The Day of the Flight

BradleyCats & Dogs0 Comments

Getting ready for our trip to the Philippines was a test in patience and stress management.

Our biggest concern was finding someone to watch our cats while we were away. We live in a condo in Singapore that we share with four other people. The place is big and the rent is high, so it’s a convenient arrangement, most of the time.

The last time we went on a trip someone in our condo watched our cats for us. This time, we initially assumed that we would use the same arrangement. It should be simple for someone who lives across the hall to take ten minutes out of their day to maintain our cats right? Somehow, everyone found a reason why it was going to be an impossible task for them. “Oh, I have allergies.” “Oh, I won’t be around.” “Oh, I’m scared of cats!”

Three days before our flight we finally landed on someone that would be able to help us. Previously, we had adopted two cats. One of them we still have, named Dapper, but the other, her sister Whitty, had a problem. She was paralyzed and required constant care. I had intended to have a job quite a while ago, and it would have been impossible for us to take care of her with both of us being gone all day, so we gave her away. The person who took her in is named Penny. She’s a great woman that lives in Yishun and spends a lot of her time, effort, and money on caring for cats.

When we initially got in touch with her, she was hesitant to agree. With the current financial problems in Singapore, a lot of people are packing up and heading home for good, and Penny was worried that we were going to take off and leave her stuck with our cats. We had to convince her that we were planning on coming back. Even still, I worried that she may have thought we were just telling her a story to get her to take them. I was worried she may have tried to adopt out our cats before we got back!

We arranged to drop the cats off at her place during the morning of the day of our flight. We weren’t able to sleep well the night before. It’s always that way for me, and my wife was really excited as well. She always gets that way before going home to see her family. We were up late talking, until about 4:30am I think, and when the alarm went off at 9am, we had to struggle to get out of bed.

We decided that it would probably be best to shower after dropping them off. Penny was doing us a favor and we wanted to get there on time. I’m pretty sure she had work that day and was taking time out of her schedule to help us out. So, we got our cats into a carrier and packed up their litter box, a container of food, and a bag of toys and went downstairs and caught a cab.

At first, we actually weren’t sure we were going to be able to find the place. I realized after we were already downstairs that I had forgotten to ask Penny what her address is. The last time we had gone there was six months previous. She didn’t answer our calls or texts either. Later we found out that was because she has problems with her phone, but at the time, riding in the cab, it was added stress to an already stressful situation. No one wants things to go wrong on the day of a flight! On top of that, we were still worried that she wasn’t going to take them. We wound up getting her address from someone else that knows her. Things seemed to work out for the best though. When the cab pulled up in the parking area, Penny was just walking up.

Once we dropped the cats off, everything else seemed easy. We went back to the house, ate a light meal, showered, weighed our luggage (who wants to pay overage fees at 15 SGD per kilogram?), and headed out the door. It was a short taxi ride to the terminal and we enjoyed a good smoke before going in.

Getting Your Kittens Adopted, Done Right

BradleyCats & Dogs0 Comments

This is the right way to get your kittens adopted.  You post an ad on your local board, with a link to something like this:

I saw this, got hooked on the music and wound up taking in both Cat2 and Cat3.  The tune is so catchy that you might find yourself humming it after a while.  I plan on setting it as the ringtone for when my wife calls.  She’s a big cat lover.  If you’re curious it’s called Meow Meow Meow by a Hong Kong group called At17.

Green Sign Cat Litter Is Horrible!

BradleyCats & Dogs0 Comments

I know it’s kind of odd to actually write a post about litter, but I just wanted to mention this to hopefully save someone else some hassle and wasted money.

I got this Green Sign litter at the local pet shop. I normally buy Fussy Cat, but I saw this sitting out on display so to speak with a sale tag on it. Normal price: 24 SGD. Sale price: 12 SGD. So, I thought, ‘Hey, it’s on sale! Something that normally costs 24 bucks has to be good right?‘ So I grabbed a bag and went up to the counter. I did ask the girl there if the litter was good, and she said that it’s supposed to be good for the environment. I told her that I’m not really interested in that. I just wanted to know if it was good for cats. She gave some ambiguous answer that I can’t remember at the moment and I proceeded to buy it.

In retrospect, my first thought shouldn’t have been, ‘It usually costs 24 bucks so it must be good.‘ My first thought should have been, ‘It’s on sale for more than half off. Why?

Well, I found out why.

1. My cats hated it. They actually refused to use the litterbox for over a day. I was getting worried they would crap or pee on the floor somewhere so I had to put them both in a cage with a litterbox full of this stuff until they used it. I later found out that cats get partial to their litter type and don’t like to switch up. So, that may have been part of it, but the whole time I had it I swear they ate less and went to the litterbox less. So, why didn’t I just dump it and get the regular litter? Well, litter isn’t cheap, and Fussy Cat isn’t light either. They just had to deal with it until it was time to get fresh litter.

2. The stuff is MESSY!

As you can see from this lovely image, it does clump… sort of. What actually happens is that it turns into a green gel like substance that adheres to the bottom of the litter box and has to be scraped off with your scooper. In fact… I still have to clean my scooper now that I think about it. (I just replaced the litter today.)

3. Cats play with the darndest things. These weird litter pellets seemed to fascinate them in ways I hadn’t anticipated. The cats were very quick to dip their paw into the box, pull out a few pieces, and then play kick with them all over the place. I’m sure I’ll be finding these litter pellets under and behind furniture for weeks. Fussy Cat (sand-type) litter isn’t much better, but at least it doesn’t give cats the notion that it’s a toy.

So, save yourself some time and bucks and avoid this fancy enviro-friendly junk. Just stick with your regular sand-type litter. Oh, and Fussy Cat is great! It really helps to reduce odor, and it clumps up very nicely.

“D” for what?

BradleyCool Stuff, Life in Singapore0 Comments

My wife related an interesting story to me the other day that I thought I’d share.

We’ve all had conversations on the phone where we’ve been asked to spell something out so the other person can make sure they’re copying it correctly. We say things like, “A as in Apple,” “B as in Boy,” and “C as in Cat.” Now… maybe it’s different where you’re from but I’ve always said “D as in Dog.” That’s what’s normal right?

Well, often times when you’re in another country you come across things that may be normal for that country, but they just sound odd, or even hilarious to you. This is one of those things.

My wife was on the phone with a local man, and the man was spelling something for her. Just to make sure she had heard correctly, she asked the man, “Is that ‘D’ as in Dog, sir?”

So….

So, what do they say in Singapore?

“No, ‘D’! D, for…

Donkey!”

Maybe Shrek wasn’t such a big film here, but in the US it’s well known to the point that almost everyone associates the word Donkey with the film. Apparently that’s the case in the Philippines as well, but not here! When my wife told me this story, I just couldn’t help but hear the phrase in my head, but with Shrek’s voice. “D for Donkey!”

Do Video Games Cause Violence?

BradleyCool Stuff0 Comments

I know this is an old topic, but I just wanted to say my piece.

There has been a lot of controversy in the US about video games and the effect they have on kids. Some parents complain that video games loaded with violence give kids the impression that it is an appropriate way to solve their problems.

This whole concept of blaming video games seems to have sparked off with the incident at Columbine High School, which, by the way, has spawned its own video game called Super Columbine Massacre RPG. The parents of the victims were looking for someone to blame, which is only natural, and somehow they latched onto video games and movies as the source of the two offenders aggression. These parents went so far as to attempt to sue the makers of video games and movies for their supposed influence in the Columbine incident. Thankfully, their suit was thrown out as ridiculous.

Do video games contain a lot of violence? Well, sure they do. Violence and action are the main staples of some of the most popular video games ever to come out, like first-person-shooters Doom and Halo. There’s also the wildly popular Grand Theft Auto series which, as the name implies, focuses on stealing cars and also involves crime-filled storyline scenarios and prostitution, among other things. Even the MMO genre has its share of violence. Most of the more popular MMOs incorporate some form of PvP (player versus player) combat into their gameplay.

So, does that mean video games are to blame for inappropriate behavior? Well, no, it doesn’t. Responsibility always falls back on the person who commits the act, and on the parents if the person is a child. I grew up playing video games. As an adult I’ve played a lot of violent video games as well. I’ve also seen a lot of violent, gory, criminal things on television, in the movies, and in real life, both as a kid and as an adult. So, does that mean I can go kill someone and then blame it on video games? Can I say TV made me do it? Get real. People are set above animals for a reason. We are sentient. We can think. We can assimilate new information and come to logical conclusions. It is up to each person to use that knowledge appropriately. Just because I’ve seen someone die on TV from a shotgun blast to the face doesn’t mean that it’s something I should do too. I’ve also seen the Roadrunner run through a wall with a road and scenery painted on it. I’m not going to do that crap either. If someone can’t distinguish between fiction and reality, that’s not a matter of the media they’ve been exposed to. It’s a matter of a mental disorder.

In the case of children and childrens behavior, the responsibility ultimately lies with the parents. If parents don’t want their children playing violent video games, then maybe they should take an active role in their child’s life and monitor what they have access to. Either watch or research what they’re planning on watching and make a yes or no decision. Check out the music they’re listening to and decide on whether or not you think it’s right for them. Oh, and those labels on the covers of video games (and the ratings on movies for that matter) are there for a reason. They don’t get marked “Mature” because they involve calculus, you know.

On top of keeping track of what your kid is seeing, doing, and listening to, another great idea might be to get involved in your kids life. Remind them that you’re not just their parent, you’re their friend. Ask them how they feel. Ask them about problems they’re having. Tell them they don’t have to be embarrassed with you because you may have been through it too. Emphasize “may” so they don’t think you’re being condescending. If they want to see or listen to something you object to, ask them why they like it. Just… talk to them. If parents talk to their kids more and develop a better relationship with them, then I’m sure most of these crazy things that happen (like Columbine) can be avoided. The biggest thing to remember is that kids should be respected too.

Then again, this all makes too much sense, and we’re living in a time when common sense just isn’t so common anymore.