Monday, February 28, 2011

Monday Blues: Father & Son

Tom Cruise and Michael Schumacher - no, they aren't identical although both are tabbies. Tom is my brother and that makes Mike my nephew. Hmmm....can't really see Mike's blue eyes here. They just love Mama's ironing board. 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Eye Candy on Sunday: Oscar Winner

Y'all! Introducing: Nicole Kidman. Tom's wife, so technically my sister-in-law, eh? She's the reason Nikki and Mike have blue eyes. Hers are almost translucent. 
She's had three kitties but maintains her svelte looks by maintaining an active life - climbing, running, skipping, aerobics....ooops...maybe I exaggerate a bit. 

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Speechless on Saturday: Who's that Frowning Girl?

Y'all, this is Nikki. Tom's daughter, my niece, aka Koala.
Angelina's note: Look at those blue eyes....aren't they gorgeous? purrrr....meow!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

How Cute is That!

Wow! Lovely colours in the range. 
Mama bought these ones....Am I getting a new pink something? 
I swear the cat was winking at me. Cute.....

Angelina's notes: If you're into cats....and sewing.... then these threads should be your only choice. It's cheap too. RM1 = 30 cents (Aussie money). Hmmm.....Mama...time for a new quilt, eh? purrr....meow!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Remembering Christchurch

The shocking news came via Uncle Abdullah's blog (lobolessons). He told of his personal experience. Then Aunty Zendra who had just returned from there also mentioned it in her comment box. A devastating earthquake of 6.3 on the Richter scale hit Christchurch and reportedly 65 people are dead.

We visited this fine and elegant city in May 2008. I'd like to remember the place as a beautiful place that I'd like to visit again. Vincenzo, I hope you're OK, mate.

I hope that nice uncle who sells kebab at the Cathedral Square is OK. 
The famous cathedral....iconic and now damaged.

Was anyone playing chess when the quake hit?

This tram service is now disrupted. 
I'm not going to put up pictures of the damaged buildings, rubbles, flash flood etc. I'd like to remember Christchurch as that serene and elegant place. A place we placed on top of our list of places to retire in.
To all the people of Christchurch, hang on there, mates! purrrr....meow!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Once Upon A Time in the Land Down Under - Kookaburra

We saw this handsome chap when we were having a picnic at Kurnell. Mama warned me not to get too close to this bird of prey. It has a penchant for eating the young of other birds or animals. Eeeuww...I don't want to be its lunch or dinner.

Long, long ago, only the moon and stars lit the Earth. No one had ever felt the warmth or seen the light of the sun.
The spirits who lived in the sky looked down on all the birds and beasts, and they were concerned that the creatures were not happy. One day a generous spirit decided the world needed more light, and so this spirit gathered others, and together they collected wood, and this they began to stack, higher and higher and higher. When the wood was stacked so high they could no longer see the top, they decided to light a fire.
"The creatures of the Earth will delight in our light," the spirits said, "but we must announce its arrival."
The spirits sent a star out into the sky the first morning star and instructed it to announce the arrival of the light that would soon warm the world.
The star shimmered and sparkled, but few noticed it there in the dimly lit sky, and when the birds and beasts first saw the light of the great fire, they were shocked. Soon, though, they began to delight in its warmth, but seldom did they notice that tiny morning star.
The spirits decided they must find another way to announce the dawn.
"We'll need a noise," one of the spirits said.
"Yes, something loud. Something unusual, something startling," the others agreed.
Time passed, and the morning star shone more brightly, but still many creatures did not notice the star and were startled by the sudden light of the great fire.
Then one day, just after the morning star began to shine, the spirits heard a most amazing sound. Kookaburra peered down at the ground and spied a mouse. He launched himself from his perch in the treetops, and when he had conquered his prey, he began to laugh. He laughed like no creature in the world laughed.
When the spirits heard that sound, they knew that Kookaburra must become the world's morning trumpeter.
That very night the spirits visited Kookaburra in his home inside the gum tree.
"Kookaburra," they said, "every day, just as the morning star begins to fade, you will laugh as loudly as you can. It is your laughter that will wake all the sleepers before our fire lights the sky."
Kookaburra laughed when he heard this. "What if I say no?" he asked.
"If you say no, we will send no more light to the Earth. All the creatures will again live in the darkness."
Kookaburra realized that he could become a hero, and oh, how he would love to be important and respected. "I'll take the job," he said, and the very next day, just as the morning star began to fade, Kookaburra looked up at the sky and began to laugh, "Garooagarooagarooga ..."
When the spirits heard that sound, they lit their fire, and slowly the Earth below began to glow. The warmth seeped down slowly, building as the fire blazed higher and higher.
Many years passed, and every morning Kookaburra laughed loudly, and every morning the spirits lit the fire to warm the Earth below.
When the Creator brought people into the world, the spirits instructed them. "You must never tease Kookaburra," they said. The elders instructed their children: "If Kookaburra hears you making fun of him, he will never laugh again. Then we will no longer have light or warmth."
So all the people learned, just as the beasts and birds had learned, that Kookaburra must be respected, and to this day he prepares all the people to greet the dawn. The aborigines also believed that any child who insulted a kookaburra would grow an extra slanting tooth.

Angelina's notes:
Kookaburras, known as the Laughing Jackasses of Australia, are from the family Kingfishers. Similar to other kingfishers, Kookaburras have a stout and compact body, short neck, rather long and pointed bill and short legs.
Kookaburras are 17 inches in height, the upper parts dark brown, the wings spotted grey-blue. A white band separates the head from the body. There is a dark stripe through the eye, and the under parts are white. The strong bill is black.
The Kookaburra's rolling, laughing call is one of the best-known sounds in the animal world. The birds raise a wild chorus of crazy laughter as they go to roost in the treetops at dusk, and again wake everyone within hearing just as dawn breaks, so regularly that in the hinterlands of Australia they are know as the "bushman's clock."
Australians value the Kookaburra, not only as an intriguing member of the strange fauna, but for its habit of feeding on snakes and lizards. The Kookaburra seizes snakes behind the head and kills them by dropping them from a height, or else carries them to a perch and batters them senseless with its big bill before swallowing them.
Less welcome is the Kookaburra's fondness for the young of other birds, and its occasional raids on farmyards for ducklings and baby chicks.
Whoa! A vicious murderer, this Kookaburra. 
There's a nursery rhyme inspired by the bird as well. Hey! It's a popular murderer, eh? I'm too lazy to download the YouTube thingy but have copied the lyrics. So you can sing if you know the melody. purrr....meow!
Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree 
Merry, merry king of the bush is he 
Laugh kookaburra, laugh 
Kookaburra, gay your life must be 
Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree 
Eating all the gumdrops that he can see 
Stop, kookaburra, stop 
Kookaburra, leave some there for me 
Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree 
Chasing all the monkeys he can see 
Stop, kookaburra, stop 
Kookaburra, that's not a monkey, that's me!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Curtains from Down South

Whenever she's back in Malaysia, my Mama would travel extensively for work. Like last weekend, she had to attend an event in a place called Pagoh (recently inundated by flood) where survivors of the flood were handed out more essential items and other stuffs.
Thinking that the area is quite far and would take several hours of driving, Mama and Dad left home at 5am. OK, so no cats were taken on this trip. We were unsure if people at that event would let us join or blend in. So it was just Mama and Dad.
Late afternoon saw them heading back home but there was a last minute detour. Mama said our home in Malaysia needs new curtains as we haven't changed any since we moved here eight years ago. Fair enough, said Dad. 
Thus, with glee in her heart, Mama helped Dad navigate the way to Tangkak, a town famous for its rows of textile shops. We're told Tangkak has a new rival, a town called Nilai which is nearer to KL and only about half an hour from the airport. Mama and Dad would pass by Nilai too on their way back to KL but Mama insisted that they should support the original textile haven. And also that as they were just in the neighbourhood, no harm in dropping by.
"Oh, if we're lucky, we maybe able to pick up some nice josapine pineapples too. I don't think we can get those in Nilai," she convinced Dad. As usual, she ended up with more that just the josapine, there were mangoes, bananas and salak in her shopping bags!
The old curtains we have were also bought in Tangkak eight years ago. As Mama sews her own curtains, she usually buys better quality (read: more expensive) materials that can last a long time. She was also planning on making some new pet cushions....hmmm....I'd like to see that happen. 

It was a Saturday and yet the main road wasn't busy....could be the results of  rivalry posed by Nilai.
Aaahh....the colours....the shops usually display materials for clothes in front.
If you can't sew, there's also the option of ready-to-wears.
More shops along the main road. Mama didn't know which one to go to at first.
Some scarves to match the clothes too....
Be prepared for the glorious colours of lace and satin.....
.....of silk and polyester.....
.....of rayon and georgette and voile...
Mama loves the cottons the best she said...there's a choice of Japanese, Italian or Swiss.
Angelina's note: Dad said Mama was singing as she was choosing the curtain materials upstairs while Dad browsed through some men stuffs downstairs. We're not showing the curtains and cushions materials we bought yet. Wait till Mama finish sewing them, OK?
About the rivalry posed by Nilai, no sweat said the Tangkak textile community. Most of them have opened branches in Nilai. Whatever you get in Nilai, it's also still available in Tangkak. Same quality, same price. Smart move, people!  purrrr....meow!
p.s. did we mention that Tangkak is also the gateway to the fabled Mt Ophir? 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Dump that Dumb Thingy!

Hallo there! This is Prof Dr Angelina again. Remember how I said in my previous lecture that there are plants that are beneficial to cats? Well, today's lecture will touch upon a plant, very beautiful and very popular, that can pose a serious threat to our health. Not just felines, but to our brothers and sisters of the canine world too. So, listen carefully and analyse the pictures accompanying this lecture so that you can identify this threat and tell your hoomans. If you have this plant at home, tell (or force) your hoomans to get rid of it. It's a serious case of "it's me or the plant" scenario.

The plant I'm talking about is what is popularly known as dumb cane. Here's an excerpt from Uncle Wiki:
Dieffenbachia is a genus of tropical plants in the family Araceae noted for their patterned leaves. The name commemorates Ernst Dieffenbach, a German physician. Members of this genus are popular as houseplants because of their tolerance for shade. The common name is 'dumb cane' due to its poisoning effect on the throat due to raphides.
The cells of the plant contain needle-shaped calcium oxalate crystals called raphides. If a leaf is chewed, these crystals can cause a temporary burning sensation and erythema. In rare cases, edema of tissues exposed to the plant have been reported. With both children and pets, contact with dieffenbachia (typically from chewing) can cause a host of unpleasant symptoms including oral irritation, excessive drooling and localised swelling.

You may read more here.

Danger lurks in lovely gardens such as this. Look at that row of dieffenbachia. tsk tsk tsk. 
Should put up the crossed bones and skull sign here.

Angelina's note: If you have this plant at home, indoor or in the garden, get rid of it. Your beloved pet or this plant? Choose wisely. purrr....meow!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Of Egypt and The Slave

People say that in ancient Egypt, cats were worshipped as Gods and Goddesses. Why? Because they were a surefire way to get rid of vermin (rodents) that would infest the granary where harvest of the day would be stockpiled. You see, those days, the people worked in fields or construction sites owned by the Pharaohs and in turn, they get fed by the Pharaohs. So who do you think built the pyramids? Aliens? It was the people, whether freedmen or slaves. Oh, why am I blabbering about Egypt now? That's because there's a real concern about the fate of animals there (especially pets and zoo animals) now that the country is in turmoil. Read all about it at Aunty Caren's blog (click on her name to link) and dig deep into your pockets.

Now, back to present day, as the queen/princess/darling of the household, I'm actually entitled to have a pet of my own. Hey...I didn't invent this rule, Mama did. So, I do have one but I usually refer to him as my slave. Most of you may have met him. His name is Brad. Yeah...that spoilt brat. You wanna see how he looked like when he first came into my life? Before he turned into this really annoying boy? Before he turned my life upside down? OK OK.... see for yourself.

That was how he looked like the first time I met him. First impression: demure.
Looked quite innocent then. Yeah...what an actor.
I thought he looked kinda cheeky and mischievous here.   
Hmm....Brad thinks he looks super cute in this pix.
Brad: Auw....thank you Angelina. That's so sweet of you. I'll be your slave furr-ever and ever and ever.
Angelina: *vomits*
Brad: Hey! That's mean.
Angelina: Slave, clean that carpet now.
Brad: Mama, Angelina is bullying me.
Mama: Kits! Enough. Go to sleep.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Down Memory Lane

Mama was complaining that there's not much memory left in the Mac. So, we got an external HD and transfer some of the old pix there. Being the ever helpful daughter, I helped her with the task of sorting out the kitty family albums. Then I saw these visions of loveliness. Oooohhh....I fell in love with this model that Mama's been photographing. See for yourself. Don't you think she deserves all the admiration in the world? adorable...who can she be? 
She's so sweet and demure looking.
Cuter when sleeping.... 
Aaahhh....the purrrfect Hollywood pose.
Mama: Don't you know who that is, Angelina? That's you...when you first came to live with me.
Angelina: Really, Mama? I was that pretty?
Mama: You still are.
Angelina: Auw.....*blush* ... I love you, Mama.
Brad: Aaarrrggghhh.... *vomits*
Angelina: Oh..shut up little boy! Can't a girl admire herself? purrr....meow!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Once Upon A Time in the Land Down Under - Version 2

What's a legend if it doesn't have various versions, eh? Well, what do you expect from a story that's been passed down verbally from one generation to another for thousands of years. Anyway, I found another version of the Three Sisters of the Blue Mountains, albeit a more romantic one. A tragic outcome of forbidden love, it seems. So, here goes...
The First Australian dream-time legend has it that three sisters - Meehni, Wimlah and Gunnedoo - lived in the Jamison Valley as members of the Katoomba tribe.
These beautiful young ladies had fallen in love with three brothers from the Nepean tribe. Unfortunately, tribal law forbade them to marry. The brothers were not happy to accept this law and so decided to use force to capture the three sisters, causing a major tribal battle.
As the lives of the three sisters were seriously in danger, a witch doctor from the Katoomba tribe took it upon himself to turn the three sisters into stone to protect them from any harm. While he had intended to reverse the spell when the battle was over, the witch doctor himself was killed. As only he could reverse the spell to return the ladies to their former selves, the sisters remain in their magnificent rock formation as a reminder of this battle for generations to come.

The Three Sisters are 922, 918 and 906 metres tall, respectively.

Dad took this photo as he was fiddling with the DSLR. I thought this angle is quite nice.
Angelina's note: Hmmm....I prefer the first version. Why were the girls sacrificed just because they fell in love with boys from a different tribe? Why didn't they just let the boys send flowers and chocolates to the girls? What a waste. purrr...meow!
Brad's 2-cent's worth: there's actually no magic bone? No way I can "cure" the girls and marry them? What a waste. I'd buy you chocolates and flowers, Angelina. If Mama would give me some money.... har har har *evil laughs*

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Once Upon A Time in the Land Down Under

The majestic Three Sisters of the Blue Mountains have been immortalised in many works of art.

Long ago in the Blue Mountains, three Aboriginal sisters - Meenhi, Wimlah and Gunnedoo - lived with their father, a witch doctor named Tyawan.
There also lived one creature feared by all - he was the Bunyip. Tyawan who knew where he lived would leave his daughters high on the cliff behind a rocky wall where they would be safe while he would collect food.
One day, waving goodbye to his daughters, he descended the cliff. On the top of the cliff, a big centipede suddenly appeared and frightened Meenhi. She picked up a stone and threw at him. The stone rolled away over the cliff and crashed into the valley below. The rocks behind the three sisters split open, leaving the sisters on a thin ledge.
There was a deep rumble from below and the angry Bunyip emerged from his sleep. He looked up to see who had rudely awakened him and there, perched on the thin ledge he saw the sisters cowering in fear. Furiously he lurched towards them.
In the valley, Tyawan heard the cry and looked up to see that the Bunyip had almost reached his daughters. Frantically the witch doctor pointed his magic bone at the girls and turned them into stone. They would be safe there until the Bunyip was gone and then Tyawan would return them to their former selves.
The Bunyip became angrier when he saw what had happened and he turned on Tyawan and began to chase him. Running away, Tyawan found himself trapped against a rock which he could neither climb nor go around. He quickly changed into a lyrebird and disappeared into a small cave. Everyone was safe but Tyawan has dropped his magic bone. The Bunyip returned angrily to his hole.
Tyawan crept out of the cave and searched for the bone, still seeking it today while the Three Sisters stand silently waiting, hoping he will find the bone and turn them back to their former selves.
We can see the Three Sisters today from Echo Point and in the valley we can hear Tyawan, the lyrebird, calling them as he searches for the lost bone. The Blue Mountains is just one-hour drive away from Sydney. Anytime is a good time for a visit, unless it's a rainy or foggy day.

They are the tourists' favourite backdrop at Echo Point. 
Angelina's notes: Witch doctors make bad child minders. Anyway, where was the mother? Mama, we haven't been there for ages. purrr....meow!
Brad's 2-cent's worth: What if I go search for the magic bone? If I could return the sisters to their normal selves, I'll marry all three. har har har *evil laughs*

Friday, February 11, 2011

And Who Says Cats Walk on Four Legs?

Proof #1: Okay...can't really see his legs here.
Proof #2: See how firm those thighs are. That's the result of constant two-legged walking.
Proof #3: This is how we walk in the house, usually.
Proof #4: Brad caught on camera. You've been a good model, mate.
Angelina's note: Told you we're almost human. Almost. purrrr....meow!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Dangerous Beauties

Mama went to a friend's house recently. Knowing that her friend also has a cat, Mama was shocked to see this on the kitchen bench. Beautiful but dangerous. It can cause seizure and renal failures if consumed. Then the phrase "curiosity kills the cat" will surely come true, eh?

You won't see these beauties in our home. Ever.
Read about it here.

Angelina's note: If you love your felines, ditch the lilies! purrr....meow!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I Know What I Did Last Summer

You seem so excited, Angelina. too, Brad. Why? was the full moon. So everyone went a lil' bit cuckoo. 
Angelina's note: It's hot. purrr.....meow!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Happiness is.....

1. Drooling at the sight of catfish grilled "village" style.....yummm.... 
2. Salivating at live ikan haruan (snakehead fish) being cleaned....and then grilled to purrrfection.... 
3. The thought of these tasty shellfish (can someone help identify these delightful morsels?) stirfried with chili and lemongrass..... 
4. Sumptuous lunch spread - fit for a queen (and some humans). 
The Menu: 
Grilled catfish
Grilled snakehead fish
Fried chicken
Unidentified shellfish, stirfried with chili and lemongrass
Young tapioca leaves in coconut milk
Boiled young papaya leaves
Kacang botol (a type of legume, eaten raw)
Sambal belacan (hot chili with shrimp paste)
Air asam (chili and onion in tamarind juice)
White rice
Loads of laughter
Plenty smiles

5. Visiting the ancestral home - Mama's late Grandma's house.
6. Getting to know the native trees - this is a papaya tree, Mama told me. Don't munch the leaves, they're bitter.
7. This is a tapioca plant - the roots (tubers) are edible, as well as the young shoots. Oh...we had them for lunch.
8. This is a longan tree. The locals call the fruits "buah mata kucing" (cat's eye fruit). Surely no cats were harmed in the planting of this tree?
9. Amazed at the beauty and serenity of the's off season for rice planting I was told, hence the bare fields.
10. I did justice to the fish. Burp! 
Angelina's note: We spent the weekend at Mama's maternal home village. It was awesome! purrrr....meow!