Category Archives: Pets

My cats are spoiled and so am I

Yesterday, I came home from work to find Nikki’s now dried-out breakfast still in her bowl. She had only eaten half, maybe less of her breakfast and now it was time for dinner. Since her breakfast had been sitting out all day and probably had spoilt, I threw it out.

My cats don’t know how good they have it, having a roof over their heads, warm blankets to sleep on, clean, fresh water and of course, never knowing what it’s like to starve like so many stray cats out there.

We have a lot of stray cats here, in Toronto. But we also have a lot of cat rescue organizations who take them in and try to find forever homes for them. There are also kind people out there who may not be able to adopt them, but will feed them whenever they can.

Contrast this to the stray cats in Jakarta, Indonesia, where hubby and I spent almost a month this past summer. What I learned, is that people hate cats in Jakarta. Cats are viewed as dirty, evil pests that carry diseases. The cats there will steal food when there’s an opportunity to do so. They won’t hesitate to snatch food off the table and run off with it into the streets. They hover around peoples’ homes hoping that the owner of the home would be kind enough to feed them. But they never get fed, instead, they get shooed away. They are hated animals.

Being a cat lover, seeing how they are treated there saddens me. To me, these cats are just trying to survive. They’re much skinnier and smaller than the cats in Canada, evident of their malnourishment and lack of love.

My very first encounter with a cat was when my family and I still lived in Indonesia. While I grew up with dogs, it was this white cat who came around every day who stole my heart. We fed her daily and even let her in the house, to the horror of our maid at the time. She, like most people in Jakarta, hated cats. We named the cat “Bule”, which is a term used for “white skin”. She ended up giving birth to three of the cutest kittens.

One day, Bule caught a mouse in our house. A mouse in Jakarta is really the size of a rat here. Big and nasty, not like one of those cute ones you see at the pet store here. Bule had the mouse in her mouth, and our maid freaked out. She took a broom and started hitting Bule with it, calling her names, despite my pleads to stop. Bule ran out of the house. She came home hours later looking extremely sad. I was too young then to know any better, but now that I think about it, she may have been in a lot of pain. Since this was now night time, we had the front door closed. She begged for us let her out, and we did. I still remember her walking out that door as if her spirits had been lifted out of her. She walked so slowly, so painfully. I told her I loved her as I watched her walk away, thinking that she would come back later, like she did every day. But this time, she never came back and I lost Bule forever.

As I fed Nikki and Puzzle their dinner last night, I threatened them, “If you don’t eat all your food I’m going to ship you to Indonesia.” Of course, I was joking. I won’t even let them out of the home for fear they might get hurt or lost and never find their way back to me, let alone ship them to another country where they’ll end up being hated and chased away.

So to Nikki and Puzzle, and other indoor cats out there – please eat all your food and stop being so picky!

Puzzle on her scratching post

On a more serious note, this is more of a reminder for me of how blessed I truly am. I’m guilty of having wasted food myself, many times over. I’m guilty of taking my life for granted. But just like Nikki and Puzzle, I have a roof over my head, I’ve never had to beg for food and I don’t know what it’s like to starve constantly. I am thankful for what I have.

Happy thanksgiving everyone!

Not without my cats

One of my biggest fears is to be in the middle of an emergency situation at home and not being able to get the cats out to safety. My cats hate loud sounds. Let me tell you, there’s a reason why the term “scaredy cat” came to be. Whenever they hear the fire alarm, usually in test mode, my cats would bolt – one under the bed and the other who knows where.

Several months ago, as I was cooking dinner, the fire alarm went off. It was the first real alarm I had experienced since moving to the condo 3 years ago. Hubby was working out on the 3rd floor and I initially thought it was a test alarm. But after several minutes of not hearing any news from our security team, and unsuccessfully trying to get a hold of them, I came to the conclusion that it was a real alarm. So I turned off the stove and prepared to get the cats. At the same time, the loud speaker finally went off with instructions to exit through the stairs as there was an emergency. So I texted hubby to get the hell up and help me with the cats so we could get out.

Hubby ran up six flights of stairs. When he got here, we proceeded to get the cats into the carrier as quickly as possible. Nikki was under the bed so we acted as a team. Hubby lifted the bed and I picked Nikki up. Puzzle was a lot easier as she was hiding in my closet. With the cats in the carriers, off we went down the stairs and stayed outside until we were told that it was safe to go back in.

Thankfully, it turned out to be nothing. But had in been a real emergency, we would have been in a lot of trouble given the length of time it took for us to get out. But boy was I glad to have had hubby there with me. I really didn’t think I’d be able to handle that type of emergency. How would I have gotten Nikki out from under the bed on my own? How would I have carried out my cats in two heavy carries by myself?

Well….today as I was busy writing, the alarm went off. Hubby was out playing softball. The loud speaker went off, announcing an emergency on the 17th floor and for us to exit through the stairs. What are the chances, right? After 3 years of living with no emergencies, we get two only months apart from each other. I decided to use the biggest carrier, thinking I could just stuff them both in one, to make it easier. Of course Nikki was already under the bed. After struggling with lifting the bed and finally getting Nikki in the carrier, I proceeded to get Puzzle. She was under my night table and she was hissing and swiping at me. Definitely one unhappy cat. She ran past me and hid in between the shower curtain in our ensuite. I finally got her but I couldn’t get her into the carrier. She struggled out of my hands. So I decided a cat carrier wouldn’t do. I took out my Aritzia yoga bag, picked her up, and stuffed her in there. When I turned around to get Nikki, I discovered that I didn’t close the carrier properly and she had bolted out of there. Just great.

Now the thing with cats is that they can hide really well. Nikki hid beside the bed, under the blanket. It took me what felt like forever to find her. Finally I found her and put her in her carrier. With the two of them in tow, I left the condo and went down the stairs. They were heavy as well to carry but when your adrenaline is pumping, weight suddenly becomes a non-issue.

I’m not sure what kind of emergency it was as I still have not received an update from the security team. But not long after I got outside, the fire trucks started leaving and we were allowed to go back to our units. So I assume it was another “nothing” situation.

But nothing or not, these types of emergency situations make me nervous. I’m glad I was able to bring us all out to safety, even without hubby. The entire time I was trying to get my cats and having a hard time, I knew one thing for sure – I wasn’t leaving without them no matter what. This thought, and the fact that they were giving me a hard time, scare the crap out of me. What if I didn’t get out in time? What if what if what if?

So for those of you with cats – what is your emergency plan? Because I need one, a better one. One that will get us out faster.

For now, I am thankful we are safe. And more importantly, that my two babies are safe.

10 reasons I love cats

It’s no news that I love cats. After all, I let 3 of them run all over me on a regular basis. But how can anybody not love them?

Well, if the following reasons don’t make you love them, I don’t know what would.

  1. They’re independent and they do whatever they want. Oh they hear me alright. I can tell by the way their ears perk up or by they way they look at me through the corner of their eyes. They just don’t like being told what to do. I don’t blame them. I don’t like being told what to do either.
  2. They don’t play fetch with me not because they’re stupid. It’s the contrary actually. I mean, why should they fetch their own toys when I can do it for them? If that’s not considered smart then I don’t know what is.
  3. They’re clean animals. They’ll even bury their waste deep deep down, as deep as the litter box would allow. And they will never ever walk around the house with dirty paws.
  4. It doesn’t matter if I’m trying to sleep in on the weekends. When they want food, they want it now. It’s not about what I want. It’s about what they want. But they probably get that from me.
  5. They do really cute things like sit on the stove, chase their own tails and snuggle with us. And they do funny things to get our attention like jump on the T.V. and on my back.
  6. They’re determined. When they want in they want in. This means we can never sleep with the door closed.
  7. They know how to open my closet doors because they really really want to sleep on my clothes. They can sleep anywhere they want but they want my clothes. That makes me feel loved.
  8. They always greet us at the door and they know who we are.
  9. They keep me warm when I’m cold and they soothe me with their purr.
  10. They are never in a bad mood and can cheer me up instantly.

Oh, and they don’t talk back! Not that getting a scolding means anything to them. Okay, that’s more than 10 reasons but really, I can probably rhyme off 100 reasons. But for your sake I’ll just stop right now.

So…love them yet?

Maybe this picture will help.

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