Monday, 22 February 2010

Year of the Tiger, and I'm feline fine

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!


Cat-from-Sydney said...

I hope this will be the goodest and bestest year for you and all your animal companions - canines, felines, tigris....roar roar roar! Oh...that Gypsy looks so funky. I'm imagining him donning some funky bandana and loop earrings...peerless eyes looking into a crystal ball. What an auspicious start of the year for you, having a furry personal fortune teller. purrr....fect!

Ellen Whyte said...

Gong Xi Fa Cai, Ee Lynn! May this be your best year ever.

Gypsy looks so tiny. Hope he's putting on weight.

~CovertOperations78~ said...

Dear Kitties in Sydney and Ellen,

Thank you for your kind wishes for my little Gypsy. He is playful and active but not a very hearty eater. Just nibbles at food. I will be taking him to the vet tonight to see if he needs to be dewormed, and if they have Appeton for kittens. He is on Hartz pet multivitamins already but I would like him to eat more wet food. I bought him Fancy Feast and he ate 3 mouthfuls and went back to bed.

Love from my home to yours!

Cat-from-Sydney said...

No no no...not the ordinary Fancy Feast! That one has heaps of offals and meat by-products. Must get him only ROYALE Fancy Feast. Pure food for puuurrrrfect know, like us.

Pat said...

Ooooooo! I love Speedy!!! So handsome. And such lovely markings!!!

And a hug for Gypsy. I hope his appetite has improved.

Hope you and your family have a wonderful year of the tiger. And that is stays purrr...fect, right up till the end :)

~CovertOperations78~ said...

Dear Pat,
Speedy is a girl, and a very smart one she is, too! Thank you for your hug for Gypsy. Hope the vet has something just for him. I hope the Year of the Tiger will be a roaring success for you too.

Dear Kitties in Sydney,
But I got the white tuna flakes for Gypsy! Surely it can't have offal? Addiction and Blackwoods is a bit heavy on the digestive tract for such a young kitten, so fish will have to do.

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Seriously, read the ingredients list. They may change the labels for the Malaysian market but the original label says (even though it says tuna or salmon or whitebait etc) "contains by-products of meat (chicken, beef or pork)". Serious! My Mama reads all the fine prints. purrr...meow!

louis said...

I wish you and your family a very prosperous, happy and fulfilling Year of the Tiger, CO'78.

I especially enjoyed your photos of the Kunming lanterns. They add to my appreciation of Chinese traditions which have periodically been explained to me by a very good and knowledgeable friend in Penang.

Thanks to your photos I have finally got some good views of the exterior and interior of the Pavillion, a place I am looking forward to visiting, not because I like to shop (I don't) but because I knew that site when it was still a girls' school and later watched its demolition from my hotel window.

~CovertOperations78~ said...

Dear Louis,

Thank you for coming by and for your New Year wishes. Prosperity to me means when all living beings can live in safety and with some semblance of quality of life -- it's not prosperity if we have huge houses at the expense of wildlife habitats.

I don't shop either, so I guess people like us visit shopping malls to marvel at the architecture and interior design?

Anonymous said...

lol@your siblings and their er "uncharecteristic mindful" .

how come you are different?

yippee at you coming out on top at month three:-)

:-). year of the tiger indeed. i can hear the roar

(the very bloggilywoggilylazily muminmalaysia)

Unknown said...

My nieces and nephews lit the Kunming lanterns this new year. After the BBQ,we had some fun . They do not pose any danger at all.
I wish the year of the Tiger will be real fine for all of us - and this tiger too!! Me! Hope the outing at the MyCat awareness in Jenjarom went well.

~CovertOperations78~ said...

Dear Kitties in Sydney,

It WAS Fancy Feast Royale after all! I just checked the tin! Strangely enough, Gypsy prefers Whiskas pouch food. I've just dewormed him and he seems contented enough. He ate a lot for supper. Thanks for your concern!

~CovertOperations78~ said...

Dear Mum-In-Malaysia,

Thank you so much for coming by! My brothers are 'different' because I have always been the one to pick up after everyone. Shouldn't have spoiled them in the first place.

Thank you for your good wishes. I have rather lost faith and interest in the Blog4FT contest by now. I am not convinced that judging is based on merit.

~CovertOperations78~ said...

Dear Keats,

I am glad that you agree that Kunming lanterns are safe for use! They're much safer and less antisocial than firecrackers.

The Jenjarom event was awesome! All those painted faces -- wish you and Ravi could make it next time! Maybe the next one will be at Zoo Negara again. Hmmmm.... must talk to Loretta...

Unknown said...

..wishing you all the best in the year of the tiger, CO78..with a quaint tradition of thosai for breakfast..:) talk about cross-cultures...and I seconded your hopes for the new year..but personally, I do not expect much..cheers..

~CovertOperations78~ said...

Thank you, Pak Mat! How nice of you to drop by! Yes, best not to have expectations, then anything good that happens becomes a bonus and a big surprise!