Our Cats Are Still Awesome

 I was looking at Dapper a few days ago and I was thinking about how she and Thumper have been with us through the years. They’re almost 7 now. We’ve been married for almost 7 years as well. They’re still constant sources of amusement and happiness.

Cheesecake is new and a pain in the ass because he’s always sick and he over-eats constantly, but he’s very affectionate otherwise. 

Save The Turtle! 亀

There are many areas in the house that require our attention, and this was one of the most serious.  When we finally got to cleaning up the turtle aquarium, I couldn’t help but feel bad for not doing it sooner.  This turtle was in a tank on the second floor.  I’m not sure who was supposed to be taking care of it, but it was sitting there in its filth, starving, with a glass full of turtle food on a nearby shelf that no one was giving him.  So, we started feeding him and kept putting off the inevitable, probably because of just how disgusting an event it would be.  We even hoped to find a cheap new tank for him so we could literally toss the old one over the balcony railing into the empty lot next to us.  That didn’t happen, so we had to take action.  We couldn’t bear to see the turtle suffering anymore.

Today while we were at the market we had to stop by the pet store to buy a few kilos of cat and dog food, so we got some new gravel, a water treatment liquid that will help keep the water clean and some turtle food, since we’d run out.  I wanted to get a filtration system for the water but they’re a bit expensive and we’re closely monitoring our budget until we get our first paychecks.  Instead, that liquid we bought will have to be enough.  That and some wire mesh screen we’re going to put over the top to keep the mosquitoes and other bugs from laying eggs in the now fresh water.

There’s only so much I can say with words, so here are some pictures and a video to help you get an idea of the disaster that was sitting in that aquarium.

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This is the tank before we got started.  It was mostly empty, without enough water, and it was packed with crawling insects, larva, and weird flying bugs that were clinging to the sides.  There was even a spider in a web.  The smell was HORRIBLE.

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We had my laptop out for some music to keep our mind off what we were doing.  That’s Lady Gaga’s new video, Alejandro, playing.

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The turtle was hanging out in a small bucket while we were cleaning out his aquarium.  He was pretty impatient about the whole thing and kept trying to climb over the edge.

Here’s a video of us cleaning the turtle’s tank.  You can see some of the larva crawling around in the bottom of the tank before we washed it out.  The whole thing was filled with a heavy goo that couldn’t have been anything other than waste.

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Here’s the turtle in his tank after it was cleaned.  You can see that we didn’t buy quite enough gravel to meet our needs.  We’ll have to fix that later.  It’s so damn clean you can’t even see the water in the photo.  Fantastic!

We feel a lot better about things now.  There’s no more guilt.  We weren’t responsible for the turtle’s condition, but we were becoming responsible slowly by ignoring the situation.  In the US, this type of thing would be considered a severe case of animal abuse, punishable by a fine at the least I’m sure.  Now, the turtle will live on happily with us ensuring that it’s well fed and taken care of.  If you’re wondering about the kanji symbol in the title, that’s the turtle’s new name, 亀.  It’s Japanese and it means ‘turtle’.  Spoken, it’s pronounced ‘kah may’.  Kind of lame, sure, but it’s relevant to my interests as I’ll be taking up Japanese courses sometime in the near future, if everything goes according to plan.

Tampines (Edit: Pasir Ris) Library Groups Cats in With Roaches and Rats On Poster

Mobile Photo 25-Apr-2010 PM 06 44 39 This poster is on display in the Tampines Pasir Ris Public Library branch.  While I wholeheartedly agree with the message, that it takes everyone to keep the city clean, I disagree with the images used to portray the negative consequences.

This poster implies that cats are disgusting pests, on the same level as roaches and disease carrying rodents.  Cats are not in the same category of animal.  Cats are domesticated house pets and have been for thousands of years.  In ancient Egypt, when a household’s cat died, the owners would shave off their eyebrows as a sign of mourning.

While I’m not suggesting that we start shaving our eyebrows off to protest cat culling in Singapore, I do want to call attention to the fact that it’s not proper to reinforce the negative perception of these animals.  The person who created this poster was even sly enough to use a black cat, which has always been associated with bad fortune, to add dramatic effect and further create a negative opinion of cats in the general public.

What’s truly ironic about this poster is that cats are Singapore’s greatest defense against the real pests, as mice are a stray cats natural prey.

A clean city may be a reflection of moral and civic values, but kindness to animals is a much better indicator.

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Phuket Photo Special

I’ve kinda been dragging out my posts about Thailand, so, in the spirit of finishing it up and posting a link in the sidebar to a full list of the posts in some semblance of order, I will be blasting out three posts today.  That includes the one before this and one more after this to finish it all off!

This post is a set of photos that are interesting, but aren’t worth a post all to themselves.  Check them out!

Here’s a fantastic work of art you won’t find in too many bars.  I’m still trying to figure out if it’s supposed to be depicting a woman or a ladyboy.

This monument was sitting down by the beach.  I’m not too clear on its purpose but one of the ladies told me it’s for prayer.

Mutant prawns.  I was shocked to see how big these things are.

The lobsters and crabs were huge too!

This tattooed chick was walking up the street, swinging her upper body back and forth in an exaggerated fashion, presumably to entertain the kid, who cried anyway.  The baby looked like he was mixed.  Actually he looked full on caucasian, but I just assume he was mixed.  As for the identity of the woman, I can only guess.  Nice tats though!

A rip-tide warning sign.  This thing disappeared on the third day when it started flooding.  I don’t know if the sea swallowed it or if it was simply underwater.

There are always Life Guards on duty, just in case you ignore the sign.

This is what happens when you sit on a restaurant chair shortly after taking a dip in the ocean.  And the following image is how you use it to gross out your family (click to enlarge):

Well, hope you enjoyed this photo special!

Lots of Cats, and Some Dogs Too!

My wife really really loves cats. She loves all sorts of pets, but she has a particular weakness for cats.  From what I can tell, she always had cats of her own when she lived in the Philippines and now we have cats in Singapore.

I know where my wife got her love of cats from now: her dad. On my last few trips to the Philippines we didn’t have the time to go to Pampanga to visit her parents at their apartment. We only saw her family’s house in Antipolo, in Rizal province. That’s not to say they don’t have pets there, because they do. There are quite a few cats running around and there are even two dogs as well. That’s different though, because the cats all belong to different members of her family. It doesn’t seem unusual for a person to have one or two cats.

On the other hand, the only person that really lives out of the apartment in Porac, Pampanga is my father-in-law. My mother-in-law is there sometimes, but she usually lives out of her free apartment next to the school where she teaches. So, all of the animals there can be attributed to him. Walking through the yard and the apartments there is like walking through an animal shelter.

The first animals you’ll notice are the three dogs in the yard. One of them is named Happy (the brownish one) and one of the others is named Mayumi (one of the white ones). I can’t recall the name of the other white dog, and I couldn’t tell them apart anyways. Once you get past the dogs and into the apartments you’ll find cats everywhere.

The apartments don’t have air conditioning, so the windows are open all the time. Surprisingly, they’re not screened in either. This is going a bit off topic, but I never understood why window screens aren’t in common usage in Singapore or the Philippines. With high levels of mosquito borne illnesses, like dengue for example, which can be fatal, you’d think window screens would be in high demand. That doesn’t appear to be the case though. Anyways, like I was saying, the windows are always open and they aren’t screened so the cats go in and out at their leisure. They seem to get along well enough with the dogs too, so you might see the cats hanging out in the yard. There must have been about 11 cats and kittens running around. I only took pictures of a few of them.

One cat in particular caught my attention. Her name is Samsung. She’s incredibly friendly and purrs so hard she nearly chokes herself when you put her on your lap and pet her. What’s especially strange about this cat, though, is that when you pet her, she crawls up towards your shoulder, starts kneading against you, and then starts licking/sucking/slobbering on your shirt. My father-in-law says it’s because he found her when she was really young and she never had the chance to do much nursing. When he took her in, he kept her wrapped up in blankets and she would try to nurse on the blankets when she was hungry. Apparently she never lost the habit. Great cat, but you can’t hold her when you’re wearing a nice, clean shirt that you want to go out in, or you’ll wind up having spots of cat drool on yourself.

Another interesting cat is named Jumong. I called her Captain Hook because she only has one eye. According to my father-in-law, some kid in the neighborhood shot out her other eye with a pellet gun.