after they grow out of their kitten cuteness they'll still be hyper at least until they pass their 2nd year (Junior is now a year old & he is a Energiser Rabbit more than ever!). Disobedience - the IQ of the mature cat is equivalent to a 2 year old human child, so what more can we expect from a kitten. She needs to train the kitten & establish boundaries, simple as that. There is no magic pill. Even if there is, I really doubt she'll pay for it.

I found out the kitten hasn't had a vaccination since it came home, no vet check ups, no flea baths, no brushing. She said she's busy "has no time". The kitten feeds on Whiskers because "other brands are expensive". I was dumbfounded by her remarks.

Taking a stray home & giving it a roof is not the end of it. She's not doing any favours for the cat.

I am surprised by her lack of concern for her kitten's welfare. Doesn't she want to know if her kitten is healthy since the kitten was a stray? Isn't she concern about fleas & mites the kitten may carry into her home? I give her the benefit of doubt she doesn't know about hairballs & how food dye can ruin a cat's kidneys. I explained the consequences, gave her an alternative supermarket brand that doesn't contain food dye & hopefully she feeds something decent to the cat. Even gave her Beauty's old hairbrush & told her specifically that she HAS to brush her kitten at least 3 times a week unless she wants her kitten to throw up hairball all over her sofa & bed.

Two days ago, she came to me & wanted to take another kitten in (don't these people learn?!?!). She thinks her kitten is lonely & therefore is hyper & naughty. The only problem she foresees is she's currently sharing her flat with 2 other expat roommates who will leave Singapore for good next year. She's worried she maybe stuck with the cat. It is a valid concern, but why would she want to take a second cat in then? And what does she intend to do with the current one when her roommates leave for good? She hasn't answered me yet.

I see a big UH-OH coming.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

I was reading Calsifer's take on sterilisation, more likely the lack of sterilisation. I just want to put my thoughts down before I procrastinate further.

Fact is, the main barrier to the success of sterilisation is ignorance. There is still a population of cat lovers who do not see its health benefits and the killings that result in not sterilising their cats & strays.

And for those who are aware, there is always a fraction of them who are unaware subsidies made available by CWS. They are still think sterilisation is expensive - hence statements like "husband is a low income earner, already feeding a large family" etc etc.

Perception that sterilisation is bad goes beyond religious beliefs & financial difficulties. There are people who tells me that sterilisation as unfair, cruel, harmful & unnatural - "cats are animals ... it is cruel to curb their animal instincts ... they should be able to mate at least once ... blah blah blah" It is ignorance again.

I always asked them:

1. Do you know that neutering is not a cruel mutilation or just a means of preventing unwanted pregnancies but it is in fact beneficial to your cat's health?

2. Are you aware of CWS subsidies for sterilising your strays?

3. Do you know that taking care of kittens is hard work & it takes ages to find good homes for them?

4. Do you know how many cats are killed each year by AVA simply because there are too many of them on the streets? 13,000!

Education is the key & hopefully evangelising sterilisation will encourage more people to have their cats & strays sterilised & reduce the number of unnecessary destruction.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Came across this blog by chance. A poignant entry by a teacher relating her encounters with the senior citizens who fell between the cracks of our affluent society. Her entry reinforced Anita Kapoor's article on 30 October.

I was further humbled when I read her entry. Some of these senior citizens survive on less than S$200 a month while I spend the same (& sometimes more) on Chaos. I feel so small & guilty right now.

However sitting here moaning & complaining is not going to change anything. Surely, there must be something I/we can do?