Monday, October 27, 2008

Beijing and the cats

I'll be in Beijing tomorrow afternoon to attend a workshop and will be back soon on Wed night. A few friends asked why I didn't extend my trip since it will be my first time in China. Actually I haven't even traveled out of Singapore since Apr last year. It didn't cross my mind to extend especially after Mom and I received bad news from our Town Council officer that he would need to remove Rambo the old community cat due to some complaints. Some residents think Rambo is old and sick and will spread diseases. As the TC officer claimed he can't let me speak to the complainants or they don't want to talk to me, I had to quickly arrange for Rambo to be put at a cattery before the TC culled him.

This afternoon, my family and I visited him and Rambo is not drooling anymore after he responded well to the gingivitis medication. He is also in a cage on his own as he has not been vaccinated. After vaccination, he will be put together with the other cats in a pen. I feel happy to see him safe and looking better. He was vigorously rubbing his head against my familiar hand when I put my hand through the grilles of the cage. I won't be able to see him everyday like in the past at the void deck but I will try to visit him monthly or every 3 weeks.

We visited Bob at another place where I temporarily board Bob there while I'll be away in Beijing. We are worried that he will meow loudly when he is alone in my bedroom and we don't want our upstair neighbour who is working in HDB to complain about us. Poor Bob looked scared in the cage and I let him out for a short while to pet him. I will see him soon on Thurs night and shower him with hugs and kisses.

My life revolves mostly around the cats. Dad thinks it's not good for me to be doing so much for the community cats and little for my personal life. It's a lifestyle and a choice I make. If I don't take care of them with the help of my family, who will do so? No one else will care about their welfare like me and mom. I sterilised them, I have bonded with them. They are like my family too :)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Chasoba and chocolate cake

When I'm in the good mood, I like to keep myself busy and sometimes cook or bake. This afternoon, I decided to do both.

My main ingredients are the above packets of sauce and chasoba I got from the Isetan Scotts' supermarket a few weeks ago. The chasoba needs only a few minutes to cook and I ran it under the cold water tap before mixing in the Japanese codroe cream sauce and sprinkling with some seaweed.

One plate for me and another for sis. We both found it very salty but yummy.

Inspired by the success of my chasoba dish, I went on to try this vegan chocolate cake recipe I found on the net. It doesn't use eggs, milk and butter. Soya milk, vegetable oil (I used olive oil), white vinegar are used together with flour, cocoa powder and brown sugar. The batter tasted a bit like a brownie batter. The recipe indicates a baking time of 30mins but when I poked a skewer in the centre of the cake, it came out wet. So I gave it another 15mins - the skewer came out with some dry crumbs. I quickly took the cake out as it might be overbaked.

There is no strong aroma of chocolate, probably as only 1/3 cup of cocoa powder is used. I cut out a bit of the cake to try and it is quite crumbly. It also tastes more like the traditional Chinese steamed sponge cake. Oh well, I'm used to not getting successful cakes. Sis tried a few crumbs and won't be eating any of it anymore as it's not chocolatey at all. I must admit it's not that sweet too.

I'm trying to promote my cake to my parents and telling them it's like the Chinese Huat kueh. Mom said that kind of kueh is used as offerings for the Chinese gods and not many people actually eat them and birds will peck on them if people place these kueh outdoors. Haha. My cake will be part of my breakfast tomorrow onwards since I can stomach healthy tasting food.

Beached whale

This is Sis' new nickname for Bob. When we let him out this afternoon after keeping Angel in Sis' bedroom, Bob would occasionally lie down on his side. He looked so out of shape and cute :)

Clean Angel

Sis and I worked together to bath Angel this morning. We closed ourselves and Angel in the bathroom and while I tried to hold Angel to keep him still, Sis tried to lather the concoction of warm water, cat shampoo and neem oil (I prepared) into Angel's coat. Angel protested a little and we talked to him, praised him for being a good boy and tried to keep his bathing experience as short as possible. After we towel-dried his fur and his coat still felt a bit damp, we let him out. Angel preferred to groom himself again :)

Half an hour later, Angel actually pooed and dropped one of his poo out of the litter tray and made a bit of mess. Sis cleaned his bum while I cleaned up the mess he made on the floor. Both of us were in a good mood today and as a team, we managed to keep Angel and the house clean while Mom and Dad were out :)

Bai Guo Yi Mi

This dessert is made of barley, bean curd skin and ginko nuts. It's one of my favorite hot dessert and Mom and I had a bowl each at Tiong Bahru Food Centre after our porridge dinner last night.

Ah Chiang's Porridge

I brought my family to this porridge stall (@ Blk 65, Tiong Poh Road - a street away from Tiong Bahru Market) last evening after my friend brought me there a week ago.

We shared this raw fish appetiser.

Sis and I had sliced fish with pork and egg porridge

while Mom had the mixed pork (minced meat, liver, intestine and egg)

and Dad had minced pork porridge.

Although my family agree with me that this is a good place to have a quick meal without any crowd, they don't think the porridge is that great. They think it's not hot enough. Mom thinks her porridge is better and has more ingredients. I still think this place is nice because the porridge reminds me of a home-cooked meal, in a nice clean quiet coffeeshop environment. I know how to make nice porridge too but it's not often, so I think this stall is a good alternative when I feel like having porridge :)

"Shark's fin" soup

Mom made this mock sharkfin soup using some gourd. The flesh of the gourd will become some soft shreds after being cooked and steamed. After adding some corn flour, coriander, minced pork and crabstick, this soup tasted yummy.

I just realised our dinner on Thurs is like a seafood meal, even though there were no sharks' fins.

Sleeping Angel

Sis took a shot of Angel sleeping at his favorite spot on a mat under the living room's window.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Angel's love for big plastic bags

Angel is fascinated by big plastic bags and likes to crawl in, like what he did this morning when Mom was packing the old newspapers to be brought down to the recycling bin at the void deck.

Goodbye, Bony

Bony was the gangster cat at the carpark and feared by the community cats there as he would pounce on them.

After being sterilised, he didn't put up much weight like the other community cats and he didn't eat much too. Hence I have named him "Bony".

For the past week, my parents and I haven't seen him but one of the feeders messaged me yesterday afternoon that she saw him hiding under a lorry, looking sick. When she washed his face, he didn't seem to be able to open his mouth. We didn't see him last night.

This morning, a sweeper told my mom that he saw a cat of Bony's description lying at the study area of the void deck of the block near the carpark. He thought that the cat was sleeping soundly but when he walked near, he detected a strong stench and realised the cat was dead.

Poor Bony must be sick and suffering all this while. At least he is no longer suffering.