Manja Cats, Singapore & Us

Manja Cats: Tigger, Ve Ching, Harmony & Missy (in order of adoption); Singapore: Where we are currently living; Us: Alex's British, Tarsier Girl is Singaporean.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Harmony & Ve Ching's Extremely Short Fight

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Best Sticky Date Pudding in Singapore

Okay, okay, so I don't know any other place in Singapore that sells Sticky Date Pudding, but this one has got to be one of the best, if not the best! Alex and I were shopping at Tanglin Mall yesterday and stopped in at Caffé Beviamo for an early afternoon tea. We shared the Sticky Date Pudding which was absolutely yummilicious! And if like me, you don't like dates, don't worry, you won't be able to taste them at all. Hmm... I wonder if there's really any dates in it... :) Actually taste-wise, it reminds me a lot of the sticky toffee pudding that you get in England. And oh, if you happen to order a beverage at Beviamo, don't order the Iced Lemon Tea. It's a rip-off at $5.50 a glass. It's not only expensive, it's so bland that it's almost tasteless. I can get much better tasting Iced Lemon Tea at the coffeeshop at Serangoon Central for a fifth of the price.

World's Biggest Handphone

Yesterday, while Alex and I were walking past Forum Galleria, he nudged me and whispered, "World's biggest handphone!" I looked around to see what he was talking about. Sitting on some steps outside Forum was a Caucasian man using his laptop as a telephone. He would lift his laptop so that he could speak into the built-in microphone, and then move it so as to bring the built-in speaker to his right ear. He kept doing this throughout the conversation, making a kind of swinging motion, between ear and mouth with his regular-sized laptop. I'm guessing he couldn't find his plug-in headset with microphone. :)

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Amateur Hour

Silly me. I didn't know that I can't rotate a video like I can with photos, so here's a video of Ve Ching pulling down Alex's towel as seen from a 90 degree angle. Only those with patience and strong neck muscles should try watching this, although it's less than 2 minutes long.

Fujifilm Finepix Z3

Woohoo! Got a new camera yesterday. Now I'll be able to take decent pictures of kitties when Alex takes our Olympus camera along on his business trips. The added bonus is that this camera has a pretty decent video camera. Now, if only kitties will do something other than sleep!

Speaking of Toilets...

Isn't he pretty? Even when seated on the toilet? Back in the days when I had only 2 cats, I decided one day to train Tigger and Ve Ching to use the toilet instead of their litter box. I managed to actually get them trained to the point where they would jump up on the toilet and use it, provided there was a roasting pan underneath the seat, even if the roasting pan had a huge hole in it. Unfortunately, when the hole got so big that the pan was almost non-existent, Tigger became freaked by the plopping noise made by his poo hitting the water and the water splashing up and refused to use it anymore. He would instead poop on the floor in the bathroom although he would still pee into the toilet. So sadly, our toilet training ended there.

Cat Obsessed With Flushing Toilet

More than a week ago, Dawn posted a link to a video, which showed a black and white cat repeatedly flushing the toilet in order to watch the water swirl in the toilet bowl. Seeing that video reminded me of Harmony's similar antics as a kitten, although she didn't go as far as to flush the toilet herself. But everytime anyone went near the toilet, she would come running, in the hope that someone would flush it for her amusement. As the water swirled, she would sit on the rim, poke her head in the bowl and sometimes play with the water that's running down the side of the bowl. She became so obsessed that we had to put the toilet seat cover down when we were not using it, in case she fell in one day. The funny thing is, when I told a friend about how Harmony likes the toilet water so much, she said that her toddler was the same way, and that she too liked to watch the water and put her hand into the toilet bowl!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

The Daily Kitten

Found yet another website that is simply filled with adorable kittens! The Daily Kitten posts a new picture of a kitten every day at 3.07pm GMT, which is 11.07pm Singapore Time. I love the write-ups that go with the pictures, especially the ones about the rescue kittens.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Cute Overload!

This website was featured in Time Magazine as one of 2006's 50 Coolest Websites. They placed it under the category of Time Wasters, but I think they should have created a category called Stress Relievers and placed it there instead. Cute Overload features the cutest animals on the internet. It saves you the time and trouble of trolling the internet for pics of the cutest creatures. The main page features the latest pictures/videos that have been sent in. But they also have categories for the different animals. I found the above video in the Kitten category. A big thank you to Ching for sending me this fantastic site!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Give & Take

Before I had cats, I've never had a pet. So I went into it with an idealised view of what it was going to be like. I thought I would be in control of what happens in the flat and that the cats would do as I tell them. I knew that it would take some work, but I thought kitties would come around to my way of thinking after a while. A case in point is the issue of whether cats should be allowed on the kitchen counter.

When I visited Alex's parents for the first time, the occasion was also the very first time that I had any upclose experience with cats. Alex's parents own a small farmstead. And at the time, they had 8 indoor/outdoor cats and 2 feral ones who would never enter the house. While there, I would often make cheese toast for breakfast or a light lunch. It involved grating the cheese, which would bring about the automatic appearance of cats on the kitchen counter, where they would proceed to steal the cheese. (There should be a Wallace & Gromit movie where Wallace has to solve the mystery of his beloved disappearing cheese. I'm sure cats would be involved!). It was such a nuisance fighting them off that I told Alex then that if we were to have cats, I would never let them walk on the kitchen counter.

Fast forward to 2006. I've since learn to pick my battles. Kitties are allowed to walk on the kitchen counter, as long as they don't get near the stove while I'm cooking and don't try to steal the food. They're allowed to pull Alex's towel down and lie on it the whole day long (as ably demonstrated by Harmony above), since Alex doesn' t mind, but they've learnt not to pull down my towel as their pleasure in lying on it will be shortlived. They are still not allowed to scratch the furniture but every room has one or more objects that they can scratch to their hearts' content. They are allowed to sleep anywhere they want although I will try to persuade them to move if they are sleeping on my spot while Alex will just sleep around them.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Caught in the Act!

When we accidentally leave a drawer open, the cats generally like to climb into the drawer and perhaps have a little snooze in it. But with Harmony, things are taken to another level. She likes to fling the contents out onto the floor. Yesterday, she noticed that Alex's sock drawer was opened a crack. I heard a persistent clicking sound, and when I looked up from the bed, I saw Harmony in the process of prying the drawer wider. Not long after, she started digging into the drawer and flinging socks all over the place. She only stopped when I started taking her picture 'cos she doesn't like to have her photo taken.

Ross the Intern

Most mornings, I get up, turn on the computer and one of the first things I do, is read Ross the Intern's blog. Those of you who watch The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (it's on cable, channel 15, CNBC at 4pm & 10pm on Sat & Sun) may recognise Ross as one of the show's correspondents. I find his turns on the show pretty hilarious. And when I found out he has a blog, I went to check it out. Since then, it's become part of my morning routine, along with checking my emails, to read his blog. His lighthearted and sometimes silly outlook on life reminds me daily, not to take things so seriously. His smiley face and the colourful website lend a cheery start to my day. Of course, the fact that he loves his dog Louise so much is a bonus!

Sunday, August 13, 2006


I've heard of, the website where you post information about yourself in the hope of making friends on the internet, but Yup, there's a site where your cat, via you (unless they are ultra smart and dexterous), can set up an account and let other cats know all about itself, likes, dislikes, bio etc. So if like me, you like to see pictures of adorable cats and read about how they came to be with their current guardians (see Arrival Story), you might just want to check out catster. And if you also like dogs, there's (but of course!)

Friday, August 11, 2006

Nicks for Cats

I don't know why it is that Alex and I can't seem to just call our cats by their given names and only their given names. Over the years, each of the cats has had their names mutated and now, all are called by more than one name, with poor Missy leading the lot with a string of them:

Tigger, Tiggermon (this was during the Pokemon rage, sad to say), Tigger Monster

Ve Ching, Shark Tail (he walks with his tail straight up in the air all the time, so sometimes, when he's walking behind the trunk or past the bed, all you can see is his tail cutting through the air)

Harmony, Harmo-namo-ny

Missy, Missymus, Missymus the Plumpypuss, Plumpy


Missy in 2003, looking leaner

In some ways, it's quite hard to write about Missy cos she came into our lives during SARS and there was so much going on then that some details are a little hazy. I remember her quite clearly before SARS. She was a friendly little community cat who lived around our block. Her colouring and her antics made her stand out. For instance, she would often lie on a little grassy knoll under a beautiful tree next to our block. She would hold her upper body up and lie there with her head held high, looking very elegant and a little regal. There was also the time when I saw her running around the roof-top on the other side of our U-shaped block. My side of the block is 12-storey high and the other side has 6 stories. One day, after coming out of the lift on the 11th storey, I noticed a little cat running around the rooftop on the other side in the very hot afternoon sun. It shocked me to see a cat on the roof cos a) it's the first time I've seen a cat on the roof and b) how in the world did she get up there? The only access I know of is one of those flat-against-the-wall type of straight ladder that you have to climb up from the 6th floor to get onto the roof.

Anyway, in early June 2003, we decided to adopt her cos our block is just metres away from a coffeeshop. We brought a carrier down, picked her up and put her in. Now, here's where the hazy part begins. I remember that I couldn't bring her home at the time because I was fostering 2 cats in my spare room. I remember bringing her to the vet's for a check-up and shots. I remember having to put her with a pet store for a few days and then with a friend for some time. I remember seeing her in a cage in the living room so that Tigger, Ve Ching, Loy Loy & Harmony could check her out and vice versa. And I definitely remember her meowing under our bed every 10 minutes from 9pm to 7pm for 2 straight weeks. Everything else is a blur.

After the cat killing rate had returned to pre-SARS 'normal', we did wonder whether Missy would be happier being a community cat, since she wasn't getting along with Ve Ching. To test her, we left the front door and gate open to see if she would run away. She didn't.

We've had her for slightly more than 3 years now and believe me when I say that having two fighting cats in the flat for 3 weeks is very stressful, let alone 3 years! In the first 2 years, I felt frustrated almost all the time 'cos I felt as if I've tried all possible means of getting Missy and Ve Ching to get along but none of them seem to work! But over time, the dynamics between them seem to have changed somewhat, and in the last 6 months, the two of them appear to be heading towards an uneasy truce. Luckily, in all this time, neither of them have been seriously hurt. Sometimes, after a fight, I'll find small clumps of fur on the floor, but when I check them for injuries, all I'll find is a tiny little scratch. Guess their 'bark', or in this case, their posturing, is worse than their bite.

Despite these years of stress and frustration, I'm glad I've Missy in my life. She's the most affectionate of cats, often calling us as we pass by, asking to be sayang'd. More often than not, she will come over to us when we call her or wave to her. She's also terribly responsive to stroking and especially to t-touching, showing us with her rubbing and flopping over, just how much she appreciates us doing it. It's a joy watching her as she's one little cat who's really big on personality. She's also a cat who really loves her toys. At one time, she went through a phase of a few months, when she would start playing with her squeaky mouse right after we've gone to bed. We would then hear "squeak squeak squeak" of the toy mouse as it's being batted around in the living room. Soon after, there'll be a crash through the cat flap and the next thing we know, there's a Missy jumping around on our bed, attacking her mouse and making it squeak loudly as we try to fall asleep. In the last few years, Missy has also put on weight and although she's heavier, her bulky makes her nicer to carry. It's like hugging a soft teddy.

Missy in 2006, not quite so lean