Thursday, January 29, 2009

Water globe

A friend gave me this pretty water globe on Christmas day. It's resting on top of my cabinet and sometimes I will give it a shake and watch the "snow flakes" falling on the cats :)

Monkey the new community cat

Mom and I saw her one morning more than a month ago. We suspected that she may be an abandoned pet cat as she is very tame and allows me to rub her tummy. She is not sighted daily and recently I was worried she would get pregnant as a new young male cat had been following her for the past week. So I was determined to try and trap her after Chinese New Year.

Dad called me when he saw her near the carpark. I quickly went home to pick up the carrier. It was a funny sight when I saw Dad using one hand to hold her head. Luckily for him, Monkey is a gentle cat and just allowed him to kind of pin her to the ground. When I opened the door to my carrier and Dad released her, she just ran into the carrier. It was the easiest trapping! She started to meow softly when I carried the carrier.

After feeding the other cats, we went home and found Monkey trying to meow but she seemed to have lost her voice. I opened the door to the carrier and stroked her head and chest and she didn't bite me at all and seemed to enjoy it and even purred a little.

Lingcat is helping me to send Monkey to the vet. I will see her again on Sat evening and release her back to where she is found.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Angel's 2nd lunar new year with us

Last night, Angel was resting briefly under Sis' clothes hanging tree. He just refused to look into the camera :)

I managed to catch him on Sis' bed. Hee.

This morning, I snapped photos of Angel again resting and in action.

Bob's lunar new year eve

This is his first lunar new year eve with us at home. Last year, he was in the park downstair.

I like this photo of him sitting behind my left knee :)

I played this colourful toy with him but he got tired of it after a while.

Bob's favorite sitting posture which shows off his figure. I have been giving him light cat food and feeding him less for the past few months. Hopefully that would help him to lose some weight.

Banana cake failure

I tried baking this banana wholemeal cake, using a recipe I saw in ST's Urban Supplement. However, it turned out rather wet even though I followed the instructions. It tasted more like kueh or pancake rather than cake and it's rather oily. Oh well, I will just try to finish it myself. Mom said she will help me to eat too.

The barrier between Angel and Bob

This is what we need to set up outside the door of Sis' room when Angel is inside resting and Bob is let out of my room. The detergent bottles of detergent/water act as weights to prevent Bob from removing the cardboard. The oranges and orange peels act as a repellent since cats don't like the smell of oranges. However, there are times when Bob will overcome then and use his strength to move the bottles and cardboard. Especially if Angel is just behind the door, meowing and scratching.

When I looked at the photo this afternoon and showed to my sis and parents, we laughed. It's really funny and if relatives or strangers were to see it, they may wonder if we are praying to some god behind the door. Hee.

It is also kind of sad that we need to do this :(

Soba, lemongrass and shepherd pie

2 Tuesdays ago, I took leave to be at home in case Mom needed my help to do spring cleaning. Instead, I cooked soba soup for our lunch. With fish balls, mushrooms, lemongrass and fish stock and some Jap yuzu spicy sauce, I think it tasted yummy. Mom said it was not bad too.

I also made lemongrass drink with panda leaves and ginger. I love the spicy taste from the ginger. Next was to bake shepherd pie for dinner. Its insides were sausages, frozen mixed veggies. The top was mashed pumpkin and potatoes covered with the leftover cheeses (extra sharp cheddar and mild). It tasted quite good too :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Many faces of Bob

I took these shots of Bob using my handphone camera while I was in my bedroom with Bob just now. I played with him a bit, combed his fur and when I was checking my handphone camera, he wasn't very pleased I didn't pay attention to him and tried to bite me. What a baby! I had to tell him no and smack him on his head. After a while, he just made some "erm" noises and sat at one corner and later went next to rest next to me.

He has a nice coat on his back and a cute little tail.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Bob's cries

Some of you may remember my earlier post. I have not mentioned much about Angel and Bob. Both can't still be together. Bob is still in my room most of the time - mom will let him out for a few hours when Angel goes into one of the other rooms. At night, if Angel decides to snooze in Sis' room, we will let Bob out for an hour or so.

For the past month, Bob has been meowing more frequently and louder. If I'm home late or doing work outside my room, Bob will cry for attention and we are worried that our neighbour (the HDB guy) will complain. Luckily so far we haven't heard any bad news. Perhaps closing the window in my room helps with some gap for fresh air at the top window grille.

I recorded the above video of the gate outside my bedroom's door with Bob crying inside. His "ow" sounds are loud. The gate acts as a precaution in case Bob dashes out when Mom/I try to enter my room. I always enter with a big bag to block his view as Angel sometimes will just rest near the door and Bob will get excited and try to dash out.

Mom has also shared with me that she has been stressed with the daily late morning routine of letting Bob out of my room after feeding the community cats downstairs. Sometimes Angel doesn't like being shut in the room and will meow in the room and scratch the door. Bob gets excited and will try to push away the big bottles of water and cardboard used to cover the door. Sometimes the bottles will fall,spilling the water. That's how strong Bob is.

We also realise Bob loves human attention. If Mom/I are in the room, he wants us to play with him, hug him or sit by his side. I have tried reading my book or studying my Jap. If he is alert and already frustrated at being cooped up in the room, he will try to bite my ankles. When he is out during the day, Mom finds that he likes her to pay attention to him. While doing the housework, she feels she can't really focus as she has to keep an eye on him in case he attempts to "break down" the barrier between him and Angel.

Mom loves Bob but feels that he can't have the freedom to roam around the house. Sis and Dad like Bob too. I love Bob too but sometimes I feel guilty that I can't give him all my attention and time. My work, interest, going out with friends mean less time with him and because he is not able to run around the house like Angel, he sees less of the family and his whole world is just my room. Sharing my room with him, sleeping with him, feeding him and spending time with him whenever I can - is it the best I can do for Bob? Sometimes I wonder if Mom and I have made the right choice in bringing him home. But at that time, we really thought things could work out with him and Angel.

Now everyone seems to be suffering because of our decision/action. I want to try putting an adoption ad of Bob on Cat Welfare Society's adoption board again. I'm not holding out much hope as there are many other lovely cats out there. I don't know how long Mom can withstand the stress and if one day we receive a letter from HDB. Our other option is to put him at a cattery like Rambo, the old community cat but that is a last resort. Bob's future has been on my mind all this time. I feel kind of sad at times I don't have a good solution. But everytime, like 20 mins ago when we managed to give Bob some time to just relax in the living room with us, I feel better. It, however means Angel is either resting on Sis' bed or feels trapped. When we heard Angel scratching the door, we had to put Bob back in my room again. Sigh.

Monday, January 05, 2009

An artistic shot of Angel

A nice shot of Angel taken by Sis using her Canon Ixus 70. I have also been using it since my Casio camera died. I can help her to use it instead of letting it idle away in her cupboard. Hee.

Mom's yummy simple food

Mom cooked us steamed spicy lady's fingers and brown rice porridge for lunch on 2 separate occasions. I felt warm and contented just eating them :)

Eating good food in good company makes me happy!

Chocolate chip cheese muffins

As I had extra cheese cubes not used in my beer bread, I wanted to use them before they turned bad. I found a strawberry cream cheese muffin recipe in one of my recipe books and improvised it. Instead of strawberries and cream cheese, I substituted with chocolate chips and cheese cubes.

I quickly baked them after feeding the community cats yesterday morning and before going to the cinema to watch Ponyo (the animated film by Miyazaki - if you like his works, you should watch it).

I filled the muffin cups to the brim. A mistake as the batter was oozing out while baking in the oven.

But luckily the muffins still looked quite pretty. I quite like the cheesy crust and the cheesy chocolatey centre. The cheese and chocolate chips got pushed up to the top of the muffin, so the bottom of the muffin has no cheese and chocolate. But that's where I could taste the muffin on its own. It tastes like egg sponge cake.

Beer batter bread

A friend has made a copy of this recipe (featured in Straits Times' Sunday Times) for me some time back but I only managed to try it recently. Here's a photo of the recipe (you can click on it to view it clearly).

It's really easy to make and the taste of the bread is like a savoury cake but more airy. I tried making bread using yeast and I have not been successful in making bread the traditional way. This recipe using beer is a unique way to make a savoury bread.

For my first attempt, I used the normal baking powder instead of the double acting one and the bread turned out to be quite dense. Otherwise, I followed the recipe quite obediently. In addition to gruyere cheese, I also added some canned ham (Tulip brand) and frozen organic chopped spinach.

On New Year's Day, I baked this bread again, using honey baked ham, extra sharp cheddar cheese, mild cheese and spinach. It turned out well :) and I was happy that my family and my friends at work like it too.

Now I can consider baking this instead of shepherd pie for family dinners or potluck with friends :)

Cat souvenirs

My friend got this cute souvenir for me when she was attending a meeting for Poland.

Another friend got me this figurine when he was on holiday in Barcelona :)

I also bought a number of nice cat stuff during my holiday in Japan a few years ago. I was admiring them when I was packing my drawers last month. I still can't bear to use some of them.

Passion fruit

After trying passion fruit in the hotel suite on my friend's wedding day in Oct 08, I like it and have introduced it to mom. Both of us in the initial stage could eat one every day. I like its sweet smell and some of them are more sourish than others. It has a refreshing taste. I googled a bit about the fruit and learnt that it has antioxidants. However, it seems like the passion fruit season is ending soon as we see less of it at the provision shop near our home.