Saturday, December 30, 2006

On Strike

Scoop turning his back to us
Scoop has been so spoilt in the last few days with turkey, lamb and tinned tuna for people (he needed a bit of extra oil in his diet to keep his coat glossy, his claws sharp, and his bones strong) that he has firmly turned his back on the idea of cat food – and me!

Here he is, the little monster, turning his back on me because I refused to replace his bowl of crunchies with a treat.

I’m not giving in, and Scoop will have to eat his cat food before he gets any more treats. I guess he’ll cave at 7 o’clock when he realises he won’t get his share of our chicken dinner tonight unless he toes the line.

Hope he doesn’t take revenge by biting my toes at 4AM!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

All Turkeyed Out

Scoop and Au are completely circular: thanks to a generous gift from their friend Usha yesterday, Scoop has had four turkey lunches today, and Au has had two plus one helping of ham. What's worse, I'm sure they're planning to pig out at dinner too.
Scoop and Au
Here they are, cleaning up afterwards and saying purr, purr, mrauf, and hmmmmm.

Good thing it's only Christmas once a year.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Cricket

We're having a good day today. Scoop and Au woke us up just before dawn, coming into the bedroom to tell us the rain had stopped, they had a nice walk outside, the biscuit bowl was empty, and were we going to lie in bed all day or what?

While they got their squizzles, and wrestled on the bed, I hid underneath the pillows. Eventually though Scoop got me up with a combination of headbutts and loud purrs. Looking out of the window, I decided they were right. It is a beautiful day.

Scoop and Au have now collapsed into bed, happily stuffed with sardine catfood. The dishes are piling up in the sink, the laundry is beginning to live a life of its own, but the sun is still shining, I'm listening to Simon and Garfunkel's greatest hits, and I've decided to sneak off for a swim rather than write that article on bridges.

Life is good.

PS Another Logomania article has appeared in the Star. This week's offering is:
Are you an all-rounder?
HISTORIANS trace the origins of cricket to the 13th century when children in England made a game of knocking the crossbar off the top of hurdle gates in sheep’s pens. Over the centuries, cricket matured into a sport that attracts millions of fans.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Christmas Is Coming

It's been drizzling steadily since yesterday morning but the cats aren't bored at all. Scoop is lying on the doormat, keeping an eye on the comings and goings of our neighbours who are all preparing for Christmas, and Au is supervising Tom in his office.

The cats may not recognise Christmas but they know something is up. They're spending a lot of time chatting away to each other, and they are inspecting shopping bags scrupulously. Excitement is in the air!

We're planning to spend Christmas with friends down the road (who have already offered to set aside a slice of turkey for Scoop!) and then we'll have "orthodox Christmas" on January 6th at our place. Then there will be Chinese New Year to follow.

The future is looking good!

PS Katz Tales is out on Saturday in the Weekend section of The Star.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Beta Blog


I've been unable to get this blog updated for over a week now. As my mate across the street, the technical genius who made the template for this blog, and my mate in Kuching, the one who runs the lepak server, can't figure out what's gone wrong, I'm pushing us over to Beta Blogger. Hopefully this will work. Hold on to your hats!

PS Here's a pic of Au scratching an itch - hope it's not fleas again

Monday, December 11, 2006

Conked Out

Scoop is fast asleep in bed. So fast asleep that when I stopped to say good morning, he didn't move a muscle. Worried by his immobility (he is an old kitty after all!) I touched him to make sure he was still breathing. Scoop just rolled onto his back, opened half an eye, said something that sounded like Mrowf Grumfle Rumph and passed out again.

It must have been a busy night!
Malay lacewing butterfly
PS here's a pic of a Malay lacewing butterfly. I think it's a beauty and wanted to take a picture to remember it, but if the fuzzies spot it, they'll see it purely as an edible toy. Cats don't have any truck with conservation....

PPS Sorry for the long break. Have been trying to update this page for 8 days now and keep getting that "there were errors" message. Can't figure out what's wrong. Any tips appreciated.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Wicked Wiles

There's roast chicken in the fridge and Scoop is determined to snaffle the remains in a late lunch - or possibly a late breakfast as it's just 1PM and he's been having breakfasts on the hour since about 10 this morning.

Scoop is now sitting on the rug in my office, showing MEOWrrrrf!!! every ten minutes or so. He's rather like one of those annoying snooze buttons.

Au isn't interested. He had a bit of chicken yesterday and that's enough for him for a few weeks. The junior fuzz is more interested in ham and what the cat with the dirty face down the street is up to.

I know what will happen. I'll tell Scoop to shut up, to go away, to leve me in peace rather than in pieces, and then I'll get up and give him what he wants.

Scoop is a spoilt brat but we love him. Hey, just as well we don't have kids!

PS If you want to buy Christmas gifts with a charitable cause, please check out Precious Home Passions and read up on who, what, where, when, why, and how in the Star articles a time of giving and http://thestar.com.my/lifestyle/story.asp?file=/2006/12/9/lifeliving/16269150&sec=lifeliving. Prices for bracelets are in place, the rest will be uploaded by Monday.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Fish Face

With one thing and another we forgot to stock up on cat biscuits for the strays in the backlane. When the outside cats lined up for breakfast this morning, I gave them rations from Au's biscuit barrel, and the remains of Scoop's stash of chicken liver.

Au gave me a sideways look but as I had some left over, he forgave me. Then I went to the supermarket and remembered to stock up on biscuits but forgot to buy Scoop replacement liver.

The look he gave me could have been packaged and used as poison!

Luckily I remembered I had put some fish in the freezer in case we ever needed emergency rations.

I boiled up the fish, served it neatly chopped in Scoop's best bowl, and stood back. Old fuzzy ate 3 bowls for lunch, and is now shouting up the stairs to tell me he's ready for his first dinner.

Guess forgetting to buy liver wasn't such a disaster after all!

PS: Milking English, a Logomania column about dairy phrases in English has been published in the Star today. Feedback, comments, strictures on my English all gratefully received.

PPS: I'm setting up some web pages for a group of friends collecting money for Precious Childrens Home charity in Petaling Jaya. Anyone looking for pretty Christmas presents please check the Precious Childrens Home page. Linda will give me prices by the end of this week; in the meantime, please call or email her for info,

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Snuggle Cat

AU snoozing
Scoop loves to cuddle. He's a lap cat who enjoys hours and hours of petting. But Au is a hands-off kitty. He loves to play wild games, and he likes having his chin scratched, but he's not fond of being picked up and cuddled. I don't blame him; I don't like being touched much either.

So last night when I was mulling over Things To Do this week, panicking over deadlines, and graduating to worrying about the usual career/money/future things people worry about every now and again, I was really surprised to have Au walk over and sit down next to me.

He gave me a small smile, curled up with his chin on my arm, and settled down for a quiet purring snooze. Instantly the world looked a better place.

Au is just a small cat, but he certainly packs a big punch.

PS Here he is, snoozing on his rug in front of his cardboard box.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Sunday Blues

A friend of mine is worried that her neighbours seem less than human to her. The reason, she says, is that they are heartless. She described their casual cruelties to cats. Nasty things that have become so common, it doesn’t even rate a paragraph in the newspapers. Listening to her made me very depressed. And it got me thinking: what is wrong with us? Compared to previous generations we’ve unparalleled opportunities for education, advancement and comfort. So why are we going backwards?

And it led me to this:

Despite the Net, satellite TV, proliferation of books and other communication channels, most of the people I meet have little or no interest in learning about the world around them. They’ll scan a newspaper but they won’t read a book. They’ll watch soaps but not documentaries. They are so afraid to expand their horizons, they even avoid talking to strangers. There is a fear that is creating an increasingly insular society. And among the primary effects of this trend, is the way we treat the animals in our world.

Too many people think of cats, dogs, birds, and other animals as things or objects rather than conscious fellow creatures. They think nothing of driving over animals in their cars, of putting poison down in their gardens, or of throwing out a guard dog or animal dependent who is ill or old or inconvenient. They encourage kids to throw stones at animals by drumming it into them that all animals are wild, dangerous, and poised to attack.

If we want a nicer world, we need to lose our fear and open up to new experiences. Me, I’m going to start by going out for a walk, giving Scoop a long brush and watching Animal Planet. Hopefully it will cure the Sunday blues.