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Thursday, 27 December 2012

Christmas Post: Santa Claws

Just a week before Christmas, my friend Amy was busy looking for furniture, especially a sofa set. Her existing one year old couch was apparently  “shredded by her cats’ scratching addiction.” Yes that’s exactly how she described it. Amy couldn’t bear the sight of the ugly couch especially when her relatives from Sweden are coming back for Christmas. This is the second time she’s changing her furniture to host the Christmas party. And Amy thought, she had enough with it and was seriously considering to declaw her cats upon listening to some “expert vet” advice. She almost did!

I know this is a common problem cat owners have.  But is declawing the ideal solution? 
First of all, if a practice is deemed illegal in certain parts of the world, then you need to investigate why it is illegal. European countries for example brand declawing as an unnecessary amputation to cats. Surely there’s a valid reason. Unlike our nails which are attached to the flesh, a cat’s claws are so closely attached to the bones. Some believe that a cat’s nails are the last bones of each toe.  So imagine someone cutting away the last joints of your fingers. Imagine...Harrrr…..now know you… *I can see some of you are worried coz without those fingers, you can’t pick your nose anymore during traffic jams..Dammmnn!!! Or maybe can't do this.....*

The grim medical stats show that declawing causes the following: Pain , infection, lameness, arthritis, back pain, tissue death, painful regrowth, deformed paws, nerve damage and more. Some cats stop using the litter box due to the severe pain during the recovery period. Some may even start to bite because they’ve lost their primary defense weapon.

Although medically it’s not proven, I’ve also heard stories about the change in behaviour after declawing.

The moment Amy told me about declawing, I just asked her one simple question that any layman can think of… “Hey Amy, If you declaw the cat, what happens when he needs to scratch his head,neck or the ears? Have you thought about it?”  She immediately put her hand to mouth and gasped. Few seconds later, she said…”Ya loh hor…how come I didn’t think of that. "

Well, that's just the basic logic. Another problem that declawing brings to the cat is, he/she cat can’t climb. Climbing and jumping is second nature to cats.


Credit Vlad Ageshin
I’m not talking about climbing trees yet.  How about climbing on the table, the rack, the window ledge and etc? Once cats lose their claws, they lose grip on everything.  A simple act to sit near the window has become a dangerous endeavour now. Not only they might slip and fall, declawing also alters the way the paw meets the ground when they land. It will be a painful and traumatic experience for cats. Declawing also deprives your cat of its defense. Imagine your cat went outdoors and got lost..,He may possibly die of starvation for his inability to hunt or become a victim of attacks from enemies. He can’t climb the tree when a dog chases him and he can’t grab that lizard at point blank range in front of him when he's hungry. Having said everything above, this one surgery is enough to finish all the supposed 9 lives that a cat has.

So people,  scratching is a perfectly NORMAL cat behavior. It’s their nature and they’re born to do it. This is how they mark their territory and flex their muscles. It is also a psychological exercise for them. Declawing is simply a “quick-fix” humans created for their own convenience. There are so many other methods that actually work to curb furniture damage due to scratching. I will do another post on that. But for now, if you think your furniture is expensive, taking away your cats’ natural way of living and ‘handicapping’ them is a heavy price to pay. Many cat owners may have known this truth. But, thanks to Amy for reminding me again that, every time a certain 'vet' suggests something, many will say -"Go ahead!"

Friday, 30 November 2012

Knock knock!!! It's Doomsday

The much anticipated Mayan prediction is just hours away. If they got it right like everything else they’ve predicted before, the world should end on 21.12.2012. It’s amazing how a stone from the ancient civilization can be taken this seriously. 

There are TV shows dedicated to the impending doomsday. There are also websites and forums centered around embracing the apocalypse and waiting to surrender to the Almighty. On the other hand, the realists have set up a string of Doomsday-Survivor clubs. And why not, travel agencies have been raking money with holiday packages themed around doomsday. Whether you believe the prediction or not, it’s entirely up to you. Personally, I believe the world will end one day. But maybe not now. It will be a gradual process and a slow death.

But! How will we react if indeed it happens? Common sense says, we’ll run for our lives, taking our valuables and whatever that’s left. Family will be priority for most of us and that should be the case.

Imagine……….A storm or some earthquake is expected to hit your area and evacuation is ongoing. You’ve squeezed in your last bag into the boot. Then you look at your house, and realize that your pet cat or dog is still inside. Would you take them along? Or would you succumb to excuses like how they won’t fit into your overloaded car?  Or how if the car is not yours and the owner says NO to pets as passengers..what would you do? As a pet lover, this will be the greatest test for your love. Will you leave them behind? Can you go on and live without guilt, if at all you survive the apocalypse? By imagining this now, you could possibly rate how much your pets mean to you. Ladies and gentlemen, this is your scale. Imagine!

They waited for you

My thoughts...., If you have plans to escape the disaster, try to accommodate your pets, at the expense of some bloody computer (that will be useless without electricity) or a bagful of branded clothes. Well, probably no one would survive the end of the world. But at least you tried your best to save your loved ones, regardless if it’s two or four legged.  After all, if heaven and hell do exist, the judgment on who you really are, might be defined from what you did, on that last day of yours on earth!

Sunday, 25 November 2012

The Real King Of Fruits! Part 1


Ok let me explain. I know you're feeling quite like 'the koala' above right now. But this wasn't my idea.This was truly initiated by her majesty, Chila herself. It's been few weeks now that I couldn't find that rubber ball for her. It's easy to just get any toy from the petshop. But it will never last for more than 5minutes. The only one brand that will make it for sometime is Kong. Unfortunately they were out of stock. Chila has an incredible high ball/toy drive. If you're holding a ball in front of her, that's it! You're friends forever with her. There goes the security password to rob my house.

So yeah. As I was waiting for the specific brand to be restocked, she was growing restless. She needs to play everyday and it's just too depressing for her to be without a toy. Most of the time when this happens, she'll be in sulky mood and emo. No ball play = PMS.

Although Chila is over 8 years old now, she's the most hyperactive dog I've ever had and still behaves like a puppy. Curious, athletic and highly motivated. So when I was walking her at the playground that night, she picked up a coconut on the field and happily brought it back home (Obviously she had a master plan). The next day itself she started begging me to throw the coconut and play fetch. 

Since I still need to wait for some time to replace her rubber ball, I thought she might as well play fetch with the coconut. And guess what, she instantly fell in love with it!!

It also seemed like an economical improvisation for me. The Kong rubber ball is probably the most durable toy I've ever bought. And consequently, it doesn't come cheap. Depending on the size, the prize for each toy can range from RM50 to RM80. Usually it could last for a long time. But Chila will destroy it in about a month maximum. Going by this, using coconut as her fetching toy wouldn't hurt my wallet. 

After two days of fetching-game, Chila became very comfortable with the coconut. What I noticed was her relationship with the fruit was much 'real' compared to the many rubber balls she had before. Maybe she didn't like the smell of the rubber ball. Or maybe because the coconut is a new thing for her. (I don't know, just guessing.) But there's definitely more interaction with the coconut. Sometimes she'll drag the fruit with her legs and roll over it. Throwing the coconut in the air and jumping left and right when it drops is also a new gymrama routine she's doing now. Not bad!

Day after day, she became more obsessed. She'll never leave the house without her coconut. She'll carry it no matter where she goes and will usually refuse to let go when I want to take it from her. Even when she's peeing. *slap forehead*

- For the first time, pissing can cause insecurity. Thanks to a coconut! -

I also realized that, it became harder and harder to separate them , regardless of whatever she's doing.

Well, I shall wait and see how this new found dog obsession develops.At the moment, I know that I might make some savings from not buying a new rubber ball every month. More importantly, I could use that money to buy extra food to feed the strays instead. And with that, it's about time for coconut to take the place as the new King of Fruits in my dictionary.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Diwali Post: Your Fairy Tale Creature


I know it’s ridiculous, but hey, there's always a link to all these madness. Just keep reading!

Well, we all love to have mythical creatures as pets don’t we? 

Hippogriff, Centaur and Pegasus are my favourite. But guess what, you might have turned your normal pets into one of them too.

Sometime ago, I picked up a phrase from my +4 year old nephew. Since he can’t articulate anything correctly, most of the time he says the darnest things. One of it came when I was babysitting him and he SURPRISINGLY wanted to poop ( He only poops once in a blue moon. So you can imagine how unlucky I was). 

Guess he ate something spicy the night before. So when it came on the other side, he was obviously in pain and kept yelling at me:

“My buttock got fireeee!!! My buttock got fire!!!!”.

I got the point. But I just can’t stop laughing at his description. LOLOL.. (yes I’m such a bad uncle). As I was washing, I asked him, how come there's fire from the buttock? He proudly looked up and self-proclaimed that he's a DRAGON! I swear to God, I laughed so hard that time.. ROFL!!!

This year’s Diwali, I observed something during my open house visits. Friends of mine were in thrifty mood. Guess what? They fed all the leftover food and table scraps to their dogs. The worst part is, most Indian families cook super spicy food. So spicy that, after I finished eating, my lips were swollen as if I had just clinched the title as 'Raja Bibir'. 

Consequently, I got a panic phone call two days later from one of my friend. “Shawn, my dog is purging blood. He had diarrhea yesterday. And today it’s getting worst. Why like that ahh bro??”.

Now let’s talk about some common sense. Some of us are conditioned to eat spicy food. Some of us can’t. Eating is one thing. Getting it out on the other end, is another problem altogether. Even we humans, suffer ulcer, upset stomach, diarrhea, gas reflux, heartburns, piles, and etc as the consequence of eating spicy food. Our dogs and cats are no different than us.

You might say- “Bullshit lah..My dog eats anything. He’s living fine!"

But seriously! How can your dog tell you that it has a stomach ache? Are you some Professor X or dog psychic who can read your dog’s mind? No you're not! External problems like diarrhea can be seen. But what burns inside, up to the anus, only your dog knows.

" I'm in pain, but no one seems to know. That's more painful "

Curry and sambal has a lot of spices and chili in it. We often take for granted that many dogs and cats have sensitive digestive system. When that’s the case, spicy table scraps can probably do more harm to your pets than the world war. 

Even if we put aside the pooping and digestion factor, the eating part in itself is a horror. When I ate the same curry and sambal, at my friends’ places: my lips were swollen, I was sweating, had to blow my nose few times, and I drank glasses of cold juice to reduce the burning sensation.

No doubt it was delicious and I can eat spicy food. But imagine your pets eating the same spicy food. Do you know their threshold and tolerance for spicy food?  Obviously they’ll just wallop because they’re hungry. But it’s you who have to make the choice for them. Think before you feed! And this applies all the time. Not only during Diwali, but every single day, regardless of your race and recipe!

If my nephew's random description is taken seriously, the victimised dog will metaphorically spit fire through its arse like him.., like a dragon. So don’t assume your dogs are okay, just because they don’t tell you that spicy food hurts.

Hence, BIG NO NO to feeding spicy table scraps. If you really need to feed your dog or cat that piece of sambal chicken...,because you’ll die of guilt for wasting food, then wash it thoroughly first. Coz you don't want your pet to make a special request.......

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Mad Love Lah..... (Part 2)

No no no… This didn’t happen in my life. But I know someone who did this. His name is Zed.

Thankfully, I have understanding colleagues who know how much my dogs mean to me. There are times that I’ve rushed home early when my dogs were not well. My colleagues willingly covered my void at work and showed that they care for my sentiments. I often feel blessed for this. However, I probably wouldn’t have the guts to tell my Managing Director, in the midst of an important meeting, that I need to go back because of my dogs or cats. (I'll check my balls later)

Anyways, Zed is a close friend and colleague of my cousin. He was in his mid 30s when this happened. It's true, he got sacked. But the company retained him after a year, simply because Zed was an important asset to them. Also because the MD has retired.  

Zed places his pets beyond everything else. The dogs are more than children to him. During that heated argument with his boss, Zed told the boss off, 

“if you’re still here although your son is sick, then you’re probably a bad father or too rich to hire someone to look after him in your absence. I’m neither of that two!!”

If I was in the boss' shoes…ouccchhhh!!!  Till today, people still talk about the incident in the company. The man who screwed the big boss because of his dogs. And the fact that will surprise you is….., Zed is a Malay..a Muslim!  Now how about that?

This is the second installment of the Mad Love Lah..series. More to come in the coming months. If you missed the PART 1, CLICK HERE!!

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Cutie Pet Fun Fair 2012!

Right! PETSTER’s Cutie Pet Fun Fair (CPFF) it is, an event that you wouldn’t want to miss. Among the bigger events for pet lovers in the country. This year, it was no different.  It was a ‘furbulous’ get together, earned great reception from the public and of course proved to be another catalyst for charity.

PETSTER’s founder William Tan, first and foremost, extended his gratitude to mother nature for the good weather which allowed the event to take place. Indeed the weather was the biggest concern for PETSTER team prior to the event.

“I’m really delighted with the number of dogs participating in the event this year. I’m also happy for the exhibitors who made their sales.” said William.

Thanks to some 50 booths and the 10 NGOs  who took part.

Another highlight during this year’s CPFF was the inclusion of cats. Kelab Kucing Malaysia joined the fun and it drew great response from cat lovers. Looking forward for more activities from the cat community next year.

 As CPFF 2012 promised a lot of fun and freebies, it was certainly fulfilled through SuperDog. ( Don’t know what is SuperDog? Click here) .

Making its debut, SuperDog had its first ever winner to walk home with RM1000 prize money. Personally I think there aren’t many dog competitions in our country that offer this much of cash prize. Moreover, when the contest doesn’t require any entrance fee. Congratulations to BJ and  owner Mr Choy Seng Kah for clocking the fastest time in completing all the challenges. Indeed BJ was a SuperDog.  Quick, agile, alert and always eager to impress!

From the left: William Tan, BJ and owner Mr Choy

BJ was in form the entire day even in other competitions

For those who didn’t win the cash prize, they still took home bottomless free bags of dog food and grooming vouchers, simply for participating. All in all, everyone who took part was a winner.

William had special praise for the participants whom he branded as ‘sporting’. He also thanked Smartheart and Doggy Doge Grooming Academy for sponsoring the prizes.

Nevertheless, every event has some hiccups. "This year we faced some problems, such as electricity cut. Luckily, most exhibitors did not blame us as it was beyond our control. Delayed availability for food and beverages is also another problem we will look at in the future” noted William.

Another uphill challenge according to William was to make the event fun for everyone. Like humour in stand-up comedy, fun is equally hard to deliver.

William continued .. “Next year, Cutie Pet Fun Fair would be even better . SuperDog will be more challenging. In addition, we may include other pets such as reptile and small animals as well.”
Now that smells like a good news!

Credit to team-PETSTER for bringing this fantastic once-a-year treat for pet lovers.  If you missed it, slap your forehead repeatedly and live in remorse till next year! Mhuhahahaha *EVIL DOG LAUGH*

Some moments at the event:

Thank you speech!

Best eye-contact


That's right! It gets crazy.... *scream and run for your life*

Who said bosses sit in office and shake their legs. 
Big boss working under the scorching sun okay! 

The so-called man-eating dog was calm and gentle.
Go away haters!

This sweetie was looking for a new home

Runaway models. Fuhyoo..I like the one in dark blue.

Furry Fashion

My personal favourite attire

Record breaking high-jump is imminent....

Istana Idaman

Prizes everywhere!

Tired visitor..tido kejap....zzzZZZZ...

Beauty Queen with lots of love for furkids

Ang Moh also here. Local people come on....where are you?

Games for humans

NGOs spreading the love

The Chairman is here...

He's everywhere. LOL

Lovely couple

And finally....This stunned me for a minute. Spitting image of my FATHER! I better check my dad's family history if he had a twin brother that I don't know. SHOCKING!!!

What..? You're asking which one? Of course the man lah...NOT THE DOG.. isssshhhhHH!!