What fortunes await us in the Year of the Tiger?
The Tiger symbolises courage, pride and leadership qualities, and I hope that this year will bring out the best in our elected representatives and lawmakers. I also hope to see bolder non-governmental organisations and a more robust and proactive civil society. I wish to see the enforcement of environmental protection and animal welfare laws with more bite and fewer loopholes. More than that, I want to be part of the mechanism that makes all the above come true.
It was a quiet Lunar New Year for me back at the parental home, due to the fact that most of my friends were out of town for the holidays. I spent a lot of my time cycling, reading and attending to my animal companion care and volunteer commitments. Covert Big Bro and I also managed to keep our tradition of having thosai on the first day of New Year alive.
Amber and Chocky wait to greet me in the driveway of the parental home.
My parents' porch is a riot of colours during the Chinese New Year.
Assorted chrysanthemums in pots symbolise purity, honesty and longevity, while musk lime plants attract a bountiful harvest and prosperity.
Our reunion dinner was a simple affair at a well-loved restaurant, and the restauranteurs were obliging enough to prepare vegetarian dishes for me. After dinner, we went to the football field to release Kunming lanterns.
I had never thought of releasing Kunming lanterns before, as I had previously believed them to be fire hazards. I observed how they were used and realised that they were quite safe after all, and that the fire burns itself out without setting nearby objects on fire, and that the lantern is made of rice paper and is thus biodegradable.
Our little green lantern took our wishes and dreams up to the Heavens.
Covert Big Bro and Covert Twin, uncharacteristically mindful, ran after the lanterns to catch them when they fall, so as not to generate litter.
On the 3rd day of the New Year, I took my parents to the Pavilion shopping centre for a bit of festive fun. The mall was decorated to resemble a traditional temple fair in China.
Traditional Chinese kites for sale at a darling little booth in the concourse area of Pavilion.
The entire week had been apocalyptically hot. These cats at the SPCA did the best thing in the circumstances by having a siesta to conserve energy.
Adoption rates have been stable despite the festive season. Surrender rates typically go up and adoption rates go down right before a major holiday. I am glad to report that 5 puppies were adopted today (Wednesday, 17 Feb 2010). These are puppies No. 4 and 5, both adopted by the same family.
Speedy, one of the SPCA Office Dogs, enjoyed the attention of being photographed.
My latest fosteree, Gypsy, an orphaned kitten with sore eyes and a sensitive tummy. He would have to be put to sleep the next day if not fostered. I will give him the best of care and do all I can to find him a good home.
...And the Year of the Golden Tiger is off to a purrr-fect start!