|Who's up for a staring contest?|
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Monday, June 18, 2012
The following is Leena's message to wellwishers on her birthday:
To my friends, fellow cat and animal lovers who remembered me today, A VERY BIG THANK YOU! I am sorry that it took time before I could respond. I had to bring our beloved Rex home from the hospital and arrange a small, solemn funeral. Perhaps Rex wanted me to remember him whenever I celebrate my birthday, that's why he chose this day to say goodbye. I was hoping that he could still spend some moreyears with us, but as the vet said, he is already a super senior Chow. He is only 11 years old, and now that he's gone I ask myself where did the years go? It seems only yesterday when he was an adorable, huggable puppy. Time does fly. To the most handsome chow in the world, until we play again. We will miss you Rex.
Saturday, March 17, 2012
The picture shows cats playing atop some books -- cats on books, literally speaking.But that's not what I mean. This is about cats and the books they like. It's common knowledge among observant pet breeders that cats adore books and start to read as early as two weeks old, as soon as their eyes open. In their kittengarten stage they start with kiddie fare like Dr. Seuss's A Cat in the Hat, then move on to Saki's Tobermory, though not one of them likes what happened to the only member of their species that had gained the ability to talk.
It is not unusual to find some of the more sedate kitties preferring T.S. Eliot's juvenile Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, from which the smash Broadway play, Cats, was adapted. I have even seen kittens, in private moments, humming the theme song, Memory. One of them even extended his reading to Eliot'sThe Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. This poem has nothing to do with anything feline, but cats do like the somber sway and tenor of the poem.
Kittens have a deep fondness for specialized magazines about them: Cat's World, Kittens, Cat Fancy, and occasional articles in National Geographic about their favorite country in this planet, Egypt. They venerate their ancient ancestors who lived in luxurious palaces with pharaohs. The top honchos really knew how to give cats their rightful place -- way up in the pantheon of nobility. Talk about catbird seats.
One of Hemingway's early short story, Cat in the Rain, is a kitty favorite. Another oldie-but-goldie is Capote's Breakfast at Tiffany's, where, in the film version, an orange tabby plays a crucial role (also in the rain) to bring the angst-ridden Audrey Hepburn to the arms of budding-writer-cat-sympathizer George Peppard. Yes, cats swing to the slow tune of Moonriver.
Would you believe songs by Cat Stevens
are still extremely disliked by erudite and musical cats? They hiss at Morning Has Broken, yowls greet Wild World, tuffs of fur are tossed against the composer of Father and Son. Kittens and old cats have on record the sin of the erstwhile-adored Cat Stevens, talented singer turned idiotic Islamic convert, who with great cacophony supported the crazy Ayatollah Khomeini's fatwa against prolific writer Salman Rushdie. For writing The Satanic Verses, Rushdie had been sentenced to death by whatever means in the hands of any Muslim who succeeds in making Rushdie shake hands with his creator, asap.
Of course, they dote on the late James Herriot series of books about his growth and fame as a veterinarian who loved, saved and took care of big farm animals and the smaller pets like dogs and -- ahem! -- cute kittens. The title of four of Herriot's books were the first stanza of Hymns For Little Children, an 1848 poem by Cecil F. Alexander: All Things Bright and Beautiful, All Creatures Great and Small, All Things Wise and Wonderful, The Lord God Made Them All.
Cats read for leisure, not for career: they'd rather take catnaps, sniff catnips, and stay cute all their life. After all, that's what pets are for.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Ragdolls are invariably white furred, blue-eyed amiable cats -- like Tabby in the photo above. An orange stray is suckling hungrily, minutes after the kitten was picked up in a street corner. Tabby is the only mother cat of any breed in our home who is willing to succor any kitten in distress. And this is not the first time she has saved a kitten thrown to die, either by hunger, exposure to the elements, or to be squashed under the wheel of a passing car. People can be cruel if they are ignorant. I like animals more than people.
Back to Tabby and the new foundling, which, due to his orange color, has been named Julius. Tabby -- named after Stephen King's wife, Tabitha -- has given birth to five kittens almost two months ago, but that doesn't matter -- any kitten of any breed, color or origin is welcome to join her brood anytime. In the photo, one of her kids is looking on as Julius clings to his adoptive mother.
Julius' hunger is not limited to milk; he also needs the comfort and warmth of a mother's presence. A squeaky meow indicates that Tabby is away from his side. So, sometimes Julius, eyes still unopened, will crawl until he finds a warm body to cling on. Tabby's kids, who turn two-month-old today (2011 March 20), have acquired the amiability and gentleness inherent to Ragdolls; they let Julius cuddle them.
This is not the first time Tabby has succored and saved other cat's child. I remember April 2009, when Eric, a friend, brought a baby Ragdoll to us because the kit's mother could not produce milk. Eric came to us, hoping to find a way to save the feeble one, which was already weak from starvation.
Here is an excerpt from my blog about that incident:
"I hoped that our Tabby, who recently gave birth to three healthy kittens, will succor a fourth. If not, it’s just a matter of a few hours before the weak Ragdoll dies. Hoping fervently, I placed the scrawny kitten’s fate before Tabby.
Without hesitation, Tabby nipped the kitty’s nape and added it among her brood. The small one, eyes still closed, instinctively found a teat and sucked weakly as we watched. A few minutes later we relaxed a bit when the baby continued feeding. At least a spark was kindled.
A few days later, our tiny refugee was crawling about the room. We gained something precious – this world, so sordid, could not be so intolerable if from time to time it allows a spluttering life to go on.
Then the allotted weeks passed, and the kitten opened an eye. We waited for the other eye to open, but it remained shut. When Eric visited his kitten, he was elated to see the improvement. When he saw the closed/open eyes, he said the lovely rascal looked like a bandit." (So the survivor's name became Bandit -- a cute bandit who stole our heart.)
Then in October 2009, Ondoy devastated Metro Manila, including our neighborhood. Two days after the super-typhoon, Leena found three newborn kittens thrown in front of a pastor's house. Naturally the three became a part of our household. And Tabby, who had just given birth to six kittens a few days earlier, tried to bring one of them to add to her brood. But that is another story.
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Cordell, our very affectionate Maine Coon, never fails to entertain the family, friends and visitors. Strangers are instantly turned into fans by his winning ways. This big cat is not shy, no siree. He meets visitors, even those coming to the house for the first time. Once he plumps down in his Cordellious way (tummy side up) guests would start ooohing. You know they've fallen when they ask if they can hold him, which was what Cordell wanted in the first place.
But wait, there is a problem. This heavyweight (literally) tips the scale at 20 pounds. So carrying him can be tiring. But what the heck, carry Cordell they do, excess weight and all. Here, Princess refused to go home without holding the Big One on her lap.