Thursday, April 30, 2009

Masters of Slumber

Chester in Slumberland

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 t
he 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, the
y 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 a
t 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.

Pinky preparing for bed

Band of Masters

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


I am blowing at the single, wonderful candle (it lies about my age ^_^) so we can get at the cake. At the foreground is the handsome hairless hubby with my sister Hilda, obviously trying to feed him a cell phone so he won't mess with the cake. At right are brukekek Irene and Jefzy, their smiles saying, "At last! Humanda kang cake ka."

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: A survivor

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

Bandit update

Bandit: Up close and personal

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.