Tuesday, October 30, 2007

COT: Kitty in the Box

Cats on TuesdayThe kitten is running wild, bouncing all over the house, and shouting shrill yips of delight when he sees us. Au is curled up in a new box that arrived with a new fan. He's enjoying a quiet morning snooze and groom session.

AuAu 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

New Arrival

kittenWe've a new inmate in the house. A small marmalade and cream boy cat, a rescued stray who has been fostered by a very kind Malay lady in our neighbourhood.

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.

Au playingOn 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: Doggone Cruel Puppy Days

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

COT: Moving On

Cats on TuesdayAu is in bed, recovering from a busy weekend. He found and destroyed a mouse nest, chased me up and down the stairs, and watched the stray cats through the kitchen window. He's been a busy kitty.

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.
Scoop enjoying a cuddle
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

Fuzz Face

Scoop and AuAu is sitting down to his third breakfast this morning - and it's not even 8 o'clock yet.

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

Selayang Pound Problem

I received this horribly distressing email last night, and hope that by posting it here at least a few abandoned pets will be given a chance for a new life.

PS Please note that this email is discussing Malaysian pounds!


Dear all,

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.

Natasha Fernz
Website: www.cleopatrathelabrador.com
Email: cleo@cleopatrathelabrador.com
Tel: (+6) 016 322 8816


Saturday, October 06, 2007

Dog Talk

black lab
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.

Swansea Jack memorialAlso 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

Kids and Cats

Mademoiselle Julie Manet with cat - Pierre-Auguste RenoirAbel Cheng from parentwonder.com wrote the other day to invite me to guest blog on kids and cats.

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

COT: Clingy Kitty

Since Scoop passed on, Au has been a little bit lonesome. He's so used to having a friend along on his walks, and pushing him at breakfast, that being an only cat is a bit odd.

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