so small so fragile

little kitten died in its sleep. after 2 feeds, it seemed so perky and happy, curling up onto the woman's palm to sleep. after leaving it to sleep on its own to prepare the next feed, the woman checked back to find it restful but found it still shortly after.

newborn kitten in distress!

not sure if she is doing it right but the woman is seen here feeding a newborn kitten found earlier in the night. it still has its umbilical cord attached.

the kitten was crying its lungs out amongst a pile of leaves and garbage in the drain. it had a bad smell of death there so we suspect it could be a lone survivor of the litter. the heavy afternoon rain couldn't have been kind.

after fishing it out of the drain though, the man and woman lost the nerve to feel for any possible others. they are on the look out for the mum (the drain is in direct view of our block).

the people at the 24hrs animal hospital were kind enough to spare some milk powder where none was available for sale. but the kitten has not stopped crying even after feeding, bowel movement, heat bottle and lamp and human touch. it's straight to the vet when they open tomorrow.

(update: the man did something right with his feeding and bowel relieving technique and little kitty is finally sound asleep. but it's all touch and go, we fear. we hope the kitten might get a better chance with a more experienced fosterer. drop us an email.

further update: kitty survived the night. phew!)

A Case without CASE

The latest saga in the blogosphere ought to be about slapped by a legal letter from lawyers representing Grand Seasons International. (Full story: here) Within 5 days from the date of the letter (23/05/07), the “offending words” are to be removed. Or else.

The words they referred to are: “[The company name] - Timeshare Scam Company”.

Is the title indeed defamatory? Well, it’s a statement after all. Not a question. (Then again, even with a question mark or two, the implication may still sound defamatory).

I googled & came across Defamation Act & honestly, I didn’t know what to make of it. I swear they're in English. Oh well, I give up. A lawyer, I am definitely not.

Then I stumbled upon this article, “Bloggers Beware: The Five Commandments for Bloggers” by Asst Prof Warren B Chik, Singapore Management University.

Partially quoted:
Of course, if one cannot defame other people online, then certainly one cannot use a blog to spread unsubstantiated rumours carelessly, particularly if they are known to be false, and certainly if it is done out of malice.

Malice. So for the lawyers to successfully establish that it is indeed a defamation case, they must prove that there is an element of malice.

So is there such thing here? The lawyers might argue the malice thing is evident due to the following reasons:
1. The post in dated 23/11/06 was recommended by the blogger Gecko exactly one day after he/she published it in his/her blog.
2. The recommended reason quoted as to “Spread the word about this company to raise awareness of their ill-gotten gains.”

Point no.1 is admittedly rather lame. There’s always a possibility that Gecko can even prove that he/she had always done so in the past i.e. recommending his/her own blog to (Search the previous articles, anyone?)

Point no.2 is debatable. I especially dislike the use of “ill-gotten gains”. I understand the anger but to just state that way without any proof is simply misleading.

True, according to this CASE article, “Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act: Case Statistics”, timeshare is the top industry for filed cases in disputes covered by the CPFTA from 1st March 2004 to 28 February 2005 (Refer to the above screenshot), but that doesn’t necessarily mean that Grand Seasons International is one of them companies reported.

The thing is in the end of the day, it will be better to report any grievance against any company for any reason to CASE. See, you never hear about a CASE member--and it costs you only $25/year to be one--lodging a complaint being sued for defamation, do you?

more doing, less ranting

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

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

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

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

(email animalfamily for a draft)

"you done saving the world, Toots?"

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

Pirates of the Carribean: At World's End

Highly enjoyable. You won't feel the 170-minute show dragging. Oh, and wait till the credits over. There's a little story about what would happen 10 years later.

The Alchemist

This book is full of truisms & surprisingly, you won't feel sick of it. In contrary, the idealistic content how one should fight for one's dream--and never give up--is refreshing.

The alchemist is not the main character. Santiago, the young shepherd-naive conned victim-salesman for a crystal shop-traveller trapped in between two tribal wars-tresure owner is. (Yes, that may sound like a spoiler.)

The author, Paulo Coelho, has coined the term, "Personal Legend". Defined as one's mission in life, each person ought to have one. Many do not know what his/her Personal Legend is & live a drifting life feeling something is amiss. There are some who know what his/her Personal Legend is but dare not to pursue it for reasons of convenience or fear of failure.

Santiago in the story is portrayed as someone who knows what he wants. He likes to travel & do not mind to live a shepherd's life as long as he can travel. As he has always been true to his Personal Legend, he is rewarded with a recurrent dream of treasures waiting to be found at the Pyramids.

Realizing that it is too his Personal Legend, he pursues it. And he achieves it. Eventually. In a rather incredible manner.

It is a thought-provoking book that makes readers wonder whether we have lived life towards fulfilling our dreams. Or whether we don't even dare to dream. Can't argue with this particular quote from the book: "It's the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting."

PS. Read the excerpt of the book: here.

change is inevitable

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No-Duh Experiment

From the Arts Central -- Click the image to enlarge.

Watched the movie, The Experiment yesterday. Learnt something new from the summary about the Stanford Prison Experiment. Hmm...role-playing at its worst. Now I wonder what if they tweak the rule. That is after certain days, the role is swapped. The then-prisoners now become the guards and vice versa.

Will we see the guards from the beginning treat the prisoners extremely well (realizing--and avoiding--the possibility of subsequent revenge if the prisoners earlier abused are now playing the role of the guards)?

For some reason, I miss the TV program, LOST. Sigh.

Fables Vol. 7: Arabian Nights (and Days)

Came across the graphic novel in the library. Didn't intend to borrow it at first as it's Vol. 7. (See, I only read Fables, Vol. 1 & 3: Legends in Exile & Storybook Love, respectively). Then I read its blurb. Mentioned something about WMD. Not "Weapons of Mass Destruction", but "Weapons of Magical Destruction". Cool.

Haven't read the book yet. As always, anticipation to read a good book feels equally good to actually reading it. Heh. Never mind.

Talking about 'cool', when I searched for the cover in the Net, I came across the sketch by the artist James Jean. Impressive stuff. Little surprise that he bagged Eisner Award Best Cover Artist for three consecutive years (2004 - 2006).

The Curtain Man?!

My phone ringing and
one lady asks if I am
[name], the Curtain Man?

While the name is right,
the cryptic title is not.
Just coincident?

It is after all
statistically likely.
Still feel bothered, right?

'Coz I don't know what
the hell the Curtain Man means.
Any idea?

the butterfly effect

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

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

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

(from Daily Mail)

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

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

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

mummy no more

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

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

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

20th Singapore International Film Festival: German Animation (29/04/07) -- exhibition photos

Not in particular order, some photos from the exhibition:

1. The Rock (Can't get the left rock rightly, can I?)

2. Recently 2 (The above showing not four, but one character. The 3 dark ones slowly fade in sequence.)

3. Rubicon (The old man and...the cabbage)

4. Rubicon (No matter how I 'touch-up' the photo, my reflection is still shown here.)

5. Terminal: Paradise (How their hopes arise & crash.)

6. The Raven (Mostly about the man.)

7. The Raven (Do not ever try to converse to any animal whose vocabulary is limited to "Nevermore". Especially if eventually you lose your temper--heck, so will I--and kill the poor animal, which inexplicably transformed to your lost love.)

8. The Message (Ignore the title, enjoy the vibrant colours.)

9. The Message (Ditto.)

20th Singapore International Film Festival: German Animation (29/04/07)

As promised. In alphabetical order, the followings are part of the German Animation. Screenshots & summary--click to enlarge--are from the official 20th Singapore International Film Festival (SIFF) homepage.

The blogger's comment (BC): eerie & mind-boggling. Not to mention that prior to the show, I had no idea at all about this Hugh Welch Diamond person.

BC: the colours are wonderful; the message totally, uhm, escapes me.

BC: ah, a bizzare story with a rather predictable outcome. Still enjoyable, though.

BC: visually not appealing, but the catchy background music fits the setting of suspense & horror.

BC: a 3-D animation about a bug named Hessi James which is feared because of his deadly quick inane ramblings. Not referring to Jesse James surely.

BC: another bizzare story that keeps me wondering about the fate of the hobo. He's dead or what?!

BC: this one is simply hilarious. The so-called Modern Cyclops are so arty & when they execute their 'modern' dance, I couldn't stop laughing. Woe is the tourist who insists his right to blind the Cyclop as 'promised by the brochure'. Lol.

BC: puzzling plot, but the experimental sequence movement of the main character is a daring experiment. Will post the photo as an example afterwards.

BC: not referring to a Machine-Building Puzzle Game, but it's still about a puzzle. The simplistic style of the animation may be the reason why this is chosen as the opening clip for the German Animation.

BC: like Harara, it's visually not appealing. Still, the thick irony of the story is a sweet reminder how Life can be cruel sometimes.

BC: too simplistic & perhaps the message is treated as too lateral.

BC: like Escape, the colours too are wonderful. And like Escape, my 'personal curiosity' struggled out of the drain of confusion.

BC: another eerie one, however the song accompanying it is beautifully sweet & sad.

BC: not doing justice to Edgar Allan Poe & his poem, "The Raven". Especially with how the end turns out: the raven killed & metamorphosed to Lenore, the man's (now literally) lost love.

BC: the other 3-D animation. Two rocks witness the rapid progress of civilization. It's about 'relativity'. Imagine 1 month (human time) is like a blink of a rock's eye. The difference of the time-line is presented one after another perfectly.

Next: photos on some of the German animation exhibits (there must be some ways to bypass the annoying effect of the reflective glass covers).

a haiku before that promised german animation write-up...*cross my fingers*

a silhouette stills--
green leaves freeze, cool wind breathless
--as the photo's shot.

star performer

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

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

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

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

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