Tuesday, June 19, 2007

IT'S A CATS' WORLD

Cats, at times, behave like humans. Some are very well behaved and display good conduct and respect towards other cats as well as humans. Some, however, harbor a stubborn streak and wants to control a territory which is not theirs. Since the day we were depleted of our own band of feline members, our house has been invaded by several uninvited furry guests.


Mayo aka Tempang, basking

One is a stray, scruffy, dirty, white (beige??) semi long-haired which resides liberally between our house and those adjacent to us. We call him Nahar (now please don't snort again, Anne!) because Nahar, a village jack-of-all-trade once came searching for him, saying that the cat left him. Nahar (the cat) is such an adorable one (not that Nahar the human is not adorable but that is a totally different story!). He won't dare go near us and would scurry out of our way, as if in great fear of incurring our wrath! He would lie peacefully under our parked car outside even when the day is hot if he knows we are in the house.


Nahar, the ever frightened one, won't even stop to pose!

His only crime is to snitch Mayo's (our only cat left) biscuits, which neither Mayo nor us, mind. Each time when he comes for the food, he would eye me intensely. As if to elude us, he would surreptitiously take further route and circle the premise, only to approach the biscuit dish when he thinks we are not watching him! Should he catch us eyeing him, he would not nab the food straight but would make pleading eye contact, silently asking for our permission. Once, I even told him, "makanlah". Nahar is also a peaceful creature, not wanting any confrontation of feline sorts. Never do I hear him making deep roaring sounds to initiate any cat fights. Thus he gets along well with Mayo and they would laze around and gaze indifferently at each other.

Nahar has a peculiar gait. Watching him walk from the back, you'd notice that his hind ankles sort of meet together with each step. A bit like knock-knees. So when he runs, it appears as though he is hobbling . And he has a cute rotund face, a bit like Nahar the human. Which gave me the theory that a cat tend to look like their owners as they grow!

My immediate neighbor has three siamese cats. Apparently they are very bold and shows irritating bravado. The most brazen of them is this guy with pointed genes, meaning he has dark pigmentations on his nose, ears, feet and tail. We call him Mafia for obvious reasons. He would mark his territory by pissing and defeacating all over our lawn! Once as he was stuffing himself with Mayo's food, I shooed him away but he put on a deaf ear and kept on eating. When I tried pushing him away physically, he won't budge at all! Imagine! Worst still was when he wanted to fight Mayo over the biscuits. I wonder if he gets any food at home! This evening he picked up a fight with Nahar whilst he was eating. I chased him off by spraying a gush of water from the hose. I hope Mafia will get the message that his insolent audacity is not welcomed and that Nahar's presence is more accepted here, despite his unkempt persona!


Mafia, up to one of his ploys


Another of Mafia's vice is to enter our bedroom through the balcony door which we would leave open at most times. On several occasions he would creep in unnoticed and trail downstairs into the kitchen to rummage the rubbish bin. Due to this, we now have to keep the balcony door closed.

I know Mafia is just a cat with natural predilections but his impertinent intrusive habits just vex me more and more each day. Once I tried to be nice to him by stroking him. Mayo came near me, requesting me to pet him too. In an instant Mafia growled and put on a fighting stance. Sheesh! And I thought I could be nice to him. Since then, I have no heart to be amicable towards him.

Sorry that I have to blog about cats again. Not that my life revolves only around them but I see a lot of uncanny similarities between cats and human behavior. How some human love to 'pick' up fights and destroy relationships. And how some cats can manage to be more human by being more amiable to each other. Observe these feline beings and maybe we can learn how to be more humane from them!

*By the way, Mayo's eating corner is now an attraction to many cats from areas nearby. There's an orange-white one from the left side of the near kampung. And various others have also come for their share of Mayo's yummilicious biscuits. Maybe it's turning into a soup kitchen or something!

Friday, June 08, 2007

ISLAMIC LECTURES WORTHWHILE DOWNLOADING!



Shaykh Hamza Yusuf was born in Walla Walla, Washington, and grew up in Northern California in a Greek Orthodox family. He is founder of the Zaytuna Institute. He embraced Islam in 1977 in Santa Barbara, California when he was only 17 and set off almost immediately to study Arabic, Islamic jurisprudence, philosophy, and spiritual psychology with masters in the Muslim world.

After ten-years of studies abroad, he returned to the United States and completed degrees in nursing at Imperial Valley College and religious studies at San Jose State University.

In the early 1990's he began to teach classes in the San Francisco Bay Area and in 1996 he established Zaytuna Institute. Two years later the institute acquired a property in Hayward, California, where it is now based. Zaytuna Institute is committed to inspiring a traditional understanding and study of the core Islamic sciences. In addition to weekly classes, week-long and month-long educational programs, and annual conferences that addresses contemporary issues affecting the American people, Zaytuna Institute has published four small books and several major audio-tape sets of Shaykh Hamza's classes.

What I like about his lectures is his ability to convey them in good English entwined with beautiful words and vocabulary that enhance the very meaning of each and every sentences. His Arabic is no doubt excellent but I still feel that his English helps most in conveying his message.

Please take time to download this videos and listen to each and everyone. May we be blessed with His taufiq and hidayah.

*Note: ....
when he was only 17.....(I hope one of my kids can emulate him.)

*Note: ...
completed degrees in nursing......(He's a qualified nurse!)

*I got this video from Azleen's blog (Thanks!)

Saturday, June 02, 2007

And Then There Was One….

We started with one. Then came number two. Third, fourth and fifth came within a short span of period as the orang asli kept on phoning us to buy his ‘miniature leopards’. Wanting to breed Bengal cats, hubby brought back a suitable feral he chanced upon in Tioman, aptly named Tioman. But it was not to be, when Tioman was found dead, one night, most likely poisoned by a cat-hating neighbor whom we named the cat-killer.

When number two began mating number one, he started to mark his territory by pissing all over the house. It is said that by castrating a male cat, this habit will subside. Thus poor number two lost his only chance for any off springs. Then number one began her ‘illegal mating’ spree and ended getting pregnant so frequent that almost immediately after giving birth, she’d be ‘singing’ her cat calls again.

As number one was busy breeding, her matured off springs too started mating and producing their own batches of kittens. At one point, there were possibly more than ten of them, altogether! Fortunately (or unfortunately, which ever way you perceive) one of them had the habit of eating her young ones thus helped curb the number down.

When their number sky-rocketed, we began giving them away. One managed to come back, not once but twice! And she even tried to impress us by putting on her best behavior in an effort to prevent us from dumping her once again! Many died of suspicious circumstances. If you were to plow through our yard, there’d probably be more shallow graves than those found in the house compounds of serial killers!

Beloved number two went missing one day and never returned. A year later, exactly on the same date, number one, too, followed suit. But not without leaving behind four lovely long-haired, just like her. At this point, there were 3 adult cats, 6 newborn kittens, 4 long-haired kittens and 3 leopard cats. They were such a handful that we had to dump 2 adults in a nearby eatery, an unbearable act that had made the person doing it, shed sad tears and vowed that should they return, he would keep them for good, come what may!

When hubby came down with his illness, we decided to call it quits and sent the 3 leopard cats to Zoo Negara. A good Samaritan willingly adopted the 6 kittens and brought them back to Dungun. In between, the long-haired, one by one, began dying mysteriously, leaving behind only one, called Tempang, so-called because his right front leg was maimed by one of the leopards!

At that point, we were left with Tempang and Whirl (a stout orange fellow with whirled patterns). Good Samaritan, whom by now has shifted back here, borrowed Whirl to mark territories at her new abode, in a futile effort to prevent strays from mixing with Labu and Inteb (the only 2 living from the original 6 kittens). Whirl went missing, overnight, probably lured by the strays.

So we are now left with Tempang, whom I am now calling Mayo, in remembrance of number one, his mother. The latest I heard, Labu has been missing for 36 hours. So Good Samaritan too, is left with one, Inteb.

And then there was one….

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