Beneath the colorful facade
I stood, flanked by two sides of the dark
With a sliver of effulgent light
Shining the way in the day of night
Was this the passage that I should take
Was this the choice that I should make
But yet there was nowhere to go
Just a cul-de-sac of sunlit glow
I paused, pondered and pursed my lips
Into the darkness I made my leap
For I have awaken; samadhi exists
In the midst of darkness, light persists
All the Lovely Cats (and furry ones) that I have Taken Care of Before
Having spent much time (and love) with all the furry ones, I thought I should dedicate a blog post to all the cats and furry ones. All of them hold special meaning to me in one way or another, and for most of them, I have grown closer to them through the house visits, and I certainly hope that I would have the chance to meet them again! I try to help cat sitting and cat visits, and you can find me on Pawshake.
It was difficult to snap a photo of Zorro cos he's always moving around. Rather friendly, Zorro was kindly adopted by Shilpa into her family and is now a happy and loving member of her family. While some Singaporeans shun black cats (because of bad luck?), Zorro is a fantastic case of how we should not be prejudiced by the colour and breed of a cat. All cats are affectionate and are deserving of our love, and Zorro (and Shilpa) is a fine example of this!
Poppy and Winston
Poppy and Winston are two really adorable and beautiful ragdolls of owner Kate. Poppy (the one with the white "socks") being the more friendly one would come approach me while Winston usually hides on the upper level. As their fur require a lot of grooming, I bought a brush so that I could help keep their fur in good order and prevent matting. This wasn't easy, especially for Winston, hence after my catsit period, Poppy was the one with the nicer looking coat. Also, over time, she has gotten closer to me -- and I do look forward to meeting them again. Nice ragdolls!
Doufu is a shy ragdoll with a really beautiful coat of fur. She's a little shy initially and would hide inside her little cot, but once she's adjusted to my scent she would come out to play. Doufu requires much grooming due to her coat, so when I visited her I always make an effort to brush her fur to prevent any matting.
Tiberius is one of the most affectionate (and manja) cat that I've house visited so far (except for Markiz, which was another really affectionate cat). Tiberius would be waiting for me by the door for my arrival, and then from the time that I enter the apartment, till I depart, Tiberius would be all over me, following me wherever I go. Tiberius is a very sociable cat, and when he realised that I was about to leave the apartment, he would rush to the door to block my departure. Such an intelligent cat!
Chi and Gandalf
Chi was a really shy cat and took several days to get familiar with me, and initially I couldn't even get close to Chi. I also helped take care of Gandalf, the Chinchilla living in the glass tank. Fortunately both Chi and Gandalf could get along rather well (as long as they were not left alone in an open space!). Chi has a really demure and gentle character which made her really unique in her own catty way.
Bubba and Padgett
So far, for all the numerous cat visits that I have undertaken, I have always been able to get close to the cat(s) and form a connection with them. The only time that I've failed was with Bubba and Padgette (lol!). Both Bubba and Padgette were really shy cats, and once they hear me arriving, one would hide under the sheets while the other one would make a beeline to the back of the fridge. Because they were rather fearful, I took gradual steps to engage them, but the closest I managed was to take a photo of them without scaring them away. I would definitely like to meet both Bubba and Padgette again.
Chesterfield, Mittens and Paolo
Unfortunately, I was unable to get very close to either of the three cats, as one of them had the tendency to make a dash out of the house. Hence there was great care needed to handle this family of cats. (btw, Chesterfield is a Rabbit).
Boo and Max
I spent a fair bit of time with Boo and Max as well (about two weeks?). Max (the black and white one) is the more friendly and sociable cat while Max is the more wary one. Fortunately, after about four or five days I managed to get closer to Max. They had a tendency to choose on the carpet slippers so I had to keep them out of their sight. Both cats love grooming time and would come to me once I had the brush in my hand.
Nheo, Tho and Ginger Sooke and Meng
I did a short cat visit for 5 cats across 2 homes. As this was a really short cat visit, I did not have the chance to spend quality time with all the cats, and while some were shy and wary as usual, a few curious kitties did come out to greet me, which was nice.
DD, Ah Mei and Orb
This cat sitting assignment was a special one as I was requested to take care of DD, a 20-year old cat (not in the picture, out of respect for DD). DD lives together with Orb (left) and Mei Mei (right). As DD was getting senile, the really caring owner wanted to find someone who was able to come between 2pm and 3pm during weekdays to help feed and care for DD. I decided to take on this responsibility for an extended duration, all the way until DD passed away. This experience of cat sitting was a very special one, as I had built a special bond with DD over the many weeks spent together. When I heard of DD's passing, I did cry uncontrollably, and this is a reminder to myself to never take my cats for granted, and to spend quality time with them.
Trotster and Talent
Occasionally, I do take care of dogs as well. Here, I was requested to take care of Trotster and Talent - both Miniature Pinscher. It was an interesting experience for me as I realised that different skillsets were required for taking care of dogs, which was somewhat different from taking care of cats. In particular, Talent was rather territorial and aggressive to a point too, so I had to be very careful in managing both of them.
Luna and Naomi
I did repeated house visits for both Luna and Naomi. As usual, one of the cats, Luna, was the more gregarious and friendly one and greeted me from the moment I stepped in till I left the apartment. On the other hand, Naomi was the really shy one, and it was so difficult to catch a glimpse of her, that I took me a while to make her warm up to me.
The Best of the Best Wanton Noodles in Singapore
Hence, if you are an avid wanton mee lover, or if you are seeking out the best of the best wanton noodles in Singapore, you might want to check out Makanholic. They also have the rankings for the best Chicken Rice, the Best Roti Prata and several other rankings too. Check them out!!
Wakeboarding is a tiring activity!
Second outing attempt and still enjoying it, albeit a bit pricey!
Happy Birthday Tigger Boy!
Celebrated Tigger's Birthday on the 7th of November. Tigger just turned 7, and it's really amazing that he's spent seven years, or two thousand five hundred and fifty five days with me.
The amazing thing is the fact that Tigger has been sleeping right by my side, with his little square pillow right beside mine, day after day, night after night, without fail. With the exception when I would be away for my vacation.
Hence, if anyone were to ask me, "who's the closest to you?". My unequivocal answer would be "Tigger". Happy Birthday to you Tigger Boy, and may you have many more years of good health and happiness!
In this age of consumerism, and augmented with ecommerce, it is so easy for everyone to make a purchase as soon as we have some money in our wallets (ewallets count). With each purchase, we feel a little happier, but more often than not, that happiness or satisfaction dissipates within a week or two.
It turns out that the cause of this (dissipation) lies with adaptation. As soon as the stuff that we buy becomes ordinary, the satisfaction that we get with it diminshes. Then we are back to square one - pursuing that momentary pleasure with the next purchase.
However, research carried out at Cornell University has found a way around this vicious cycle. Psychology professor Thomas Gilovich revealed that we experience the same increase in happiness when we buy something (we want) and also when we travel. The more significant finding -- was that the amount of happiness that we get from our buys diminishes over time, but the memories of our travelling experience continues to linger and persist, and this makes us more fulfilled and happy over a prolonged time.
Deriving Joy from Experiences
Making plans for events and experiences, travelling and going on trips, and trying our new things -- all these manifest as new sources of joy and happiness for all of us. While a new toy or device will become normal, every new memory will contribute to the happiness bank that will make us really really happy for the rest of our lives.
DD is a 20-year old granny cat that lives in Towner Road area. I was contacted by Cindy to help house-visit DD. This was because Cindy has just started work, and she was unable to do her regular feeding of DD. At 2pm to 3pm range, DD would rouse from her sleep and then look for food. But because DD was already very old (in cat years), she had difficulty lumbering over to the food area. In fact, when I first met DD, she was laying still and did not want to move at all.
Over the past week, I have been making long visits to her. I would check if she was awake. I would then prepare her meals, and then using a small teaspoon, help and assist her with her eating. Initially, she did not eat much, but over the course of the few days, I could see that her strength came back, and she was definitely more energetic than when I first met her.
Here's wishing granny DD all the best of health, and a long life!
Introduction to Pawshake
I have been using Pawshake since a couple of years back. For the uninitiated, Pawshake was started in 2013. Pawshake cofounder Dries Coucke's life was turned upside down in 2009 when his father Luc Coucke (who passed away in 2012) was diagnosed at the age of 60 with lung cancer. During the numerous chemotherapy sessions, Dries and his two brothers tried their best to support their parents. Yet, it soon became clear that his parents' labrador Ibeau would need someone to take care of him. Unfortunately, Dries couldn't lodge Ibeau because the dog didn't get along with his dachshund Brownie. Moreover, Dries' two brothers had just become fathers and were couldn't take responsibility for Ibeau either.
Dries knew that somewhere in his community there must be a dog lover who would lodge Ibeau temporarily. Yet, the difficulty was finding this person. And so, in 2010, Dries started the idea of Pawshake with a post on the Facebook page of pets.be, a not-for-profit website to rehome rescue pets, he founded in 2002. (You can still read here the original post).
How I use Pawshake
I use Pawshake in two ways:
So just last week, the owner Emily reached out to me via Pawshake to take care of her two Pinschers, Troster and Talent. Troster is the elder one, already 15 years of age, blind in both eyes, and having difficulty in digesting food. Talent, on the other hand, is the young chirpy one. I did a "meet and greet", which allowed me to meet both Emily as well as the two dogs. After the initial touch-base, I decided that I was able to accept the assignment.
Troster and Talent
While Talent (the younger one) was friendly with me when I first visited, he started to become rather aggressive when I visited on Day 1 (it was a weekend assignment). I quickly cleanup the all the poo-and-pee mess left by the duo, and fed them. As Troster was not able to see his dish, I had to guide him to his food bowl. I was also careful to separate their eating area so that there is a safe space for both of them to eat. Now, Talent, being the younger one and the bully, then tried to bite Troster (!) to eat his share of the treats. Poor Troster then yelped and struggled helplessly. Fortunately, Talent did not continue with his bullying.
It did leave an impression on me though. First of all, I thought about the fact that cat behaviour and dog behaviour is really different. I used to own dogs, but that was a long time ago. I realised that cats are generally cleaner and groomed themselves more eagerly whereas dogs, being pack animals, are okay to leave their mess around as a mark of their territory. Another observation that I had -- was that there's always a pecking order, whether for animals or humans. The strongest always survive and the weaker or weakest ones will ultimately suffer. That's the theory of evolution - the strongest survive.
My Random Encounter with the Otters
I do occasionally follow up with news about the Singaporean otters, mainly via the Otter Watch Facebook Group. What seemed to be one family of otters have now grown into different families, each having their own territories and territorial disputes. Nevertheless, the otters in Singapore have grown into a national animal of sorts - and they do look adorable, which makes liking them even easier.
Stopping by the Kallang River, and look what I found?!
So last week, during one of the evenings, while driving home from gym (at Millenia Walk), I decided to make a detour to take some 360 photos (my current hobby). To my surprised I saw a family of otters lurking around the water's edge. I got really curious and decided to move forward to have a closer look.
The otters were all eating fish
My first observation was that the family of otters looked very well-fed. Almost every otter has his own piece of fish, and without too many natural predators, they were able to enjoy their meals without a worry. I decided to move even closer. Interestingly, they were not bothered by me at all - they were probably already well-adjusted to living alongside humans.
I decided to zoom into one of the otters who was eating fish, and lucky for me, he did a few good poses. This shot was the otter almost finishing his fishy snack, before his sibling came over for the scraps.
Managed to catch "The Devil Wears Prada" on Netflix. It's such a brilliant movie that even after watching it a couple of times, it was still engaging to watch. Some life lessons that came to my mind as I watched the movie were:
Always Prepare for Meetings
Never go to a meeting unprepared. This is especially so when it's an important meeting. Don't end up wasting other people's time.
Know the Important People
There was a funny scene when Andy (Anne Hathaway) received a call and asked for the other party to spell his name. "How do you spell Gabbana?" she asked. Always make it a point to know the "current affairs" of the specific industry.
Take Good Care of the Body
Don't starve yourself and eat just a piece of cheese daily! But watch what goes into your body. Health is wealth! And despite all the talk about inner beauty, outer appearance makes all the difference, and it's an indication of the discipline one puts into one's diet and exercise.
Fashion Makes a Difference, but You can Choose to be What You Want to Be
Watching the movie made me rethink about the fashion industry again. There's certainly much glam and vogue in the fashion industry, and everybody likes to look good. But ultimately it depends on each individual on how one wants to live one's life. As long as you are happy and with the same company, who cares, really?!
Don't Quit Just Because It's Tough
Quitting is always the easiest option. Lamenting and complaning second. This is a personal belief - that it is always possible to turn things around. Don't quit - when things go wrong as they sometimes will, all it take is persistence and determination to change the course.
Work Life Balance is Important
I do agree that when one is focused on career success, something is going to give. There is always an opportunity cost in life, and while we are chasing our success, it is important to cherish and spend time to the important things that might not last forever. This applies to family ties, friends and relationships.
I am MrWildy and I am trying to journal more about my life and also my travels. Find out more about me here.