Tuesday, March 30, 2010

COT: We're BACK!

We've had problems with our "broadband" service (it was slower than a 28K modem!!!!)  We've had problems with Blogger.  We've had problems with our blog.  Now we're BACK and happy to be out and about again. 

We're still trying to keep to the old URL but that may not be possible.  I'll know on Friday and will post a note then.  Visiting you all this week!

Now for the latest gossip...

Au has a small abscess on his cheek.  We went to the vet yesterday who checked Au out and put him on pills.  Au is fast asleep now but I'll take a picture of him and post an Au Speaks Out on Friday. 

Target is fuzzy and purring as always.  Here he is with his snizzle circle under his chin and all curled up on my desk.  I'm rearranging my office so we're rather busy this week.  But by Friday I plan to have a snazzy work place!!

About Boris:  Boris is now living with a retired lady teacher.  He has finally achieved his dream and is a lap cat.  He's also got a garden and is out and about for (very short) walks.  He's keen to be inside, having to live on the street for so long.  I'm visiting him later this week. 

BEST OF ALL: BORIS NO LONGER SPRAYS!  This confirms neutering a 2 year old boy has great results. 

For more cats, check out Gattina's Cats on Tuesday.
 

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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

COT: Boris Finds A New Home

Thanks to fellow cat pal Farida, our Boris is off to a new home today. He's going to live with a retired teacher who wants a cat to sit on her lap while she watches TV, and to sleep on her bed at night.

Boris is going to ADORE this woman.

Since he got "the snip" ten days ago, Boris has stopped marking our gate, door etc. He's been in and out of the house (much to Target's absolute horror!) and has not marked indoors either. All good news.

Don't you just loooove happy endings?

For more cats, check out Gattina's Cats on Tuesday.


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Monday, March 08, 2010

Monday Writers Craft Online: The Editor: Foe or Friend?

When you write a piece, do you ask someone to edit it for you or not? For me it depends on what I'm doing. These blog posts are written in a few minutes and posted as-is. It's a blog, so I'm not very particular about grammar, style, etc. (Yes, feel free to make rude comments!)

However, when I write for a publication, my work is always subbed/edited. Some writers really object to having their work edited; I think it's an excellent thing.

OK, if you're unlucky enough to get a bozo going over your work, then they can ruin you.

I remember years ago someone at the NST "improving" my work by adding in split infinitives, subject-verb errors, and other grammar horrors. When the piece was published it sounded like something you'd hear at the wet market. I suggested to the editor back then that she take a look at the "improvements" before letting them through. As it turned out, she'd already seen the piece, checked whose errors they were, and removed that sub.

For the most, however, I find that editors improve my work. When I write something, I tend to become blind to errors and glitches. Editors can cast a fresh eye on work and then pick up errors or smooth out style problems.

Eric Forbes of MPH picked out over a dozen grammar errors in the Logomania manuscript; Howe Leng of Marshall Cavendish did the same with Katz Tales.

Magazine eds like Margaret Sebastian and Tara Barker can swap around a few paras, add in some sub headings and turn an OK article into a winning feature.

If you ask me, I'd say editors are a writer's second-best friend. Cats are of course the writer's best friend - but you knew that, right?

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Saturday, March 06, 2010

Neutering older tom cats

Boris is out in the print version of Weekender, the Star's Saturday supplement today. For those of you who are interested in reading up more on neutering tomcats, check out these resources.

For a quick Q&A about what happens during neutering, and how if affects your kitty, check out Pawprints.

For cheap neutering clinics, ask Klinik Kembiri in Selangor, or call your local SPCA for a list of place near you. I don't have all the numbers but you can try calling this list to ask for info.

Now, when researching the sidebar for this week, I asked The Clinical Animal Behavior Service - UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, what they thought about neutering older tomcats. They said to read,

Effects of castration on fighting, roaming, and urine spraying in adult male cats.
Hart BL, Barrett RE
J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1973 Aug 1;163(3):290-2

This study demonstrates that cats that are castrated as an adult decrease their urine marking behavior just as significantly as those that are castrated to prevent problem behaviors. The problematic behavior can decrease quickly or slowly, and there is no way to tell if your cat will be in the 'quick' category.

I can't find the original paper online anywhere, but there is this followup that is excellent!

Determining the optimal age for gonadectomy of dogs and cats
Margaret V. Root Kustritz, DVM, PhD, DACT
Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, Saint Paul, MN 55108. (Kustritz)

There Are Too Many Unwanted Kittens. Don't Litter, Neuter!

Friday, March 05, 2010

Repost Friday: Cat Poo Coffee

Katz Tales is out in The Star, Weekender, print version only tomorrow. Get your copy while it's hot!

This Friday Repost is from 19th May 2007

I thought this was a spoof but it isn't:

The world's most expensive, and rarest, coffee is Kopi Luwak. It is made in neighboringcivet cat Indonesia from coffee beans found in jungles.

And guess what, the only beans used are those that have been passed through native civet cats.

The price is a cool $1,000 (RM4000) a kilo.

As Wikipedia reports, "Civets are omnivorous, supplementing a meat diet (both hunted and scavenged) with fruit, eggs, and possibly roots. One of the Common Palm Civet's favorite fruits is the coffee "berry." The coffee bean within often survives, and it is sometimes gathered and sold as caphe cut chon (fox-dung coffee) in Vietnam or Kopi Luwak (civet coffee) in Indonesia."

Anyone for a cuppa? I thought Yuk but apparently the coffee connoisseurs in Oz are digging in happily. See here and here for news articles.

I wonder if Scoop and Au would like to eat a few beans? It might be a whole new cottage industry.

PS This image of the civet cat was originally called "Malaiischer Palmenroller, Paradoxurus hermaphroditus Schreb. 1/5 natürlicher Größe." It was created by Gustav Mützel and comes from Brehms Tierleben, Small Edition 1927. It's copyright is now expired so the image may be used by anyone.


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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

COT Cat Wrestling!

It's boiling hot in Malaysia - some 38C and sticky to boot. Nasty. The cats spend most of their time floating upside down underneath the fans, but at night they're wrestling.

Pity we missed the cat-o-lympics!

For more cats, check out Gattina's Cats on Tuesday.


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