Tuesday, May 29, 2007

In loving memory: Wayne “Thunder” Seah 1977-2007

I’d like to share with all of you, a little about a beloved friend and brother of mine, Wayne Thunder, who passed away on May 21st 2007, and the life he shared with a special cat called Robert.

Robert first stumbled into the life of one of Singapore’s pioneering and legendary bands, The Suns, as a shivering, skinny and very hungry kitten. After being told that he would most likely be put down because he was “so ugly, no one would want to adopt him”, the band, who were also struggling to feed themselves in a foreign land at that time, after being banned from performing in their homeland, found their lucky star in that little furry heart.

Named after Robert Plant from Led Zeppelin, Robert the Cat didn’t just bring with him good feng shui, but also taught the boys a thing or two about being a real rockstar. Despite 2 members of the 3-piece band having to rely heavily on Ventolin (a drug that combats asthmatic symptoms) just to pat the guy, Robert soon owned the boys.

Robert the Rockstar is a really sweet, loving cat. But just very occasionally, when he’d notice that the band was starting to slack, Robert would morph into Norman (after Norman Bates, also from Led Zep). It was Norman’s job to give the boys a good beating to remind them that success can only be built through hard work... and lots of scritches behind the ears and on the fleshy rump.

Robert would often wait by the front door mewing, or scratching at Wayne’s bedroom door, for hours whenever the band were on tour or were performing. You could tell whenever the band were about 45 minutes away from home because you would find Robert perched on the top of the main door frame, like a cruel prank involving a bucket of ice water and an unsuspecting victim. Robert was always ready and happy to give the boys a few welcoming 'rock-scars' as he pounced and slid down the back, with claws unsheathed, of whoever was lucky enough to walk through the doorway first. The boys would always have immense respect for their winter coats.

The band's drummer, Wayne Thunder, was Robert’s favourite Sun. While Wayne did also get an occasional good sounding out whenever his drumstick twirling wasn’t as smooth as it should be (a move synonymous with the legend of Wayne), Wayne was the only one who could pacify the Norman in Robert. And at slumber time, Robert would have it no other way, but in Wayne's arms or cosy bed. If you have never seen a hardcore, long-haired rocker go mushy, teary-eyed and sentimental over anything, I wish you could’ve seen Wayne and Robert together. When Wayne was not thundering on the drums, you could always find him cradling Robert in his arms, showering him with kisses and baby talk.

Robert’s bed was a queen-sized bed with pure silk and satin sheets and pillows, which he allowed Wayne to occupy a tiny corner of. If Robert was snoozing, Wayne wouldn’t allow anyone to sit on the bed for fear that it would disrupt the Rock God’s slumber. Sometimes he would even boil chicken wings for Robert and de-bone them. The rest of the band would never understand why or come to terms with having to eat the cat’s leftovers.

Robert, in turn, gave Wayne the kind of unconditional love and inspiration that made it possible for Wayne to dedicate himself unceasingly to the music industry and charity up to the very end of his life. Wayne will always be remembered for his tireless toil for the past decade and more, against impossible odds, striving to gain recognition and support for local music, creating new platforms for struggling musicians to be heard, and successfully hoisting Singapore music on the international front with the band’s cult following in Australia and many other countries. Through all that, there was a cat that kept the legend going...

To the cat and his drummer... ROCK ON!!! \m/

~The Flyer

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Too much to bear...

There is only so much bad news one can take in a span of 48 hours.

My cousin's grandfather suffered a stroke.
The sudden and painful loss of a friend.
And tonight...
I learnt that Bunny had passed away. He was found on a grass patch under a tree in heavy rain. He might have been in a road accident... we can't be sure.

Dear Bunny, I'm so sorry I didn't get to you in time. I was just too late. I'm very very sorry.

~5-Cat Style

Monday, May 21, 2007

While the hungry giant sleeps...

Move the camera a little to the right, please

A little more... A little more...

Greedy Bombay always helps himself freely to Bangles' share of food, you see

So poor Bangles can only have his fill when the greedy one is unconscious

On a different note, I'll be leaving Singapore for Melbourne in just two weeks. I have a ton of things to prepare and arrange for and a million people to catch up with. There's also a driving test and vocal exam right around the corner. Plus I want to squeeze in home visits to check in on all my once-fostered-now-adopted-out cats.

This means that I'll probably be left with very little time and energy to blog at the end of the day. But I promise to do what I can. I'll keep on reading and commenting on your blogs even if I can't post any blog entries myself.

But once I get settled in Melbourne, I'll definitely be sharing with all of you my life as a struggling 30-year-old Vet student. So please wish me luck. Lots and lots and lots of it!

~5-Cat Style

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Bombay got back


Photos courtesy of Melvin and Stephanie

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Maskee, My Friend at Midnight

I've been missing home very much so I thought I'd do a post on one of the reasons why its so hard being away.

This is Maskee, one of the community cats at our home in Singapore. From what a feeder told me, Maskee first appeared one rainy night during the Hungry Ghost month. She was a kitten then and had some burnt marks, most likely from joss sticks. No one has any idea where she came from. But no one questions, everyone's just glad that she has never left.

I first met Maskee two years ago during one of my trips back home to Singapore. Maskee was very skittish and always ran away from people. Yet, at the same time, she seemed to want some company. She'd look at you with such intense longing, give the gentlest mew, take a step towards you and then run away in a flash. Encounters with her were always bizarre - you never knew if you had just made progress, or if your heart had once again been toyed with. Eventually, after much admonishment from her about the right food to offer her majesty, she accepted my friendship and we walked for a good while together that night.

Now, Maskee is always waiting by the carpark entrance to welcome my family and I whenever we come home. You can always see her running out of her hiding place whenever my dad's car comes driving into the carpark and she'll wait by the entrance, ears pricked in excitement. In return, the first thing I'd always do whenever I got out of the car is call out Maskee's name, and she'd come bounding towards us, and stand on her hind legs for us to pat her, as I chat with her in questionable mews and her always replying most politely and patiently. Even my dad who was never a cat-person before, has had his heart won over by her. From his previous incessant grumblings whenever we cuddle the community cats, he now allows them to rub themselves all over his trouser leg, and he even strokes and talks to Muskee!

But of course, like any masked avenger, Maskee has her quirky side. You can pat her head anytime, but she'll only let you properly stroke her when we're at a specific void deck. She loves seafood and will only accept Science Diet kibbles. She only drinks water collected on drain covers, no matter how well presented your bowl of water is to her. Maskee also MUST be greeted and stroked FIRST, above the other cats or folks in the neigbourhood. Once we made the dreadful mistake of not greeting her first when we got home, and for 2 weeks after, she was still giving us the coldest possible treatment. She would slink away from our every attempted touch like we were lepers! Still, being the ever compassionate queen (she has granted many subjects property rights in her kingdom), she'd sit/walk/lie down beside us but no matter how we tried to stroke her, she'd always manage to avoid our touch by simply, and calmly, arching or curling her back while walking away. I have still to come across another cat who is able to walk with their underside completely flat against the ground, and what's more in an elegant manner! It was like chasing your shadow - close but no cigar.

From what my family tells me, Maskee still greets them at the carpark every night. I miss her terribly and I'm still contemplating: what would be the best gift for her when I return?

What do you think?

~The Flyer

Monday, May 14, 2007

Fainting Goats

I felt like them so many times today. *faints*

~5-Cat Style

Friday, May 11, 2007

7 Random facts about me, Bombay

I haf been tagged by my furiends
Obi, Samantha and Faz
to purrlay this game.

Here are the rules:

Each player starts with seven random facts about themselves. Cats who are tagged need to write on their own blog about the seven things and the rules. You need to choose seven cats to tag and list their names. Don’t forget to leave them a comment that they have been tagged and to read your blog!

Okay, here are 7 random facts about me:

1. Together wif my sisfurs and brofurs, I was rescued by a well-known V-E-T in Singapurr.

2. I am quite the rocker cat! I lurve to dance wif my Foster Mommy to rock music blasting on the stereo.

3. I haf the bestest litterbox manners. I nefur leave my poop uncovered. And not once haf I efur had a litterbox accident.

4. I enjoy grooming my Foster Mommy's eyebrows and giving her eyelids a good cleaning while she sleeps.

5. I haf nefur given my beans the bitey or scratchy on purpose. I am furry furry well-mannered and my cuteness is usually enuf to get me what I want.

6. I haf a terrible sense of balance. Put me on any beam, howefur thick or thin, and watch me shake and tremble like jello!

7. I got my name because I was so round and tubby as a kitten that I reminded my Foster Mommy and her sisfur of a nursery rhyme about the Fat Man of Bombay.

I am supposed to tag 7 other cats, so I tag Dolce, Turtle, Angelica, Pip, Yuan Yuan, Buzzerbee and Kismet.


Thursday, May 10, 2007

What's wrong, Bunny?

This is Bunny. He is one of the younger community cats who live in my estate.
Bunny is VERY friendly and VERY affectionate, so much so that it sometimes takes me an hour to break away from him and get home to dinner.

Bunny is the last survivor of 3 brothers. One died in a road accident and the other simply vanished

He is the kind of cat who will sprint towards you at full speed in utter joy and then rub himself all over your legs till your black pants turn white from his shedding fur. And as you scratch his cheek and rub him on the nose, he will climb on to your lap and chew on your bag straps or earphones.
Last week when The Flyer's friend expressed a desire to adopt a VERY friendly and VERY affectionate cat, I recommended Bunny right away. I was ecstatic when she agreed to come down to meet him to see if sparks will fly between them. Bunny has so much love to give, he will bring his adopters an incredible amount of joy.
So it is now very worrying to see a startling change in Bunny's personality. Starting early this week, he has been subdued and aloof. He'll ignore you and show no interest in anything. He may raise his chin slightly to allow you to scratch him, but that's about the biggest response you can get from him now.
I don't know if he is being bullied by other cats or getting scared off by people who want him to keep his distance. I don't know if all this is because he is entering adulthood and feeling grumpy.
I only hope that this change is only temporary and that it won't compromise his chances at being rehomed.
~5-Cat Style

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

How to fold your own paper bowls

Before I start, I just want to say that I am NOT anywhere close to being even passable at origami. So the fact that I can fold a decent bowl using this method says a lot about how simple it is to follow.

The Flyer uses a different method to make her bowls and she has tried so many times to teach it to me, but my brains somehow cannot process and remember the steps. They seem to me as complicated as say... trying to fold an intricate spider's web. But this method that I am about to show you, I find very straight-forward.

I'll be using an A4-size sheet from an old magazine, instead of newspaper. Why? Because the thicker sheets from magazines create sturdier bowls. I can use them to hold even water. All you have to do is to line it with an old plastic bag, pour the water in and ta-dah! You've got yourself a mini drinking bowl.

Okay, so here's how I fold my bowls...


All you need is paper and a stapler to do this. Magazine paper, newspaper, even spam mail in your letterbox can be used. The paper doesn't have to be in A4 size. Any size will do.

Step 1:

Take a look at your sheet of paper. Which side of the paper do you want on the outside of the bowl?

This is important for those who are feeding cats in crowded public places. Especially in Singapore where there is quite a large number of people who are turned off by anyone attempting to feed a cat, you will find that you have to hide the bowls in discreet places like tall grass patches or beneath bushes.

It is wise to choose a green or brown or any dark colour to be on the outside of the bowl for a more effective camoflage.

Step 2:

After you have decided which side is to be on the outside, place that side facing down. Then fold the sheet in half.

Step 3:

Fold it in half again so that you end up with a small rectangle.

Step 4:

You'll notice that you now have two open flaps. Take one of them and press it flat down.

Step 5:

You should end up with a shape that looks like the triangular roof of a house.

Step 6:

Do the same to the other open flap. You'll now have a flat trianglular creation in your hands with a small gap at the bottom.

Step 7:

Turn one flap over and press it flat down. Do the same to the opposite flap. You'll now have the same flat triangular shape but with the original flaps exchanged and no gap at the bottom.

Step 8:

Take the corner ends of the new flap, bring them towards the centre line of the triangle and fold them down.

Step 9:

Do likewise to the other flap so that you end up with the shape of a house.

Step 10:

Take the rectangular bottom and fold it half.

Step 11:

Then fold it over once more.

Step 12:

Staple it down in the middle.

Step 13:

Repeat steps 10, 11 and 12 on the opposite side.

Step 14:

Open the box up and ta-dah! You now have a food bowl.

I do recommend that you keep the bowls folded for easy stashing in your bag. Do let me know if any of my instructions are confusing. I'll try and simplify them for you. And if anyone else has an easier method, please please please share it with all of us.

For now... Congratulations! You have graduated from 5-Cat Style's Origami Kindergarten!

After a few bowls, you'll find yourself folding them quite quickly. Pretty soon, you'll be folding them with your eyes practically closed. The Flyer and I often have these bowl-folding sessions while watching TV. How else can you explain all these many many bowls?

~5-Cat Style

Saturday, May 05, 2007

My good deed for today

I finally finished up some outstanding work at about 6.30pm today and was so glad to be able to leave the office.

As I made my way across the busy road towards Funan Centre to pay some bills, I saw a very thin cat in front of me. He was walking at a very casual pace and his nose seemed to be busy hunting for something.

I knew that this poor thing must be starving. So I picked up my cellphone and called my Mum. She happened to be in my office today. I asked her to help me bring down the Kitty Emergency Food Pack that The Flyer and I always have ready for situations like this. We have one such pack at home and another in my office so that we'll always be ready to launch a kitty hunger rescue.

This was one lucky kitty to have an unlucky me stuck in the office on a fine Saturday like today.

I decided to make a quick dash to pay my bills (ie. my Internet bill so that I can blog) at an automated machine. Just as I was done with my payment, I saw my Mum walking hurriedly towards me. "I saw a cat walk up the overhead bridge," she said with my kitty food pack slung over her arm. So off we flew towards the direction of the bridge.

As we approached the overhead bridge, I saw a thin but handsome cat with his face stuck out from halfway up the steps of the bridge. When I reached him, he was flat on his belly playing with some twigs. He was looking up fascinated at the trees when he finally saw me.

"Kitty! Kitty!" I called out to him. I half-expected the cat to scuttle away scared, but instead he boldly made his way towards me and rubbed himself all over my legs.

"Awww..." my Mum said, "He's so tame. Someone here must be feeding him sometimes."

Very quickly, I laid out a paper bowl (The Flyer and I have a stash of about 150 paper bowls that we folded ourselves... yes, yes... we have no life) and a small plastic tray. I took another look at the cat to decide if he should have the canned tuna or biscuits. He looked terribly thin and undernourished. "Tuna it is," I mumbled to myself and proceeded to pour out the deliciously smelly contents into the paper bowl.

The cat needed no invitation to dinner. Before I was even halfway through pouring water into the plastic tray, the cat's nose was completely buried in tuna. Not once did he look up from his food as I clicked noisily on my camera just inches from his face.

He ate so much so fast that he came down with the hiccups and had to stop eating for a while.

I'm really glad I bumped into this fellow and managed to give him a meal. I'll keep my eyes open for him from now on. I doubt anyone is caring for this cat properly as he hasn't been sterilised and he clearly hasn't been fed in a while. But he certainly is very comfy with people so maybe there is someone who is a part-time feeder to him.

Here are some photos of today's chanced encounter.

"Look who won the lottery today! ME!!! I've got tuna!"

Dining al-fresco on the steps of an overhead bridge


"Nothing will distract me from my dinner"

"Not even that noisy clicky thing in your hands"

He will not be swayed, he will not be distracted

His singular objective, his only focus is to E-A-T

"Oooh... the tuna is scrrrumptious!"

"I can feel my belly filling up very nicely"

"Gee... is SHE still going on with that clicky thing?"

"I'm finally full! Thank you for buying dinner"


"I think I better take a short recess. Hic!"

"Oops! Did I get some tuna on my nose?"

"Did I get it off?"

"No? I'll try again"

"What? I've got more on my left cheek?"

"Think I got them all now. That sure was strenuous on the tongue!"

"Here's a rub-against-you Thank You"

"I have such a nice warm feeling in my belly now"

"Now that I CAN be distracted, I'll be happy to pose for you"

"Here are my white whiskers, pink lips and fearsome fangs"

"Do I look like a cactus from this angle?"

"How about a porcupine now?"

"I think my left profile is my best profile"

"I'm gonna stop with the posing now because I need to rest my belly for better digestion, ok?"

"Aaahh... that's better"

"Sorry, I don't do dishes. YOU will have to"

"How about a li'l back-rub now?"

"Throw in a belly-rub too!"

"Awww... you're leaving already?"

"And just as I was getting comfy too"

"Hope to see you around some time. It has been a pleasure"

"Here's one more pose for the road"

~5-Cat Style