Friday, December 25, 2009
Tabby's new babies turned two months old on Christmas Eve. They're a bunch of lively, playful, purring, affectionate fur balls. They love chicken and tuna, and climbing up my pants leg (ouch). Playing with them can be tiring, but FUN!
Friday, November 6, 2009
A message from Mau
My life is likely to last ten to fifteen years. Any separation from you will be painful for me. Remember that before you acquire me.
Give me time to understand what you want from me.
Place your trust in me. Remember that before you acquire me.
Don't be angry with me for long and don't lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your friends, and your entertainment. I only have you.
Talk to me sometimes. Even if I don't understand your words, I understand your voice when it is speaking to me. Be aware that however you treat me, I will never forget.
Remember before you hit me that I have teeth that can easily crush the bones in your hand, but I choose not to bite you.
Before you scold me for being uncooperative, obstinate, or lazy, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I don't understand what you ask of me or perhaps I am not feeling well, not getting the right food, been out in the sun too long, or my heart is getting old and weak.
Take care of me when I get old, you too will grow old.
Go with me on difficult journeys. Never say " I can't bear to watch," or "let it happen in my absence." Everything is easier if you are there.
Remember, no matter what, that I love you. Unconditionally.
I got this beautiful composition online; I don't know who wrote this so I cannot give credit properly. Nevertheless, I hope, by adopting this piece, many cats and pet lovers will benefit from such an affectionate message.
Mau is a diminutive of Maurin. Her father's name is named Mau, so...
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Sheba and Kim, our Bengal queens, gave birth last month a day apart! It was a happy sight seeing the two moms clean and feed their babies. Sheba had only one kitten, but she adopted all of Kim's babies so she had her hands full cleaning and looking after them. Kim must have been so thankful to have another helpful mom beside her.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Molly, a Ragdoll kitten I love, passed away yesterday. She was just three months and 10 days old.
If you don't know cats, you'll never feel the tremendous love they can generate -- both ways. If you earn a kitten's trust and affection, they will let you know by various gestures in cat body language and varieties of purrs.
If a kitten climbs into your bed and peers into your face, you have just received one of the greatest honors kittendom can bestow.
Cats, like any animals, do not make eye contact with other species they do not trust -- any form of contact may lead to danger. So, if a kitten, defenseless and loving, approaches you, familiarizes herself with what you look like, and purrs with pleasure in your embrace, you feel at peace with the world.
Unlike the majority of people in this planet, cats do not complain. They dislocate a bone in their leg, they just limp quietly, no meowing to call your attention, until you notice the infirmity and hurriedly takes her to the vet.
Molly belonged to a brood of five, one who died in infancy, and that tore my heart. In many births, perhaps it is inevitable that there must be a few deaths. But you don't get used to death. I am not strengthened by the loss of every creature that is capable of such affection.
Some rich people who love and respect pets do not sell their kittens -- they give them as gift to their rich friends. We are not rich, so we have to recoup the cost of veterinary care -- vaccinations, injections for deworming and vitamins, food, litter boxes, toys, and lots of toilet paper they unravel. Cockroaches they catch are free. Love -- both ways -- is priceless.
When the new owners take each of the kittens from our home, I console myself that whoever can afford a Ragdoll is capable of giving her a better life than we can. So we silently bid them Mr. Spock's leavetaking: "Live long and prosper."
When a kitten cries, it may be seeking your companionship, or asking you to cuddle her -- to her and your heart's delight. In Molly's case, she called from the bedroom to indicate that something was terribly wrong.
Angel, her owner, who even hired a yaya to care for Molly, thought the kitten just needed some attention and affectionate strokes. To Angel's distress, she found Molly on the floor, lips pale and breath fading with every weakening meow. Molly did not make it to the vet.
I hope that in due time, Angel will recover from this heart-rending loss. I wish for her the strength of heart to continue loving and caring for these helpless, lovable creatures, who entrust their well-being to their owners, trusting that their affectionate purrs and meows will beget them love.
I hope that Angel will remain that -- an angel-- to her little furry friends. My heart, shattered by Molly's sudden, unexpected and mysterious death, goes out to you, Angel. I wished Molly would have lived long and prospered with you. It was not to be. I am sorry.
My gratitude goes to every cat I encountered; they broadened my mind's horizon. From the kittens I learned that every living creatures, great and small, are capable of great affection and should be treated with that consideration in mind. From that point of view, I am trying to have more tolerance for the meanest and, at the same time, noblest creatures on Earth -- people.
I still find most people harder to tolerate than pets. There are many valid reasons, but if some of our species are capable of caring for the Mollys of this world, then I think there is still hope for us.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Dealing with cat hair
Cats are delightful. However, dealing with the hair they shed is not. There will be cat hair on the sofa, bed, desks, under the table, on your clothes. Heck, there will even be some strands on your plate when you sit down for dinner.
When I was a novice cat owner, I asked a friend how she deals with unwanted fur. “I love my cats, ergo, I love the hair they shed,” she chirped.
Of course, not everyone shares her view. Caressing a smooth, silky pelt is a joy, but picking off cat hair from your favorite black shirt is something else. Those lint removers are no help either, and no matter how much packaging or adhesive tapes you use, there will always be cat hair swirling, wafting, circulating in your home. Brushing your cat will not solve the problem, unless you strip her bald.
(A bald husband at home is ok, but cats have more dignity than humans.)
No matter how much you vacuum or sweep, the problem is perennial. Cat owners have learned to deal with the hair problem in their own ways. I stock up on packing tapes, having noticed that I pick up many more hair from my shirts/pants that way. In fact, I use those tapes to clean up the bed sheets, too, since a number of my cats would sometimes share the bed.
While combing or brushing will not solve the problem, it is important to groom kitty, even if you see her licking her coat endlessly. Brushing will help avoid mats, especially for long-haired cats.
Dr. Jon of petplace.com has these tips on how to handle hair tangles:
Removing hair mats is fraught with potential complications. Many mats are firmly attached to the skin, so you must be extremely careful not to cut the skin as you cut off the mat. Many small mats can be removed with thorough brushing. If mats remain, try to make the mats smaller by brushing the hair near the mats.
Once you are sure that the mats can only be removed by cutting the hair, then go for the scissors. Clippers are the safest and best way to remove matted hair. Unfortunately, most people do not own clippers and must make do with scissors. Be very careful. For severely matted pets, it is easier and safer to see a groomer for professional help.
Monday, May 4, 2009
Cats and water
What is it with cats? They will ignore their water bowls and drink from other sources – a pool, faucet, or even a puddle!
Water is important not just to humans but to cats as well. Since felines are not known to be great water drinkers, cat owners should do their best to lure their pets to drink more. Cats love running water. They will be bowled over a drinking fountain.
Dr. Jon of petplace.com has these suggestions to make your cat drink more:
1. Make it more appealing. Keep the water bowl clean. If you wouldn't drink from it, chances are he won't want to either. Wash the bowl every day and disinfect it regularly to control bacteria. Change the water several times a day.
2. The better the water tastes, the more likely your cat is to drink it. Try adding some water from a can of tuna to change the taste, or use bottled or filtered water. Cats are cool ... and that's the way they like their water.
3. Cats prefer to drink running water. In nature, cats are drawn to moving water. It tastes better (most cats don't like to drink water out of a bowl).
Our Lotus validates this observation. Lotus, if she can help it, will not drink from her water bowl. She waits at the sink, and quickly dunks her head when the faucet is opened. She paws at the dripping faucet, giving herself a shower in the process.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Masters of Slumber
No one knows the art of sleeping like cats. And they should, since they spend 12 to 16 hours a day slumbering away.
Felines are pros when it comes to finding the perfect place to curl up. When it’s hot, they will find a cool spot to get some zzzzz's. And when temperatures drop, they instinctively know where to find a warm spot – under a quilt, on your head, on your stomach.
Cats are not nocturnal creatures, they are crepuscular -- meaning they’re most active at dawn and dusk. This explains why your furball will start making a racket just before sunrise. Of course, he wants you to wake up for a little play and gives a little hint, like nipping at your nose.
My lovely Pinky is no different. She will gamely massage me to sleep (she has mastered the art of kneading my tummy). But at the darkest hour before dawn, she will stir things up a bit by jumping from her window perch onto the bed. Which is unfair, considering that I tiptoe around when she’s in dreamland. Oh, well.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
My birthday -- April 21 -- seems to have interesting if not harmonious balance: I share celebration with Queen Elizabeth II and... *ehermm!* ... Adolph Hitler. I'm sure there are millions more of Taureans who share the eccentric day with me. It's like an electric dream. Yeah!
Close-up of the cake before it was attacked by guests, siblings and nephews and nieces. Photo below the cake shows Eric, the one who brought it. As a reward he gets to sing. To paraphrase Simon Cowell: "You were born to sing ... somewhere in this wide universe."
Part of the horde who attended the celebration. Relatives and friends are always a blessing, especially if they bring gifts. They gladly posed despite their rumbling stomachs. They scrambled to table right after this photo shoot.
Foreground is Quennie, obviously well-fed, and Irene Scissorhands joyfully showing how many pieces of cakes she devoured. Standing behind them is good friend Peping, perhaps thinking: "Ang lakas ngang kumain!"
Above is sister Hilda crooning courageously. Accompaniment provided by Chester at his scratching post, keeping time with the tune. The videoke gave them a high five.
My favorite niece Kata cuddling Robin during a break at the eating and drinking session. She's smiling because she ate all the blue rose icings from the cake.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Cats in a High-Tech World
Far in time from those images of cats in ancient Egypt, these modern pictures of kittens are depicted in phonecards from Japan, where obviously there is affection for the playful felines, as there is anywhere in this planet. It's a good world as long as affection can exist.
Japan, like the Philippines, produces terrific stamps that will make certified philatelists drool. Late in 2008 the Hello Kitty sheetlet set came out (see above) and instantly became one of the best-sellers abroad. My husband received a letter from a friend in Tokyo and the envelope, made of heavy linen paper, is a masterpiece! My husband immediately requested for and got 15 sets.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Bandit, an only child, almost did not live to see this world. He almost died because his mother’s teats were blocked and he could not get the life-sustaining milk. Trixie, his mother, lost a previous offspring for the same reason, so Eric, Bandit’s guardian, was frantic when he brought the starving kitten to me.
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.
After a few days the blind eye popped open, resulting in a marked improvement in agility. He joined his bigger “siblings” in rough play, although he could not run as fast or jump as high. Then we woke up one morning to see him on our bed, peering at our sleepy faces. In a few days he was jumping all over, over our hips, over the pillows, over everything. The uber cat.
Ragdolls by nature are very affectionate. People who can respond to their silent gestures of affection had learned to read the body language of cats. Anna, who took Bandit to a new home yesterday, understands and appreciates that affection, and her power of love, I’m sure, will give Bandit the full measure of happiness that a lease on life has bestowed on the cat we love.
Live long and prosper, Bandit.
Monday, April 6, 2009
Anna, who adopted Bandit in her home and heart, emailed this delightful report: Bandit's first week with her.
As soon as I got him (April 15), I rushed to my vet (VETS IN PRACTICE, Mandaluyong) to have him checked out. Dr. Nick cut his nails, gave him his second shot, and cleaned his ears -- Bandit bawled over this. Then I went to Rustan’s in Rockwell to buy his food and milk.
I had no hesitation about bringing him home. I know my four other cats wouldn’t mind; however, I was surprised by the reaction of my youngest cat (Pepper), who was kind of angry because he’s used to being the baby. On the other hand, it was awesome to see my three dogs quickly adapting to Bandit. They hovered over him and licked his face most of the night and the following day. With all the spittle of affection, Bandit looked like a drowned rat!
He now knows how to climb on my bed, which is really high. He lies beside me and purrs while the air-con is on him; he rubs his face on the pillows and on my sleeve. He takes a flying leap off the bed to chase the tail of Phoebe (seal point Ragdoll and mother to all.) He romps around the house as if he’s been here all his life.
He wakes up at 5 a.m. to eat. He likes milk. Then he proceeds to the litter box to deposit tiny yellow submarines. He plays outside with the other dogs (No Fear!) in the backyard -- under supervision, of course. He has discovered the birds and butterflies.
I do a lot of cross-stitching; once he stole several of my threads and ran away with them, leading to a chase in which the other cats joined in. Jack, the cocker spaniel, followed. Jack has grown up with the cats, so he’s like a baby, too, all 19 kilos of him! He eats on the same plate as the big cats. He also likes boiled salmon, which Bandit prefers to chicken.
I’ll attach pictures of Bandit as soon as I’ve downloaded them so you can see his progress. By the way, his weight is 1.2 lbs (as of Friday. March 20).
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Cats on stamps
This Cats of the World set of stamps with souvenir sheet was issued in 2006, bringing joy to cat lovers everywhere. The design, as usual, is top quality.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
You call the loo the “tray"
You don’t feel dressed without a fine layer of cat hair
You treat fur in your food as extra fiber
You say “sorry” when you tread on a cat toy in the dark
You pat the sofa beside you when you invite a guest to sit down
You sleep clinging to the edge of the bed because your cat looks sooo sweet spread-eagled across the middle
You absent-mindedly put your child’s dinner plate on the floor
You spent more on cat toys than kids’ toys at Christmas
Your neighbors refer to you as “the mad one with all the cats”
You carry more photos of your cats than of your kids
You keep calling your partner “smokey”
You’ll only be friends with people if your cat likes them
You watch rubbish on TV because Smokey is slumbering on the remote
Your cat sleeps on your head. And you like it.
When people ring you, you insist they have a little chat with your cat as well
When there’s a new visitor, you introduce them to your cats by name
You lay a place for your cat at the table, or on the table
Your answering machine message ends with a “miaow”
Your partner says “it’s me or the cat” and you don’t hesitate…
From the book "Everything Cats Expect you to Know" by Elizabeth Martyn
Monday, March 9, 2009
A cat's love
In fact, throughout a cat-person bond, the two may switch roles without realizing it. On occasion, a cat will bring home a dead or half-dead animal as a token of her love and respect (a touching, if gruesome, method of confirming the bond).
Bringing home "love offerings" of this type is a sign of attachment and belonging. There are others that require less clean up.
When the bond is strong, a cat will:
Tend to follow you around. She may not follow immediately, but after a moment or two she might casually saunter into the room where you're sitting (as if she's trying to play the whole thing down). Your cat may jump in your lap or may just find a chair nearby. Either way, she prefers to spend time with you.
Become slightly depressed when you leave, and greet you enthusiastically upon your return. She may learn to recognize the sound of your car pulling up and run to the door, expecting your presence.
Send subtle cat signals of affection to you throughout the day. These often take the form of classic "cat kisses" – staring at you adoringly, then squinting or slowly closing her eyes.
Send not-so-subtle signals, such as rubbing her head upon you (marking you with her scent), and of course, purring.
Lying on her back, with her stomach exposed. This is a sign of trust, because your cat is now in a vulnerable position. Many owners mistakenly think this is a request for a belly rub. It usually isn't.
This is a cat's affection at its most intense. They can't hold your hand, and they are not given to jumping up and kissing you. There's no difficulty to describe this sort of relationship as love.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Most Expensive Cat in the World
What is the most expensive cat in the world?
Would you pay $40,000.00+ USD. for a cat? Thought not, neither would we, but Cindy Jackson of London, England did back in 1999.
Cindy bought Cato, a second generation Bengal cat from breeder Esmond Gay for a meowing sum of £25,000.00 GB, making Cato the world’s most expensive cat…maybe.
In 2003 Esmond Gay claimed to have bred a cat worth £100,000.00, but critics criticized him on this claim.
Esmond Gay also claims to have sold cats for as much as £65,000.00, but these claim were never proven.
I got this on http://www.mostexpensiveintheworld.com/most-expensive-cat-in-the-world/
Thursday, February 26, 2009
How to give a cat a bath
Cats have claws and will not hesitate to remove all the skin from your body. Your advantage here is that you are smart and know how to dress to protect yourself. Use canvas overalls tucked into high-top construction boots, a pair of steel-mesh gloves, an army helmet, a hockey face-mask, and a long-sleeved flak jacket.
Use the element of surprise. Pick up your cat nonchalantly, as if to simply carry him to his dish. (Cats will not usually notice your strange attire. They have little or no interest in fashion as a rule.)
Once you are inside the bathroom, speed is essential to survival. In a single liquid motion, shut the bathroom door, step into the tub enclosure, slide the glass door shut, dip the cat in the water and squirt him with shampoo. You have begun one of the wildest 45 seconds of your life.
Cats have no handles. Add the fact that he now has soapy fur, and the problem is radically compounded. Do not expect to hold on to him for more than two or three seconds at a time. When you have him, however, you must remember to give him another squirt of shampoo and rub like crazy.
He'll then spring free and fall back into the water, thereby rinsing himself off. (The national record for cats is three latherings, so don't expect too much.)
Next, the cat must be dried. Novice cat bathers always assume this part will be the most difficult, for humans generally are worn out at this point and the cat is just getting really determined. In fact, the drying is simple compared with what you have just been through. That's because by now the cat is semi-permanently affixed to your right leg.
You simply pop the drain plug with your foot, reach for your towel and wait. (Occasionally, however, the cat will end up clinging to the top of your army helmet. If this happens, the best thing you can do is to shake him loose and to encourage him toward your leg.) After all the water is drained from the tub, it is a simple matter to just reach down and dry the cat.
In a few days the cat will relax enough to be removed from your leg. He will usually have nothing to say for about three weeks and will spend a lot of time sitting with his back to you. He might even become psychoceramic and develop the fixed stare of a plaster figurine. You will be tempted to assume he is angry. This isn't usually the case.
As a rule he is simply plotting ways to get through your defenses and injure you for life the next time you decide to give him a bath.
But at least now he smells a lot better.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
So many cats, so little time
Finally. I can sit down and write. I didn't know too many cats could wipe out 24 hours in a day so easily. 24 hours? Heck, it's just a blink. There just isn't enough time to bathe, groom, feed, play, feed, massage, clean litter boxes, massage, feed, babysit 13 cats and three kittens. Not to mention brush, bathe, feed, and play with four dogs.
So keeping cats must be tiring, you say. Tiring? Not when you love bathing, grooming, feeding, playing, massaging cats or cleaning their litter boxes. It is exhausting! And their upkeep can burn a hole in your pocket, or checkbook, or credit card, if you're one of those who managed to hold on to those plastics. Cats, unlike dogs, have no masters. They have slaves. Dogs will look at you adoringly and follow you around for giving them their chow, but cats will reward you a haughty glance for boiling that chicken, slicing it into nice small pieces (so kitty won't bust a gut chewing on a large piece), and serving it on a clean nice plate. If you get lucky, Miss Kitty will wound around your leg to show her appreciation for all your troubles. Never mind that you got an angry gash from tripping down the stairs. Oh, kitty's display of affection is more than enough to make up for all the scratches. I certainly don't mind the cuts brought by my adorable cats.
So where is the reward in cat keeping? Let me count the ways. Because my feline masters eat up my time, I no longer go to the parlor. It's also been a while (two years?) since I had a manicure or pedicure. Because I'm afraid of leaving them for long periods (like an hour), I have eschewed travel. We watch movies together (at home). And we dine together (they insist on keeping us company at the dinner table). So thanks to my furry bosses, I have saved some bucks that would have otherwise gone to such trivial human needs as a hair cut. Oh, and did I say I get my massage for free? Thanks to Pinky, who insists on kneading my tummy when I am in my threadbare sleepwear. With her claws unsheathed.
And best of all, they keep pests away. A sibling limits her visits because she can't stand having cat hair on her clothes. A cousin refuses to come inside the house because his daughter is deathly afraid of cats. And friends don't come for tea or coffee, they don't like cat hair on their brew. Guess they're just being snotty. Coffee with a bit of cat hair tastes just fine to me.
How to give a cat a pill
1 Pick up cat and cradle it in the crook of your left arm, as if holding it like a baby. Position right forefinger and thumb on either side of cat's mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand. As cat opens mouth, pop pill into mouth and allow cat to close mouth and swallow.
2 Retrieve pill from floor and cat from behind sofa. Cradle cat in left arm and repeat process.
3 Retrieve cat from bedroom and throw away soggy pill.
4 Take new pill from foil wrap, cradle cat in left arm, holding rear paws tightly with left hand. Force jaws open and push pill to back of mouth with right forefinger. Hold mouth shut for a count of ten.
5 Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and cat from top of wardrobe. Call spouse from garden.
6 Kneel on floor with cat wedged firmly between knees, hold front and rear paws. Ignore low growls emitted by cat. Get spouse to hold head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into mouth. Drop pill down ruler and rub cat's throat vigorously.
7 Retrieve cat from curtain rail, get another pill from foil wrap. Make note to buy new ruler and curtains. Carefully sweep shattered figurines and vases from hearth and set to one side for gluing later.
8 Wrap cat in large towel and get spouse to lie on cat with head just visible from below armpit. Put pill in end of drinking straw, force mouth open with pencil and blow down drinking straw.
9 Check label to make sure pill is not harmful to humans, drink one beer to take away taste. Apply Band-Aid to spouse's forearm and remove blood from carpet with cold water and soap.
10 Retrieve cat from neighbour's shed, get another pill, open another beer. Place cat in cupboard and close door on neck to leave head showing. Force mouth open with dessert spoon, flick pill down throat with elastic band.
11 Fetch screwdriver from garage and put cupboard back on hinges. Drink beer. Fetch bottle of scotch. Pour short drink. Apply cold compress to cheek and check records for date of last tetanus jab. Apply whisky compress to cheek to disinfect. Toss back another shot. Throw away tee-shirt and fetch new one from bedroom.
12 Ring fire brigade to retrieve cat from tree across the road. Apologise to neighbor who crashed into fence while swerving to avoid cat. Take last pill from foil wrap.
13 Tie cat's front paws to rear paws with garden twine and bind tightly to leg of dining table, find heavy duty pruning gloves from shed. Push pill into mouth followed by large piece of fillet steak. Be rough about it. Hold head vertically and pour 2 pints of water down throat to wash it down.
14 Consume remainder of scotch. Get spouse to drive you to Accident and Emergency Department. Sit quietly while doctor stitches fingers and forearm and removes pill remnants from right eye. Call furniture shop on way home to order new table.
15 Arrange for RSPCA to collect mutant cat from hell and ring local pet shop to see if they have any hamsters.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
"Of all God's creatures, there is only one that cannot be made slave of the leash. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve the man, but it would deteriorate the cat." - Mark Twain
"No matter how much cats fight, there always seems to be plenty of kittens." - Abraham Lincoln
"With their qualities of cleanliness, discretion, affection, patience, dignity, and courage, how many of us, I ask you, would be capable of becoming cats?" - Fernand Mery Her Majesty the Cat
"I have studied many philosophers and many cats. The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior." - Hippolyte Taine
Everything I know I learned from my cat: When you're hungry, eat. When you're tired, nap in a sunbeam. When you go to the vet's, pee on your owner. - Gary Smith
The naming of cats is a difficult matter. It isn't just one of your holiday games. You may think at first I'm mad as a hatter. When I tell you a cat must have three different names... - T.S. Eliot
When I play with my cat, how do I know that she is not passing time with me rather than I with her? - Montaigne