Monday, January 28, 2013

New food ideas for the brood, inside and outside

 Wheatgrass in a tray outside in the pantry for them to chew on by themselves.

So far, only Bunny was "caught" on CCTV chewing on the grass.

By the way, this is just ordinary soil and the wheatgrass is thriving like crazy (big fat leaves!).

The serai is dying, after being continuously attacked by Cow and Bunny!

 This is steamed sardines (from the market), with freshly cut wheatgrass.

With just RM3 worth of sardine fish, I can feed everyone, inside and outside, and they all love it to bits...the first round. Well, everyone, except Pole and Tiger. Tiger has always thought of himself as "vegetarian", so he doesn't "eat meat" that looks like obvious meat. He's been that way since young. But he eats "masked meat", ie. in kibbles and blended canned food. Shh...he doesn't know it's made of meat too. Shh...

For the second round, only the sworn raw meat-eaters like Bunny, Cleo and Indy gorged on it. The rest weren't too interested anymore.

A vet once told me that cats should never be given raw fish, only cooked fish. Raw chicken and other meats seem to be okay.

 The outside brood loved it, including Starry.

 Starry joins the Patio-4 for meals, but he is still very demanding.

What happens outside does not escape the eye of our masked hero, Indy.

 With so many mouths to feed, I'm trying a new brand, Equilibrio. They also need a change of taste. So far, they love it to bits too! It claims to be super premium catfood. The first few ingredients on the list are meat (crude protein), but this recipe is not grain-free.

Our disclaimer holds.

Activity on the ledge!

A lot has been happening on the ledge lately.

From being used as a convenient route of travel for Mr G, it has now become a convenient place for "other activities".

A few days ago, I saw a tabby (I highly suspect it is Starry) humping on the bushy calico...on the ledge! I shoo-ed them but the tabby wouldn't budge, so I had to spray water to break them up. Then, I quickly emailed Mr G's owner to ask if the bushy calico is hers and if so, to get her spayed since it looked like she is coming on heat.

The day after that happened, Mr G attacked Starry on the ledge!

 The big fight on the ledge.

 I shot them with the water gun to break them up and Starry ran away. Mr G remained to declare himself the victor.

 The audience.

Then, another fight occurred on the ledge again...

 ....which invited quite an audience.

This morning, the fight happened in the back neighbour's house. We couldn't see a thing.

 But the noise was evidence enough.

 And I'm so glad our cats are all confined!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Return of...Mr G

Yesterday, I heard the sounds of catfight in the porch. It sounded serious enough to warrant a check as it was more than just growling.

I went out to see and it was Mr G! The old guy had not come for quite a number of days ever since Timmy officially joined the Patio Family.

Mr G was chasing Timmy, and later, Starry (formerly known as Star Wars).

Actually, I'm not so sure who is with whom as you can see Mr G walking alongside Starry here.

Can you find Ginger? He's at the far corner of the garden, on top of the pillar.

Friends or foes?

Starry's tail is down.

But note the long legs.

Rosie was safely hiding on top of my car, watching the entire episode.

Don't fight, you two.

See the long legs? What a tall cat, right? And it isn't because he's making himself tall. He IS tall.

Daffodil was watching too.

The little lady is as cool as a cucumber. After all, she's been around quite a bit, hasn't she?

 I shooed the two warring felines out of the porch.

 I hope they settled their problem and differences.

Starry was back for breakfast this morning. And yes, he is "highly" demanding!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

More Quack updates

Here's the latest on the Quack:
He is actually much more friendly with other cats. H started using the communal litter trays now. However, still not much connection with me, but at least he does not run off whenever i walk near him, so it's a good sign :)

Hello, Mr Quack!!

Star Wars (a.k.a. "Starry") joins the fray

Star Wars (the new tabby with long legs) had been coming to the patio quite a bit lately. I think he is an abandoned pet (together with Willy of Orange) and being newly abandoned, he may not have ready survival skills so he must be hungry.

Unfortunately, Ginger has been chasing him out from our house and when we feed him outside the house, Timmy would always get to the food first. The smell of food does not escape Timmy's nose. He'd smell it from miles away and he is always, always hungry (yes, he has already been dewormed - no change in his appetite, but he has put on quite a bit of weight and looks much better now).

Timmy even snatches food from Ginger, Rosie and Daffodil, so I really have to monitor the four at feeding time. Actually, I only have to monitor Timmy as the other three are extremely culinary-cultured with impeccable table manners.

Here is Star Wars.

 Eating the leftovers yesterday (when Ginger and Timmy were not around).

 Daffodil seems to be friends with him.

Now, here is my theory...we know Daffodil used to live (or rather, squat) at one of the houses down the road and the occupant has just moved away. I suspect Star Wars and Willy are both from this house. Hence, Daffodil is friends with them.

 Star Wars has even been coming into the house lately, which indicates he must be a former pet.

 Maybe Daffodil invited him over?

Now, this morning, something happened...

It was Monge for breakfast at the patio. Now, which self-respecting cat can resist Monge, right? So, I heard meowing from the ledge on the wall and it was Star Wars. He threw caution to the wind and came running! I guess he was just too hungry, the poor thing.

Now, my husband had already observed that Star Wars was a kind of "bulldozer" who would ram his way into anything. I mean, that's his style. Otherwise, we wouldn't have named him Star Wars, after those imperial walkers.

So, Star Wars rammed his way to the patio and "demanded" for food.

He was so hungry, so that's understandable. I quickly got him a bowl.

 The rest were too busy gorging on Monge to notice, but Timmy was not happy.

Pretty, isn't he?

He's like a light-coloured Tabs.

Monge unites.

We shall put our differences aside because of Monge....for now. 

Fight later. Eat first. 

 And hunger alleviates fear.

 There wasn't enough Monge to go around, so I gave kibbles. Star Wars only ate the Hill's Hairball.

 But by now, Ginger was not happy so he started growling and Star Wars moved away.

 Hunger brought him back, though.

Gosh, just how many days haven't you eaten, Star Wars?

 There was a growling confrontation. Just growling, no physical contact.

 Daffodil is definitely okay with him.

 And seems to be protecting him.

He can't be one of her sons, can he? Well, you'll never know...after 10 years of having children four times a year, I'd lose track too.

 Rosie was afraid, so she hid inside while Ginger and Timmy did all the growling. I think Daffodil was trying to mediate and make peace.

I think I should call Star Wars "Starry". Maybe he won't be confronted upon then, what with a less confrontational name. I mean, really, Star Wars is all about, well....warring, right?

So, he shall be called Starry from now on and by the way, Starry is not neutered yet.

 Meanwhile, inside...we have a new visitor on the ledge...

 Er...hello? And you are.....?

It looks like a long-haired Calico. If my guess it right, she must be from Mr G's house.

By the way, I've checked with Mr G's owner, Starry and Willy are not hers.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Close encounters of a slithery kind

A few days ago, my husband asked me if I had noticed that our front doormat had been terribly ruffled. That morning, I had rushed off to work and had not really noticed this.

Why, I asked?

He said when he went to work (which was after me), he saw a dead snake with a triangle head (that's the poisonous kind, right?) near our shoe rack.


I screamed.

How come I did not see it on my way out? Yikes, yikes, yikes!

"It was only a very small one", he said, consoling me.

But how did it get there?

1. One of the outside cats must have taken it from somewhere else and brought it back as food. We often see dead lizards on our doormat too. It's the cats' food offering for us - that's what cats do as a gesture of appreciation - they bring back food for us. And of course, we don't expect them to bring back vegetables, right? They would bring back what they think is nice, which would be lizards, cockroaches, rats, etc.

2. One of the cats could have killed the snake at the shoe rack. Not very likely, I guess, but still, the possibility is there and if so, hey, the heroic cat saved our lives! Now, who could it be? My first guess would be that it is our very own Timmy (Dalton). It must be Timmy, I said. Timmy's our hero! He saved our lives!!

Very quickly, I checked and all six were okay - Daffodil, Rosie, Ginger, Timmy, Star Wars and Willy of Orange. Okay, good, nobody is harmed in any way. What a relief!

A dead snake brought to our doorstep, about a month to the Year of the Snake?


You know what they say about the Chinese Almanac? The 12 zodiac animals go in a 12-year cycle and there is a bigger cycle of 60 years comprising 5 zodiac cycles. After every 60 years, history is supposed to repeat itself, so I'm told (but I stand corrected, my knowledge of Chinese culture, sadly, isn't very well-informed). And if your family keeps the Chinese Almanac (called the "Tong Sing") for 60 years, hey, you would have got the destiny and fate of the next 6o years right there in the palm of your hand and you could actually predict what is going to happen when, provided you know how to interpret the Tong Sing, which isn't as complicated as Nostradamus' 4-languages-written-backwards Les Prophecies. And, step aside, Mayan geomancers, the Chinese have had it all figured out aeons ago in their Tong Sing, or so it seems.

Sorry, I digress.

Now, what happened 12 years ago, in January 2001, around the same time?

I cannot remember the exact date, but I'm definite it was in January 2001 because it was shortly before Chinese New Year too (and yes, it was just before the Year of the Snake).

On that fateful one morning, at about 4.30am, I was about to go for a morning walk when I opened my front door and saw a "long creature" lying right there against the door. Luckily we had the rubber tape for the door, so the "long creature" could not get in. Now, that was a LONG "long creature" and it was sleeping. The stomach was large - it had probably eaten something and was taking a siesta.

Bobby was with me then and Bobby had always been a little "not so alert" all his life. He did not see the long creature. I did.

The long creature was about 4 inches away from my feet.

Instinctively, I grabbed Bobby and very gently but surely, I closed the front door.

To calm my nerves, I sat myself down with Bobby and started telling myself it isn't what I think it is. It is just a large earthworm, I told myself. There are large earthworms, you know, like large millipedes, right? Yes, we go into denial to prevent ourselves from freaking out and collapsing in fear. I think it's an inbuilt mechanism.

After telling myself that it was just a "large earthworm", I knew I had to do something about it so I called the nearest friend I had. I told her that I thought there was a snake at my front door, though I'm not sure if it is one. It could also be a very large earthworm.

This friend was a lady and coincidentally, her father used to catch snakes, so she said, "Never fear, I've seen how my father does it, I'll come catch it for you. Don't worry!"

She arrived shortly and asked me for a plastic bowl.

I gave her one and she proceeded to catch the thing.

To cut a long story short, the thing slithered away to several places, including underneath a few flower pots and lady-friend declared, " got away!"


By then, I had to take my son to school, so we somehow got out of the house safely and headed off to school. On my way back, I stopped at the local medicine shop and bought a large pack of sulphur. The largest they had.

Came home and smeared sulphur all over the porch.

Then, I made some phonecalls and husband said one of his generals from the Air Force lived down our road and he was an expert snake-catcher. He could catch a life baby cobra, put it into his pocket and go around frightening people with it. And he'd been bitten so many times by various snakes, he was already immune from snake-venom.

Okay...sounds like an expert alright.

General Snake Catcher soon arrived, armed with a picture book of snakes.

He said I had to identify the snake as different snakes required different catching techniques.

Oh dear...please, do I have to look at the pictures?

"YES!!", he bellowed in his military voice. "You want me to help you or not?"

Yes, please, I whimpered, already so traumatised by the whole experience.

So my husband held the book far, far away and I had to peep at the pictures (with my hands covering my face), page after page until I saw the culprit.

Yes, that's the one, I announced.

It was the triangle-headed (or was it diamond-headed, I cannot remember now) one.

"That's a viper!", the general bellowed. "You could have been dead in 20 minutes if it had bitten you!"

Sobs...thanks for letting me know....sobs. There would have been no way I could have got to the hospital in 20 minutes had the sleeping slithery one bitten me, so I thanked all my guardian angels.

But the thought of having been up close (4 inches, to be exact) with a viper gave me the shivers.

"Ular Kapak", the general said. "Very deadly."


And General Snake Catcher looked around and concluded that it must have come from its nest nearby when the people uprooted a certain tree.

What are we going to do, I asked. It could still be somewhere in our garden...

General Snake Catcher had a plan. He would lay his famous viper-trap, he said. So he went home and started building his trap.

Meanwhile, we smeared another layer of sulphur all over the porch and the garden.

That night, the trap was laid and we closed all our windows. I objected to the use of any animal as bait, so I think he used an egg, if I remember correctly. Anyway, no live animal was used.

The next morning, we saw distinct slither marks all over the sulphur! It was so scary.

Mr Slither-V had come back. It had probably come back to look for food...yikes!

There were even slither marks all over the window.

It had tried to get into the house through the window!

"This is one persistent guy", the general said as he came by to examine his trap. " attempted entry into the trap at all".

"This is a smart snake", he said. "We shall try again tonight".

That night, again, we closed all the windows.

The next morning, guess what?

Yes, Mr Slither-V had come again!! There were new slither marks all over the sulphur again.

Oh gosh, I thought, how much longer is it going to keep coming?

By then, I had desperately consulted as many friends as I could.

Some said I must buy the snake lottery number because it would soon be the snake year, so surely you'll hit some prize, they said. Er, no, thank you. Not helping, guys.

Some said perhaps it came with a message for me and it was trying to get the message through, hence, the persistence in coming into the house. What...some courier service, is it? Well, whatever its message is, my message to it is, "I mean you no harm at all, so shall we go our own separate ways in peace? Please?"

Another friend, a former headmaster who had worked in the outskirt schools where there were plenty of slithery visitors said, "What sulphur?!!  Sulphur doesn't work at all! They will crawl all over it. Use Chlorox, that'll frighten them away!"

True...our slithery visitor would have probably laughed and said to himself: Stupid humans! Don't they know we would have evolved many times over to grow immune to sulphur! Still using sulphur? Ha ha ha...hiss...hiss...

That night, we did the same thing again.

By the fourth morning, there were no more slither marks.

No more on the fifth morning too.

Nor the sixth, nor the seventh, etc...

And that was it. The Mr Slither-V had come three nights in a row, in January 2001, just before the Chinese Year of the Snake, and the visits stopped after that.

And now it's January 2013, twelve years later....history repeating itself, but this time, with a twist? A dead one, thankfully!

I'm not superstitious, of course, but I would want to be safe than sorry.

Still...There are more things in heaven and earth, that are dreamt of in our philosophy...

THE END (I hope!!)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Willy of Orange, abandoned cat?

Lately, a full orange-coloured cat had been coming right into our patio.

He is fully orange and appears to be an abandoned cat.

Someone had recently moved out of the neighbourhood, and Willy could have been left behind (poor guy) as he just appeared out of the blue a few days ago.

Well, I'm calling him Willy, after William of Orange, the founder of Netherlands. No specific reason, just because he is so orange in colour!

He has a beautiful coat which indicates he has been well looked after, but now, he appears to be homeless.

Now, Willy's appearance has caused quite a stir at the patio. Ginger and Daffodil has been defending the fort in the porch itself.

Ginger at the frontlines.

With Daffodil.

Rosie is afraid, she is not a fighter at all. So whenever Willy comes, she hides inside the house.

Timmy also hides inside the house. He only goes out after Willy is gone!

 Rosie is my trusty helper in stock-checking tshirts.

 There is a lot of work before and after each event. Rosie helps.

 For AnimalCare work, Indy is my trusty assistant.

 Our new shipment of RED tshirts have arrived.

We have the full range, including S32 now. Please get your red tshirts soon before stocks run out again!

To order:

The Serai Tale

Tabs had been "escaping" a lot these days. She seems uncomfortable in Bunny's Place, living amongst titans, so the moment we get out of the room, she will sneak out, as quick of lightning.

And usually, I find her looking at Rosie's family and her favourite place is the serai (lemongrass) tray. She will always be there, chewing on the leaves.

So I decided to bring the serai tray into the pantry. Maybe Tabs would at least be happier to have her serai to chew on...

But Bunny got to the trays first...


And has sort of claimed the trays as his property.

Poor Tabs...

 Everyone has his or her own place...

 Pole had long ago taken Tabs' penthouse...because Tiger took her condo space. And being titans, no two cats can share the condo at any one time, except for exceptional reasons, like during grass mowing sessions (where I put them inside).

 Indy has his favourite chair at the Clubhouse where he hangs out all day unless he's with me. Bunny and Cow roam all over and sleep wherever they want, being the chief titans.

 So this evening, Tabs went out again to the patio and this time, the poor girl went to look for the serai tray in the patio. I brought her back to the pantry and placed her INSIDE the serai tray...but the elders came around and poor Tabs fled.

Next, the Patio Family is up in arms too...due to intruder attacks.