Sunday, January 29, 2006

Anyone knows who Mary Osman is?

Yesterday, while my Dad and I were driving around in the car, I told him about the 'Old Days' questions I had answered. I told him that it made me realise how old I am. I mentioned Fantasy Island and The Love Boat to him. And he agreed that they were from a long time ago.

Then he informed me that I was wrong to fill in Nancy Kwan's name... that she was from his time, not mine. Hmm... I guess I just remember watching a lot of Nancy Kwan movies and admiring her pan-Asian looks and curvacious bod. That scene of her twirling the tassels on her bra has been burnt into my mind forever.

My Dad and I discussed more famous people of my time and then he turned to me and said, "Hey, you should know this famous singer. He's very famous and from your time. Er... his name is... Osman."

My face fell. "Osman? I definitely do not know him."

"He's very famous," my Dad insisted. "Osman! You should know him."

"Da, I don't know any Malay singers from back then."

"He's not Malay," my Dad said. "Aiyah... Osman! You know... er... Mary... Mary Osman?"

"Huh? Mary Osman? And she's a man?"

"Tsk! Mary Osman and... Der... Danny Osman."

"OH!!! You mean, Donny and Marie Osmond!"

So that cleared the air.

Anyway, for those of you feeling bad about getting old... this should make you feel better.

When I asked my Dad about the TV shows of his time, he sighed and replied, "We had no TV then. We only had redifussion."

Feeling better now?

~5-Cat Style

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Urrggh! Got tagged

Thanks to my old buddy from across the causeway, The Flyer and I have been tagged. Great job, Vernon. Now everyone will know my great age!

Please note that this is NOT a listing of my favourite things from the old days.

Okay, having said that... here I go!

1. Name one of the actors of the old days that you miss the most

  • Michael J. Fox

2. Name a cartoon of the old old days

  • Alvin & The Chipmunks
  • The Snorks

3. Name a singer/group of the old days

  • Debbie Gibson
  • Bananarama

4. Band of the old days

  • Alphaville
  • Firehouse
  • Joan Jett & The Blackhearts

5. TV Series of the old days

  • Fantasy Island
  • The Love Boat
  • Solid Gold
  • V

6. Actress of Old Days

  • Nancy Kwan

7. Fashion of Old Days that you miss the most

  • Skorts - a miniskirt and shorts hybrid

8. Movie of Old Days

  • Tootsie

9. Music Video of Old Days

  • Michael Jackson's Billie Jean
  • Tears For Fears' Shout

10. Coolest Song of Old Days

  • Skid Row's 18 and Life

Have I embarrassed myself enough?

~5-Cat Style

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Meet Tiger, Peanut and Ginger

I meant to post these photos up much earlier. Right after Christmas actually. I'm sorry I'm so late with them. But better late than never!
Over Christmas at a friend's party, I got to meet her darling pets. They are...


and Ginger.

I was very excited about meeting Tiger. He is the very first Basset Hound I've met. How could I not swoon at the feet... ahem... paws, I mean, of the very famous Hush Puppy model?

This dog with a big cat's name is about 7-years-old. He was given to my friend when his original owners moved abroad. Basset Hounds have these amazingly large, sad, soulful eyes that have the power to draw you in and make you want to sayang them all day in a desperate attempt to cheer them up.

My friend believes that when he first arrived in Singapore, he was the only Basset Hound here. But I don't think he is the only one anymore. The Flyer swears that she has seen at least two others being walked by their owners.
And this is Peanut, a very docile male, who enjoyed my scratching behind his ears very much. He and two of his sisters were rescued by my friend's brother when they young... so young that they looked like hairless mice.

Unfortunately, one of his sisters didn't make it and passed away soon after being picked up. But the other female survived and grew up to be very beautiful...

... and very, very large! Just look at how massive Ginger is.

Tiger, Peanut and Ginger now live very happily together. Tiger still scares the cats sometimes with his loud barks, but I don't think they ever want to be without him.
~5-Cat Style

Sunday, January 22, 2006

2 Sides to Gucci

Remember Gucci? He's the handsome blackie adopted by Melissa.

From her latest photo update, I have observed two distinct sides to Gucci. There is the sedate, low energy, manja, chill-out cat...

And then there is... ... ...



~5-Cat Style

Friday, January 20, 2006

How often do you bathe your cats?

Hi, all you cat-loving people! Let me ask you… How often do you bathe your cats?

Why do I ask?

Because I’ve had this discussion with many people on many occasions. And I’m still not sure if there is a proper number for baths for cats.

I know very good owners and rescuers who bathe their cats once a month. I also know other very good owners and rescuers who bathe their cats once a year.

Me? I bathe my cats once a week. And if necessary, I give them a wipe-down with a wet towel with a wee bit of kitten shampoo mid week. I cuddle and cradle my kitties a lot, you see, so I like them to be as clean and sweet-smelling as possible. But I also don’t want to dry out their coats so I never bathe them more than that.

I’ve been told that a weekly bath is far too often and that my cats could come down with rheumatism when they get older.

That sounds about as true as the saying: If you kick a cat, you will develop rheumatism in that leg.

Rheumatism and arthritis are not caused by frequent baths. They are the natural wear and tear of the cartilage causing painful muscle spasms and inflamed joints. Poor diet and obesity are factors too. NOT frequent baths.

Here’s another reason why I prefer frequent baths. People who are allergic to cat fur are actually allergic to the cat’s saliva left on the fur. So while cats are quite capable of licking themselves clean enough, the saliva left on their coat will probably leave your family and friends in a sneezing fit.

And seriously, how well can a small tongue clean you?

So it seems that the frequency of cat baths is really a decision based on the caregiver’s lifestyle, not so much the cat’s health.

Is there a recommended number of baths we should all try to stick to then?

What is the magic number? Would you know?

~5-Cat Style

The 2 B's are back from a little 'snip-snip'

Bombay and Bangles have gotten back from the vet's after a little snipping 'down there'.

Melvin says that there isn't any aftereffects from the anaesthesia. The kitties are already back to their normal selves.

Hmmm... I wonder if Bombay and Bangles realised what has happened to them. Are they thinking, "Just as I became a real man, I've lost my manhood. Darn it!"

~5-Cat Style

Wildlife Laws in Singapore Amended

Finally! Finally the amendment has been made and there's now more hope for the fight against the illegal wildlife trade! Here's the article from Today newspaper outlining the bill amendment.

Kudos to all who's in the fight against the wildlife trade and 10 thumbs up to ACRES, Singapore's only organized body against the trade!

Animals, rejoice, for new hope has found you!

~The Flyer

TODAY 18 January 2006

Going straight for the jugular

Loh Chee Kong TO Strengthen Singapore's fight against the illegal wildlife trade, the Ministry of National Development has introduced harsher penalties against traffickers of endangered species.

Yesterday, a Bill was passed in Parliament to double the maximum jail terms and raise the fine limit.

Under the amendments, smugglers can be jailed for up to two years, up from the previous one year. The maximum fines for illegal trafficking of endangered species will be increased from $5,000 to $50,000.

The fine applies to each animal or plant protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites) seized, and is capped at $500,000. Previously, offenders were fined according to species, and not the number seized.

Singapore is a member of Cites, which regulates wildlife trade. According to the International Police, the smuggling of wildlife generates profits of US$5 billion ($8.2 billion) annually, second only to narcotics.

On the need to cap the fine, MP Amy Khor (Hong Kah GRC) asked: "If these illegal traffickers continue to commit such crimes despite the hefty penalties, why should the law help limit the financial risks they face upon prosecution?"

Nominated MP Geh Min said: "The Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) does not have enough manpower … Higher penalties must be matched by greater enforcement."

Conceding the AVA's constraints, Minister of State for National Development Heng Chee How said that its structure and headcount would be reviewed. Nonetheless, he stressed that the task goes beyond the AVA and requires concerted efforts from non-governmental organisations and international partners.

Mr Louis Ng, president of the Animal Concerns Research & Education Society (Acres), a local animal welfare group, welcomed the harsher punishments.

According to Mr Ng, Singapore is one of the hubs for illegal wildlife trade and in certain cases, the shipments are worth as much as drugs.

Last year, a survey by the society found that one in five pet shops was selling endangered animals.

Said Mr Ng: "The Government should clamp down on this the way it does the smuggling of drugs."

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Bill Murray - A master of deadpan comedy

I’m a huge Bill Murray fan. This guy cracks me up. Big time. He has this amazing ability to do nothing at all, and still be really fascinating and really REALLY funny.

How he does it is beyond me.

By the time a friend told me that his new movie, Broken Flowers, was out in the theatres, I was already seated comfily in Orchard Cineleisure Theatre 6.

This is the set-up of Broken Flowers.

Bill Murray plays Don Johnston, a lifelong bachelor, who made his money in computers and now refuses to own one.

Soon after his girlfriend moves out of his house, refusing to spend any more time with "an over-the-hill Don Juan", he receives a pink coloured, typewritten letter. It informs him that he has a 19-year-old son who may soon show up on his doorstep.

The letter is unsigned with no return address, so he doesn’t know which old girlfriend sent it or how to contact her.

While Don is unmoved by the news, his best friend and next-door neighbor Winston, takes a huge interest in this mysterious case. He makes Don come up with a list of possible ex-girlfriends from 20 years ago, tracks them down, and organises a trip for Don to meet them and to find out, as discreetly as possible, who sent the letter.

Winston’s advice to Don: "The letter is on pink stationery. Give them pink flowers and watch their reaction."

So the film focuses on Don’s journey as he drops in on his ladies. There are five of them on Don’s list. Four of them are played by big-name veteran actresses; Sharon Stone, Frances Conroy, Jessica Lange and Tilda Swinton.

Their appearances are short, but powerful. They reveal just enough about themselves to us to hint at their past with Don. And they reveal just enough to Don to tell him what he needs to know about who sent the letter and his son.

The fifth girlfriend doesn’t appear because she had passed away in a car accident some years back. The scene where he pays her a visit at the cemetery is a short, but moving one.

But while the story line seems heavy, the film is hilarious. From his encounter with Sharon Stone’s exhibitionist daughter...

“That was quite an outfit you weren’t wearing earlier,” Don remarks

... To a surreal three-way conversation with Jessica Lange and a cat. The feline warns her about Don. "He says you have a hidden agenda,” Jessica Lange tells him.

Then there is a very funny dinner scene where Don dines with his ex (played by Frances Conroy) and her hubby.

I have got to say this… I can tell how good an actor is from the way he eats on film. I’m serious! Take Chow Yun Fatt for example. This guy can make me sob just from watching him eat chicken rice!

Same for Bill Murray. He had me in stitches as he looked balefully at his plate of carrots, stabbed at them with his fork into a lovely orange column, proceeded to push them all into his mouth and almost gag from the taste or lack of.

Bill Murray is his typical deadpan self here. But in his stillness and sadness, he is quietly funny and delivers a powerful performance as always. I also love the one-liners he delivers and his charming interactions with Winston’s children.

Those of you who have watched Lost In Translation, well… Broken Flowers is somewhat similar. (Do I hear a cheer or a groan?) The pacing is slow, the humour is subtle and a lot of the film is left to your own interpretation. I’m not always a fan of flicks like these. But Bill Murray is such a gem of an actor, he makes Broken Flowers (and Lost In Translation) hilarious. And Broken Flowers had me and my friend laughing out loud at many parts.

I’m still undecided about the ending though… not sure if I like it yet. It’s one of those open endings. I suppose we aren’t meant to know for sure if any of these women is the mother of his son, or if Don ever gets to meet him. By the end of the movie, we realise that this road trip isn’t as much a journey for Don to discover if he has a child, as it is a journey to discover if he actually wants a child.

Oh, the other thing I enjoyed about Broken Flowers is the soundtrack. Winston burns Don a CD of Ethiopian chill-out music for his trip. It sounds like Balinese music bellydance-style. Very hypnotic. Very cool.

I think I may have just become a fan of Ethiopian jazz!

~5-Cat Style

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

B1 and B2 say, "Zzzz..."

Now that the sun is slowly coming back to full force, the kittens find themselves easy victims of snooze.

Bombay becomes Victim No. 1 in no time at all!

But Bangles struggles! He fights to stay awake! Will he succeed?

(Bangles: Boi tahan... must koon...)
~5-Cat Style

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Bombay & Bangles' new scratching post

Melvin has informed me that the new scratching post for Bombay and Bangles has arrived. The kitties now have a place to file their claws down legally.

Here are some photos of them checking out their new toy and Bangles having a go at the swinging ball attached to it.

~5-Cat Style

Guest blog entry from Bombay & Bangles' owners

So far, most of the entries here have been written from a foster's point of view. You have all read about what the journey of fostering and adopting has been like for me.

What about the adopters? What is their side of the story? Isn't it important to hear from them too?

Today marks exactly 7 seven days since Bombay and Bangles were handed over to Melvin and Stephanie. So I've invited them to write a special blog entry for me. One about their journey through the adoption process so far.

Here is their story...

To have one pet in the house is a big commitment, but to have two together in the same room... now thats... erm... a bigger commitment? Haha!

Anyways, how did we ever get ourselves in trouble with two extremely naughty, unattentive but extremely cute kittens?

It happened at a road show at Taka. The first time we saw Bombay, and the amount of attention he was receiving from everyone around us, made us look up and look at him.

But that's not the reason. Being in a cage was bad enough for him, but he seemed so cheerful in it and had this playful nature about him that it attracted me and my girlfriend, Stephanie, to him. He was just so full of vigour even though he was locked in a small cage.

From then on, that was how we met the most wonderful foster, Shireen. She briefed us on the conditions of adoption and whether we would be selected and asked if we were actually interested in adopting his brother Bangles as well (aka Callas).

We didn't take much notice of Bangles, but we couldn't bear the thought of separating both of them, especially since there are only two of them after their siblings had all been adopted out. So we said yes and let fate decide if the kittens would come to their new home.

As fate would play it right, we received good news that the kittens would be joining us in our new home! It was so exciting we went around preparing the house for the arrival of our two darlings, making sure they would be as comfortable as possible.

A minor hiccup came when Bombay was sick and we had to push back the arrival date just so that he would be healthy in their new home. Soon the day came and they were officially released in my room for them to terrorise. Surveying every inch of the room like a secret agent proceeding with caution, it didn't take them long to find their comfort spot and soon they settled down extremely well.

Nothing major happened. Only one incident when Bombay peed on his favourite bean bag! But it wasn't entirely his fault coz i was doing my business in the toilet and his kitty litter was in there too. So no bean bag for them to lie on at the moment.

This past one week has been a learning experience for me and the kittens while I get used to their playfulness together, learning how they react to certain things, timing their meals and pooing time and, of course, a couple of sleepless nights when they refused to sleep!

But I guess it is part and parcel of having cats. But the joy both of them brought to us is priceless and something we would never exchange for when they snuggle close to you when you are sitting down, or jumping on you when are sleeping to get your attention, and biting my toes in the morning trying to get you out of bed.

We've noticed that Bombay seems more attached to my Stephanie while Bangles prefer to snuggle with me after seeing the attention Bombay receives. I guess it's Bangles' nature to be a little less receptive of us but he's warming up real well to it.

I never expected so many things to happen in a short period of time and I know they will bring many more memories for both of us.

For now and always we will love and care for Bombay and Bangles like our own and shower them with only the good things in life they will ever need. But also if they do something wrong, proper discipline will be given to them too. We hope that Bombay and Bangles will grow up to be strong and healthy, maintain their playfulness and giving us unlimited joy in our lives...

Best regards,

Melvin & Stephanie

~5-Cat Style

More photos of Gucci

Melissa has very kindly provided more photos of Gucci for our viewing. Here are some of her favourite shots.

Melissa with her baby

What a photogenic pair!

Gucci giving puppy dog-eyes when he wants some lovin'

Gucci staring daggers when his sleep is disturbed

In the midst of playing

An afternoon siesta with Kenny

Gucci's impression of Yoda

Melissa says that whenever she watches TV...

... Gucci will always lie on top of her shoulders and Zzzz

"My Gucci is always sleeping!" Melissa moans

Sleep until so shiok!

Dreams of snacks and toy mice and everything nice

Gucci swoons

Melissa says that Gucci often sleeps in funny positions like this

And this is my absolute fave pic of darling Gucci!

"This was Gucci's expression when he saw me for
the first time without make-up," jokes Melissa

~5-Cat Style