Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Eyes blinking at the sight of the huge slice of turkey breast we brought home from our Christmas dinner, our little cat decided turkey is heaven-sent.
Filled with food, Au is now asleep in front of his box and Target is purring on my lap.
May your Christmas be as Merry!
PS: Target and Au are playing some rough games these last few days. Here is Au walloping target on the nose - but he doesn't stick out his claws or bite hard... Our senior kitty is just showing his junior colleague some smooth moves.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
The cats who live next door in the marine aquarium shop were all at the window, waiting for their mum to arrive. They used to be street cats but they're now very, very spoilt indoor kitties.
Just look at Snowball! He's so fat he could be Santa without the usual padding. Originally named for his snowy coat, he's now mostly called Ball. And it suits him!
Friday, December 14, 2007
There seems to be no hope of getting anyone interested in Trap- Neuter-Release programmes so these poor strays are doomed to a horrible, short life filled with fleas, ticks, open wounds and other health problems.
If only local governments would go for TNR and people spayed their pets, life for animals would be a lot better.
If anyone is interested in adopting a kitty, please contact me at katztales AT lepak.com and I'll put you in touch with foster mums. Or if you're not in Selangor, contact the SPCA!
This week's cry for help for kitty who needs a home comes from Fatimah in Selangor who writes,
"I adopted a cat almost a year ago. It was a kitten when it first came to our home, tired and hungry. We, my family and I, took it and looked after it and nursed it back to health. Kas-kas is almost a year old (I guess so), he's orange with orange eyes and is a playful, cheerful cat. The only problem is that I am unable to care for him much longer as we have to balik kampung (note: this is Malay meaning "to go to the home village for a visit") frequently to visit my ailing grandmother. Kas-kas is toilet-trained and lives in his double-storey cage. He's free to roam the neighbourhood during the day and he is a healthy and well-fed cat. Could you please,please help me find a home for Kas-kas ?? (I don't want to send him to SPCA cos' they might put him to sleep if nobody adopts him)."
Kas-kas has not had his inoculations and he is not neutered. If you are interested, please email fatimahzahra1 AT hotmail.com.
PS Dog Talk is out in the Weekend Section of The Star tomorrow!
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
I've just finished writing a romance novel. Anyone know a good literary agent???
Here's Au enjoying a squizzle!
Friday, December 07, 2007
Tomorrow's column is all about Target and the general cuteness of kittens. Me, I think it's a survival strategy. Let me know if you agree.
Here he is, about to send my keyboard crashing to the floor - again.
Also, please sign the petition below. Animals have a terrible time all round the world and there is very little awareness about animal cruelty.
While there are some hard working individuals trying to make a change for the better, the authorities appear totally disinterested in this issue. Hopefully a big petition will help foster change.
This ambitious petition is geared to collect 10 million signatures to let the governments of the world know we are serious about achieving a Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare at the United Nations. Your support is much appreciated!
For a really good article visit the UK WSPA site.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
We've just put in an indoor garden so the cats have been running around watching us paint, dig and fiddle about.
Here's Target, exhausted after a day's busy supervising.
Au wanted to snooze on the sofa too but Target kept biting him so old senior fuzz is snoozing on top of my Beetle in the hot sun. he just loves having his fur baked!
Second, the 30 kids at the Klang orphanage are running short of food. If anyone is looking for a Christmas project could you please consider sending food or making a donation to:
Persatuan Rumah Kanak-Kanak Ini Disayangi (RUMAH KIDS)
7 Jalan Durian Off Jalan Dato
Tel: 03 3373 3400
The home needs: rice, onion, garlic, Milo, milk, fresh veggy and meat. Staples that can be stored like tinned sardines, baked beans, dried pasta etc are also very useful. The kids love bread with jam and chocolate spread as well!
They are a registered charity. More info is available from:
Third, if you're looking for a kids book for Christmas, take a look at BEN O COMES HOME by Vanaja Dhanan part of which goes to charity. The author's web site is a bit oddly designed so I've given the direct URL for the frame.
Friday, November 30, 2007
But the pooch who'd been beaten into a pulp when a puppy by a nasty master is reveling in newfound confidence. Doji is barking his head off whenever he senses a threat. Unfortunately his idea of a threat isn't mine. Fallen leaves and sudden clouds don't need to be announced at 4AM with sharp barks!
But I guess he'll become more discriminating over time. At least, I hope so.
By the way, I'm selling some books on Lelong Auctions:
Black Moth by Georgette Heyer
Angel eyes by eric von lustbader
Hunter-Killer Squadron by M. Brennan
Pandora by Jilly Cooper
Starting prices range from RM2 to RM8. Auction runs out in 6 days time. Need I say, "hurry, hurry, hurry?"
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
There are less than 500 Malayan tigers left. Defenders of Wildlife state the appalling truth of numbers worldwide today:
"In the early 1900s, there were around 100,000 tigers throughout their range. Today, an estimated total of around 4000-5500 exist in the wild. Below is a breakdown of numbers by subspecies.
Bengal tiger: 3000-4000
Indochinese tiger: 750-1300
South Chinese tiger: less than 20
Siberian tiger: around 450
Sumatran tiger: 400-500
Malayan tiger: less than 500
Caspian tiger: extinct
Javan tiger: extinct
Bali tiger: extinct"
In Malaysia our tigers are suffering from forest destruction but the biggest threat are poachers. People here eat tiger meat and products thinking they have "special healing powers". Another problem are Traditional Asian Medicines and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that uses tiger parts.
However, there is no need to use tiger parts as pig bones work just as well. Check out Alternatives to the Use of Endangered Species in Chinese Medicine for more details.
If you buy TCM, look for a label that says it does not contain endangered species. There are plenty of practitioners who sell these, just ask your local hospital or association.
MYCAT, the Malaysian NGO dedicated to saving the Malayan tiger will be holding a meeting on December 16th at Zoo Negara. They will be launching a Tiger Crime Hotline for people who want to report tiger poaching, tiger products being sold and other problems. The number will be 019 356 4194. It will be activated on the 16th December.
Please tell your friends about the plight of the Tiger. If you think money will do the trick, you might mention that according Ecotravel expert Allison Klein, approximately 700 million people spend a total of $2-3 trillion on their trips, annually. At present, ecotourism represents about 2 percent of that total. That's $40,000,000,000,000.
For more info visit: Tigers in Crisis and Save The Tiger Fund.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
What''s particularly chocolate-box-kitten-cute is the way he drags his toys around with him. Here he is, carrying his hairband around, and putting it right next to his dish for safekeeping. Presumably he's worried that Au will steal it!
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Yow Yow has never had anything but kindness and cat biscuits from me, so he didn't take any notice when I walked up behind him. When I smacked his arse with the flat of my hand, however, he jumped three feet in the air and shouted, "YOWRL!"
You should have seen his face: sheer shock and horror. I told him to beat it to the back lane, threatening another smack if he should come back to the front of the house and terrorise my cats again.
Yow Yow hightailed it down the street, and disappeared into the back lane where the stray cats hang out.
Mr Snizzles was terribly relieved at the rescue. His backside had slipped into the drain and were covered in muck but he was uninjured. I cuddled him, took him into the house and we rinsed off his back paws and tail.
As a first bath experience, it sucked. I let him clutch onto my t-shirt and just quickly rinsed his hindquarters under the tap. He was still traumatised by Yow Yow's attack so he didn't even squeak. Afterwards we rubbed him dry with a towel, and fussed over him a little bit.
Yow Yow turned up this morning at the back door as usual, looking for biscuits. Being a cat he didn't even show a trace of shame.
I read him a lecture telling him he can have his biscuits twice a day like the other strays in the back lane, but if he comes to attack my fuzzies in their own front garden again, he'll feel the flat of my hand.
I know he understood every word I said. Let's hope he remembers it!
Here's Yow Yow and one of his kittens eating breakfast.
By the way, I'm updating my links section. Any catty or other bloggers wanting to exchange links, please leave me a note with your blog name and URL in the comments section or via email at katztales AT lepak.com.
Happy Cats On Tuesday!
Saturday, November 17, 2007
The kitten is rushing about, having a really good time. He's playing in the garden, stuffing his face with food and trying to get the big cat to play with him. Mr Snizzles really admires the Big Cat - and Au enjoys the adulation!
Peggy asked a question saying she and her mum want to bathe their cats, but "however, since we never bath them since they were born(they're merely one year old), what is the best way to start their bathing session?"
I'd say... Bath time is tough! Suggest you put warm water in a sink, put a container of lukewarm rinsing water next to it, and keep soap (formulated for cats as people soap is bad for kitties) and towel handy.
Put your kitty gently into the sink, tail first. Don't bother too much about sticking out paws.
Carefully rub water all over fur, starting with the tummy and working higher up the cat.
Rub a little shampoo into your hands and soap your cat thoroughly. You can rub his ears with your soapy hands but don't touch the rest of his face.
Then use the container of rinsing water to rinse your cat clean. I find I need two kettles of rinsing water for Au.
Afterwards, pat your cat dry with the towel.
Then apologise profusely and offer lots and lots of treats. Expect to be treated as Enemy Number One for a few hours!
Here's a picture of our old cat Scoop having a bath. He was a master at "the octopus spread"!
PS Dog Talk is out in the print version of The Star, Weekend section in Malaysia today.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Poor Au has a sore paw. The bruises he sustained after being attacked by Yow-Yow two weeks ago slowly disappeared. Two days ago we were playing like normal but suddenly the paw was sore again - we think he did it jumping off a wall.
So Au is on tablets from the vet and the kitten has been told to leave the big cat alone for a little while, something Mr Snizzles is not keen to do because he admires his older brother very much!
Here they are, with Au looking down his nose at the kitten who's so desperate to play a game of tag.
Happy Cats on Tuesday!
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Au still has a sore front right paw - but we've noticed he limps more when he sees me watching him! Obviously he learned how to fake an illness from Scoop. But as he's had a rough time, we're indulging him with cuddles and extra ham.
Mr Snizzles, the new arrival, is settling in very nicely. He's growing quickly and running around the house, purring constantly. He has to go for his inoculations today or tomorrow - will keep you posted on how that goes!
Now for a Cry For Help: Here's a boy who needs a home. His name is Hari Singh and he lives in Damansara Utama near the Damansara Specialist Hospital.
As his foster family say, "About 4 weeks ago, a stray cat walked into our home and I did not have the heart to chase him away. We have been feeding him and named him Hari Singh. He has put on weight and looks better now. In fact he looks a bit like Au with orange coloured fur and his eyes are of an unusual colour. He is very loving and wants to be hugged, patted and he loves rubbing himself against us. He is not allowed to enter our house as my babies have refused to accept him. I hope to find someone to adopt him as he deserves a loving family as he himself is very loving."
Hari has not yet been neutered or vaccinated. If you have a garden, and want to adopt a kitty, please contact
Friday, November 02, 2007
They're now playing peek a boo in the garden, running race and chase games up and down the stairs, and exploring cupboards together.
Au is also trying out new flavours of cat food. He's been stuck on his own favourites for ages, and has refused to even sniff new types of food, but now he sees the kitten tucking in, our fuzzy has decided he's up for a change too!
We still miss Scoop but getting a friend for Au was the right thing to do. Au is much happier with company. Obviously his sense of time is different than ours.
Other news is that utterly unspeakable Yow-Yow broke in the other day and beat the hell out of our poor Au. He's stiff with bruises - but no cuts or anything thank goodness!
We're spoiling him with extra cuddles and ham, and Snizzles is keeping his spirits up with cute games.
Our sister column Dog Talk is out in the print version of The Star Weekend section tomorrow - all about Girl, the "miniature Dalmatian" who lives down the road from us.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Au and the kitten, called Mr Snizzles while we think of something more manly and appropriate, are getting along fine.
They started playing race and chase on Saturday, with one cat touching the other lightly (counting coup, American Indian style) and then rushing off at high speed.
Mr Snizzles usually starts it by pouncing on Au, then Au chases the kitten through the living room and garden, there's a turnaround and then the kitten chases Au back into the house.
I think they're enjoying themselves and they'll soon be firm friends.
Here's Snizzles, checking out the camera.
Friday, October 26, 2007
We weren't ready for another cat but Au has been fretting since Scoop passed away. As much as we try, human people just don't have the necessary skills cat people have when it comes to patrolling and playing race and chase.
Au has been angelic. The first night he saw the kitten, he sat and watched with big eyes. When we put the kitten to bed, Au came to sit with us, sniffing us over intently.
The first morning, we let the kitten explore my office and Scoop's room. He's a brave little thing and he was careering all over the place, playing with a pingpong ball by lunchtime.
He sniffed over a sleeping Au in the afternoon, but when Au woke up and touched whiskers with him in a friendly way, the kitten puffed up like a blowfish and hissed. Surprised and hurt, Au walked off. That little scene was repeated later in the day.
On the morning of the third day, yesterday, Au looked at the kitten, turned his back and stalked off. He stopped at the door, turned around and gave a theatrical hiss.
Surprisingly this did the trick. The kitten followed him about yesterday afternoon, sniffing excitedly at all the place Au touched. And Au has been looking at this little scrap of fur with a small smile. They touched whiskers last night (without hissing!) so I'm hoping they'll be firm friends soon.
Will keep you posted...
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Dog Talk out in today's print version of The Star (Weekend section) is all about Doji, a three year old Spitz-like boy who was adopted by our next door neighbours a few weeks ago.
Doji, a name meaning “milkman” in Punjabi, is a little cutie with thick brown fur, large yellow-brown eyes, and soft velvet ears that are so expressive you can tell exactly what’s going through his mind when you’re talking to him.
Unfortunately Doji had a bit of ropy start in life; he was abused when he was a puppy. Luckily he was rescued, re-socialised by a good angel, and finally adopted by our neighbours.Doji was very shy when he arrived and didn't even bark at teh postman. But you'll be pleased to know he's now very brave. Doji doesn't just bark at the postman, he also woofs at the dustbinmen, the electricity meter man, and the little dog who walks by every day and rudely pees on Doji's gate.
Doji is feeling fine!
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Although we're doing our best, Au is missing Scoop.
We are too. We keep looking for him when we're cooking, when we come home, when we roll over in bed in the middle of the night.... Even watching TV is weird because there is no Scoop demanding lap time. It's tough.
Should we get Au a friend? I don't know. Probably yes eventually but the idea makes me cry. Give it time.
PS: Scoop enjoying lap time.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Our small fuzz is not happy with his cat biscuits. The manufacturer has improved the flavour but Au prefers the old inferior one. We're planning a biscuit buying expedition later this morning.
Au is a little sensitive about small things at the moment and we're indulging his every whim to the hilt. It' s been three weeks since his colleague Scoop passed away and our Mr Kitty still misses his big brother.
Once he's cleaned his whiskers and his breakfast has settled we'll spend some time playing in his cardboard box. I've got a great idea for a new game he might like.
Will keep you posted!
PS Scoop and Au in bed.
PPS Katz Tales is out in the print version of The Star today!
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
PS Please note that this email is discussing Malaysian pounds!
***Fwd: ADOPT A STRAY FROM THE SELAYANG POUND***
Thank you very much for all your concerned emails. We are trying very hard to "save" the dogs in the Selayang Pound. Unfortunately to be able to do things the "politically" correct way will take time and this means that the dogs there will continue suffering.
It is also important to note, that even the cats that are at the pound are not well looked after. On our last visit there on Tuesday, we saw 3 dead foetuses in the cattery, and a female cat that was still in labour. No veterinary care was provided at all, although we notified the staff on duty of the condition. No efforts were made to remove the foetuses either. See Cleopatra the Labrador for pictures.
We would also like to urge all dog owners to keep their dogs safe and not to let your dogs roam on the streets freely. Ensure that your dog is on a leash at all times when taking him/her out for walks. All free roaming dogs will be caught by the cruel hired dog catchers regardless of whether your dog is licensed!
1. Adopt a Dog from the Selayang Pound
Meanwhile, we have discovered that we can however give some immediate relief to the dogs at the Selayang Pound by adopting them. However as we have limited resources we will not be able to adopt all of them. So if each and every one of you could adopt a dog from the pound, we can all make a big difference.
Please visit here for details on how you can help.
Joanne and Leigh have managed to save the dog with the padlock and heavy chain over the weekend. The poor boy was in severe pain as the heavy chain and padlock had eaten into his neck and he had a severe wound on his neck due to it. The poor boy could barely walk when they took him from the pound. He is now being treated by a vet, and his overall condition is being assessed.
If you are unable to view the picture, please look here.
2. Give Strays a Chance
Strays, dogs and cats alike, have received a lot of flak from the public over the years. Strays have been cited to be a nuisance and are even categorised as pests by the local councils... Are strays really that bad? Please visit http://cleopatrathelabrador.blogspot.com for full story.
Tel: (+6) 016 322 8816
Saturday, October 06, 2007
If you're buying the print version of the Malaysian national daily, The Star, peek into the Weekend section for a new column called Dog Talk.
I'm chuffed that I've been asked to write a second animal column, one totally devoted to Man's Best Friend. Au is totally unamused as he loathes me talking to dogs.
Unfortunately we don't have a dog at the moment because our landlord is a Malay Muslim. Luckily we have plenty of doggy pals.
Today's column is about Tina, a dog who did some remarkable things to keep her family together.
I heard about Tina in the pub when telling a friend about Swansea Jack, a black Labrador dog who lived by the River Tawe in Swansea in Wales in the 1930s, and who became a hero by jumping into the water and saving people.
Swansea Jack is reputed to have saved 27 people from drowning. He was given two "Canine VCs" as the bronze medals for bravery given out by the UK National Canine Defence League are nicknamed.
Sadly Jack’s life was cut short when he ate some rat poison.
He died at the age of 7 in October 1937 but as his grateful friends and admirers put up a monument to him, this brave dog’s memory is still bright 70 years later.
Also in today's Star and available online is My diva dog, Chai Chai by William KC Kee who has the cutest Pomerian.
PS The picture of the Swansea Jack memorial was taken by Alex Thomas of Swancam and is used here with permission. The black lab comes from Wiki Commons!
Friday, October 05, 2007
Thing is, Au is not keen on strangers but he's particularly wary of kids.
Children, Au believes, will kick you, hit you, or at the very least scream at the tops of their lungs while they yank your tail.
But there are exceptions. When Au met Shelly a young friend of ours who spoke gently and stroked softly, he lay at her feet, purring like an engine.
The problem is that most of the kids we meet have no pets themselves. In fact, their city slicker parents encourage them to be afraid of cats, dogs, birds, and all other living creatures.
So when these poor babes see a friendly dog or cat approach, they scream, throw stones or worse. they can't help it; they're educated that way.
While Au avoids kids who aren't already animal lovers, Scoop used to do his bit for the community by sitting very still while I introduced some nervous young sprog to him.
I remember teaching 6 year old Gavin how to stroke Scoop very gently with an open hand from head to tail, shushing him when he talked too loudly and explaining animals like soft voices.
We also talked about little telltale signs, like cats being happy when they purred but angry when they growled or hissed.
Gavin liked stroking Scoop and felt very important teaching his little sister what he'd learned. Their mum was chuffed but less so when she realised both kids enjoyed meeting Scoop so much they wanted a pet of their own!
I think kids need pets. Taking care of an animal, bonding with it, learning how to communicate without words... all of these are important lessons.
Also, I can't imagine what it's like to live life disconnected from the natural world.
PS The picture is "Mademoiselle Julie Manet with cat" painted by Pierre-Auguste Renoir.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
However, we are playing with him for hours every day so he's quite cheerful!
He's also sitting with us a lot more than usual. Here he is, sitting on Tom's feet and showing off his laser eyes.
Also, thanks for your email. Didn't realise quite how many people knew and liked our old fuzzy!
PS. Dorothy, can you email me? Can't believe you're still in Malaysia! Would love to hear from you. It's katztalesATlepak.com
Friday, September 28, 2007
When I wrote it, Scoop was still alive. Reading it brings back the day I wrote this piece.
I was sitting in the living room, having a coffee, yawning after being woken up several times during the night, and wondering what to do next, when I saw Au rolling about on the sofa, and settling on his back, eyes half open. I snapped a shot and was chuffed to have it to illustrate the column.
Then I went and had a cuddle with Scoop in order to get the words right in my head before writing them down. He purred up a storm as usual and shed brown fluff all over me as a special favour.
Scoop passed away just over a week ago, and although I'm not crying every time someone mentions his name anymore, we're still missing him every hour of every day.
I miss his loud MEOW! announcing he was back from a walk. I miss the way he'd hog the centre of the bed, and stick a claw in me if I had the temerity to move in a way that inconvenienced him.
Thanks everyone for the kind messages. And I really hope there is a Rainbow Bridge heaven for cats!
Friday, September 21, 2007
Scoop passed away at home yesterday, 20th September at about 6PM.
The house feels so empty without him. We miss his cheerful MEOW! sounding up and down the stairs, the way he curled up with us at night, and the imperious way he ordered his meals.
Au is a little bewildered so we're paying extra attention to him. It will be tough for him to be an only cat.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
PS Scoop's time is drawing near. He's happy and eating well but his condition is worsening. I'm dreading the next few days.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
I threw a pillow at him but Tom gave in, got up, and kept Au company.
Scoop being a sensible cat is still asleep in bed. He's seen more than 13 Ramadans and he's no longer surprised by this temporary change in lifestyle. Mind you, he is fond of a bit of chicken curry so he might be moseying around tonight to see if there's anything interesting on offer.
There are two bits of good news in Malaysia today. First, Shark’s fin soup is off the menu at all functions and events organised by the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry (read about it here) and The dog-catching competition run by the Selayang Municipal Council (MPS), which offered prize money of up to RM15,000 to the public, has been called off!
Looks like today is shaping up just fine :-)
PS Katz Tales is out today in the Weekend section of the Star, the Malaysian national daily. This week's feature is Waifs and Strays. And here are Snowball and Snowflake, premium looking rescued street cats.
If you live in Malaysia, enter the photo competition and win your cat a gift basket filled with goodies made by Purina.
Send pictures to:
15 Jalan 16/11
Petaling Jaya 46350
You can also email to weekend AT thestar.com.my but please keep file sizes reasonable.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Here she is, tripping up anyone who wants to enter. No doubt she thinks she's helping out the owners by providing lots of patients with bruised toes!
And here she is, closer up.
Isn't she a sweet looking girl? Note the traditional Malaysian half tail!
Saturday, September 08, 2007
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Saturday, September 01, 2007
There's a weird fever going through the neighbourhood and it struck us down with a vengeance. For the last week or so we've been lying in bed, suffering from chills, sore bones, rashes and other lovely symptoms. The cats were ecstatic! It's the second time we've been ill in two months so the kitties are well up on their bed time.
Now all is well again and we're picking up where we left off. Tom's back working on his book, I'm catching up with deadlines, and the cats are moping in bed, hoping we'll come back to them.
It's great to feel good again!
PS Out in this Week's Star: Detective Cats... how Scoop and Au investigate new things in the house. Guess whose tail this is?
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
A short while ago Au was trotting around the house with a tiny field mouse in his mouth. He disappeared into the garden, came home later without it, and we assumed the poor little thing had been dispatched.
Then he brought it in again, but through one thing and another it escaped. Then he caught it for a third time.
When the house tiger brings in the same catch three days running, we begin to ponder the existence of the recyclable mouse. Or perhaps Au wants a pet?
And here they are: Au and his pet mouse.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
The main impetus for this comes from the people from Furry Friends Farm, a safe haven for strays, and a long-term member of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty To Animals.
As they depend entirely on gifts, we've given them a web page of their own to promote the community cat idea.
If we're lucky, we'll emulate Rome’s communities of strays or the Gatti Di Roma!
PS Here is Farah, the first Community Cat.
PPS Samantha who lives in MPSJ area... I can't find your blog as your comment name link is closed to public view. I think these kill and destroy raids are daft too. And how awful your kitty was murdered! I think every community should work pro-actively as described in today's Community Cat article.