Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Cats On Tuesday: Kittens

One of the strays who lives in the storm drains in the back lane has brought her kittens to our back doorstep. This is rather unexpected as the mum is feral and frightened of people. Maybe she's listening to her sisters and cousins who aren't scared of me!

I've given her some water and biscuits, and in return she let me take her picture. But as you can see by her expression, she's exhausted. Poor little cat; I'll try to look after her if she'll let me.

Happy Cats On Tuesday!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

WCB: Pulling My Tail

We had a real monsoon rainstorm early this morning. Woken up by the windows rattling and the sound of gushing rain, I went downstairs, shut all the doors and then filled up the cat's bowl of biscuits and drinking water glass before curling up in bed again.

Just as I was drifting off, the two fuzzies appeared at the door. I heard Au's softest yik-yik-yik and then Scoop's answering rau-rau. Before I could hide under the pillow and play dead, Scoop jumped up on the bed and asked me to wake up.

I tried to tell him I had just filled both his bowl and glass but he insisted I got up.

Then when I did, Scoop rushed off, tail high in the air, followed by Au. I could hear them run into their cardboard box on the landing and I swear Au snickered.

Cats! They just love pulling my tail!

PS the two fuzz monsters are sitting on top of my car, watching our neighbour clean his car. They just love watching people sweat!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Bad Tidings

Scoop has had these nasty raw patches just below his ears for ages now. What started off as a small fungal thing has blossomed into an ulcerating wound.

We've been through tests, x-rays and various treatments (even alternative treatments) but none have worked. Now the vets say nothing else can be done for our old fuzzy.

The good news is that Scoop is feeling fine. His face looks less handsome but it doesn't hurt. Luckily it's also not contagious so he's playing with Au as he always has.

He's also rejoicing in the fact that none of the house rules apply to him anymore. When he wakens me at 4AM I don't throw a pillow at him; I get up and see what he wants.

He's taking full advantage to put in orders for his favourite snacks. As I write this Scoop is munching his way through his 3rd bowl of roast chicken today.

Scoop has lived with us for 12 years now. He was about a year old when he moved in, so he's about 13. Not a bad age for an ex-stray cat.

While he continues to be happy and feel no pain or stress, we'll spoil him as much as we can. And by the happy MRAUFs coming from the kitchen, I guess he's all for it.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Schmooze Award

We've been nominated for the Schmooze Award by Sharlene and the Spice Cats!

The Schmooze Award was the original creation of Mike at Gummy the Lovesick Alien who says....

"Schmoozing as defined by Dictonary.com is the ability “to converse casually, especially in order to gain an advantage or make a social connection.” When it comes to blogging, schmoozing is your ticket to making new friends, getting yourself noticed and building a reputation. Some bloggers are gifted with the ability to effectively schmooze and others not so much. My new friend Danielle and I would like to recognize those bloggers who exhibit strong schmoozing skills. In order to do so we’ve created the new Power of Schmooze award!"

As Scoop and Au were nominated, we now have to do the honors to five other bloggers. Per the Schmooze rules, those who receive must turn around and give to five other bloggers.

We love:

Kitikata whose orange brown bottom is almost as large as Scoop's,
Luna who tells us great cat stories in German and English,
Niamah! because Patrick Teo makes me laugh,
Rantings by Marina because she makes me think, and
Lots Of Cravings who sends me to all the best places to eat.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Weekend Cat Blogging: Cat Names

When Scoop decided he was moving in, and we thought we traveled too much to live with a cat, our cries of “Scoop that cat out of the house” didn’t put him off. Hence the name Scoop.

Au is named after his golden coat (AU for Gold) and also because he bites when we play rough games; so we’re always saying, "au, au, au!"

I love the whole process of cat naming and think the psychology of pet naming is worthy of academic research.a kitty named cat

Are those who give their pets aristocratic names like Duke and Datin (Malay for the wife of a baronet) trying to climb the social ladder or merely acknowledging the innate superiority of their cat friends?

Do cats with names like Alfred, Suzie and Annie live with humans who are more anthropomorphic than cats who are called Fluffy, Tiger and Tinkerbell?

Are cats with distinguished names like Augustus and Divinia more likely to be sedate than colleagues called Whirlwind and Lightening?

The best name I've heard in ages for a cat is Cockroach: because he eats everything in sight and moves like lightening!

Anyone have any other good cat names?

PS this pretty kitty is simply called Cat.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Cats On Tuesday: Wrestling Match

This is Snowball wrestling with his sister Snowflake.

snowball and snowflake
Snowball and Snowflake live in our local aquarium shop.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Teaching Dogs Tricks

I met a doggy trainer a while ago: Diana Gallyot from Kajang, a small town just outside Kuala Lumpur. Diana trains her own dogs to do tricks and is now starting up a small school of her own.

Here she is with Phantom, the big Alsatian who lives with the family, sleeping in the bedroom and generally ruling the roost.

Isn't he sweet?

Read all about them in Teaching Dogs Tricks, Train Your Own Dog and get Further Reading Tips for web sites specialising in dog and cat training.

Phantom and Diana

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Cats On Tuesday: Can Cats See Colour?

While people used to believe that all animals are colour-blind, modern studies show this is untrue.

Cats’ retinae have an arrangement of rods and cones just as ours do.

However, scientists point out that the number of these suggests cats are pretty good about colour in general but not quite as good as we are at distinguishing subtleties.

I wonder what numbers Scoop and Au would see in these Ishihara dots?

If your colour vision is perfect you should see 56, 45, 29, 25, 8, and 6.

If you see a lot of dots instead, take a look at Ishiwara Test for Colour Blindness and check out Wikipedia's article on Colour Blindness too.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Crammed In Kitty

Scoop stuffed into the cupboard

There is plenty of space for all of us in our home but instead of taking advantage of our huge bed or the big rug in the hall, our junior cat Au is fast asleep inside his cardboard box while his senior colleague Scoop has elected to force himself into a cupboard filled to the brim with old newspapers.

Cats just love being crammed in tight spaces!

Katz Tales is out today in the print version of the Malaysian national daily The Star Weekend section.

Cat lovers in Malaysia can win a Star Purina Cat Gift Basket prize by sending a picture of their kitty plus caption to:

Katz Tales
Star Publications
Menara Star
15 Jalan 16/11
Petaling Jaya 46350

You may also email the Editor at weekened@thestar.com.my but please keep file sizes to a reasonable size so their mail box isn't overwhelmed.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Cats On Tuesday: Flyweight Bully

Yow YowI was feeding the stray cats who live in the storm drain yesterday when I realised that Yow Yow, The Cat Formerly Known For His Dirty Face was being bullied unmercifully. The aggressors are the latest additions to the crowd, a bunch of kittens who stand less than 5 inches at the shoulder.

The kittens shoved Yow Yow out of the way, blocking him from getting a bite out of the bowl. When he did push through and get a bit, they were trying to steal it from his mouth.

Letting nature take it's course, I left them to it. Kittens need to learn to fight for survival and it won't be long before they grow out of the kitten status that is so far making them immune to reprisals.Yow Yow

But when the kittens wandered off with round, fat tummies, Yow Yow and I had a secret tryst. I fed him a few pieces of chicken liver and he looked rather pleased.

Yow Yow is a fiercesome cat in the neighbourhood, but when push comes to shove, those flyweight kitten bullies really lord it over him.

Top: Yow Yow being pushed out of the way by a kitten whose older half sister is standing by waiting to push in too.
Side: As the kitten approaches, Yow Yow is forced to eat quickly from the edge of the bowl.