Who Wants Brush Brush?

Friday, November 30, 2007

Lots of Catwork to be Done

Auntie L has been single-handedly managing the strays in our neighbourhood since I have started work. Having to wake up early for work meant no late nights, and trapping cats for sterilisation almost always meant late nights. Weekends are usually spent recuperating from the stress at work and occasionally visiting cats at the sanctuary, which leaves one little or no time to help manage the cat colonies here.

That, or I'm just lazy lah.

GC recently commented that he is amazed by how a friend of ours hasn't burned out like many other caregivers who just get depressed and give up. I know exactly what he meant for I am one of the 'other caregivers'.

I remember being a lot more active when I was in uni; sterilising cats in my neighbourhood, helping out at a cat-rescue house everyday, doing adoption drives during weekends, putting up "I'm adorable, please gimme a home" notices at petshops and vet clinics to look for potential adopters. Unfortunately, disappointments and frustration over over-zealous, under-prepared adopters accumulated to such an extent that I couldn't find the energy to continue doing rehoming. And because I'm no longer doing rehoming, it meant that any kittens that I find become a major headache.

Many nights I walk home with my eyes shut and my ears closed, worried that I would meet a kitten or an injured cat who needs help. As if behaving like an ostrich can stop unwanted kittens from being borned and cats from getting hurt.

Well, it's time to take my head out of the sand and start doing my part again, or at least I will do whatever I can during this break. For one, I want to get the handful of unneutered cats in my area done asap; I'll be collecting the cat trap from Dawn of CWS at the TRNM workshop tomorrow and Auntie L and I will try to trap the nervous female who has produced a litter a month plus ago. So far, we have yet to see her kittens, I wonder if they are still around. If they are, they would probably still be nursing. Will observe and discuss with Aunite L first.

Other than that, I also want to spend as much time as possible with the cats at the sanctuary. The poor darlings there are so just deprived of love and attention. The cats' dad always thought that one needs time to know and gain trust from a cat and was he surprised to find the cats there so friendly and eager for attention. The confident ones rush up to you, weave between your legs and climb on your back when you try to walk away. The shy ones just hang around at the back, never taking their eyes away from you, but wait and pine for the moment that you look in their direction.

Then there are the ones stricken by FIV or FeLV, withering away with each passing day. We always try to end our day at the sanctuary by holding and saying goodbyes to the sickly ones. We have been shocked many times by how quickly and suddenly some cats fade away so every minute spent with them is precious.


My pampered ones are still waiting for dinner to be served, I forgot I bought fish and chicken to steam for them. By some bizzare change of heart, they are starting to appreciate my cooking again. I'd better go serve it up before they turn their snobbish noses up at it.


Monday, November 05, 2007

Baking Lessons

S, a good friend from work, and I started on our baking lessons today. Having joked about digging out the home economics aprons from our secondary school days and donning high chef hats to impress our classmates, we were disappointed to realise that there will not be any hands-on sessions for this course. Disregarding the impossibility of getting your money's worth while paying pittance for anything on this island and the need to complain about the increased prices in flour (highly relevant to us for the weeks to come), it was a pleasure to find ourselves in the company of an entertaining and competent teacher, and - surprise surprise - friendly classmates who say hellos warmly and let you copy notes you missed out on.

Baking, we've realised, is an expensive hobby/skill. The ingredients do not come cheap and my, what numerous tools you need - the bread knife, the spreader, the turn table, the oven (Baby Belling! Baby Belling!), the mixer (KitchenAid! KitchenAid!) etc etc. Talk about poor timing and a poorer pocket. I have them both!

Well... maybe we do not need the turn table and the mixer just as yet, but - get ready for this - S does not own an oven and neither do I. Joe and I did not have an oven built-in at the new place, for we prefer to keep the kitchen bright and uncluttered (reason no. 1). While we have bought a simple microwave for his instant noodles, I had refused to get a microwave-cum-convection oven which I biasedly feel that is simply not pro enough (reason no. 2). I have also been unsuccesful in convincing him that I am genuinely interested in becoming the Nigella Lawson of his household and to achieve that aim, I would need a proper oven NOW (uhm, real reason).

Anyhow, life always has its backup plans, mostly in the form of a mother with great foresight and invaluable experience. Turns out that the chinese frying wok that mommy dearest bought comes with a roasting cover that allows temperature settings and timer - perfect for my impending baking experiments. A wok that bakes! Wondrous combination if you'd ask me. I have strong faith that the adaptation is going to work out just fine. Let's hope that we don't have to wait too long to find out if it actually does.