Wednesday, August 30, 2006

My temporary tattoo

This is a gift from Garlic this morning. He ran up to my room to greet me early this morning as usual. When I pick him up to give him my usual morning hug, which he demanded, I felt some litter crumbs on his butt. Oh well, another accident has happened and he has some feces with litter attached to his fur around the butt area. Tried to just remove the feces with tissue paper but they were just too sticky.

So I had no choice but to carry Garlic into the bathroom and gave him a butt bath. He was very upset. Its not his first time having a bath. Maybe its early in the morning and its his ‘manja’ time. He did not expect to get wet. So this how the tattoo came into place, in my bathroom. 3 long deep scratches on my arm that bleed right away.

I gave Garlic a good and loud scolding, with a smack on his butt. Then I dried him off and let him out of the room.

He did, however, felt guilty afterwards. Came to me when I went downstairs. I ignored him, to show him that I am still angry. He rubbed his head against my hand and licked my hand when I picked up Pepper’s baby to weigh the little fella. Garlic then looked up at me, as if begging for forgiveness. Oh well, I ended up giving him a hug before I left for work.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

He opens his eyes!

He finally opens his eyes! I went home from gym last night and saw one of his eyes half open and I knew that by this morning, it will be fully open. Sure enough. When I went down this morning, he was looking up to me with these amazing innocent eyes, seeing the big world for the first time. I could see him just lying there on his big fat tummy, looking left and right.

It's hard to take a picture because he just refused to be still! I am going to borrow a digital camera and take more pictures this Thursday!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Updates on the little grey one

This morning, the little fella weighs 175g. He is now quite big....and extremely fat! I have not seen a kitten so young so I am not sure whether it is normal for him to have such a big tummy! But he very adorable and has started to crawl all over my living room now. I was actually hoping that he would open his eyes over the weekend, as he is more than 1 week old now. But he has not. I hope he open his eyes soon. I can't wait!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Little Grey One……Blackie’s brother….or is it sister?

I’ll call him a he for now.

He is 5 days old now. He weighs 130g when I weigh him this morning. He is steadily increasing about 10g per day now. I am monitoring him very closely.

He is adorable and very fat, thanks to Pepper who make sure he is fed so very often. He does nothing everyday but sleep and nurse. Whenever he is hungry, he will just cry so loudly and Pepper will come running.

I will take more photos of him when he opens his eyes. Should be soon now, another few more days.

My brother suggested I call him Shadow Junior. Bernard has suggested I call him Yam, or Belacan. According to Bernard, some belacan are grey in color. Anyone know of any spices that is grey in color?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Little Blackie's journey through life

Little Blackie, when I first found him .

Little Blackie, when the cord was cut, looking for his mom that is ignoring him.

Mom finally taking care of Little Blackie after her intense labor.

Blackie and his little brother (or sister). Mummy's tummy is warm and soft.

Last few hours of Little Blackie's life. Mom putting her arms around him to keep him warm.

Monday, August 21, 2006

The short 5 days of Little Blackie’s life

It has been a long, memorable and stressful weekend for me.

DAY 1 - Thursday, 17th August 2006

It all started on Thursday. Thursday was a normal day for me, went to work, rushed to gym for my 2 classes, went to mom’s place for dinner and then reached home at about 1030pm. I saw a black patch on the floor and I thought, ‘Oh No! The cats have made a mess again!”

I walked closer and got a shock of my life when I discovered that it is A NEW BORN KITTEN! About 1 meter away, laid Pepper. I panicked! I did not expect this and did not even know that Pepper is pregnant!! The vet did not tell me anything when I bought her for vaccination just 2 weeks ago. How could a vet not know that she is pregnant?? What should I do?? Pepper refused to tend to the baby. I can’t left the little fella like that. He will die.

So I called my brother for help and asked him to check on the internet on what to do. I also made a few emergency calls to my friends for advice, and called the local pet shop owner who has a few cats. My brother came over and told me that we need to cut the cord. Geez! We both were actually quite afraid of bloody stuff but we struggled to tie the cord anyway. The internet advised that we tie the cord about 1 inch long but we tied it extra long, just in case. Cutting it off was another hurdle. It wasn’t easy at all as we did not have the correct tools. After we managed to cut it off, we then gently wipe the baby off, especially the nose. Maybe too gently, but better safe than sorry. Pepper is still ignoring the baby. I tried to bring her to the baby a few times but she just walked away. I had no choice but put a warm lamp beside the cage and cover the lamp with a cloth to make sure it is not too warm. I put the baby inside the cage, with some cloth to keep it warm. Then I put Pepper inside the cage, together with the baby. She is still ignoring it.

DAY 2 - Friday, 18th August 2006

It is now over 12 midnight.

A friend who has a lot of experience with puppies called me and told me that it is very crucial for the babies to nurse on the first 3-4 hours. She is not cure about kittens but puppies need to nurse. It was already 2am in the morning and I do not have any milk in the house and no pet shop was open. I went onto the internet to check what is the best alternative and whether the kitten can wait till the morning. Bernard was online as he was on leave the next day. When he found out about my kitten, he offered to go to 7-11 to buy some baby formula. He also bought eye-drop to feed the kitten with. Drove all the way to my place at about 3am, rinsed the eye-drop over and over again to make sure its clean. When we fill the eye-drop bottle with some milk, he even tasted it to make sure its OK! Thanks Bernard!

I named the little fella Blackie for his is pure black. Little Blackie didn’t take the milk we tried to feed him. Maybe took in 1 or 2 drops. So we just leave him instead of forcing him to take the milk. It is now over 4am. Bernard left to go home and catch some sleep. I then stayed with the kitten the whole night, making sure he is doing OK.

Early next morning, I went around checking with the vet for advice as Pepper is still not tending to the baby. I bought a kitten formula and kitten bottle. Then at about 1030am I found out that Pepper was contracting again and there are juices coming out of her. Oh No! She is about the deliver the 2nd baby! I made a few calls. One of the vet told me to leave her be as some cats can be in labor for about 48 hours. I was not comfortable and make another call. My brother also advised me to bring it to the vet. The other vet told me to bring her in immediately. I called my mom and she brought over a box to carry Pepper with. We placed Pepper and Little Blackie into the box and rushed to the vet. The vet checked Pepper and said there is another kitten inside. They gave Pepper an injections to induce birth and told me to leave Pepper there. They will keep me updated on her progress. So I went home.

After lunch at 100pm, I went to the vet again to check on Pepper. I found that she has delivered another kitten, a grey one. The vet has went out for lunch so the receptionist told me to go home and she will get the vet to call me. I called the vet at 2:30pm. The vet told me that they had to give her 2 injections to induce birth and that both mother and babies are all doing well. They can all go home now. I looked at the sky, it’s going to rain. So I waited. I took this opportunity to take a nap. At 4:30pm, the rain has stopped, me and my dad went to the vet to pick up Pepper and her 2 babies. Pepper is now a very good mother, staying close to her babies and taking good care of them. She licks them clean and keeps them warm. So left them together for the whole night.

DAY 3 - Saturday, 19th August 2006

On Saturday, I woke up at 8:00am and checked on the babies straight away. Little Blackie looked weak and thin compared to his brother. He does not seem to know how to nurse. I weigh both of them with the small weighing scale I bought yesterday. His brother weighs 100g whereas he only weighs 75g. This does not look good and I got quite worried. I tried guiding him to the nipples but instinct just does not kick in. His brother is happily sucking away. I sat there for 1 hour, trying to get him to suck. When it didn’t work, I had no choice but to try bottle feed him again. He didn’t quite like the bottle but managed to take in a few drops. After he is done, I passed him back to Pepper where Pepper will lick him clean.

I repeat it every 3-4 hours. By the 3rd time I am feeding him, he started to bite on the bottle nipple and took in a bit more. I was delighted. But I also know that it is still extremely little to what he is supposed to take. I was worried that he did not like the milk. So I took his brother, tried to feed the brother. And surprisingly, the brother was happily sucking on the bottle, refusing to let go. So the problem is not with the milk, is Little Blackie. He is getting thinner and weaker while the sister is getting bigger and stronger. I tried everything. Tried pushing little Blackie to the nipple that his brother is sucking, hoping that he would learn and follow his brother. It didn’t work. I tried dropping some milk to the Pepper’s nipples and putting Little Blackie’s face next to it. It didn’t work. He just doesn’t seem to suck.

By Saturday night, he seems to be taking a bit more milk but still not as much as he should. I kept trying to guide him to nurse while his sister is nursing, but without much success. To make sure he does not starve, I make sure that he gets fed, even at 3am in the morning.

DAY 4 – Sunday, 20th August 2006

On Sunday morning, he is making quite a lot of noise, maybe hungry. So I fed him, he drank a bit more. I called the cat mid-wife that was recommended by the vet and she said she will only be back on Monday night. She said she has a few cats who has recently given birth and she can try to help get Little Blackie to feed. I have decided to send Little Blackie to the mid-wife Monday night. I called the vet again, the vet told me nothing can be done, except to keep trying to feed Little Blackie. So Sunday was the usual routine of checking on him every 3-4 hours.

DAY 5 – Monday, 21st August 2006

On Monday morning, 800am, little Blackie took a turn for the worse. He is not moving much and is not making any noise like he usual do. At 400am he was still OK when I woke to feed him. I weight him and he now only weight 70g. His brother now weighs about 110g. I tried feeding him but he refused to eat. I do not know whether he will last through the day for me to bring him to the mid-wife in the evening.

As I have to go to work, my mom checked on Little Blackie whenever she can. She even tried to ‘chi kong’ Little Blackie, passing him the good chi so that he will get well. I rushed back home during lunch to check on the little fella and saw that he is growing weaker by the minute. It broke my heart seeing him struggling so hard to even breathe. He tried to open his mouth to call out when I carry him in my palms but there were no sound. He was just too weak. I then told Little Blackie that if he feels that it is too hard to go on, it is OK to just go. I then went back to work.

I then spoke to a few friends and one of them recommended that I check with the vet in Puchong. I called up the vet in Puchong. The vet actually suggested I bring Blackie up for a check-up and if necessary, they can actually give him a vitamin boost. The vet also told me to be prepared that kitten that young having problems may not live. It is just not meant to be but she assured me they will try everything they can to help the little fella. All the previous vets told me nothing can be done! As I am at work, I quickly called my parents to bring him there. I told my mom that in the event that the vet said Little Blackie cannot be saved, then we should get the vet to end his suffering. My parents quickly drove Little Blackie to Puchong while I waited nervously in the office for their news.

At 5:30pm, I received a sms from my mom. Unfortunately, Little Blackie has passed away when he reached the clinic. The vet has checked and confirmed the death. Sigh. It is extremely sad to see him go. In a way, Little Blackie was also my baby. But in a way, I am also glad that his suffering has finally ended. I reached home at 700pm to check on Pepper and the other baby. They were both doing very well, not realizing the lost.

I have realized from this experience that how important it is to have a good vet. I now no longer trust the vets in Subang. From now on, my pets will go to the vet in Puchong.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Sticking Needles Into Your Body!

I have been feeling sore on my neck and shoulders for the past few months. Some day it is OK and some day it is quite bad. When I tell this to a friend, he suggested I try the place that he goes to for his back pain. I asked him what it is. He said it’s a Chinese sinseh that does acupuncture and massage. I told my friend, “Massage is OK but no way am I gonna let some people stick needles into my body!” He assured me that I do not have to try the acupuncture, I can just ask for the massage.

So OK, one day, we made the arrangement to go together. When we reached there, the Chinese sinseh took a look at my neck, twisted it here and there while asking me whether I felt anything. Then he said, (Note: Below is my rough interpretation, which my friend’s help, of what he said. This is because it’s amazingly difficult to grasp his china slang.)

“Ok, let’s start.”

“Errr….start what?”

“Oh, your treatment.”

“What treatment?”

“Acupuncture, then massage.”

“NO! I do not want acupuncture.”

“Oh, but you want to get better, right?”

“Errr….yeah, but I do not want acupuncture.”

“You need acupuncture to get better faster.”

“Is it painful?”

“Not at all. Ask your friend.”

My friend, “Yeah, it’s not painful. Sometimes just felt like an ant bite, sometimes you do not feel anything. Do la, its good for you.”

The Chinese sinseh and my friend then tried to convince me that it is not painful at all and it actually feels quite good. And it will make my sore neck heal faster. Oh well, what the heck. You only live once. So I tried.

I was very tense at first but thank god I was lying face down and do not need to see when he poke the needles into my neck. But they are right, it does not hurt. Sometimes it felt like a small ant bite. Sometimes you feel nothing.

Then he started sticking some electrical machine onto the needles and it sent electrical current to your body. The feeling is kinda weird. You actually feel the electric current pulsing at the needle point. It does not hurt though. I lied down there for 30 minutes, feeling the pulse. Both my friend and the Chinese sinseh asked me to sleep. But how to sleep la, the thing pulsing on my neck. So time passes very slowly.

After 30 minutes, then it’s the massage time. Wow. That is pure enjoyment. The Chinese sinseh knows the exact pressure point and exactly where I actually feel sore. I have been to quite a few massages, but none of them can compare to this. If only I can exchange the 30 minutes for massage as well. Haha.

I still remember on my 2nd visit there alone, without my friend to interpret, the conversation with the Chinese sinseh with the china slang. Its funny how both of us are talking Mandarin and yet we find such a hard time understanding each other.

Me (Msian slang) : How many needles are you poking on my neck?

Chinese sinseh (china slang) : What?

Me (Msian slang) : How many needles are you poking on my neck?

Chinese sinseh (china slang) : You want more needle? Ok. Ok

Me (Msian slang) : Huh? More needles? NO! NO! I do not want more needles. I just want to know how many needles.

Chinese sinseh (china slang) : So don’t want more needles?

Me (Msian slang) : Definitely NOT! How many needles?

Chinese sinseh (china slang) : Oooo….how many needles? 4 needles.

Me (Msian slang) : Gosh, 4 needles ah. Enough. 4 needles are enough.

Whew. That was really close. I learnt not to say anything during the needles time, too dangerous.

After 3 sessions, my neck is actually not sore anymore. I am cured! It cost roughly RM69 per session (needles and massage). Kinda pricy but that is about the same price you would pay for a 1 hour massage. If anybody has any sore body parts, I would recommend him/her to this Chinese sinseh. He is good.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

What I do every Wednesday night for the past 2 years.

Time flies. I have joined FF for more than 4 years already. Used to go 7 days a week but now I only go about 3 days a week. Wednesday is one day I never miss.

I still remembered when I first joined the Basic Step class 4 years ago. It’s a tough class to follow. Wah! I was so lost in the first few classes! But I just kept on going and trying. All the turning gave me a headache and I can’t seem to remember how to do left routine after doing right routine! But persistent paid off, slowly I moved on to Intermediate and now doing Advance classes as well. I, being my clumsy self, still can’t turn as much as some of the advance people can. Some of them really can turn! Like my brother’s girlfriend, she can turn and turn and turn. Seeing her turn is enough to make me dizzy. Haha….

Unfortunately, FF has cut down a lot of the freestyle step classes after they brought in Body Step. Used to go to 8 step classes a week, sometimes even doing 4 step classes a day on the weekends! Now I only go to about 1 or 2 classes of step a week because there are just not many classes of freestyle step left. Also because age is catching up. Can’t do 4 classes a day anymore.

I also made a lot of step kaki friends from gym. Unfortunately as well, many regular step kaki from the old time have left the gym or have lost interest in step. Miss those days when a group of us go all over, gym hopping, to join the Step classes. Nevertheless, the class is still one of my favorites.

Below are some photos I curi curi took from yesterday’s class. Pretended to take a break and took out my handphone and snapped a few photos. Some of the photos are a bit blur because everybody was moving too fast in the class. We did a basic combo yesterday, 2 board, front and back. Last Wednesday we did a more interesting combo, partner, mirrow image. But didn't take any photos last week.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

New members of the family

This is the cat year! 2006 will be the year I will always remember to have adopted 3 new members to my family; Ginger, Garlic and Pepper Jadoo.

Name : Ginger
Age : 8 months
Sex : Female
Breed : Persian - mix
Color : Ginger
Favorite Toy : The Ball with the Bell

Ginger is the sweetest thing. One look at her, you will wanna squeeze her and run your hands over her fluffy fur. She is quite small in size for her age but I like her that way. Every morning, she will run upstairs to my room and look at me until I pick her up and give her a cuddle. She will then proceed to lick my face and hand. She hardly sleeps with me now that there’s Garlic to keep her company downstairs. Also good because she tend to wake me up middle of the night by licking my face!

Name : Garlic
Age : 4 months
Sex : Male
Breed : Himalayan - mix
Color : White, with yellowish tail and ears
Favorite Toy : The Ball with the Bell

Only 4 months old and Garlic is the man of the house. He walks around with his tail held up high. He is not afraid of anything and loves to explore. Extremely hyperactive and plays with anything he can get his paws on. I do not let him sleep with me because he can never be quiet and I can never sleep with him running around the room. He has learnt from Ginger to run upstairs into my room every morning. He, however, do not demand a cuddle from me. He has also learnt to scratch my bedroom door whenever he wants to come into the room. His fur has yet to be fully grown, so we shall see how furry he will get in a few months time.

Name : Pepper Jadoo
Age : 10 months
Sex : Female
Breed : Persian - mix
Color : Tabby
Favorite Toy : Yet to be discovered

It took me awhile to decide on a name. The gal who found her had her for about 6 weeks and named her Jadoo, which means magical in Hindu. I want to name her Pepper, to make up the 3 spice cats in the family. So I settled for Pepper Jadoo. You can call her Pepper, or you can call her Jadoo, or you can call her Pepper Jadoo. The gal who found her thought it could Shadow and called me when a friend of hers saw the poster I put up. She could not adopt Jadoo as her existing cat, Sonu, who is 8 years old starts urinating all over the house to show his dominance. Thus, I end up adopting Jadoo. Honestly, I find Pepper Jadoo to be quite ugly. But yet, she is extremely loving. She will rub her face against your hand, your legs, asking for attention. It is hard not to love her. She is also the only one, among the three, that will sit quietly beside me and let me stroke her when I am sitting on the sofa watching TV. But she can be quite rebellious. She does not let me cut her nails. Still trying to “tame’ her.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Ginger aka Bedroom Spice

Name : Ginger aka Bedroom Spice

DOB : Jan 2006

Sex : Female

Breed : Persian - mix

Coat Color : Ginger

Eyes Color : Reddish Ginger

Ginger is the princess of the family. She doesn’t come to greet me at the door when I come home. And if there are visitors in the house, you’ll hardly see her. She will probably hide behind the curtain or under the sofa.

The reason I called her Bedroom Spice is because she just loves my bedroom. She will patiently wait for me to finish my routine at night with the feeding, brushing and cleaning the litter box, and she will run up to my bedroom, waiting to be let in. Maybe it’s the room, or maybe it’s the air-con. She is a totally different cat when she is in my bedroom. From a quiet shy arrogant cat, she turned into a talkative over-affectionate cat.

She will not keep quiet until I picked her up and cuddle her. When I am on my bed watching TV, she will try to climb on top of me and lick my face. Only when she gets enough, she will proceed to cuddle herself in my comforter and sleep.

Garlic aka Licking Spice

Name : Garlic aka Licking Spice

DOB : April 2006

Sex : Male

Breed : Himalayan - mix

Coat Color : White, with yellowish tail and ears

Eyes Color : Light Blue

Garlic is the man of the house, well a half-man now that he is castrated. He walks around with his tail held up high. He is not afraid of anything (except me when I raise my voice!) and loves to explore. He will come greet me outside my room every morning and in the door step every evening when I come home from work. If there is a visitor in the house, he will be a bit shy at first, but if you stay a bit longer, he’ll normally come greet you with a few licks.

For those of you who know Garlic, will know how he got his nickname. He is an amazing licker. I have never heard or seen a cat that licks so much! I do not think it’s a show of affection, it’s just his hobby. You put your fingers near his mouth, he will start licking, even if you are a stranger. If you pat his head, he sometimes will grab hold of your hand with both his front paws and start licking. Not really a man of the house now, huh?

I do not let him sleep with me because of 2 reasons; he licks too much, and he sheds too much.

Pepper Jadoo aka Cuddly Spice

Name : Pepper Jadoo aka Cuddly Spice

DOB : November 2005 (This is based on the vet’s estimation as Pepper was a stray)

Sex : Female

Breed : Persian - mix

Coat Color : Tabby

Eyes Color : Yellow

It took me awhile to decide on a name. The gal who found her had her for about 6 weeks and named her Jadoo, which means magical in Hindu. I want to name her Pepper, to make up the 3 spice cats in the family. So I settled for Pepper Jadoo. You can call her Pepper, or you can call her Jadoo, or you can call her Pepper Jadoo. The gal who found her thought it could Shadow and called me when a friend of hers saw the poster I put up. She could not adopt Jadoo as her existing cat, Sonu, who is 8 years old starts urinating all over the house to show his dominance. Thus, I end up adopting Jadoo.

Pepper is an extremely loving cat. I have not seen such affectionate cat. She will rub her face against your hand, your legs, asking for attention. She loves a cuddle, that’s how she got her nickname. She will just lie there, in your arms, with her head on your chest, her eyes closed, while you stroke her. She is also the only one, among the three, that will sit quietly beside me and let me stroke her when I am sitting on the sofa watching TV. If there is a visitor in the house, she will be the first to greet you and rub her head all over you, whether you like it or not.

Sesame aka Baby Spice

Name : Sesame aka Baby Spice

DOB : 18 August 2006

Sex : Male

Breed : Persian - mix

Coat Color : Grey

Eyes Color : Mmm….I think its Dark yellow, not very sure yet

He is my pride and joy, seeing him from the moment he was born to the healthy active kitten he is now. Being the baby of the family, he always has his way. He loves human company and is not afraid of strangers. He loves to play with your hand and leg. He also learnt to rub his head against your leg. He sometimes will follow the rest upstairs and escort me down in the morning. It feels good to have 4 cats escorting you down!

He is not picky in his food. He eats everything you feed him, from Chicken to Tuna to dry food to even blended vegetables! No wonder he is so chubby! Well, I don’t think I need to explain how he got his nickname….

He loves coming into my room too. Loves to sleep on the soft comforter but he will wake me up middle of the night by rubbing his head on my arm and face.

Winter aka Dog Spice

Name : Winter aka Dog Spice

DOB : 2000

Sex : Female

Breed : Mongrel

Coat Color : White with black spots

Eyes Color : Dark brown

OK... OK....she is not actually one of the Spice Cats. Dog Spice sounds good though. Haha...

A friend picked up Winter from the street and gave her to me when Winter was just about 2 months old. She is an active girl and loves all kind of food. She stays at the backyard most of the time. Occasionally I will let her into the house and play with the cats. She is very stubborn and is an alpha dog. She always wants to have her own way. You have to be very firm and dominant with her to be able to control her. The coolest trick my brother taught her is Fetch. She sometimes will even take her chewy bone, put in on the grass, and take it back to you, and demand for a treat! Sometimes I wonder who is training who.

Winter adores all my Spice Cats. But she doesn’t like other dogs. It’s probably caused she was once attacked by a group of strays when she escaped through the drain when she was just a puppy. She seems to be OK with smaller dogs but is very aggressive with big dogs. I hope I can overcome her aggressiveness so I can bring her to doggie events!