Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Taking a short break

Here is Target, relaxing with the feet of the other personal servant. Or maybe he's passed out? Hmmmm.

We're taking a blog break. See you next Tuesday!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Kitty Collapso

Au has been running around all night. He was guarding the gate last night when we went to bed, sitting bolt upright on the garden wall like a miniature soldier.

When I looked out of the window at about 3AM he was still there. I know he had a biscuit break just before dawn (because the little so-and-so woke me up for it!) and then he was back outside.

I have no idea what was going on, but as we passed a peaceful night, I guess our senior cat took care of whatever potential trouble was out there. Maybe more firecrackers???

Anyhow, he is now crashed out on the sofa with all four paws in the air, too tired to even open his eyes. I'm squizzling him just to say hello, and to get back at him in a subtle way for making me give him breakfast at dawn.

Yes, living with cats has put an evil streak in me too.

Please note: Dog Talk is out tomorrow in the print version of Weekender in The Star, the Malaysian national daily. It's all about grooming and how a bad haircut can threaten your dog's health.

As an extra, here are some great videos with great basic grooming tips.

How To Groom Your Dog

How To Groom Your Dog

How to Deal with Bathroom Breaks while Grooming Your Dog

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Toctober Au

cats on tuesdayIn honour of Toctober, here is a view of Au's bottom. As you can see, he is a very prosperous cat.

I'm deadlining today so this is a short one. Long post on Friday, and Dog Talk will be out in Weekender, The Star, this Saturday. Print version only so you have to buy it!

Pelf will be saving turtles with a blogathon where she and her friends will post once per hour beginning at 9pm on Oct 25th, for 24 hours. Check it out, here.

Friday, October 16, 2009

A touch of devilishness

Happy Deepavali, everyone! We’re celebrating in a small way at home with tandoori on the BBQ yesterday and mutton curry with friends tonight.

As it’s a holiday, there won’t be Weekender Star published tomorrow. Which means there will be no Dog Talk published this week. So for those of you who demanded their “fix” (you know who you are!) here is an extra story. It was originally intended to be mostly about dogs but once Au got into it, he took over. Hope you like it.

ALSO: do remember that a compendium of favourite stories has now been published in a book, Katz Tales, Living Under The Velvet Paw, by Ellen Whyte, October 2009 Marshall Cavendish ISBN 978-967-3035-64-9. It’s been lying in the warehouse for more than a month now but should be in the shops soon. Will keep you posted.

Now on with Dog Talk…

A touch of devilishness

Bushy, the little Yorkshire Terrier who lives across the street from us, was on patrol in his garden this morning at dawn. So the second the newspaper delivery guy arrived, our little Cerberus was barking as loud as he could.

When he gets excited Bushy also jumps in the air. He’s quite a springy little dog; he can bounce a meter or so off the ground with each leap. But because Bushy is so little, and his bark is quite big, each woof sets him back about a foot.

I always laugh when I see Bushy doing the bouncing barking dog routine but Au thinks it completely unamusing.

This morning our senior cat was having a lie-in when Bushy started up. Au staggered off his rug, made his way to the window and peered out. Knowing that Bushy will bark for a good 5 minutes, Au shook himself and went outside. He jumped up on the wall, putting one ear back to show how incredibly put he was by Bushy’s barking.

Bushy of course has no idea that his fierce defence is totally useless. As Bushy sees it, the newspaper man sneaks in every morning, intent on entering Bushy’s domain. Bushy thinks that his barking drives the man away. So for our furry neighbour, each morning begins with a triumph: the driving off of the wanna-be invader.

Unlike his daft neighbour, Au knows perfectly well what the newspaper man, postman, rubbish truck and other passers-by are all about. Our cat supervises them all from the comfort and security of his wall, looking rather superior as he watches everyone else work about him while maintaining an air of insouciance. We kid him on that this approach makes him excellent senior management material.

Very sometimes we have a passer-by who wants to touch Au. I noticed the electricity meter reader paying homage to his fuzzy majesty only last week. Au was well within reach but he gave the poor man such a steely glare that his admirer hastily tucked his hand behind his back and merely praised Au from a respectful distance. From Au’s satisfied gaze I could see this is exactly the sort of behaviour he would like to see more of.

While Au won’t give Bushy (or any other dog) the time of day, Bushy watches Au with great interest. He doesn’t understand how Au can keep his cool while strangers are about. Where Bushy is all pep, zest and fire, Au is so cool he could chill sushi.

Bushy has been flummoxed by Au ever since he was a pup.

When Bushy first met Au, our cat was with his older friend Scoop. Bushy stuck his nose rudely towards the cats, and Scoop gave him a ding on the ear that set the little dog reeling. Scoop passed away two years ago, but if Bushy gets too close, Au gives him a wallop on the nose just to remind him who’s boss.

Luckily Bushy is a sweet little dog. He just shakes his head, backs off and looks sideways at Au as if to say, “Now what’s up with you, pal? I’m just saying hello!” Bushy may be loud, but he likes cats. When a neighbourhood stray put a kitten in his garden last week, Bushy didn’t do a thing – to her or the kitten.

Bushy may be loud but he’s a dear and he doesn’t deserve to be bopped on the nose by our rude fuzz. When I tell Au off for hitting Bushy, he turns big green eyes on me with a look that says very clearly that he is totally unrepentant. I know I can’t change Au’s opinion. He says dogs are inferior and that’s that.

But at least I have stopped him from doing one thing: Au used to hop over to Bushy’s house, sit up on the wall and dangle his tail over the edge. As poor little Bushy jumped up and down, trying desperately to reach that twitching tail, our evil fuzzy’s green eyes would gleam with devilish amusement.

For me that scene really sums up the essential difference between cats and dogs. Dogs are mainly about trying to do the best job possible. Like the Marines, they want to be the best of the best. But cats have a nasty sense of humour that delights at causing mayhem. And I’m ashamed to admit that this is just one of the reasons why I like cats so much. There must be a touch of the devil in me too.

If you like this story, please don’t copy it but provide a link to this page. Thanks!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

COT Whisker counting

I tried to count Target's whiskers the other day but he's too ticklish. Every time I get through counting the big ones, he starts to wriggle, purr and chew my fingers. So I got clever and took his picture.

I see 15 whiskers here. That's 3 more than the average. Hmm, does that mean he's smarter than the average cat or just fuzzier?

Please note there will be no Star Weekender printed this weekend because of Deepavali (Hindu festival of lights holiday). So there will be no Dog Talk! To make up for it, I'll write a Katz Tales and Dog Talk cross-over story, and post it on this blog this Friday.

FYI Katz Tales the book is still sitting in the warehouse. The distributors are getting ready and HOPEFULLY the book will be out in the shops soon. I'll let you know when it happens.

For more kitties, check the side menu or visit Gattina.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Loving Purr-Fluff

Some people say that cats only like people because of the food we give them. Maybe there are such cats about but Target is not one of them.

When I was making tea this morning, Target rubbed up against my ankle and said, "Meep," meaning, "I'm hungry". While I prepared a bowl of chopped chicken liver, he rubbed and purred and purred and rubbed.

When I put the bowl on the ground, he ignored it. Instead of going to his breakfast, he rolled over on my feet, purred and demanded a cuddle.

We cuddled and fuzzed and purred for ten minutes. Then I had to tell him I had to go upstairs to the office. When I put him down, Target got set to come with me. I had to remind him to eat his breakfast.

Target was starving. He bolted down his food and then came rushing upstairs into the office. He's now sitting pretty, purring at me and squeezing his eyes to send me cat kisses.

Opportunistic cats? Not that I know of!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Coco is missing in SS14 Subang Jaya Malaysia

Update: Coco is back home! Sharlene says, "Coco came home after disappearing for 2 weeks, smelling really nice! We suspect she was taken in by a good family who bathed her, then she escaped and came home."

Sharlene and Her Spice Cats report that Coco, the family pooch, is missing in SS14, Subang Jaya, Malaysia. Sharlene writes,

"On Wednesday (31st Sept 2009) morning, Coco bit through the gate and escaped from my mom's backyard. We searched everywhere around the neighbourhood and asked the neighbours. We also went to PAWS and MPSJ dog pound in Puchong, but we did not manage to locate Coco."

"Coco is a small dog, weighing about 7kg, with short black and brown fur. She is about 1.5 years old and is extremely friendly. Her 2 hind knees were problematic ever since she was young and she is constantly under medication and supplements."

"We miss Coco terribly and sincerely hope whoever see or find Coco to contact my mom at 016 653 8278 (Mrs Phuah)."

Friends, if you know someone in Puchong, please spread the word?

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

COT Cat Quiz

Cat lovers spend hours and hours petting, cuddling and stroking, right? But how well do you really know your cat? See how well you do with this short quiz... Au with his laser eyes is standing by to help.

1. How many claws does the average cat have? 18, 20, 24, 25?
2. How many whiskers does the average cat have? 20, 24, 28?
3. How many teeth does your pet cat have? 20, 24, 30?
4. Which animal has the best hearing? Cats, dogs or people?
5. Cats walk: like camels and giraffes by moving the front and back legs on one side first, and then the front and back legs on the other side; like dogs and horses by moving the left hind leg first followed by the left front leg, right hind leg, and right front leg.

Answers in the first comment box by 9AM Malaysian time!

See more cats at Gattina's or click on the left menu for our cat pals in the blogosphere.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Formerly Feral Friday

Last night Tom went to bed and I stayed downstairs to finish Night Watch, that brilliant book by Terry Pratchett.

Everything was peaceful. The TV was off. There was no music playing. The main light was off too and I was reading in a puddle of lamp light. Target and Au were sitting on their rug, cleaning their faces and paws. Then the peace was shattered by a low growl from outside.

Target and Au froze. Target's eyes were huge. (see pic!)

They peeked out of the window and saw Yow Yow stalking up the drive. Yow Yow is a nice boy to me, but our resident stray tomcat puts the fear of god into all the kitties in the street.

I stood up, waved Yow Yow away and closed the door. Au was so relieved that he rubbed my ankles and gave me an approving yik-yik-yik. Target placed himself at my ankles and followed me upstairs. Only when he was firmly placed on my pillow did he relax.

It's just as well Au and Target don't live on the street anymore. Our formerly ferals are HUGE cowards!

Forgot: Katz Tales is out in the print version of the Malaysian national daily, The Star Weekender section tomorrow. Check it out!