Friday, December 26, 2008

Doji is missing


Doji the dog next door went missing a few weeks ago. I thought he was out with his mum and dad a lot so it was a few days before I realised he'd gone missing. And as his dad wanted to give him a bath because of ticks (I know! I told him about Frontline!) Doji wasn't wearing his collar.

I hope that little dog has found a good home with people who think he's a stray. Doji was a kind and gentle person. We miss him.

Missing pets are always a nightmare. I've taken an interest in search and rescue for some time now, and have found some interesing papers online about the science of hunting for lost people.

However, there isn't one for lost dogs, which makes me think we should write one. I've made a start in tomorrow's Dog Talk article in The Star that talks about how to find lost pets.

In the meantime, here are some interesting web sites to check out:

Predicting Lost Person Behaviour: a basic overview of how the science works.

Behaviour Characteristicts (of the Lost) from the Canadian BC Council. Great if you have lost your kid while out nature rambling!

Also, if you're in Malaysia, send in a snap of your cat or dog with a caption and win a gift basket from Heartguard (dogs) or Friskies (cats). Send entry to:

Katz Tales and Dog Talk Photo Competition
StarWeekend
Star Publications
Menara Star
15 Jalan 16/11
Petaling Jaya 46350
Email: weekend@thestar.com.my

Don't forget to include your name, town and contact number so the prize can be sent to your home/office.

The picture is this week's Adopt Me! candidate Browny.

Browny was taught to sit and shake paws when he was little. But when he grew up, his family didn’t want to feed him.

Today he is at Friends Furry Farm where he gets on well with people and dogs. This 2 year old neutered male dog now needs a loving home.

He’s had his injections, heartworm and worming tablets. If you want to adopt him please email sabrinayeap AT gmail.com or sms to 016-6319018.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

COT Creepy!

A last minute note: please help Yvonne Foong save her eye by buying one of her T-shirts. Yvonne is one of my neighbours, I have met her and vouch this is for real.

To explain what's going on, this stolen from the Facebook page:

"For a good part of her youth, Yvonne Foong has had to battle Neurofibromatosis(NF), an illness of the nervous system that causes benign tumors to grow in her body. There is currently no known cure for NF.

This brave young lady has decided to fight her condition , by obtaining funds using her own resources and effort. The recurrence of tumors in her body has only fortified her resilience . She has turned her condition into her prime motivation to help others like her battle their medical condition.

A former recipient of the AYA Dream Malaysia-‘Most Outstanding Youth of the Year Award, Yvonne aspires to be a a Psychologist and therapist providing support to children who face similar conditions to her own.

All she asks, is that you buy her self designed T-Shirt for RM 15 (USD4.40) , which she hopes would provide her with the funds to Save Her Eye.

To place an order, send your preferred sizes and postal address to yvonnefmn AT gmail.com

Payment may be made by direct bank transfer."

Please place an order today.


Cats on Tuesday is hosted by Gattina.


Eeeek! He's waving at me!

Target continues to be totally creeped out by our lucky beckoning cat. Every time he jumps up ont he table and sees it, he creeps along on his belly ad growls at it. We're living with the scardiest cat in the whole wide world :-)

We're taking some time off this week to party and hang out. Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Weird But Wonderful Sphynx Cat

If you enjoy the weirder things in life, take a look at the hairless Sphynx cat.

These fuzzies have such fine thin coats that you can see their skin. Every wrinkle and bit of flab is revealed. Unlike their furry cat colleagues, the Sphynx can't hide their love handles - or their belly buttons!

Check out Katz Tales tomorrow in the print version of the Malaysian national daily, The Star, Weekend section.

The article also comes with a sidebar of information on what you need to know about pedigree cats and pedigree cat certificates.

Clip it out for too-trusting friends who may be caught out by unscrupulous breeders out to make a quick buck.!

In the meantime, here are some links to more information about hairless kitties:

Cat Fancier's Sphynx Cat profile

Don Hairless

Animal Planet About Sphynx Cats

Peterbald Cats

Wikipedia's Sphynx and Don Hairless.

Dragonheart and Merlin Sphynx blog

Also, if you're in Malaysia, send in a snap of your cat or dog with a caption and win a gift basket from Heartguard (dogs) or Friskies (cats). Send entries to:

Katz Tales and Dog Talk Photo Competition
StarWeekend
Star Publications
Menara Star
15 Jalan 16/11
Petaling Jaya 46350
Email: weekend AT thestar.com.my

Don't forget to include your name, town and contact number so the prize can be sent to your home/office.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Malaysia Cat Spit Superstition

My friend Sara who runs Kusar Cabana pub in SS15/4E, Subang Jaya, Malaysia, told me of this local superstition where you can stop yourself being allergic to cats by spitting when you see one.

Sara maintains that if you spit 3 times when seeing a cat, you won't have sneezes or wheezes. Nor will you have any sort of odd luck if you see a black cat, white cat, cat walking away from you, cat walking towards you - or whatever cat superstition you happen to believe in.

The thing is that Sara's kids also believe in this. So when they all drive past a kitty in the street, Sara can hear his brood spitting quietly in the back seat.

We are now nicknaming his car the Spit Mobile....

Any other cat superstitions out there? I have written about it before but have found some new ones:

If you hear a cat sneeze you're in for some good luck. - Italy
The life-giving rays of the sun are stored in the cat's eyes at night - Ancient Egypt
Cats tell tales and will gossip about their family - Holland

Au reading the newspaper while lying on Tom's feet isn't just being idle. His laser eyes show he's keeping the sun's energy giving light safe during the night!

Happy Cats On Tuesday. For more cat stories, check out the links in the menu bar or visit Gattina.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Party Time - And The Fuzzies Are Invited


There are two animal parties taking place this month.

Tomorrow Saturday 13th December: Yuletide season of love @ Sid's Pub, 34 Lorong Rahim Kaju 14, Taman Tun Dr, Ismail, 6000 Kuala Lumpur(Close to One Utama Shopping Centre) (Tel: +603 77277437) Dec 13 3PM-8PM

Message from Friends Furry Farm: "Celebrate this coming joyful season by spreading the joy of giving to those who are in need! There will be several activities lined up for the day such as Pub quizzes, Lucky draw with some fab prizes such as golden class tix @ Signature, massage spas, pet product hampers, etc. Grand prizes are pet leather bag carrier, 3-course dinner for 2 in the privacy of your own home, chocolate xmas hampers and so much more! There's also a surprise activity at the end of day where winners will get to enjoy dinner with some new friends - contributed by our gracious sponsors! Do bring your family & friends along this Saturday, Dec 13 from 3PM - 8PM @ Sid's Pub, TTDI. Happy hours extended till 9PM!"

"While Sid's pub is a dog friendly place - On that day however, we are cautioning visitors not to bring as the pub space is small & we're afraid the dogs might go ballistic with the noise and crowd! The contribution per raffle ticket is RM50 and it comes with a free pint & free bar snacks from 3-7pm plus pub quizzes & lucky draws as in poster..."

"We are negotiating with food suppliers to get reasonable rates to purchase dog food for the farm but as you know, most 20KG bags goes for RM100 above. So as you can see, RM50 is less than half the amount we need just to purchase a 20 kg bag."

"And we are feeding one 20kg bag per day for 60 dogs at least (yes, I know that is sad but that is the current ratio!) and the target is to achieve a 3-month food supply. So if you think about it, the contribution is at bare minimum... Hope you can spread the word around that we really need help as you can see, the dogs really do need it!"

"FFF will also be selling raffle tickets @ Sid's Pub every weekend evening, starting Nov 28.. Every Fri & Sat from 8pm till 11PM Sundays from 12PM - 7PM"

"And of course, on the day itself Dec 13, 2008... See you there!"

On Saturday 20th December: The SPCA Animal Shelter in Jalan Kerja Ayer Lama, Ampang will be having a Christmas Paw-ty on Saturday, 20th December 2008, from 12.00 noon to 3.00 p.m.

The prices for the buffet lunch is RM20 per adult and RM10 for children under 12. Guests are required to bring a non-gift wrapped gift (pet food, toy, treats or pet supplies) for the shelter animals, to help offset the costs of operating an animal shelter.

(NOTE: ALL FOOD SERVED IS HALAL AND THERE WILL BE VEGETARIAN AND VEGAN OPTIONS)

Please e-mail Ee Lynn from Combat Loaded and Mission Ready at wongeelynnATyahoo.com if you are interested in attending the said event, and please spread the message to your friends. Well-behaved pets are most welcome to attend this function and will not have to pay for the lunch.

For the month of December, we are also collecting pet food and supplies, old towels and blankets and old newspapers for the animal shelter as part of our "Do The Animals Know It's Christmas?" campaign.

For your information, the SPCA has a Charity Shop selling pre-loved goods and we also hold Jumble Sales at least twice a year to raise funds for the shelter. If you are spring cleaning your house and have unearthed lots of old clothes, books, knickknacks and electrical appliances to give away, or simply have old newspapers and old towels for reuse, please donate them to the SPCA for its very worthy work of helping animals that cannot help themselves.

To tie this back in with environmental and green living issues, the SPCA performs an important environmental service by vaccinating and neutering pets, surrendered animals and stray animals, thus reducing the risk of zoonosis, disease and stray overpopulation.

Thank you and please help us spread the word.

If you've time and are in KL/Klang, please go and offer your support.

Puppies For Christmas

Buying a puppy for Christmas looks like a great idea but looking after a pet takes time and money. Tomorrow's Dog Talk in the Malaysian national daily, The Star, Weekend section, looks at what it takes to keep a dog healthy and happy.

The article covers vaccinations, parasite prevention, and diet costs per month and per year. It also looks into how much time you need to spend with a pet dog to keep it happy and healthy.

If you're thinking of buying a pet, please do read it first. And do consider that giving someone else a dog is often a disaster as it is a present that demands loads of commitment. Every year there are thousands of dogs dumped at shelters a month after Christmas and Chinese New Year. Almost all are impulse buys or unwanted gifts.

If you want to buy a dog for the holidays, buy a cuddly one from a toyshop!

In the meantime, here are some links to more info about basic dog care:

Dog Inoculation Schedule and Information

Are Annual Vaccinations Necessary?

Frontline that kills fleas and ticks.

Heartgard against heartworm and other worms.

People Food That Kills Dogs

About Lonely Dogs


PS I came across this picture in Wikicommons that shows Kevin Reese and his military working dog Grek. I like it because it shows how close dogs and people can be. Reese and Grek are obviously great pals. Pity they're in a warzone though.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

COT: Pill Time!



Au and Target had to take their worm tablet last week. Au is a veteran at this. He sits upright on my lap while I open his mouth and pop in the pill. Our senior kitty swallows, gives me a filthy look, and wanders off. He then doublebacks and demands a treat for being good.

But Target is a different kettle of fish. Our junior kitty wriggles and struggles. He won't take his pill the nice way by sitting up. Instead, I have to turn him upside down on my lap, hold the scruff of his neck, lever open his jaw carefully with one finger, pop in the pill and stroke his throat till he swallows.

Here is a video of Target taking his pill. Isn't he wriggly?

video

For more Cats on Tuesday, visit Gattina.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Cat Nip Kitty


I bought Target and Au a ball of dried cat nip in our local pet shop this week.

Experts say that catnip family consisting of some 250 herbs in the Nepeta genus contains nepetalactone, a feel-good compound that many cats adore.

BUT! Kittens aged less than 3 months don’t react to the stuff at all. In some cases cats aren’t interested until they are 1 or 2 years old.

Also, the enjoyment factor appears to be inherited. About half the cat population thinks it’s the bees knees - the other half can’t be bothered. Guess what Au and Target think of nip?

Katz Tales tomorrow in the Weekend section of the Malaysian national daily The Star is all about cat nip and cat toys. For instance, did you know that there are no safety standards for pet toys in Malaysia or Singapore? This means there might be unsafe toys out there with lead based paints, bits that can be chewed off and swallowed and more.

For cats who like nip, one way out is to buy your own nip (presticide free!) or grow it, and then use it to make your own toys.

#1: take a square bit of plain washed cotton or jeans material some 20cm by 20cm. Wash it, dry it, iron it, place dried catnip in the centre, then fold in half and sew up the sides with thick cotton. Your kitty will love to wrestle with this toy. If you're not the sewing type, place nip in the toe of a sock and knot.

#2: wind a thick unpainted, undyed hemp rope around a tree trunk (buy in garden centre). Wrap hemp along with dried lengths of nip plant around your scratching post to encourage your cat to scratch claws here instead of on the sofa!

Check it out tomorrow, and in the meantime, here are some cat nip and poisoned pet toy links:

How does catnip work?

Pet Owner Tests 24 Chinese-Made Dog Toys For Lead

Tests Find More Toxic Pet Toys

Consumers Respond to Toxic Wal-Mart Pet Toy Stories


Dog Toys - the Unregulated Market


Wikipedia's Catnip
Also, if you're in Malaysia, send in a snap of your cat or dog with a caption and win a gift basket from Heartguard (dogs) or Friskies (cats). Send entry to:

Katz Tales and Dog Talk Photo Competition
StarWeekend
Star Publications
Menara Star
15 Jalan 16/11
Petaling Jaya 46350
Email: weekend@thestar.com.my

Don't forget to include your name, town and contact number so the prize can be sent to your home/office.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

COT: We've Been Memed!

Kitikata-San tagged us for a meme! Can you believe it?
Here are the meme Rules:
1. Each player starts with 8 random fact/habits about themselves.
2. Tagged players write their own blog about their 8 things and post these rules.
3. A the end of your blogpost, choose 8 people to be tagged and list their names.
4. Leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged and to read your blog.

Well, here goes, here are 8 random facts about Au:
1. I was born in Malacca, Malaysia in The year of the Tiger.
2. I have a big white tummy.
3. My favourite treat is ham.
4. I waken my slaves at dawn because I like to eat early.
5. I love to hunt rats and mice.
6. I love wrestling with Target. See me in the picture looking all blurry cos I'm going so fast.
7. I can't decide if my favourite spot is my box, the sofa or the garden wall.
8. My tail is very short and has a kink in it, proving I'm a true Malaysian cat!

And here are 8 random facts about Target:

1. I was born in Subang Jaya, Malaysia in The year of the Pig.
2. I was named after the creamy circles on my sides.
3. My favourite treat is boiled chicken liver.
4. I have my own two pillows in bed.
5. I love my snizzle circles, my pingpong ball, and my string.
6. I love wrestling with my big brother Au. That's me in the picture putting on my fight face.
7. I have a very small meow but I'm using it very effectively!
8. My tail is long and looks straight but if you look closely, it has two kinks, proving I'm a true Malaysian cat!

We tag these cool cats to participate in this meme:

Luzie and Olli in Germany who hold tails,
Maia in Holland who got locked in the desk last week,
Poppy who is ill and his friend MeowMeow
Any one of Miilo's Dearest because they are new friends and we'd like to learn more,
Abel who is now living with the Spice cats, and
Copito, the hamster who likes to visit cats!

For more Cats On Tuesday visit Gattina.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Storm Warning



In Dark Age Europe storms were associated with the Norse goddess Freya who traveled about on the crest of a storm in her chariot pulled by two smashing looking felines. As Freya was the bringer of fertility and love but also death and magic, dog owners appreciated advance warning from their pets that Freya was on the way.

The Welsh kept pet dogs to warn them of the presence of the hounds of Annwn and the red-eyed Gwyllgi, both supernatural spectres that forecast death. In the rest of the British Isles devilish dog spirits were called Bargest, Gytrash, Black Shuck. Skryker, and Ronguer d’Os aka the Bone Crusher.

In Ancient China barking dogs meant the presence of ghosts. Mediums would smear a little fluid from a dog’s eye on their own in order to see these ghosts too.

Whether you believe in the supernatural or not, there's no denying dogs can predict an incoming storm so accurately that you’re better off deciding if you should take in your laundry on your dog’s recommendation than on what you can see in the sky or what yesterday’s weather report said.

Check out tomorrow's Dog Talk article in the print version of the Weekender in the Malaysian national daily The Star.

In the meantime, here are some links to further information on dog superstitions and thunderstorms.

Devil Dogs

Encyclopfdia of Superstitions, Folklore, and the Occult Sciences of the World (Volume II)

Fiske, John, 1842-1901 Myths and myth-makers: Old Tales and Superstitions Interpreted by Comparative Mythology

Paul Henri Thiry Holbach, 1723-1789 Superstition In All Ages (1732)Common Sense (English)

Charles Southwell Superstition Unveiled

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Libra Cat



We're not sure when exactly Target was born but from looking at Cat Scope that arrived in the email this morning, I think he's a Libra.

Today's cat scope says to libras "If you're cuddling, go all-out and really show the humans how it works! You've got so much good energy running through you that you can hardly believe how deep it all can get when you try."

Target has been a complete cuddlebug all morning so this looks like it fits.

Happy Cats On Tuesday! For more cats, click on the link in the box below or visit Gatinna



Cuddle me please!


Friday, November 21, 2008

ATTACK!

It's been raining the last few days so Au and Target are stuck in the house. But they're not bored! They have running wrestling matches up and downstairs, on the rug, on the sofa, in the kitchen.... It's cat wrestle mania time :-)



For more about Au and Target, check out Katz Tales in the print version of the Weekender in the Malaysian national English daily, The Star.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

COT Crashed Out Cat



Au has been out all night and is now collapsed on the sofa in his best Napoleon pose.

Happy COT!


Friday, November 14, 2008

Dog Talk Dangerous Dogs

Dogs are not enjoying much good press this week. The world media showed pictures of President Bush’s dog, Barney, biting Reuters reporter John Decker last weekend. At the same time Singapore headlines revealed politicians are mulling a dangerous dog policy that would forbid some types of fighting dogs to live in Singapore.
Thor, a 7 week old American Pit Bull Terrier asleep in his bed.
This week's Dog Talk in the Weekend section of The Star, the Malaysian national daily, takes a look why dogs bite and dangerous dog legislation.

As promised, here are some extra resources:

How to stop your puppy biting

Another how to stop your puppy biting article

Best barking dogs

Worst guard dogs

Best security dogs

Spoof: dog bites reporter: why he did it

BBC how to fend off a dangerous dog

Wikipedia Dangerous Dog Act

Wikipedia Dog Attack and Dog Bite


PS these images courtesy of WikiCommons. Top is Thor, a 7 week old American Pit Bull Terrier asleep in his bed. Bottom is an adult American Pit Bull Terrier out for a walk while wearing a muzzle and leash.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

WW: Guess What This Is

I took this picture in Chengdu, Shichuan, China last week. Guess what people would do here. Answer is in the first comment space....



Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Chengdu and Sulky Cats


I've been in Chengdu in China all last week, courtesy of SilkAir, Chengdu Tourism Board and Sheraton Hotel Chengdu. It was terrific! If you can make it over, I definately recommend it.

While I had a whale of a time, the cats were not amused. Au saw me pack and left home immediately. He sat in our neighbour's garden and wouldn't even say goodbye. Target was all curious and when I left the last thing I saw was his sad little face at the garden gate.

They weren't left at home alone; Tom was here to serve them. But cats being conservative creatures, both would rather we kept together - always. And preferably less than 1 meter apart at any time.

When I came back Target flung himself at me but Au turned his back.

Au says, "Speak to the tail!"

Our senior cat only made up with me when he realised he needed my cooperation to get at his ham that we keep in the fridge. But even so, relations remain somewhat frigid. I can see I'll have to bribe him with chicken tomorrow.

It's going to be a while before Au snuggles up to me companionably with his trademark tail-on-foot - his way of giving a cuddle.

I need some days to get my pics in order so will do pics on Wednesday. In the meantime this is how I got to Chengdu and where I stayed:

Silk Air is efficient and friendly. Flights are three times weekly from Singapore to Chengdu, on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Flight time is about 4hr 35mins. Promo fare for all-inclusive return to Chengdu starts from SGD600. Bookings are to be made by 30 November 2008. Valid for travel before 31 March 2009. Check here for more about Chengdu attractions. Or visit the Tourism Board here for more info.

The Sheraton in Chengdu is a 5 star hotel with 6 star service. Freindly, luxurious, yet the staff are friendly and helpful without that glazed look you so often get in places that guarantee doing the job right but have that impersonal touch. Check here for more about rooms and options.

Happy COT! For more kitties visit Gattina.

Friday, October 31, 2008

How dogs think

Last week I witnessed a dog being smacked for coming when called; his mum was upset because the dog had been running out in the street and it has no traffic sense. Anyway, this prompted me to consider the differences between our thinking and dog thinking.

I've been reading up on some animal behaviour research and have come across some wonderful stuff from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. One piece in particular, Making Inferences About the Location of Hidden Food: Social Dog, Causal Ape was very interesting.

Check out Dog Talk tomorrow in the print section of the Malaysian national daily The Star, Weekend section. And check out the original paper at in PDF format or in Google's HTML version.

For more excelent dog research check out Juliane Bräuer's site and Juliane Kaminski's site.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Magical Cats

Black death
Check out what the Black Death was and how it spread througout the world.

Cat Quotes
A list of cat superstitions from around the world, with links to cat quotes, proverbs and other things catly in the sidebar. Great for kids who need a little extra something to spruce up a holiday project.

Halloween Scary Cat check out Spooky's scary look!

Your Black Cat
A mix of black cat press stories from around the world, discussions about black cat superstitions, and black cat rescue stories. Lots of interesting trivia that makes this blog worth regular trips.

Cat Familiars
Find out more about black cats as witch familiars and follow the links to books and other resources with more information. It’s a bit Western but there’s lots of interesting information here.

Black Cat Woman
Check out the reformed cat burglar from Spiderman comics. Black cat woman started off as a normal ultra-sexy human but managed to get her claws into superhuman powers: retractable claws, infrared vision, superb balance and other catly skills.

Black Cat Media
A library of black cat pictures and artwork from Wiki Commons. Most images here may be used freely on not-for-profit web sites - and on homework projects!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Target's Gotcha Day!

It's official: Target will have been with us 1 year tomorrow!

Target is now Au's best friend. They play wild games, go hunting together and have long purring sessions on the living room rug. Target is also an excellent office supervisor. At this moment he's fast asleep on my desk! We love having Target here and from the way he purrs up a storm every day I guess he's happy to be here too.

Here are some pics from his first year with us.

Target's early career as office supervisor involved learnign NOT to kick the keyboard off the desk.Lying upside down in his favourite place.


And in his second favourite place!


Playing rough tough kitty games with his pet human...


Target as a stealth kitty commando...


And with his best pal: Au.


Happy COT! For more kitties visit Gattina.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Dog Talk: Of Friends and Fences


Most dogs guard their territory fiercely but Doji, the little spitz mix who lives next door to us is a real sweetheart. He stands at his gate every morning, waiting for his friends to come round and say hello.

Read more about Doji in Dog Talk in Weekender, in the print section of the Malaysian national daily, The Star.

For more about dog thinking, check out these pages:

Wolf.Org for kids colouring pages, pics etc. Click here for ideas about wolf pack etiquette.


The Fox Site has loads of info on this member of the doggy family. Check this page for information about fox family behaviour.

Wikipedia's Dog Society page and Dog Pack page are also good kicking off places. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

COT: Complete Fool

I was taking out the rubbish a week or so ago when I spotted Au preparing to leap onto the neighbour's car. Our neighbour loves his car and I am sure he doesn't want little dusty paw prints all over it. So I stopped Au mid bounce, stroked him and had a quick look at his paws.

Au suffered the intrusion with his usual impatient disdain. He never makes a fuss but he gives me that look, you know, the one that cats have for their human slaves that says, "Quit messing around with the royal personage that is my catliness, OK?"

I always talk to Au and Target so I explained what was on my mind. "Just make sure your feet are clean when you visit, OK? I don't want you to put dusty prints all over the place. Especially all over that nice clean car."

"Sure," said my neighbour. He'd been polishing his fender and had been out of my sight until he stood up. A real gentleman, he was obviously agreeing with me just to keep me happy, but I could see he thought the conversation was odd. Possibly because our neighbour never puts dusty prints over cars parked in the neighbourhood.

"I was talking to Au," I said apologetically.

My neighbour nodded politely but I could tell he thought I was nuts.

I talk to Au and Target when I'm doing the washing up, getting dinner ready, fiddling about with laundry and all the usual horrible stuff that goes into keeping the house from turning into a complete slum. They talk to me when they come in from their walk, when inviting me to a game, when they want a cuddle/fresh water/biscuits.

When Au calls up the stairs, I can tell if he's just announcing he's home, if he wants me to come down and see something (like a dead rat he's brought me) or if he's looking for a chat and he can't figure out where I am. Target's vocab is still quite small, but he's learning rapidly.

Most of the people I meet don't talk to animals. Our present neighbours include some animal lovers so I'm generally in excellent company. But when we lived in Kajang and Malacca our neighbours there were taken aback to hear Au and Scoop chatting to us, and coming when I called them. One used to give me such a wide berth that I think she thought I was a witch.

Never mind. Au is now snoozing on my car instead of the gleaming vehicle next door, and hopefully he'll remember not to stray with dirty paws. If not, I'm going to have to present peace offerings. Cake or car polish :-)

Happy Cats On Tuesday! For more, visit Gattina or check the link box in the menu bar.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Pets Offer Medical Benefits

I've always said that living with cats helps you keep sane. What's even nicer is that scientists studying how our relationship with pets affects our daily lives have come up with proof!

Australia’s University of New England found people living with cats experience fewer psychiatric disturbances than those living without cats. Scientists think cats offer unconditional that allows their humans to enjoy life more. Check it out here.

Cats and dogs are also life rafts in times of family crisis. Cancer researchers in the US found that people who are nursing sick relatives are able to stand the stress better if there is a pet in the house. Family researchers in the UK found that kids tolerate divorce better if they have a pet to talk to.

The elderly also benefit from living with cats and dogs. The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society reported senior citizen pet owners are less likely to be depressed, better able to tolerate social isolation, and more active than those who do not own pets. Check it out here.

Medical staff have long known that patients who have regular chats with pets are more receptive to treatment. In 1792 mental patients at the York Retreat, England were given pets to help them recover. Today traumatology centres, children’s hospitals and elderly care centres regularly bring in pets to speed recovery and promote wellbeing. Check it out here.

Evidence that pets help you reduce the effects of stress has been so convincing that insurance companies in the US, UK, Australia and other countries offer lower life insurance rates for pet owners.

An American Heart Association study discovered that cats and dogs are better at reducing stress-related increases in blood pressure than standard medical drugs. In the study 48 stockbrokers taking an anti-hypertension medicine were given a pet. It was found that that those with animal companionship reduced the increase in blood pressure that came with stress by half. Check it out here.

Also check out this general article on Health Benefits of pets the US National Institute of Health and the Delta Society

For more, check out the print version of tomorrow's Star, the Malaysian national daily, Weekend section.

Adopt Us!
Bring a little sunshine in your life by adopting brothers Jerry and Jazz. (Don't they look cute?) Jerry is a chatty cat who loves to talk. Jazz is quieter of the two. They are both the best of pals and love to cuddle and play. They were born in February this year and were brought to the Penang SPCA Shelter on 21st May 08. They are now hoping to find a loving home. For more information, please call 604-2816559 or email spca4060 AT streamyx.com.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

COT: water cat


Au's fascination with water continues. Here he is checking out the washing machine, and making sure the mop bucket is full. When I run a tap, Au shoots over to take a look. He's even making me get up in the middle of the night to flush the loo for him so he can see the water swirl.



















I think he needs to see a cat mental health professional!

For more Cats on Tuesday, visit Gattina....

Friday, October 03, 2008

Mournful Mutts


The basset hound with its big jowls, long floppy ears, and big mournful eyes is one of most recognised breeds in the world. Think Droopy Dog, Fred Basset, and the Hush Puppy! Yet surprisingly the basset doesn’t make the top 20 in the British, Australian or American Kennel Club listings most popular breeds. And that’s odd because bassets have so much going for them.

Tomorrow's Dog Talk in the Weekend section of national Malaysian Daily, The Star will be all about bassets.

It also has a cameo appearance by Bessie (pic left). Bessie is only 8 months old but this pedigree basset has already had a litter. She’s only just arrived at the SPCA Selangor shelter and needs a good home. She likes people and also gets along with the other dogs in the shelter. For more information, call 03-4256 5312 or 4253 5179.

And as promised, here are some basset links:

Fred Basset Cartoons

Lists of most popular dog breeds

Caring for Bassets

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Jojo's Message about Animal Day


Cruelty to animals is commonplace in Malaysia. One owner reported his dog Turbo was recently taking from his home and beaten to death by dog catchers. You can read his blog entry here.

But there are some people who are trying to make things better.

Jojo is the Friends Furry Farm three legged spokes dog who helps raise the profile of our pet friends in Malaysia.

I'm handing (or pawing?) this week's Tuesday cat post over to his message:

Hi there! How is everyone getting on ? A very interesting and exciting event will be happening in town......soon.

Yes, its The Celebration of World Animal Day!!! Woof ! Woof !

Venue : Bangsar Village Shopping Center 1
Time : 10am to 7pm
Date : 4th October 2008 ( Saturday )

Lots of fun and exciting Animal Welfare Activities awaiting you and your pets to participate.

And yes, Joy and I on behalf of all rescued furry kids at the farm will be Thanking You on this special day.

I am getting real excited to take part in the World Animal Dog Walk and to pose as one of the models in the Children's Art Competition. ( Children aged between 8 to 12 years old )

Well, I think the happiest moment will be the celebration of Furry Friends Farm's 2nd
Anniversary !! Let us get together to sing merrily “ Happy Birthday To Furry Friends Farm......”

A special soap called The Samak Soap will be introduced to Muslim Dog handlers.
Also, we will be handing out THE ' SPY ' KIT to all participants in the World Animal Day Dog Walk . Want to know more about THE ' SPY ' KIT ? Come and join us with your pets, you will discover how wonderful and important about this ' SPY ' KIT.

Dr Babe, Dr Kylie and Dr Sugar will be looking forward to your dogs to sign up for the 4th Dr Dog Examination in November. We will then find out if your dog is qualified to be one of the Dr Dog Malaysia.

We will also be meeting our Feline Guests from the Pet Finder.

Woof ! Woof ! See you there !!!

From your Special Friend , Jojo ( Furry Friends Farm's 2nd Ambassador )


For more information about this exciting event, please call :

Chris Chan - 019-3803650 or email to chanchristina63@yahoo.com
Siew Siew - 012-3772328 or email to mantaray60@hotmail.com

Furry Friends Farm does good work in helping rescue and rehouse strays, promote dogs as therapy assistants and much more. Hope to see you there!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Lonely Cats

Of all the animal myths that float about, one of the most perplexing and enduring insists that cats are solitary creatures by nature. The truth is that cats have extended families and live according to a complicated code of social behaviour. Check out Katz Tales in tomorrow's print version of The Star Weekend section.

For a paper on what happens to kids and other species when deprived of social contact, check History Module: The Devastating Effects of Isolation on Social Behaviour.

Also in tomorrow's Star: Cat Duo Seeks Loving Home!
Moe and Ginger (pic right) were born somewhere around January 2008. These two cats are siblings. Both cats are very affectionate and friendly. They adore visitors and love to rub themselves on your feet. And they love to pose whenever a camera is around!

Moe and Ginger are vaccinated and neutered. They are looking for a loving home that will take them in together. For enquiries, call the SPCA Penang at 604-2816559 or email spca4060@streamyx.com

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

COT Pet Rock Scoop


Scoop passed away a year and three days ago. We still miss our big cat. He was such a great person: his corkscrew tail, his deafening meows that got him the nickname "the marching band" and his unfailing appetite for chicken liver and killing rats.... he was a good friend.

Anyway, Sook Yeng sent me a gift for a pet rock made by Suzi Chua. And here he is! Isn't he glorious?




Click here to see how he was made.

Happy COT!