Friday, February 27, 2009

Pingu in Trouble

We got word that Pingu fell off the balcony yesterday. He seemed OK, had done X-ray, stitches and stuffs. Uncle Is said he's resting and can't play for the time being. Ginger must be feeling lonely without his companion for a while. My Mama says we'll go visit him, bring him flowers and tuna...poor Pingu...
I don't like him much coz whenever I stay at their house, he tried to "mount" me. Doofus! He's had the snip snip! Mama usually send Brad and I to stay at Uncle Is and Auntie If's place if she's gone for long. To Dr T if she's gone for a couple of days.
I will update on Pingu's condition. Must have hurt, it's a 4-storey block!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Mama's Travels 2

My Mama went to Bali! I resented her going because this was one trip that she couldn't take me. Brad and I had to stay with Dr T.
Bali is a famous holiday island in Indonesia. Mama went with Dad in search of the famous Balinese cats. Lucky she didn't bring any home...thank God for Australia's strict quarantine laws...lest I'll have too many unwanted feline companions.
My Mama opines that Bali is an over rated holiday spot. It's too touristy, too may Aussies, she said. No stone has been been left unturned it seems. It's a place she'll not visit ever ever again.

Feline figurines - a must buy - and must bargain!

Balinese dancer - a must see - the show was too long though and you may lose interest after the 3rd scene.

Seafood lovers at Jimbaran waiting for the sunset!

Sunset at Jimbaran unfortunately didn't live up to its reputation.

The corn seller - now, his bbq corn was yummy...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Don't Tell Tom

I am consumed with jealousy. With someone I've never met before.
It's Tom Cruise, my Mama's first cat. He lives overseas with Dad but my Mama can't stop looking at his pictures, talking about him all the time and worst, calls herself MamaTom!
When my Mama visited him last month, they celebrated his birthday, or rather the day Mama found him, with a humongous chocolate cake! Humongous cake for a humongous cat!

HRH Tom Cruise - Mama's first love

Mama spotted this building in Melbourne, aptly named Don't Tell Tom...

Tom's birthday cake...I never got any!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Sam the Koala

In the past I've always made fun of my Mama and Brad's fascination with the idiot box. I must admit, however, that one news items made my eyes and mind glued to the tube too yesterday. It was the vision of Sam the koala being saved by the nice firemen while they were busy saving humans and properties in Victoria. Poor Sam was badly injured and burnt, his paw pads were blackened by the hot grounds it had to travel on while its fur was singed.
Poor poor's really sad knowing that many animals are either injured or dead because of bushfires in Victoria (or anywhere in the world). The well-dressed lady newscaster said there could be millions of dead wildlife out there, still unaccounted for. I'm really really praying for the well being for all those animals out there. I'm sure there were cute felines like me who's lost their homes or even their lives. Special prayers for them too...

Statistics from Victoria:
Fatalities: 181 dead (as of Thursday, Feb 12) including 5 children
Properties destroyed: 1,831 homes, more than 1,000,000 hectares of land
Homeless people: 7,000 registered so far, could be higher
Hospitalised: 22 with serious burns, 10 in critical conditions
Still causing concern: 31 active fires across Victoria – could take weeks to contain
Five fires at Beechworth, Churchill, Murrindindi, the Kinglake complex and Bunyip – causing most
Areas hit: Beechworth, Flowerdale, Kinglake, Kinglake West, LaTrove Valley (Callignee, Callignee South, Hazelwood,
Jeeralang), Marysville, Narbethong, St Andrews, Yackandandah
From history books: 1939 Black Friday: 71 dead
1983 Ash Wednesday: 75 dead, including 47 in Victoria.

Australian Fruits 101

It is mid-summer now. My Mama says this is the best time of the year, for her, as this is the time when her favourite fruits will be in season. She loves fresh figs and plums. Let me tell you a bit about the plums as somehow it’s connected to me.
Mama says her favourite is the Angelina plums. I have the picture here. I did a bit of research about this fruit that bears my name.
About Angelina: Angelina Burdett plums are round to oval, medium-sized clingstone plums with bluish-black skin. They have sweet, juicy yellowish-green flesh. The tree is self-fertile to the point that it will even need some thinning as the fruit is growing. It is ready for harvesting late summer, early autumn. Can be used for cooking or eating out of hand. The plum was bred around 1850 (some think 1843) by a Mr Dowling of Woolston, Southampton, England. Named after a philanthropist, the Baroness Angelina Burdett-Coutts (1814–1906), granddaughter of the banker Thomas Coutts.
Scientific notes: A plum or gage is a stone fruit tree in the genus Prunus, subgenus Prunus. The subgenus is distinguished from other subgenera (peaches, cherries, bird cherries, etc) in the shoots having a terminal bud and the side buds solitary (not clustered), the flowers being grouped 1-5 together on short stems, and the fruit having a groove running down one side, and a smooth stone. Also called Prunus domestica (Scientific Name) Prune (French) Pflaumen (German) Prugna (Italian) Ciruela (Spanish) Ume (Japanese).
General information: Plums are the second most popular fruit in the world (apples are the most popular.) You can classify plums in many ways. One is based on what you do with them -- either eating them raw or cooking with them. Another divides them into three families: European, Damson, Japanese. Yet another is to look at those that are freestone -- the flesh separates easily from the pit -- from those that aren't (clingstone).
Not all plums are plum-coloured -- that is to say, purple. They also come in green, yellowish green, yellow and red. Consequently, it can be hard to tell if a plum is ripe based on colour, unless you are familiar with the variety. The best way to tell if it is ripe is just to squeeze it slightly to see if it is soft. Meanwhile, avoid all the bruised fruit that everyone else has squeezed. Plums will, like many fruits, continue to ripen after picking.
If the plums are firm, you can set them out at home at room temperature for a day or two for them to soften. Placing them in a paper bag will speed up the process. Though they will soften, they won't sweeten any more after they are picked. Once they are ripe, they are good for about 3 days in the refrigerator. All plums freeze and preserve well.
Nutrition: Good source of potassium, Vitamin A and fibre. An average plum has anywhere from 30 to 60 calories. The pit of the plum has cyanogens in it, which are bound molecules of sugar and cyanide. When this bond is broken, the cyanide becomes free and able to act. The cyanogens don't leak at all into the flesh of the fruit, for some reason, but should it ever occur to you to try fermenting plum pits, or to break them up and roast them as snack food, it might not be such a great idea.

Mama's favourite snack - Angelina plums....don't they look yummy?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Mama's New Garden

Mama is so thrilled. Her new plants are thriving. The herbs she sowed last week seem to be growing well. Soon she'll have millions and millions of herbs in her "edible" garden. Heaps of savings she can do. Better for me as she will have extra money to buy more and more delicious cat mouth is watering now thinking of dinner...Mama...I'm the can, please...

Colourful, eh?

Friday, February 6, 2009

Get to Know Me Better

Hiya peeps! Do you notice that I've always been talking about other stuffs but not much of myself? Let me remedy that.
I am a cat. Never doubt that. My name is Angelina Jolie, as a tribute to the Hollywood Star. I live in Sydney, Australia, in one of the suburbs, not in the city proper.
I won't give you my home address but suffice to say it's a home I share with my Mama and my pet, Brad Pitt. He's feline like me.
I love sleeping, playing,spanking Brad if he annoys me, cool winter night, snuggle up with Mama, looking at the world from up high, eating grass....
Things I hate: manicure, pedicure, food with liver bits, hot summer days...
Any questions? Tell your people to speak to my people...

Take me shopping anytime! I am, after all, a girl...

Guess what's my favourite brand of cat food?

Me on the massage chair.

The flower pot makes a nice snoozing spot too.

View from the window - on a rainy day.

I simply love looking out from the window. We live on the top floor. Can you see me?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Australian History 101

Mama says I have to know the history of my homeland. So I'll begin with the recent celebration of Australia Day, January 26, first declared in the year 1870. The Aborigines, who were the original Australians wanted it be called Invasion Day instead as that was when the British colonial masters declared ownership of this land.
Not far from where we live is a suburb called Kurnell, about half an hour drive. This is where Captain Cook first landed when he "discovered" Australia many many moons ago. On April 28, 1770 to be exact. A monument was erected in his honour. Now, reading the writings on the plaques, two natives were shot by Capt Cook's crew before they landed here. Why can't they also erect a monument in their honour? We would never know if they even survived the gunshot wound.
Nevertheless, I like this spot as it's in a forest reserve now. Full of really really old pine trees, some would have witnessed what really happened that day. If only trees could talk...or blog...meow meow meow...A nice spot for picnic too.

The monument blocking the pine trees' view of the harbour

My attempt at taking artistic rock and water image

The monument from the front

Tribute to a dead tree.

Read the plaque.

Actual spot of landing.

While They Are Sleeping....

I have told you all briefly about my Mama's other family. Here are more pictures of them snoozing, and snoozing, and snoozing...No wonder they are all so huge. May I don't grow up as large as them...

Tom the snorer

Nicole - anytime, anywhere

Michael loves the bed

Nikki thinks she's queen of slumber

Brad would have a whale of a time bullying them if ever we live under one roof. Mama says that will eventually happen, some day. A long long way off, I hope.

Mama's Other Family

Introducing...Mama's other family. Lucky they live overseas so I don't have to deal with too many felines under one roof. Phew!
I was browsing through Mama's digital album and saw millions of their pictures. From what I can see, they seem to like to sleep...zzzz....I know that my Mama prefers to be called MamaTom as Tom is her first love. But, it doesn't matter. I know I'm the favourite. Though I'm somewhat uncomfortable with the fact that both Brad and I have some kind of resemblance to Tom. Hmmm....meow!

Tom Cruise - king of zzzzz....

Nicole Kidman - Tom's faithful partner

Michael Schumacher - Tom & Nicole's son

Nikka Lauda aka The Koala - Tom & Nicole's daughter

Monday, February 2, 2009

Mama's Travels

My Mama travels a lot, within and outside of Australia. Sometimes she flies, sometimes she drives.
I love travelling in the car. Brad doesn't, he's noisy and complains a lot. Even on the 2-minute drive to the vet.
Recently Mama took us to a farm. Get to know the country, she said. OK, so we've been cooped up in our small 2-bedroom unit and a good 8-hour drive would do us good.
The farm is in a tiny town called Donald in Victoria. Must say it was a revelation wandering around acres and acres of farmland. And there were so many types of animals too. I especially like the alpacas, a cross between camels and llamas, handsome devils they are. There were goats, sheep, and humongous exotic birds with blue eggs too.
Then there were the plants - wheat, barley, lentil, millet. I don't know much about the grain but I love munching the leaves. I find the barley plant quite tasty...much like cat grass we have at home.

Baa baa black sheep....

Barley plant upclose..not cat food, duh!

No way I'm letting Mama adopt that kid! Goats stink.

Cute alpacas...handsome animals!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Is It The Heat?

Can extreme heat make people go cuckoo? Mama seems to think so. She's terribly upset that a man threw her 4-yr old daughter off the Westgate Bridge in Melbourne. It was a 58m fall, not even a cat can survive that. Despite the best efforts of paramedics, the girl died. The father? Greatly distressed and not of sound mind, said the TV reporters.
Melbourne is in the southern state of Victoria and has been suffering from an extreme heat wave where temperatures rose to 40oC plus. They even had to close the roof at the Rod Laver Arena where the millionaire tennis players suffered from fatigue and extreme dehydration. Adelaide in South Australia is also experiencing the same. Many people have died due to the heat, old people mostly.
Thus, my deduction is, blame it on the weather. Maybe the father of that girl was having a headache because of the heat as he was driving along the bridge. The 3 little kids he had in the car were perhaps making heaps of noise, fighting or what. The father would have said, if you don't stop I'll throw you down the bridge. Perhaps the girl didn't stop talking, perhaps she was excited that it was her first day at pre-school, perhaps she screamed at her brothers not to tease her...perhaps, perhaps, perhaps...What really happened could be anybody's guess.
But what did happen was this father stopped his car in the middle of busy traffic, dragged her out of the car, and threw her down. Witnesses said nobody could stop him as it happened so fast. Of course, many people also questioned how come Melbourne's tallest bridge doesn't have safety fencing or barrier at the side. Perhaps the architects, engineers, whoever was responsible didn't think anybody would try something like this.

What can I say? Crazy humans! When the heat gets too much, do as I do. Sleep on the floor! I'm lucky as Mama's floor is all tiles so it's very cool even on a scorching day. Or, park yourself in front of the air-conditioner. Mama has this mobile A/C that works wonders for me. Just like the electric blanket does during winter.
And, please people, don't kill your own kids.

Brad and I enjoying our summer siesta the old fashioned way...on the floor!