30 December 2009

Torture Tickles Dagger Stares and New Year Wish

There have been several scientific studies which proved that pets could dramatically lower blood pressure though having a pet is a big responsibility. Having a pet lessens anxiety as well as boost the owner's immunity. It is probably due to pet owner literally feeling their pet's love and devotion.

Luckily EJ has lovely eight handicapped and abandoned cats or else the blood pressure will shoot sky high. For weeks, the telephone was not working and lately internet connection was either down or torturously slow. With the telephone down, EJ cannot phone the authorities concerned to report the fault. And EJ do not like to impose on friends or relatives.

There were times when EJ felt like sending the cats to the authorities concerned especially Kenggy, the pawless cat, to torture tickle and Captain Jack Sparrow HAWK, with missing eye globe, to dagger stare them to quickly rectify whatever faults. (EJ's legs are Kenggy's favourite scratching poles and without claws, it really is ticklish. EJ had to stay still and laugh out loud during the scratch or else Kenggy would fall down.)

EJ notices that these inconveniences usually happen at year end and hopes a decision maker in Telekoms read this and act on it.

A New Year wish from EJ would be special discounts for streamyx internet services for senior citizens from Telekoms as communication is important to those in their golden years to keep in contact with relatives and friends not only locally but internationally as well.

Happy New Year everyone.

22 December 2009

CataClaus and Friends

This year, EJ did not put up this mini Christmas tree like in the past two years.

The blinking lights initially intrigued the cats and they kept staring at it. After an hour or so, they all lost interest and go about their own ways.

The actual reason why EJ feels that it is not necessary to put up the Christmas tree is because EJ feels that one housemate has a slight resemblance to Santa Claus.

Here is CataClaus on behalf of all her roommates (and EJ) wishing everyone Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

15 December 2009

Heads and Tails

Those who read last Tuesday's comments will understand why EJ took the effort and time to search for the following pictures.

These were taken when 4head, Tortie's brother, was still alive. Both Tortie and 4head were very close as grew up together since birth and had never separated.

In this photo, Tommy is on the left, 4head in the middle with Tortie on the right. Winnie is sleeping in the cubicle of the cat condo.

This photo was taken on another day. EJ could not really understand why Tommy did what he did - putting his legs on 4head's head. Anyway, EJ was glad that this photo was snapped.

In the cubicles, on the left is Tanya with Winnie on the right. Part of Pebble is in the foreground.

EJ remembers that 4head actually woke up, looked around, sized up the situation and promptly went back to sleep.

Ahh, if only we can sleep well in whatever positions.

12 December 2009

Make your Bathroom Smell Good

When EJ's favourite mug chipped which would make drinking out of it dangerous as it could cut your lips, EJ did not want to throw the mug away and decided to think of ways to make use of it.

The chipped mug was placed on top of the cistern tank as a decoration as well as container for pandan leaves.

EJ used to hang the pandan leaves collected from the garden to make the bathroom smell good. In this picture, the pandan leaves have been split to allow the release of more pleasant smell.

Pandan or screwpine is widely used in Asian countries. It is used to flavour rice, puddings, cakes and even ice-cream. It is a repellant for pests such as cockroaches and ants though EJ has not tried it.

08 December 2009

Friends, Countrymen, lend me your...err...Rump!

All kittens love to sleep in a group but not all adult cats.

The two biggest and heaviest, Tommy and Tortie, loves to groom each other and then sleep. And they choose the softest part of the body to rest their heads - the fleshy rump.

They looks so comfortably and happy sleeping in this position that EJ had to resist the temptation of prodding their fat rumps to allow them to continue their sleep.

05 December 2009

Home in a Home

A stopcock on white wall is not a pretty sight.

To hide it, EJ bought a shell-shaped pot and grew (what the locals call) money plant in it.

As this particular pot has no drainage hole, EJ had to use a chair to climb up to see how much water was needed on a daily basis. Soon EJ found it too much of a bother and decided to replace it with the plastic version that needed zero care.

The plastic version looks real. So real that even a potter wasp got fooled and build her nest on one of the stalk.

The nest was really a lovely work of art. EJ wished it could be kept but had to snip off that plastic stalk as a precautionary measure.

PS: Money plant is also known as the Pothos, Silver Vine, Centiped Tongavine, Devil's Ivy and Solomon Islands' Ivy. Its scientific name is Epipremnum Aureum.

Animals lovers, please do take care as this plant is listed as toxic to cats and dogs due to the presence of calcium oxalates.

01 December 2009

KaBoom Boom

With the recent monsoon season, rain and floods follow, including thuderstorms.

EJ's housemates do not like thunderstorms. The smaller female cats are not as frightened as the supposedly macho bigger males.

The biggest male, Tortie, at 7kg, is terrified of thunderstorms. He would squeeze into his favourite hiding spot, a tiny cubicle in the cat condo, with an eye peeping out. And would stay there till the storm is over.

If he is in the yard, the second he hears even a distant rumbling, he would immediately slink to his tiny cubicle.

To Tortie, a loud sneeze is equivalent to thunder and would immediately slink. It never fails to amuse visitors especially males when this happens.

27 November 2009

Make it Look Good

The tiny house EJ lives in is an old house. Obviously not everything is in tip-top shape.

Frequently used sink in the toilet had an ugly stain of dirt trapped in the crack between the sink and the wall. Since getting professional help for such a small repair will definitely be turned down, EJ believed that this was not too difficult a job and decided to tackle it alone.

First, that ugly dirt has to be get rid of. A pointed instrument like a small screwdriver or scraper was used to carefully scrap off the dirt.

Next, white cement was mixed with water into a paste. White cement can be bought from any hardware shop or shop that sells tiles.

Then the cement paste was placed onto the crack. A damp cloth was used to smoothen and wipe off excess cement.

The cement had to be completely dried before the sink could used.

EJ was very pleased with the result and is encouraged to continue to carry out other small do-it-yourself repairs to the house.

24 November 2009

Scratch me, I am Priceless!

The following conversation actually took place recently between EJ and brother who resides in Canada and was back for a visit. Both found it hilarious as an afterthought.

EJ feels the conversation was too funny to pass up and decided to share.

(Psst, they were talking about me!) This was what transpired.

BRO: I do remember this chair/stool which mom bought from the wet market in Yulek (now known as Taman Cheras). It was among the first piece of furniture we owned when we moved house in October 1974.

We could not afford any furniture then for the living hall and did not have enough chairs in the dining area for all of us. That was the very reason why mom bought it. It was handmade from a piece of raw lumber and not stained nor painted in any way.

Over the years, we got better dining furniture and most of the better-looking chairs/stools found their way into bedrooms while this one stayed in the kitchen beside the door to the backyard.

We had about nine cats those days and somehow, one of the senior cat, Yao-Yao or Chien-Chien but definitely not Su-Su, started using it as their scratching post. Other junior cats followed suit. None of us mind as we knew then that cats have to scratch to keep their claws in shape. We constantly had to rotate the chair so that the scratched-out parts of the legs were consistent.

This chair/stool has a lot of good, bad, happy and sad stories to tell, especially when it is located in a prominent place, the kitchen, where every member of the family visited daily, numerous times a day and gathered around for family meals, where family battles had been fought and settled. It has seen three or probably four generations of the family living there and withstood the constant mauling from the generation of kitties, too.

EJ: Yes, mom did buy from Yulek market but not this particular and especially hardy one. This immensely popular chair/stool was bought in the even earlier days during the sixties when we were at Jalan Pasar.

BRO: Really? This chair/stool is older than I thought then... almost a semi-antique now. I have to approach the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario) on how much they may want to pay for this piece of antique/art!

EJ: Good idea! And would certainly worth a lot more after one of the cats had the honour of getting the shock of the last scratch with the chair/stool standing on three legs! And worth even more if standing on two legs!



EJ: Agree absolutely. Certainly priceless if it stands on one leg but will be worshipped if it floats without legs with the kitties on top!

Believe me, the kitties are working on it...very hard!

19 November 2009

To Gugu with Love

They call EJ 'Gugu'. It means paternal aunt in their language.

Niece Erin, nephew TC lived with EJ when they were young. When Erin was five and TC a toddler still, together with their parents, they emigrated to Canada. Both Erin and TC are young adults now. Erin has finished her tertiary education in criminal law while TC is still in the University of Toronto.

Visiting each other entails a certain amount of planning and money as the countries they lived in are on the opposite sides of the globe, and cannot be as frequent as they would like to.

Inspite of the distance and absence of presence, love prevails.

Last month EJ's brother and wife came back for a visit. They brought a gift from Erin, a personally hand-woven friendship band of three colours - green, pink and purple.

EJ used 15 plus-year-old Cinders as a model to show off the beautiful colours and woven pattern of the band. It does look good on Cinders.

After posing for a few shots, Cinders got bored and impatient. She decided enough is enough and walked towards EJ meowing in protest.

Thank you Erin for the lovely wristband.

17 November 2009

Pebble's Perch

Like humans, animals have their favourite corner to lounge or nap. Some cats prefer almost impossible places like squeezing in tiny spots or small gaps.

Pebble, a medium-sized cat, has her favourite - on the small narrow window sill.

EJ always feel uncomfortable each time Pebble sleeps there, but has been reassured by friends including siblings that if Pebble do not find it comfortable, she would not choose to sleep at that particular spot.

Pebble always sleep on the same side with her head placed at the same spot facing down. Where she places her head, there now is a spot where her saliva dribbles down.

EJ is stumped on how to clean that spot the non-caustic way. Water cannot be poured on that area and cannot be scrubbed as well.

Ideas anyone?

12 November 2009

Oww! This Is It!

The sweet, clear voice sang about a friend who lived in the sewer beneath the streets. The name of that song is Ben. Ben is the name of a sewer rat. The singer - Michael Jackson (MJ). He sang this song when he was a child. And EJ loves this song, this voice.

Two days ago, EJ decided to make an exception to go watch a particular movie after hearing rave reports about it. Even without the rave reports, EJ would watch it though EJ could not really remember which was the last movie seen, whether Lord of the Rings or the prequel to Star Wars.

Lazy to drive, EJ thumped a lift to town.

This time EJ did not get lost trying to locate the cinema like the earlier days. That time EJ could not understand why EJ kept ending up at the bowling alley and had to ask for directions from the counter girls. Even the girls found it amusing and laughed.

This time the girl selling tickets at the cinema was helpful. EJ even got the special senior citizen discount after producing the identification card as proof.

The movie was on the preparation of MJ's last concert, the sweat, the tears, the pain. Songs that EJ likes were sung in the rehearsals like Ben, Man in the Mirror, Heal the World and more. Somewhere further down the rows of chairs, someone, a male, was singing along obviously enjoying himself tremendously.

The cinema hall was a bit on the chilly side as there were not many people watching since it was during day time.

When the movie show was over, EJ noticed that majority of those who walked out were gray-haired!

EJ's view on this?

Oww! This Is It!

10 November 2009

Perfect Balance

No one knows what happened to her. No one knows what she went through. All we know is that she was found on the roadside. And was rescued.

Inspite of all the hardships, pain and sufferings she went through, she persevered, survived and adapted. In silence.

EJ doesn't know how old she is but found her extremely adorable as Kenggy is full of comical antiques like she would stand up, raise her pawless limbs to swipe at her roommates in retaliation and in play. Kenggy doesn't and never gives up.

She can never run like her roommates. Instead she waddles very slowly on her imbalanced limbs. Due to lack of exercise because of her limitations, Kenggy is on the rotund side. EJ is fighting a losing battle in putting Kenggy on a diet.

One of her cutest moments is the way she cleans herself - in perfect balance - standing up.

All her roommates accepted her as what she is. That's the beauty of animals in EJ's home.

07 November 2009

Power Failure Follies?

It hits you hard when there is a sudden power failure without warning. And you do not know when it will come back.

EJ remembers during younger days while working, all the writers would scream in frustration when this happened. The loudest screams were from those who had a deadline to beat and had not saved their work. Obviously in the writing mood with words flowing, they kept pounding the keyboards chasing their thoughts and did not really have time to save. Some writers do write best when nearing deadlines.

It isn't so bad if this happens at home.
EJ took advantage of the power failure to clean the refrigerator and all electrical fans.

To cool the house in the tropical afternoon heat, EJ mopped the whole house. It was a good exercise to burn off any excess fat as well as strengthen the muscles. Toxins were removed from the body in the form of sweat as well.

To cool the body, just take a cold shower.

Working hard physically can really work up an appetite.

Food? Not a problem.

EJ, a vegetarian, opened a can of baked beans and cooked it with the naturally thawed frozen mixed vegetables. Vegetables are perishable and without the refrigerator, it has to be consumed.

Boil the mixed vegetables with half cup of water.
Throw in half teaspoon salt.
When the mixed vegetables are cooked, pour in a can of baked beans. Add a few tablespoons of water so it would not be thick.

This dish goes well with rice or bread. When these two were not available, EJ has tried eating it with cream crackers.
Non-vegetarians can throw in whatever meat as well.

Power failure follies?

EJ doesn't think so. You make the best out of it till the power comes back. Another plus is that your electricity bill will be a little lower.

03 November 2009

Tanya Augmented

Looking through some old stuff, EJ found this photo of Tanya when she came and asked for help. This was taken when she had just given birth to five adorable kittens. It was a little over eight years ago.

In those eight years, a lot has happened to Tanya. There was a brief time when she would saunter over to her ex-owner's house for a quick visit and hello. There was also a time when her ex-owner tried to win her back as Tanya has filled out and healthy.

And when she met a horrible accident that needed three corrective surgeries, Tanya became EJ's permanent roommate on the advice of her vet.

This is how she look now.

29 October 2009

I Love my Letter Box

During our grandparents' time, news were mostly conveyed through radios and hand-written letters were delivered by post.

Nowadays with advanced technology, news were sent efficiently and quickly. But each house still has a letter box for the postman to deliver mail.

EJ believes that everyone still look forward to the postman delivering letters as there is a feeling of warmth and a special touch of happiness in opening a friend's handwritten letter or postcard.

Unless houses were constructed with the letter boxes concealed in gate pillars like in many modern housing estates; most people would prefer to buy their own choice of letter box. Letter boxes are sold in a basic box shape but with slight variations.

When EJ's brilliant red plastic letter box dropped and smashed to a million pieces (suspected due to unseen forces) coupled with a busy schedule at that time, EJ decided to put up a temporary letter box.

After finishing the last biscuit, EJ stared at the empty biscuit tin and thought, "Why not?"

EJ took out the hammer, a nail, a coil of wires and started work on the biscuit tin. Holes were made at the back of the tin for the wires to go through to tie the box to the gate. Holes were also made at the bottom to drain out whatever rain that may collect. EJ was extremely pleased with the result.

Visiting friends find this unusual letter box very amusing and would walk in with big grins on their faces.

With the biscuits finishing soon, EJ feels it is time to change the letter box as rust has filled the whole bottom of the existing one.

27 October 2009

A Pirate Hat

EJ was excited when a cute pirate hat complete with an eye patch was found online.

Captain Jack Sparrow HAWK needed the eye patch to cover his missing eye globe. The hat is just to give him the boost to make him feel macho.

Unfortunately what EJ found has the eye patch for the wrong side. It covers The Captain's good eye which he uses to view the world like a hawk.

So The Captain will have to just hold it in his paw.

20 October 2009


Though Halloween is not popularly celebrated in this country that has summer all year round, my roommates prefer to join in the fun by sleeping away.

EJ did not get anything Halloween for the cats as EJ feels the cats have too many toys given by relatives and friends including their vet.

The other reason why nothing was bought for Halloween was the fact that Winnie is a natural Halloween candidate.

Winnie was not like this when she came a few years ago. As time went by, her fangs grew longer. Actually the canine teeth did not grow longer; it moved lower probably due to weakening and receding gums. So far this did not give her any problems.

The fangs made Winnie look like she has 'buckteeth' which makes her look rather cute. EJ had laughs whenever Winnie is scared as it is a comical sight - frightened eyes wide opened with supposedly fiercesome-looking fangs.

17 October 2009

Urban Chicks

Shrill chirping sounds were heard. It was too loud for small birds; it has to be big birds. Then cackling sounds were heard. Chickens!

Chickens in urban area?

Soon sounds of a hammer hitting wood were heard. If it was for chickens, then a chicken coop was being built. And indeed it was - built in the narrow back lane.

The chickens roamed the entire length of the back lane. The neighbours weren't happy about it.

One said that when her son was a few months' old, each time the cockerel crowed behind her house, her son would wake up crying. This particular cockerel did not seem to be able to differentiate time. It crowed even at midnight! This lady and her family have bought their own house and have moved.

Another family who lives directly behind this chicken coop seldom open their back door as the stench of chicken droppings is overpowering. They, too, have bought their own house and plan to move as soon as it is ready.

Though at times irritated, these neighbours may have had some giggles in observing visitors' facial response to cockerel crowings at night.

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13 October 2009

Monkey See, Monkey Do

Like humans, animals have their own style of relaxing.

Some cats imitate one of the most relaxing style of humans - crossing legs.

Tommy does this often. Since he can't cross his hind limbs, the cat's equivalent of human legs, Tommy crosses his fore limbs. He looks really relaxed and macho when he does that.

None of Tommy's roommates does this style of crossing limbs. Kenggy did.

It is absolutely unimaginable for Kenggy to cross her front limbs as she does not have her two front paws including both wrists. With her two front limbs considerably shorter than normal cats, the folding of her limbs were very tight.

And EJ was lucky to have taken photos of this act as Kenggy did it only once.

10 October 2009

Home Alone Raya Celebration 2009

After the disappearance of the visiting cat during last year's Hari Raya Puasa celebration, this year's celebration would be peaceful. That was what EJ thought and how wrong EJ was.

A few months ago, a neighbour got a frisky kitten and as usual it was given the complete freedom to roam. A quick chat with the neighbouring children, EJ found out that this kitten was given by one of their friends and its given name is 'Boy-Boy'. And of course, Boy-Boy did walk around EJ's porch and sleep in the shade among the flower pots.

Just like last year, this year the neighbours 'balik kampung' to celebrate. They stayed away for a week. And again the same thing happened. Boy-Boy was home alone.

EJ was slightly disheartened at such action and snooped around to see if any food was left out for Boy-Boy. None could be seen and even if any had been put out, for a week strays would have helped themselves to it.

Boy-Boy never asked EJ for food. Instead Boy-Boy hunted and hauled it to EJ's garden.

EJ had mixed feelings - annoyed at having to clean the mess and pleased as this indicated that to Boy-Boy, EJ's porch and garden is his sanctuary and haven where he could sleep and eat in peace without being harassed or disturbed by children.

06 October 2009

Cat Camping Part IV

Camp cat continues...

After righted the tent, EJ went into the house, prepared a mug of coffee and sat down for a much needed rest. Before EJ could finish that mug of coffee, EJ heard unusual sounds coming from the yard and went to investigate.

EJ was dumbstruck at the sight. The tent had travelled to the other side of the yard almost under the Chengal (tropical hardwood) podium. This time the culprit was Tanya.

Inspite of other cats trying to coax Tanya out by pawing and trying to get in the tent, Tanya refused to budge.

This time EJ decided that the tent had to be saved. It wasn't easy. The cats gave EJ a hard time. The tent was folded up and kept.

The cats did have a good time with Tommy inside looking out at Captain Jack Sparrow HAWK and Tanya feeling very comfortable cleaning herself inside the tent.

Since only two cats did not explore the tent, EJ ponders whether both Cinders (15-year-old) and Kenggy (without two front paws) should be given a chance in private.