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)

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.

Two-Dollar Trust.

I had my dinner at Yishun yesterday. This particular Malay food stall unfortunately did not sell gado-gado. My loss! Sigh. Well, as long as there was this menu called ‘sambal goreng’, I could always enjoy it.

So I ordered a simple meal: white rice, sambal goreng, tempe and paru. Cost me $2. Cheaper than I expected. Perhaps because too many stalls nearby, thus the competition was tight.

But still I was surprised when the old lady told me to enjoy my meal first, to buy a drink and then to pay her as she didn’t have a small change.

It’s after all a big hawker centre and how it is easy for me to eat my meal, to buy a drink and just to leave the old lady with an important lesson of life of not trusting people that easy. Hey, for me it sounded as much as the old lady was na├»ve despite her old age.

Uhm, the capacity of thinking evil does not mean that I’ll enact it. *heh, a bit defensive here*

So I bought the drink, with a tray of meal on one hand and walked back to the Malay stall and paid the lady her due. She asked me why I didn’t eat first. I just grinned and shrugged.

I guess the yesterday lesson was people have to take a risk to trust others. Or perhaps the old lady was the wise one; she knew that she could trust me. Perhaps experience has taught her to discern who the cheater is and who is not.

Sure the sarcastic me inwardly whispered, “That’s just 2 dollars. Think the old lady will do the same if the stake is, say, 200 dollars? Think you will do the same of paying her first?”

I should say without doubt that I’d do the same. Some principles are just too solid to be shattered.

PS. Upon re-reading this article before posting it online, I realize it conveys rather a pompous message. That’s not the intention. The objective of this article is we all have some principles or values that we might have forgotten that we need others—even strangers—to remind us about them principles.

PPS. Even that PS still sounds pompous. *groan* What I want to say is that it's such a nice feeling when you are trusted by a stranger and nicer the feeling is when you choose not to abuse that trust.

Entry L. Enter: Anonymous X…again.

Remember one of my earlier posting “Entry X. Enter: Anonymous X”?

“Merry” will not be an accompanying adjective for “Christmas” for the lady blogger, Anonymous X. She just lost her Grandma. A few days before Christmas.

I could not say I feel for her. I couldn’t even tell how I felt when I lost my Grandmas. Perhaps that’s because I was just a small kid when that happened.

Anyway, like the rest of people who are unsure what to do or what to say next, I could only send her an email with a sorry and an excerpt of “Auld Lang Syne” with an intentional capitalization of one of the letters. (And no, I’m not hinting to reveal your identity. You did that yourself in your comment in my blog. Way earlier.)

I must say I learn something from this particular article of hers. About how “(they) should be grateful that (the Grandma) lived a good life and that she's no longer in pain”. Be positive. On the other hand, that intention of being positive inflicted self doubt within her. To the extent that she wondered whether "maybe (she's) just a cold, heartless bitch or something". (Which all of her readers will surely contend that she's not cold, not heartless bitch, but she's definitely something but NOT in a negative manner)

But really, just because it’s a custom that people mourn the loss of their loved one, does it make it a right one--a must?

A Lantern for A Present

Darn! It didn't come with a power ring. No chance to gauge how strong my willpower is. *grin*

Yeah, that’s what I got during a Christmas party lucky draw in my company yesterday. No complaint. Partially amused before giving it out to my colleague whose children might have more fun playing with it.

But not before finding out how popular the comic, Green Lantern was.
I asked my younger colleagues what they thought about if the lantern was green and came with a ring.

Answer: Green Lantern.

Not bad, one could even recite the oath (nah, not me…I could use the Internet to hunt for the info, but don’t expect me to recount it out of memory).

"In brightest day, in blackest night,
no evil shall escape my sight!
Let those who worship evil's might,
beware my power.. Green Lantern's light!"

Ended with a cheer and a shout of “bottom’s up!” Hic!

Friends, Narnians & Countrymen. Lend me your paw! (insert *ROAR* here)

Nah. Hardly impressive as a battle cry.

Anyway, I finally watched the show, The Chronicles of Narnia (TCON): The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe yesterday. I reserved my doubt especially after the traumatic experience of watching The Hitchhiker’s Guide To Galaxy (should have just sticked to reading them books).

Perhaps TCON was enjoyable as I could not completely recall about the plot. My first books that I read in English when I was a kid. Altogether there are 7 books written by C.S. Lewis from the creation of Narnia till the end of it.

And if I may quote an excerpt from the site of the link no.1 below “C.S. Lewis once wrote that the idea for the Narnia books came to him from images: "a faun carrying an umbrella, a queen in a sledge, a magnificent lion.", I'd say that he had a great time weaving tales from those 3 keywords.

1. http://books.narnia.com/movielanding.html
2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narnia

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?

...no more sleeping on man's head.

Continue? / Restart? - Ender's Game

Enough anger has been unleashed about the whole NKF thing.

It's rather a shame, isn't it -- since it's Christmas around the corner.
Instead of smiles on our face, most of us are glaring while reading the recent news.

No, I am not advocating to forgive and forget (you see any halo yet on top of my head?). I just say I'm getting tired of it. At least for today.

So, let's focus on the positive stuff, shall we?

One of them is the possibility of Orson Scott Card's novel "Ender's Game" to be made a movie. The link to the article was forwarded by Sonic (Thanks, man).

The movie--if it's ever made--will be a success.
It has the same formula like the movie, The Chronicles of Narnia (TCON): The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.

They share the elements of endearing kids saving the world and of wonders that blow your mind (in Ender's Game, that wonder will be the Battle School, in TCON, it is the young world Narnia itself).

Follow up on "The Finding is out there"

The Health Minister, Mr. Khaw has released a public statement in response to the KPMG's report on NKF.

He does deliver what he promised yesterday about "holding a media conference to present the government's response to the KPMG report on NKF in due course". Here the due course translates just within a day. Impressive.

The statement itself is very well composed. Concise and straight to the gist. Recognizing the severity of the situation, "punishing wrong-doers" is made into one of the top points. That and the need of clean "corporate governance", the jargon which is 5 times mentioned.

What a lesson to learn!


1. Statement by Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan on KPMG'S report on the NKF
2. KPMG's report on investigation into the National Kidney Foundation

Our Writing Industry Ain't Dead Yet.

Earlier this morning, I’ve posted a reply in "Quills and Swords" to Randominty formerly known as “x Fledge” from the NaNoWriMo's now defunct forum.

It’s about the Sunday Times special reports about writers in Singapore, the titles of the articles.

No, I don’t mean to ridicule the local publishers of being very much selective in publishing the works written by a local writer. Neither do I despise those who want to publish just for the sake of stroking their ego to see their names on the cover of the book. Tsk, tsk. If I ever con—convince, I mean--a publisher to print out my book, I’ll just have a simple ‘a_x’ on the cover.

Local publishers do make sense. Why take risks of commercializing something that may not have potential gains for them?

Now stay with that logic and my next question will be:
Why nobody proposes to publish the KPMG’s 332-page report on findings of the NKF investigation and sell it to the public? Hey, try to download that pdf file yourself and you will notice how slow the file is downloaded (I gave up after 3 attempts).

I'm sure many will buy it. The publisher could even tout it as part of charity. A portion of the money will go to, say, the new NKF. No, of course not with the laughable arrangement of every-1-dollar-10-cents-go-to-you.

Much intangible benefits to be realized. For the publisher? The company will surely earn the renown as one quick to anticipate the opportunity.

Not really an altruistic act, you may say.

What do you expect? We’re living in the interesting times when a certain individual could proudly lament that he had served 22 years of unpaid volunteer (Duh!) work for the NKF since 1971.

An oxymoron that I must admit is of the higher level, way beyond my comprehension than that last one that I thought was already ludicrous enough (Pls refer to ‘decently-paid intern’ article of Jadeite. Apology pending as I didn't get her permission to put on the link to her site prior to this article.)

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.

The Finding is out there.

In today ChannelNewsAsia.com article, titled “Report finds extravagance, lack of governance at Singapore's NKF”, findings by KPMG are praiseworthy in the sense that they do report their observations as they really are. Of course, the credit ought to go the government too, to be specific the Ministry of Health who called for the auditor “to have a thorough investigation into the organisation and to fully disclose any shortcomings so that valuable lessons could be learnt from the incident." The Ministry in one of the articles, "Health Ministry to present govt's response to NKF report" is also prompt in stating that the official response about the finding will soon be made known.

Quoted from the first article with the blue text as a personal commentary:
The auditors found the former NKF Board delegated all powers to the Executive Committee, which in turn delegated most, if not all, powers to the former CEO TT Durai.
(To examine whether the members of the Board or the Exco were rightly chosen. Were they able to commit their time to run NKF or were they already so tied-up with their other duties as Board members of other companies?)

"The NKF appeared to run and operate, and in fact did run and operate, on the ideas, whims and caprice of the chief executive TT Durai," the report said.
(A case of absolute power corrupts absolutely? With the above situation, that may explain the apparent "loyalty" of the disgraced Durai to continue working at NKF for years)

Also commendable is about the new NKF Board considering whether to pursue a legal action against the “former NKF Directors, Exco members and others”. This truly portrays the seriousness of the new board to have the tarnished image of NKF restored.

Well done, new NKF! With the steadfast support & commitment from the government, I'm sure the whole episode will rightly be ended to the satisfaction of all.

Frequency - Not just about parenting.

For those who think of watching the movie, "Frequency" to learn about parenting--solely about it--be prepared to be disappointed.

Yes, there are a number of touching scenes about the show.
Mostly between the father who is a firefighter and the son, a police.

One of such scenes is when the father in the past asks his little son to speak thru the radio with the same son in the present who is 30 years older. Cute!

What impressed me most is the scene when the son--the present one--advises the father in a rather pushy manner (lives at stake here, people!) what needs to be done to prevent the serial killer from continue killing in the past. And the father, in frustration, just sorta admits that his son knows best (Well, the son is a police and he has the namelist of the victims as well as the details of the murder--place, date & time).

The cinematography is overall just plain. The strength of the show ought to be in its plot. But there is one particular scene that I think is very well orchestrated.

It is on the day when the father is supposed to be killed while rescuing a person trapped in the building caught by fire. He has been warned by his son (of the present) earlier & in the critical moment he chooses to heed the warning.

At the same time, the son (in the present time) is having a drink with his friends.

As soon as the father takes another way out of the building (this time the right one, the one that will allow him not to be posthumously remembered), the son starts experiencing the influx of the new memories. I'd say it must be a shock for him as shown with how he is shaken and drops his glass.

Slow motion on the falling glass.

Meanwhile, in the past, the father throws his helmet out of the building (I am not sure what this gesture means. Something about a firefighter's tradition? If I am killed, remember me while you're staring at this helmet?).

Slow motion on the falling helmet.

Scene keeps changing between the falling glass (slow motion) and the rapid flashes of the new memories for the son. As well as the changing scenes between the falling helmet (also in slow motion) with the sequences of the father (and the rescued person) sliding out alive of the building.

The scenes stop when the glass and the helmet hit the floor.

I am totally digressing. :(

My point being that the show is one of those memorable ones. But don't watch it for a mere reason to learn parenting. True, you may learn something. Equally important: you'll definitely be entertained too.

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.

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!

Not Christmas Lights

I don't suppose that I'm going to make it a habit to post a photo. Just for the sake of learning, what's wrong with the following eerie picture?

It was taken in the evening, using a Night Scene mode.
I suspect that I moved the camera too early while the photo was being taken. But any other reasons?



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

Go the extra mile?

Why, that’s nice. But perhaps you should not.

I put a booking inquiry for a flight on this site. At first, I was impressed. They offer to deliver the ticket and have the payment collected during the delivery. It is therefore most suitable for those who are not comfortable to settle any online bills using a credit card.

Not bad, eh? By doing it, they do not limit their customers. Even those who do not have credit cards could also buy the tickets online.

Once the booking was made, the response was quite prompt too.
However the content was inducing my bitter laughs.

It was politely stated that they were sorry that the airline that I chose for the dates was not available (Okay, fine. The screw-up in your site was perfectly understandable. Maybe they were not really that good in updating the info. That could happen anywhere. Still it was very kind of them to let me know immediately).

No problem for this part.

The problem, or shall I say the irritating part is that they took the initiative to book me a place in another airline. Without asking me first.

I mean I admire their initiative. About how they attempted to be helpful. Trying to offer the second alternative since my preferred airline was not available. Sure, the fact it was costlier might be just coincidental. * shrug *

But please, shouldn’t this kind of initiative be stated in their Terms & Conditions or even in their FAQ? * with a poker face as I did not really check the former, but I did read the FAQ before booking *

So I wrote to them a brief thanks-but-no-thanks note.

To their credit, they did not push me to buy. You know how it is with the usual sales strategy? The one when the seller keeps pestering you to explain why you do not want to buy their products instead of doing the right thing to promote the products and explain why the products are useful?

Anyway, yeah. They replied--also promptly--and they explained that they were just trying to be helpful. For that & that alone, I'd say that I will surely use their service again in the future. :-)

Dream a little dream of them.

Ever dream something weird & remember about it--at least, most of it--when you wake up? Usually I cannot recall whether I dream or not. This morning, I do. And I am rather disturbed by it.

Just need to write this to release it from my mind. Hey if I can make others confused, why won’t I? Let’s not share just the good stuff, shall we?

I dreamt that I was at a big warehouse. It was empty & pitch-dark (so it has firmly established that it is a dream, otherwise how would I know that it was empty if I couldn’t even see anything?)

Anyway, it was empty & pitch-dark. Humor me. At one corner, there were a group of spiders. At another, there were worms of various colors.

Somehow in my dream, I know that they were forming a colony. I took my PDA (yet in real life, I don’t even have one. Ha!) & I chose a button to speed up the colony development.

I witnessed how they grew rapidly in intelligence as demonstrated in the way they built their small cities. They soon started to wage a war as their boundary expanded.

What I then recalled was one army of spiders returning from the battlefield & brought with them prisoners of various species (I deduced so. Not that I saw them chained). Mostly worms. But the disturbing part was there were humans too.

I remembered I felt intrigued about it & peered closer to examine when one of the humans (darn, could only retain the feeling that I was surprised it was him. But when I woke up, I couldn’t remember who the guy was) suddenly grew larger & stapled my forehead. Ouch.

All went blank.

The next sequence was that I found myself waking up in the warehouse. It was afternoon. So I was asleep while working (not that I ever do so in real life, mind you) & I woke up feeling a bit ashamed of myself (sleep while working is a big No). I went to the toilet to wash my face & on my way, I felt a strange sense of recognition about the two empty corners of the warehouse where the colonies of spider & worm were formed.

Suddenly the lunch siren was shrieking and it sounded just like my alarm.
I was wondering about it when I finally woke up.

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

Online Hunting for A Writing Competition

But I ended up finding this site: "At Last! Writer Beware Blogs!"

The above homepage makes a good reading.
Not easy to be a writer, it seems.

People can aspire to be one. Nothing's wrong with it. But if one does not put any effort into it, one can just dream, right?

That's what prompted me to find out any writing competition where I can submit the novella that I wrote last month. Just to take a crack at it & to see how I can improve further.

Oh yes, it is not boastful when I say that I'm proud of what I wrote. That's how everyone who reached the finish line of composing 50,000-word novel must have felt anyway.

True, that's just the issue of quantity.

Quality-wise? I need that writing competition. Preferably one that allows your writing to be returned by the committee with some commentary. *Cue for those who know of such a competition to share the info* ;)

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.)

What a difference a day makes...

...especially when it's not a working day.

I was on leave yesterday. The whole day! Just to renew my re-entry permit. The procedure was really hassle-free; checking on the website for necessary requirement did help too.

The whole shebang--from taking the queue no & getting the new permit--took only about 1 hour. So why applied the whole day leave then? Well, I've plenty of them anyway that are going to be wasted. Period. Elaborating further on this point will either mean that I’m too valuable an asset for my company that I very rarely applied a leave (yeah right!) or that I have a poor time management that I couldn’t even plan my leave.

Nah, not really. Planned to go back during Chinese New Year, though.

Anyway, I digressed.

I went to the library@orchard afterwards.

Managed to borrow the Sandman Vol.1 “Preludes & Nocturnes”. Yay!
Found a Sin City graphic novel: “Family Values” too.

I read the latter at the library. Plenty bloods were shed throughout the story. Oh and some nudity (All in the name of arts, I reckon). But hey, we’re all adults here (Kids, shoo shoo, press Alt+F4 now, will ya?).

The plot was admittedly simple & the art was nowhere like the Sandman books. Still the simplicity of the plot & the drawing (sketches in black & white) was a fresh change after indulging in the intricate storyline & the art of the Sandman.

Come to think about it, the black and white drawing may try to convey how even in the corrupt city like Sin City, there were characters with a simple black-and-white notion of justice and revenge. But they were not so. Okay, maybe the style of the art itself was meant as an irony.

Like in “Family Values”, till almost the end, readers were misled to think that the vendetta was due to a dog being brutally shot. But it was ironically indeed the reason as the killing of the dog resulted to...*this part is intentionally left blank*

Anyway, gotta stop before spoiling the story too much (or annoying too many people. I'm not a good reviewer nor do I intend to be one). But what the heck, it’s my blog. And this article should serve as a reminder for me in the future to give other Sin City books a chance.

Yup, that's got to be the reason.

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"

Pick up that phone!

Don't! That's how the main character Stu Shepard at the movie, Phone Booth, might have cursed himself--in retrospect. Imagine you finish making a call at one phone booth and suddenly that phone rings and you just feel compelled to pick it up. And you soon find that you regret it because...(go & watch the show!)

Okay, it's a 2002 show. But it's recommended.
(and no, I won't elaborate further as I don't want to spoil the story)

One of those unique movies. For this one? It's because almost ALL of the time, the setting is at the phone booth.

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

What the ???

That's how I reacted when I watched the last Saturday episode of Legend of Arching Hero (She Diao Ying Xiong Zhuan).

Quite amusing to watch how the protagonist, Guo Jing (GJ) firmly refused to annul his engagement with the Mongolian princess even though the one whom he loved was Huang Rong (HR).

He publicly stated it in front of the two ladies, HR's infuriated father, GJ's Mongolian archery teacher, GJ's Mongolian sworn brother, and GJ's six teachers who would definitely wish to be somewhere else fighting some scumbags than to have to witness such a pathetic drama.

Huang Yao Shi--btw, he's the father of HR--being angry was understandable. Afterall, how could GJ propose her daughter despite he'd already been betrothed to the princess?!

GJ was also superbly adamant with his 'logic':
1. He was taught that it was wrong to break a promise and he had promised to marry the princess.
and (or but?)
2. He only had HR in his heart.

What the ???

I really wondered why the two ladies did not just join hands to kill that indecisive guy. Oh wait, they couldn't. It's not in the script.

(not really an) Aching Hero...

...coz I didn't feel any pain when I finally finished my very first 50,000-word novel. Okay, maybe not yet. :-)

Well, this article is supposed to be published on 01 Dec, but what the heck, I want to celebrate it now! Heh.

*savouring the intoxicating sensation of accomplishment*

Uhm, returning to Earth now, in retrospect with what I wrote in "My Game Plan" article. I've indeed got to be kidding if I aimed to complete the novel by following the plan closely.

Only the first three days of the month were spent for brainstorming as planned. The next few days? Well, some days I did not write. And some days, I typed in a manner that was both fast & furious (but without sexy cars involved) which was not good coz the next day I would find my wrists painful.

The challenge admittedly was not to type fast or to consistently write every day, but to stay in the path of the outlines that I set earlier. Many times, the characters started to deviate from the outlines and boy, it was so tempting to see how the story could evolve thereafter. But more often than not, it led me nowhere and I had to impassively delete the words and retraced back the story as per the original idea.

Still it was lotsa fun.

To the rest of participants: All the best! Don't give up. Be careful with how you type--something that has got to do with ergonomic, but I am not the best person to advise you as I myself must be typing in wrong posture too.

Oh lastly, trust me when I say that you will WANT to see your novel completed. ;)

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?

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