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Saturday, October 31, 2009

more on shelley the shar-pei

Shelly Daisy the Shar-Pei is a really sweet girl. Her full name is Shelly Daisy because Aswat has been using the name Daisy to train and socialise her. She responds to both names, but to Aswat more because he has been taking care of her at the shop and giving her constant attention.



Shelley is really obedient. She actually does her business in the toilet, and not in her pen or anywhere else in the shop. She also knows her boundaries - where she is allowed to go to or not. She seems to know that where the dog safety gate is, that is the extent of her boundary.

She also hardly barks, unless you come to visit her - she makes an excellent guard-dog and door-greeter, she is super alert. When she sees someone she recognises come to her 'house' (i.e. the pet shop) she knows it is a friend and will not bark.

The only thing now is to socialise her more and train her to walk on a leash - something she is still not used to. We started her slow, just by getting her used to a collar first. She is not food-motivated so it takes a lot of time to get her to walk on a leash, especially beyond what she sees as her 'boundary'.

You can see here that she has the classic black tongue - only Chow Chows and Shar-Peis have this trait. She is not very wrinkled, which is different from the pedigree-bred Shar-Peis in the US. But this is a good thing, as humid Singapore weather and facial wrinkles are not a good mix - the humidity trapped in between facial wrinkles will cause major skin problems if not cleaned and dried on a daily basis.

Shelley is actually the smallest of her family. She had to fight for food and be the subject of playful bullying from her siblings. As a result, she has some old scars from her siblings' bites. Thankfully, now she has her own bowl and bottle to feed from at Angels Pet Shop and will hopefully go to a much better home soon.

Do keep the word out for Shelley Daisy the Shar-Pei! If you are keen to view and adopt her, contact Aswat at 9337 8211. Shelley is currently eating Eagle Pack Natural Formula which consists of fish protein and oils - good for her skin since Shar-Peis are prone to skin problems. Her collar will be given along with her to her new owner, who will also be advised on Shelley's diet and other necessities for her care.

special appeal

Aswat's godmother recently rescued a young kitten @ 5 weeks old. He had a major injury in his eye and his godma paid for kitten's surgery. This kitten is a stray but he can no longer live on the streets as he is now blind in one eye.

Aswat's godmother is appealing for anyone who is willing to welcome this kitten into their home.

nova soothing balm

For some reason my cat have lately gotten themselves some scratches, perhaps from each other. By the time I noticed them, the wounds are already healed, just leaving behind some scabs with no fur on them. None of these scars are noticeable, but nonetheless I went out and got us Nova Soothing Balm.



I intend to decant some for our cat closet and pass the bottle to Aswat to use on Salem and other future animals. In the meanwhile I have already used it on Sayang and Scooter, and can safely say that the balm does not hurt them when used.

This balm is useful for scratches, wounds, dry spots. My advice is that it should not be used as immediate first aid. For scratches and wounds, the first step is to clean the area with antiseptic lotion. Then use antiseptic powder to stop the bleeding and promote healing. The balm should be the final step, to prevent itching and scarring, ideally when the wound has healed and only scabs remain.

This is also good for dry skin I reckon. Dry skin is usually itchy and this balm stops the itch. A good addition to your cat first-aid kit.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

zoukie - owned!

Zoukie's legs - now that we can inspect him properly - are injured from minor scratches, possibly from bushes and other urban landscaping while he was on the run. He was suffering from dehydration - tearing eyes, stiff skin, dry skin patches - but was already much better today. Aswat also gave him a shower and groomed him today, and hopefully his dry skin will improve now that he received some first aid and skin care and is drinking enough water. He must really have had a hard time out on the run, but seeing him today was like looking at a different cat - he was much calmer, cleaner, healthier looking. Aswat also managed to train Zoukie to use the litter tray - who knows where his previous owner was training him to go. Aswat also managed to age Zoukie - he is likely to be less than a year old as his testicles are not that fully developed yet even though he is a large-sized cat.

No one has come forward to claim Zoukie as their lost cat.

But someone did email me today regarding Zoukie! Sam, who lives in Dover, saw Zoukie's picture online and offered to adopt him if no one has claimed Zoukie. Sam used to have a Persian cat as his pet 10 years ago, and has been cat-less ever since.

So in love was he with Zoukie, that Sam came down to view him today. We wanted to bring Zoukie to sterilise next week and re-home him via our usual online channels, but now there is no need, because Sam took Zoukie home with him today!

If anyone does come forward any later to claim Zoukie as their lost pet, we will be forwarding the query to Sam, and the owner will have to bear the costs that Sam has already invested on Zoukie. But for now, Zoukie will be living happily with Sam. Seeing the look on Sam's face and the joy Zoukie brought to him with the prospect of him going back to live with Sam, really cheered me up to no end.

We have advised Sam to bring Zoukie for a check up just to get an all-clear as well as to get his sterilisation done.

ubi kuching project notecards



One of the Ubi Kuching Project merchandise we are hoping to sell to raise funds for our stray cat neutering, animal rescue and re-homing work, is a box set of notecards.

10 blank-inside Ubi Kuching Project notecards with envelopes. The size of each notecard is A6 closed. Using the charity-funding rule of which at least 70% of the revenue generated should go direct to the beneficiaries - in this case the animals - a box set of 10 notecards will be retailing at about $18.

I am still undecided about making it black-and-white or colour - the cost of production will be the same but aesthetically black-and-white may be better. Will keep all our readers updated on the progress.

If you have a picture you would like to submit of your cat adopted via Ubi Kuching Project, please feel free to email me!

zone 2 cat-feeder - Auntie Rose

Remember I shared that Ubi is divided into cat zones, each zone being managed and fed by different care-givers?

Ever since we started this blog we wanted to take pictures of the people who manage the cat zones, but they being cat-feeders i.e. nocturnal, it is almost impossible to sight them, as if they were cats themselves.

But we managed to get a picture of Auntie Rose, Zone 2 cat-feeder.

Auntie Rose lives in Ubi with one cat. She is a retired home-maker who used to work in the US. She often has interesting human treats to share with us like Belgium chocolates and candy from Denmark. Her trademark is her plastic bag armed with cat food, and an amazing walking speed that helps her feed more cats, quickly. She may be an auntie but she speaks good English, smokes Gudang Garam and is quite tech-savvy - she uses her mobile phone more than I do mine!

This photo of her was taken at Angels Pet Shop where she came to buy cat food. She will be helping to sponsor some of the costs of neutering the Zone 2 cats we are hoping to trap and neuter next week (date unconfirmed yet, still need to liaise with our cat-service guy on his availability).

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sammy / Mika

Ili, who adopted Sammy from us, sent pictures of Sammy, who is now known as Mika.

He is so adorable and looking at his pictures really gave us joy! He is growing to be such a beautiful cat.

more on zoukie the cat

Zoukie, for whom no one has yet to come forward to claim as their lost pet, is much calmer today than he was yesterday when he first arrived.

He has a cute habit of 'barking' when he meows! Here is a picture of him mid-bark.

He reminds us of our Slinky in the way he stands - very upright, chest out shoulders broad.

And despite his apparent stress from his hind-leg bruise and being in a new environment, he is still very cute! He may look fierce...

...but is actually a sweetie at heart.

If no one claims him by this weekend we will have to re-home him. Angel's boarding space is now full and there is no more space for the shop's paying customers, so we might have to foster either him or Salem at our home.

shelley, a black shar-pei puppy

More on Shelley here.


Shelley is a 4-month old pure-bred Shar-Pei puppy whose parents live in Ubi; her mom is a rescued, cream coloured Shar-Pei, and her dad is black just like her. She needs a new home because her current family is already full. We have advised her owners to neuter the parents ASAP before they breed again.

In the meanwhile, Shelley has already entered this world, and her owners were already finding it hard to cope as she and her siblings grew. All her siblings save one (the owners are keeping one of the puppies) have been re-homed and Shelley so happened to be the last one. Her owners have contemplated bringing her to SPCA should they be unable to re-home her, hence we have intervened.

She is rather shy and reserved towards strangers but shows her puppy-like personality when she gets to know you. Being a Shar-Pei, she tends to growl especially when she is nervous and will need training and supervision to grow up well-socialised.

Shelley has not been sterilised or vaccinated by her previous owners. Do also be aware that Shar-Peis are prone to skin problems from food allergies, as well as a strong doggy odour. Her new owner will need to be an experienced puppy caregiver who knows how to care for a specific breed like Shelley's. She will do best on a low-allergen diet as well as other supplements to care for her skin, and will need to be groomed often to keep her clean, fresh and healthy. It is recommended that she be scheduled for her vaccinations and sterilisation by your vet should you choose to adopt her. To read more about caring for dogs with skin problems, see here.

That being said, a pure-bred Shar-Pei is hard to come by, and if you are looking for an interesting breed of dog - one that was once endangered, descended from royalty, fiercely loyal to their owners - Shelley might just be the one for you.

Shelley is currently boarding at Angels Pet Shop and will need a new, large home. If you are keen to view and adopt her, please contact Aswat at 9337 8211 / 6748 9810 who is currently taking care of her at the shop. Experienced dog owners preferred, viewing should be done by the whole family before making the adoption decision.

More pictures of Shelley the Shar-Pei puppy below:

post-op care after castration

It has been 19 days since Scooter's sterilisation. I would have to say he behaves as if nothing has happened, and his incisions healed very well.

In case you are bringing or have recently brought your male cat for neutering, I have here the post care instructions given by Dr Hsu from our vet The Animal Clinic, Katong.

Dr Miss -

Your cat Scooter has been castrated. This procedure involves a surgery in a very sensitive area and therefore needs care for sometime after the event. Unfortunately, cats do not always understand that they must rest so we need you to assist us with Scooter's recovery.

IMMEDIATELY AFTER
When you pick Scooter up from our clinic he may be a little drowsy (Edit, mine - he will look like he is sick, with the third eyelid showing). This is quite normal following anaesthetic and surgery. The drowsiness should reduce over the next 12-24 hours. There will be some bruising, same as humans, so he should not be expected to be completely normal for a few days. Some oozing of a diluted blood stained fluid is normal but it should not be bleeding excessively.

WHAT TO DO
Keep Scooter in a warm quiet place. No food, water or medication is to be given on the day of the surgery. He may be fed and watered normally from the next morning.

TAKE CARE
Most cats would have recovered fully within a few days. Unfortunately this does has some disadvantages in that Scooter may start jumping, running around and generally trying to do everything that he can to upset the surgery. Please try to keep Scooter as quiet as possible for the next 5 to 10 days.

PROBLEMS
Generally there are very few complications after the operation. However, there are some signs to watch for that may indicate a problem:
- Dull and listless (especially after the first 24 hours)
- Excessive bleeding from the scrotal incisions.

If you notice any of these signs please bring Scooter back to The Animal Clinic, Katong for a review.

NOTE: Scooter does not have any sutures put in - the incisions in his scrotum will heal on their own. He does not need to return unless problems occur.
Hope this makes good information for male cat owners.

mmm water ish yummy

I have written about our DogIt water fountain here before, when we just got it. While practising my photographic skills on the cats in a bid to improve myself (for taking pictures for Ubi Kuching Project merchandise) I managed to get a picture of Scooter drinking water from the fountain! The water looks yummy!

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mmm water ish so yummy from this water toy

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

flat-faced cats

We were just chatting with Submarine's new owners - he is now known as Tiger - and were talking about flat-faced cats. Persians and Exotic Shorthairs have flat faces. They are more high-maintenance when it comes to feeding. They cannot really eat properly nor drink much.

With a flat-faced cat, it would be good if the cat had a proper flat bowl with spill-guard, else be hand-fed. It would also be easier for the cat to drink from a dome like our water-fountain, because they cannot really drink much by lapping from a bowl.

They also will need regular cleaning around their face. They will be more prone to tear-stains and food-stains around their face, which can be cleaned using baking soda. For fur or other foreign objects that get lodged in their huge round eyes, use saline solution or your regular eye drops to rinse it out, and gently remove the fur or foreign object with some moistened cotton.

That and of course, daily brushing to keep their fur in good condition, especially for Persians.

about bonito flakes as cat treats

I have recently read that cats love bonito flakes! In case you're wondering what's that - it is shaved dried oily fish (skipjack tuna), used as garnishing on top of many Japanese dishes, as well as useful for making Japanese soup stock. It is the same as okaka (just presented differently) which you may find as an ingredient in some canned food brands. It is prepared by fermenting and smoking skipjack tuna. From what I read, the process of making bonito or what is known in Japanese as Katsuobushi is totally natural.

Well, I checked it out and found that there are actually pet food brands that produce bonito flakes cat treats, just not anywhere in Singapore that I have seen. (Internet is a wonderful thing for window-shopping globally).

Apparently bonito flakes are not only extremely palatable to cats, but are healthy too. They contain taurine and fish oils and are high-protein snacks.

At one of our favourite Japanese food marts, the fish market at Parkway Parade (B1, near Gramophone) and 100gm of shaved bonito flakes costs $11+, which is a tad cheaper than buying the pet brand varieties. There are no other ingredients inside except simply dried bonito flakes.

I am very tempted to buy some next time to try on our cats!

zoukie the cat

Today, one of Angel's customers who also previously adopted from Angels - Submarine, Silver's kitten -brought over a cat which she found at her workplace at Zouk.

This cat is a newcomer to the area, and has been wandering around Zouk and trying to enter the club through various entrances; he has only been sighted in that area for a week.

He is likely to be an abandoned or a lost pet.

In case he is a lost pet I posted on PetsChannel to ask if anyone lost a cat and requested for email photo verifications and address. This is what the Zouk cat looks like:

ubikuchingproject

Zoukie is a male mixed Persian, doll-faced, brownish-black long fur cat. Black whiskers, self-coloured. He is vocal, and has a broad face like a Burmese, with a long bushy tail and a furry neck. He has long limbs and large paws but is not overly stocky. He is not neutered, and has a minor injury on his hind paw - possibly a bruise - that we will be treating him for.

He is now boarding at Angels Pet Shop, still very sensitive to touch, especially on that injured leg, so we can only administer first aid on him when he is calmer. We have checked to see if it is bleeding or if there are any broken bones or swelling but it looks to be a minor bruise - no bleeding or abrasions, no extruded bones or signs of swelling.

Even while he was stressed out from being in a new environment, he was not overly aggressive and his scratch on my arm was still quite gentle by cat-owner standards. He meowed a lot while he was in the shop - we tried not to stress him further by talking to him or staring at him much. Here is a video of him at the shop while Aswat, Submarine's owners and I were talking about other things in the background:



If you or someone you know lost a cat that looks like Zoukie in that vicinity, please email me at avalon.apart [at] gmail.com with pictures of your lost cat, and your address and contact details.

ubikuchingproject
Zoukie stressed because he came from a club and now is in a boarding pen... mrew =_x

If no one claims him, we will be sterilising him and re-homing him. For now he will be boarding at Angels Pet Shop.

blackie day!

Today Angels Pet Shop's boarding area is full. And full of black animals!



Salem is in the middle pen.

The one at the bottom is a Shar-pei puppy that Aswat's contact is re-homing.

The one at the top is a rescued cat from Zouk!

More on the other two new black residents in a later post.

bird sounds and videos for your cat to watch

So I read that you can enhance your cat's home even more by playing videos of animals of prey. It is an interesting idea, far less dangerous than having hamsters, rabbits or fish as pets for your cat. I don't like the idea of scaring a bird to death because any one of my cats wants to bat at it.

I went online and found a few bird videos, complete with flying and bird sounds. I tested them out on Sayang, who sat on my lap, and saw her response towards the videos. I have here the few that she seemed interested in. Her eyes followed the movements of the birds and her ears pricked at the sounds they were making.






transition

I look back at our blog archives and realise we only started this blog in May this year. Back then, Ubi Kuching Project was just an outlet for us to post pictures and stories of the cats we own and the stray cats we meet in Ubi. Andy and I are not stray cat-feeders, but we do feed the infirmed, young or pregnant or nursing strays. We tend to do other things, like first aid - our first was Spotty. And help to re-home disadvantaged cats using the internet, our first ones being Mommy-cat's kittens.

Suddenly we have been dubbed by the press as an animal rescue group. It is a good transition, more awareness means our work will be more effective. It also means that we are still in transition. As a mother grows along with her baby, so we are growing along with Ubi Kuching Project. More awareness means more scrutiny, and scrutiny although sometimes delivered distastefully helps us become better.

Right now the greatest transitions we are going through include:
Andy, Aswat and I are just three people, working adults, and this is our volunteer work. So if you visit Ubi today, you may not see the posters all around Ubi yet, for example. This is because we are waiting on Aswat to go through the 2 RCs that govern Ubi (I didn't know that there were 2 RCs in Ubi but Aswat does, and even their specific jurisdiction areas) so as to place the posters appropriately. Our fund-raising is slow because we don't have a lot of capital - if at all - to go on, and I am currently at the stage of costing and product research, early stage of marketing. As for adoption agreements and pictorial evidence, it is an upgrade from our old log book. The agreement, written in legalese, will serve to deter adopters as they read it, and can now be held expressly accountable for it.

In the meantime, grow with us, and it is really great to have so many of you loyal readers out there. We promise to keep improving.

Meow!

Monday, October 26, 2009

seiko, unfortunately adopted

Little Seiko, picture taken with our old Nokia E71 camera before his adoption.

This post is potentially politically-inappropriate. Please do not read on if you are likely to be offended.

Little Salem and Little Sayang's brother, Little Seiko, was adopted by a lady who lives in Choa Chu Kang. She is from PRC, and not the good kind, but the Jeff kind, which we didn't realise till after she brought Seiko home.

When she came down to view Seiko, she had a few complaints. Firstly, she didn't know that Seiko had a shorter tail than she would have preferred. Because of this, she wanted us to reimburse her for the cab fare she spent from Choa Chu Kang.

Subsequently, she asked that if she were to adopt Seiko after all, would there be a discount on the adoption fee of $30. Her reason being that she came from Choa Chu Kang. Little Sayang's adopter also came from Choa Chu Kang, and was there the same day as she, and also paid $30 to cover the rescue and foster work we do for the cats. She asked Little Sayang's adopter - the father - if he also 'paid' $30. He said yes, and willingly too because it goes to fund the boarding and feeding costs of the kittens at the shop.

She then said that actually she has another contact for kitten adoption, a cat similar to Seiko, black and white, and was going there that weekend to take the kitten for free. We asked her to go ahead and view that kitten, it doesn't matter to us as any rescued kitten is just as deserving as those we re-home through Ubi Kuching Project. I also told her that she should go and view the kitten she mentioned before deciding anyway, as pet adoption should be a carefully thought-out decision.

Stumped, and still undecided - or upset about no discount? - about adopting Seiko, she then decided to just buy some cat food for her current cat instead and head on home.

When she handled the kittens, she gripped them with sheer force, and placed them down with even greater force. She also shouted at the kittens, in a bid to gain their attention. Edit: We repeatedly told her that kittens needed to be handled gently as they easily get scared. She did change tack towards the end.

She also asked that if Seiko was taken home, brought to a vet and found to be already sterilised (WTF? He was 1 month old at the time), can she return him back to us and get the $30 back. We said yes, because of course he isn't sterilised! He is only a 1-month old kitten!

Anyway, finally she decided that, since she was already at the shop, she wanted to take Seiko home after all. She cuddled him - with force - and decided to name him Lucky. Edit: To be honest, it really seemed like she loved Seiko a lot on sight. It was just a different 'brand' of love, the China kind? She is our first PRC adopter, up till her, our expatriate adopters are from other countries.

Then she asked if she could get a free carrier for adopting him, so as to bring him home. A carrier costs around $30...

Seiko went with my silent prayers that he would be safe. Edit: This lady has a cat home too, which in the pictures she showed us looked well and happy at her home. This is one of the reasons why we did not immediately turn her away when she wanted to adopt Seiko, because she seemed to us that she was experienced in cat care, just a bit violent at the start.

And yesterday, this CB ah tiong woman said she wanted to return Seiko. Why? Because he developed a skin problem. Edit: She said she brought him to a vet and the vet said that this skin problem has been there for awhile, possibly since before the adoption. (Seiko was fine and healthy when he was with us). She wanted a full refund of the adoption fee and for us to go and collect Seiko from her house. Andy, who handled the call, said we cannot do that. She then said she will ask the police to handle this issue. Andy replied and said, "Ok then, come down and get the police uncle to come down too then we can discuss. OK bye."

She called later, saying that okay, no police, and she will bring Seiko back to us, and maybe we can reimburse $10 of her taxi fare?

FYI, Jeff who adopted Dane also asked for taxi fare from Aswat. What is wrong with these PRC people that they cannot afford their own taxi fare?!

We are glad that Seiko is alive and that he is coming back to us.

Seiko's adoption happened before the case of Jeff and Dane. We didn't want to discriminate. Now we are going to. 道歉,你们回国好吗? 中国人没被邀请来跟我们零养宠物.

Little Paws @ Telok Kurau


Little Paws is one of our favourite cat supply shops, second only to Angels Pet Shop. The reasons why we like this shop:
  • Kyra is very friendly and loving towards animals; when we first visited the shop with Sayang in tow after her sterilisation at The Animal Clinic nearby, Kyra showed so much love towards Sayang, talking to her to make her feel better.
  • Their resident cat Queenie is a great product-demonstrator! We have bought almost everything that Queenie uses and likes.
  • Their shop is cat-friendly - it has a good range of cat items, unlike many other pet shops which sell only dog items or very limited cat supplies.
  • It has a nice and cozy seating area for customers.
  • Their prices are reasonable and lower than Pet Lovers Centre.
  • They have interesting and cute cat products such as pet nail caps, PeeWee range of litter boxes, UniqTag name-tags for collars, Undercover Mouse toy, Shiloh & Lester salmon treats, cat-beds and a good range of premium canned foods such as Natural Balance.
Little Paws is located at 201 Telok Kurau Rd #01-03 Kurau Court. Tel. no: 6345 1233 / 82013212

Opening hours: Tuesdays to Saturdays - 11am to 8,30pm, Sundays and PH - 11am to 7pm. Closed on Mondays.

undercover mouse!

Remember I talked about this cool cat toy, the Undercover Mouse?

Yesterday we found it being sold at Little Paws! At around $54, which is less than what I had expected when I calculated the US prices.

But we have busted this month's budget on our cats, and next month's too! So this toy shall have to wait.

Little Paws is located at Telok Kurau.

diana

Edit: Diana, now known as Honey, has been adopted by Leo who is now Dane's owner. He came to collect her just now.

Sometimes, even with the best of intentions and effort, a pet needs to be re-homed.

This just in: Dane's sister, Diana, is coming back to Angels Pet Shop. Her new owners - a senior couple - had tried their best to integrate Diana with their resident dog, a Maltese. But puppies being puppies, and integration of pets needing time, the couple has exhausted themselves over caring for their two dogs well, and will be returning Diana to us. We welcome returns of adopted pets - a better alternative to their new owners dumping them without our knowledge - but without a refund of the adoption fee.

Diana will need a new home.

Will be taking some updated pictures of her soon to post here.

salem playing

Salem has been meowing his heart out, wanting to play outside of his cage, especially now since that Kendra is gone.

Salem still needs a new home! He is now almost 6 weeks old, cross Siamese and Persian - Siamese facial features, quarter Persian fur, which will be similar to British Short-hairs.

If you are keen to view and adopt him, please contact Aswat at 9337 8211 / 6748 9810.

Kendra's new home!

kendra's new home 2
Here is the story of Kendra's adoption, as told by Junteck, Vanessa's other half.

I’ve always been a cat lover, and I would adopt one if I had the chance to do so.
I would like to urge all cat lovers out there to do the cats good, adopt one and show it the love and care that every feline friend deserves.

However, only do so after long deliberated thought and the ability to carry out your commitment – never do it out of the spur of the moment!

Vanessa and I surfed around the web and stumbled across Ubi Kuching Project, a very neat blog. Ubi Kuching Project conducts stray cat neutering programme for the cats located in Ubi. They are affliated with a really neat and wonderful pet shop Angels Pet Shop, with a really nice owner – Aswat. Do check out their website if you own a pet, they sell a variety of products for your pet and shelter animals that are in need of a good home!

So as fate would have it, we laid our eyes on Kendra and immediately fell in love with her. This poor feline was abandoned, along with 2 of her siblings, outside a provision shop owned by one of the cat feeders in Ubi – at least the person who did had a heart! Kendra-chan was already 6 weeks old, a pretty and active girl who loves nothing more than playing with you all day! She’s going to be a pretty girl when she grows up that’s for sure!

We gave Aswat a call and off we went! Down to Angels Pet shop to take a look at Kendra and Salem. The both of them were adorable and at ease with any form of human interaction, a very agile Kendra played around with a not so agile Salem, causing some moments of pure laughter at the comical scene.

After playing with them some time, we had to decide whether we could afford and provide for the both of the felines if we adopted them both; it was a heart wrenching journey as we both agreed that we could only do so for one of them. We were mesmerized by Kendra and by the looks of it, she would be an excellent partner! So we informed Aswat and Elaine, who were helping us fall deeper and deeper in love with Kendra by each passing second, of our choice and they helped us to put together a basic kit for Kendra. From litter material to the food that she consumes - Aswat preaches basic neccesities above all, as evident of his shop.


And so Kendra now has a new home! Here are some pictures of Kendra’s new crib!

new home 9
kendra's new home 7
kendra's new home 6
kendra's new home 5
kendra's new home 4
kendra's new home 3
new home 1

Sunday, October 25, 2009

baking soda - uses for cats

I have previously written about using vinegar to clean your house in order to make it cat-safe as well as remove pet odours; apple cider vinegar is also a good supplement to add to cats' drinking water for health.

Another common, safe-to-use cleaning agent is baking soda, an ingredient usually used in cooking. Baking soda can be used for cats in a few ways:
  • Sprinkle some baking soda in the litter tray to minimise odours
  • Use baking soda to clean cats' teeth, especially useful for older cats
  • Baking soda can be used to remove stubborn stains, useful for cats that like to hide in dirtier areas, for longhaired cats that don't groom themselves much, or again for more senior cats.
The best part about baking soda, like vinegar, is that is food-grade and therefore non-toxic.

aloveen oatmeal shampoo review


Yesterday when we gave Salem and Kendra a bath, we used oatmeal shampoo from Aloveen.

Today when I stroked Kendra for the last time before she went to her new home, I found that her fur is really nice and soft! I think this is a great shampoo to use if you do not like the idea of having a separate conditioner for your cats - it really conditions the fur and skin and smells just as good as many other natural shampoos.

Aloveen Oatmeal Shampoo for dogs and cats retails at Pet Lovers Centre for $25.90 before PLC member discount.

Kendra has been adopted!

By a lovely couple from Pasir Ris. Having seen Kendra's pictures on our blog, they came down to view and play with the kittens and decided to adopt Kendra. Here is a picture taken of Kendra with Vanessa, with whom Kendra will be living with.
We are happy for Kendra to finally find a permanent, loving home. Her delightful purring, playful nature and affectionate behaviour will definitely warm the hearts of Vanessa and family for the rest of her life.

salem and kendra!


Salem took his first proper bath today, with oatmeal shampoo. He looks seriously cute when wet! He also had all his nails properly trimmed so that he would not scratch Kendra when they play. Kendra also took her shower today and got her nails trimmed.

Kendra is seriously sociable - Angel, Aswat's dog, was there at the shop today and Kendra was totally at ease sitting next to Angel.
Salem and Kendra are still looking for new homes. If you are keen on viewing and adopting either or both of them, please contact Aswat at 9337 8211 / 6748 9810

highly NOT recommended household cleaner

This weekend I spent much time cleaning the boarding area of Angels Pet Shop - the carriers, the cages, the mats and trays of the cages. I went to buy a bottle of Dettol Multi-action 4-in-1 cleaner to use as the cleaning agents at Angels were running low. I usually use Kiwi Kleen Multi-purpose cleaner around my house which is effective and safe to use around the house with my cats, but was tempted to buy the Dettol brand yesterday instead, because it came with free hand-soap I could place at the shop.

Big mistake!

Firstly, after washing everything, my hands felt dry as hell. But never mind that, I have dry skin and eczema anyway. Then the next day, we found that Kendra and Salem had a rash on their ears. And mine and Aswat's hands were peeling.

So we realised, that Dettol Multi-Action 4-in-1 cleaner - BAD for skin, BAD for pets!

We treated the cats' ears with antiseptic lotion, and gave them both an oatmeal bath today. They will be all right in no time now that we know what caused it.

Usually, topical allergies appear first on contact areas such as paws, and ears where their fur covering is thin. This differs from other kinds of skin problems in cats, such as random bald patches which may be a result of emotional distress leading to overzealous grooming; or puffiness, teary eyes, runny nose, which could indicate food or inhalant allergies.

So, all in all, 4-in-1 Dettol Multi-Action cleaner - not at all good for use in the house where there are pets.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

photographically grateful

Mi, our new lawyer friend that drafted the adoption agreement for Ubi Kuching Project, came by with a gift for us today.


We are so blessed. Let's just say that the photos taken with this camera are far nicer and clearer than the ones we take with Andy's handphone.

Compare these two pics taken of Kendra:

Nokia E71

Samsung ES 15
But the real reason why Mi got us the camera was because she suggested that we take pictures of adopters with the pet they adopt at the shop before they take any animal home. This is pictorial evidence to prove cases such as Dane's adoption.

I am also hoping to use this camera in the creating of Ubi Kuching Project merchandise for fund-raising. The only decent cat photo I had all along was the one of Sayang taken on Andy's office camera (also a Samsung), which I used for the sterilisation poster, and logo:

I came to a standstill in merchandise creation because I had no more nice photos to use for Ubi Kuching Project merchandise, but now with Mi's precious gift, we will be going forward with producing cool cat merchandise for our fund-raising! I'm thinking postcards, posters, stickers, even maybe a coffee-table book. Now all made far more possible by this gift.

Thank you Michelle. <3

poster on stray cat management in Ubi


Learning from other stray cat management volunteer groups, I have drafted a small info-poster on the management of stray cats in Ubi through sterilisation. I probably will have to draft a Chinese and Malay one as well as our estate is also quite mature.

This was prompted by the alarming rate of cats disappearing even after they have been neutered, as well as the increasing need to raise awareness for our cause. We also want to assure our neighbours that the stray cats in Ubi are being managed and that there is no need for them to 'remove' cats, call pest control or kill the cats because they are pests.

Now to find a way to get the posters up without them being torn down, and through proper channels. Share your feedback with me if any, via email avalon.apart [at] gmail.com

Friday, October 23, 2009

appeal for lost dog

Xena, a mini bull terrier who was lost through the same PRC guy who adopted Dane then tried to re-sell him for profit, is still unaccounted for. The dog shelter that rescued Xena before putting her up for adoption is still trying to trace her whereabouts.

Xena's story is featured in this Tuesday's TNP:

If you have any news on the whereabouts of Xena, please contact the number mentioned below in her lost ad:

first thoughts on fund-raising for Ubi Kuching Project

After some planning we have agreed on some ideas for fund-raising here at Ubi Kuching Project.

Fund-raising, marketing and business are not strangers to me; if you only know me through this blog, I actually have a rather very mish-mash collection of professional experiences ranging from sales, marketing, enterpreneurship, art and NGO work. Good for a time like this, I reckon.

There are various forms of fund-raising, and to narrow them down I have categorised 4 routes. This is a very skeletal framework categorising fund-raising avenues, and if you run an animal welfare group or similar, this might come in useful for you to start with. The four categories are:
  • Donations: using different mediums, gain attention to your cause and invite people to participate with their wallets.
  • Sponsorships: this is the corporate route, where companies and institutions fund your cause, to give them mileage in marketing through corporate social responsibility
  • Brand merchandise: the creation of a collection of merchandise bearing your group's brand. Think SPCA tee-shirts.
  • Yard sale: a very traditional form of fund-raising used by schools, churches and the like, where pre-loved items are collected and sold.
Here are the pros and cons of each.

Donations: asking people for money in Singapore is like asking someone to donate their liver. They think it will kill them. It is also illegal to set up 'tins' to collect spare change, without a flag day license from NCSS which has to be applied one year in advance, subject to approval. You will need to be a registered IPC that conforms to legislation stating how much is your operating costs and how much goes to your charity's beneficiaries - 30/70 rule. The up-side is if you have a strong community where neighbours are always willing to chip in, and the amount you are raising is small, 20 neighbours giving $20 each will already give you $400. All you will need is some marketing paraphernalia that outlines your cause so that people know what they are contributing to. A leaflet is cheap. And you don't need no tins. This is a good route for small donations that are needed for specific reasons.

Sponsorships: Thinking in the mindset of a corporation, you will only gain sponsorship - thus permanent, long-term financial backing - if your cause is a high-profile one that will gain the corporation a lot of show-time through various mediums. This means that if I were a big pet food brand, I would rather sponsor an animal rescue group that firstly, goes long, far and wide with their work, secondly, a group that everyone knows about or will know about. If your animal welfare group is one that will stay around for a long time, institutionalised, and has long-term work in place (think World Vision helping villages for five-year stretches versus a group that will go there once a year to repaint a school), then corporate sponsorships will be a great idea, win-win for both your animal group and the corporate sponsor. You see this happening often, like with Pet Lovers Centre and Action for Singapore Dogs. Co-branding and adoption of charities is a very effective marketing tool that corporations seek out nowadays. Think along this route should your group be registered charity with history and long-term strategies.

Merchandise: This is one where you need to invest money to make money. Creating merchandise such as tee-shirts, stationery and the like is like advertising too. You can also create non-branded merchandise that is aligned with your cause. For example, goods made by cottage industries sold in first world countries like ours, raise funds to promote education and employment in third-world countries. You may not buy a hand-weave shawl with their brand name splashed over it but you contribute to the cause. For us as an animal welfare group, our merchandise could be 'branded' - such as tee-shirts and coffee-table books, or non-branded like handmade pet accessories. Whichever way, you will need capital first. In order for this to work, you need to invest in creating merchandise that has low cost and a large profit margin, otherwise an Ubi Kuching Project tee-shirt is just another tee-shirt to wear around the house while you are doing chores. The low-cost high-profit-margin concept is key to merchandise fund-raising.

Yard-sale: This is likely the most logistically-intensive mode of fund-raising. Firstly, to collect pre-loved items, you will need to advertise or network for them. Then you will need to collect them and clean them. Then you will need space to store and sell them. It is somewhat like the Boys' Brigade's Christmas events, where they collect items, categorise them and then deliver them - a very logistical affair. But, the cost of this is almost free. If you have lots of manpower and space, this is a good way to go about to raise funds.

Given the circumstances and skills Aswat, Andy and I have, the best route for us is through merchandise. Firstly, I have some rudimentary knowledge in marketing communications and printing and can do some budgeting on how much it would cost and earn us to print tee-shirts, postcards and the like. Aswat is very good with handicrafts and for him to make dog and cat accessories is no problem - he actually hand-crochets beautiful hairpins for his dogs! I am only good at making pillows and toys. Our group will provide no mileage for a corporate sponsor yet and neither will getting sustainable sponsorships be easy unless another kind cat patron like Auntie Can appears out of nowhere (in her case, Macpherson. One visit to Ubi had her falling in love with the then-unfed stray cats and she has been driving to Ubi every night to feed them ever since, sponsoring all their neutering).

We are hoping to create and sell:
  • Ubi Kuching Project cat grass
  • Ubi Kuching Project handmade toys
  • Ubi Kuching Project pet beddings
  • Ubi Kuching Project collar jewellery
  • Ubi Kuching Project collectibles - teeshirts, calendars, books, stickers
All this will come in time; we have more or less settled the funding for this coming early November's neutering; after that is over, we should be starting on the logistics and planning for Ubi Kuching Merchandise. That will be fun indeed!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

oligo?

We often read our cat food's ingredients and many food brands claim to have this added ingredient called oligo.

After some summarily research, I found out that oligo functions in:
  • the growth of beneficial intestinal bacteria
  • the increase the number of these friendly bacteria in the colon while simultaneously reducing the population of harmful bacteria
Which is why cat food with oligo ingredient tend to boast that stool odour is minimised.

So, that what oligo is for! Better intestinal health and a better smell for the household.

The cat foods I know that have Oligo are Seeds and Fussie Cat. Check your food brands for Oligo now that you know what it is!

adoption agreement


Here is the Adoption Agreement that a lawyer has drafted for us pro bono, for the animals re-homed via Ubi Kuching Project. Thank you very much to Mi who volunteered to do this for us since the Dane scandal with Jeff the scumbag.

ubi-wide neutering - update

Scheduled to be held in early November.

For this round of neutering, Andy and I will sponsor the Zone 2 cats - 2-3 of them - as we have no cat patron in this zone. This will be a minimum of $120. In the long run there will be a sustainable fund-raising scheme in place for Ubi Kuching Project to help zone 2 out among other things like our rescue work. I will share a more structured plan soon. Right now everything is still on paper and in my head.

There are also a few cat owners who will be joining us for our joint neutering scheme and so the average transport cost per cat has already been lowered. For those who have already elected to bring your cat along to neuter with our Ubi strays, you have not only saved some money but also helped us to save on the transport for the Ubi strays! Thank you!

With the funding sources in place, Aswat will next be planning a date for the neutering and coordinate with the rest of the zone patrons to pay for the neutering, and then after we get to work on foot with carriers to trap the cats, we are ready to roll! Looks like early November is not too soon after all.

new tabby, and mommy cat's ex boyfriend

This male orange cat - Mommy cat's ex-boyfriend - is probably the only adult male in Zone 1 that is not yet neutered. He is quite elusive and not very greedy, so getting close to him is difficult. We did try to get him the last round of zone 1 neutering but failed because he was so elusive. He is likely the one who terrorises the other non-neutered newcomer cats in the zone. We couldn't get a picture of him so far as he is always distant.

But we saw him tonight again trying to target another newcomer to the zone - a female tabby kitten, recently dumped. She is very pretty but Andy's phone camera doesn't do her justice on the pics. If we can find her often enough roaming around Ubi central we will get her along to neuter together with Skinny.

skinny orange cat - pics!

Much talk about skinny orange cat, but here is the latest story and with accompanying pics.

Skinny has finally ventured - or been dumped - outside of his block and has taken root at Blk 304's bubble tea shop. The bubble tea auntie loves animals and she has set up a little rest- and feeding-area for Skinny. He was rather terrorised at first by the other cats in the area, driven to roam away and hide, but he has finally settled down at the shop.

He definitely ought to be neutered so that he can get along better with the other cats in the area - unsterilised cats are seen as threats by sterilised cats, which is one of the reasons why sterilisation keeps cat populations down. I left the remainder of the food I brought for him there at the shop - the shop was already closed - as I think the last container of Royal Canin I brought for auntie has probably finished. He still has a very small appetite - remnants of his past dietary habit of only eating white rice. We hope he grows up well and healthy. He is probably only slightly older than Scooter.

zone 2 excursion

Tonight, Andy and I took a late-night stroll armed with Royal Canin kibbles, to cruise around Zone 2 on foot. Tired of hearing the stories of cats disappearing, I was keen on hopefully finding the missing cats and also to spot the 2 tortoiseshell cats in this zone which we want to neuter early November.

The bad news is, Tiger and Scooter's mom are really gone, and so is the new mother cat.

The good news is, we found our beloved Squirrel!



She was found somewhere further away from her old block, and we didn't see her at first as she was hiding in that lorry. But she heard my meowing and my plastic bag of food rustling, and meowing aloud, came to greet us. I am so glad she is okay, her disappearance had really depressed me when I thought about how she might have died in the Ubi river or similar.

We looked for the 2 tortoiseshell cats but could only find 1. This one, Shortie, named as such because she has a shorter tail than her sibling, seemed un-pregnant. She is definitely due for sterilisation as she is even older than Squirrel who is already neutered.

We also spotted the newcomer to the zone, a female white and tabby. We are not sure if it is the same cat Auntie Rose says has been terrorising the 2 torties, but she is an un-neutered cat and if we cannot find Shortie's sibling we will definitely bring her this coming neutering.
There was also a black and white cat that we know lives in this zone, sterilised. Thankfully still around, alive and well and not floating in the Ubi river, dead.
So all in all, at least two cats in this zone need to be neutered, even if we cannot find Shortie's sister. At $60 per female cat ($50 is for male) it is $120 we have to raise by early November. More on fundraising in a later post...

Pawprints