Friday, November 30, 2007

Bark In The Night

Dog Talk is out tomorrow in The Star, Weekend section. Doji, the dog who lives next door to us is barking. Doji's friends, and I include myself in that, are happy that he's feeling so confident. Only a few months ago Doji was far too shy to bark at anyone.

dojiBut 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

Save The Tiger

Cats on TuesdayThis post is dedicated to the Malayan tiger, in the hope that action taken in the next fifty years will prevent the complete destruction of this wonderful animal living in our forests.

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.tiger

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.

tigerPlease 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


It's great fun watching the kitten, Mr Snizzles (who now rejoices in his grown up name, Target)playing wild games around the house. He is practicing his hunter skills and is systematically intimidating the downstairs rug, the pingpongs we gave him, and all teh hairbands he can find.

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

COT: War!

Yesterday afternoon I heard a cry for help. Mr Snizzles was lying outside the garden gate, teetering on the edge of the storm drain, yelling in panic. Yow Yow, the big brute street cat who beat up our Au two weeks ago, was standing over him, tail fluffed up, growling nastily.

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.

Yow Yow and one of his kittens eating breakfast

Cats on TuesdayBy 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

Happy Cats On Tuesday!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Paws OK

Au is a lot better now thanks to some nifty tablets from the vet. He's walking about as usual but we're still careful with him to make sure there isn't another relapse.

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

COT: Sore Paw

Cats on Tuesday
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!

Au and Snizzles

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

COT Hari Singh

Cats on Tuesday
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.

Hari Singh

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

BFF Cat Style

Au and SnizzlesIt took less than a week for Au to make friends with Mr Snizzles (His kitten name while we think of a suitable grown up cat name).

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!

Au and Snizzles
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.

Au and Snizzles

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.