Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Gardening in Winter

Clear sunny days are rare nowadays. Almost always we'll wake up with "threatening" sky - dark, with symptoms of heavy rain or storm. Sometimes we can't even open the balcony door because of heavy wind. Drought has besieged Australia for years but lately, when it rains, it pours!

Thus, when we saw a glimpse of the sun last weekend, the whole family decided to finally open the door and tiptoe into our "Garden in the Sky." OK, so we don't have a backyard but I'm happy to report that Mama has green fingers. Her potted plants are alive and healthy.

I would sometimes help Mama rake the soil but she usually gets upset as she thought I was attempting to make poo in the pot. No way Jose! I prefer the proper loo...

I'm officially Mama's favourite gardening buddy...

The Sydney skyline is part of our "Garden View".

Brad's trying to decide if rose leaves are good to eat too.

Not exactly ours but this gregarious plant in the neighbour's backyard is glorious. The flowers only come around this time of the year.

The money plant is happy indoors.

Besides the ornamentals, I could lump Mama's collection of plants into three other categories: culinary herbs, cat snacks, and succulents.

In the cat snacks category, Mama has planted lemongrass (my fav), mondo grass, cat grass (she got the seeds from a petshop in Homebush) and catnip. Catnip is a type of mint. Unfortunately it didn't survive long.

We don't like this mondo grass, it's not palatable at all.

Mama's lemongrass hardly survives my constant munching...it's yummy....

I've been told to stop eating the lemongrass though...

This cat grass is Brad's favourite snack.

The ornamentals and succulents are mostly Australian natives. They seem to thrive in the harsh conditions (and Mama's forgetfulness in the watering department) and don't require much attention.

I love this colourful coleus, it has medicinal properties I heard.

Delicious looking sedum, unfortunately not cat food either.

I was told that aloe vera was the secret beauty ingredient of ancient Egyptian queen Cleopatra.

Such lovely succulents...they can grow anywhere with very little water.

Mama's favourite category - culinary herbs. What do we have in the garden now? There's a fairly large curry-leave tree, Thai basil, flat-leaved parsley, lemongrass, chili and rosemary. In the past she's grown coriander, sweet basil and lemon balm too.

The oldest surviving plant in Mama's garden - the curry leaves are handy to have around when you love curry!

Mama's praying hard her precious bird chili plant will survive this winter.

Mama thinks she has enough flat-leaved parsley for making tabouleh (Lebanese salad) now.

I love the aromatic Thai basil, Mama uses them a lot in her cooking.

The humble ginger is Mama's favourite culinary herb.

Mama's pot of mint - crush some mint leaves, a slice of lemon, plonk in a tall glass of ice water....hmmm...refreshing summer drink..

I was told that the morning sun is good for me too.

After a hard day's work in the garden, I took a break by hiding among Mama's chili plants. I forgot to take pictures of Mama's humongous cactus and palm trees. Oh well...next time maybe. At least this cat knows how to use macro lens now...purrr purrr...

Friday, June 26, 2009

Cruel Vicious Human!!!

I found this newsflash today. How could some people be so cruel? What has that Dave done to be shot with an arrow?

My Mama was already inconsolable with the death of her childhood icons Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson, and now we saw this. What is the world coming to? This cat is very very upset. Read the rest...

In England, a tabby cat named Dave has made an amazing recovery after a thug shot him with a crossbow. The 14in bolt entered Dave's neck and came out by his left elbow - missing his heart and lungs by millimetres.

A vet said that the blunt tip of the bolt meant the cat's organs were pushed out of the way, rather than being cut.

Dave the tabby was given up for dead by its owners after it went missing for eight days.

Parents Andrew and Juliet Childerhouse's two daughters could not believe it when they saw him limping around the garden.

They all rushed the injured feline to Mill House Veterinary Surgery in King's Lynn and the arrow was safely removed.

Dave is now on the mend, but the family are still upset that somebody was willing to attack their cat so viciously.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Australiana 101

Remember how I told you how my Mama always remind Brad and I to learn Australian history? Well, she didn't just give us books to read, she also took us to visit Canberra, the capital city.

It wasn't a long drive, only about three hours via the M5. However, we also stop by towns like Goulburn along the way so it felt like forever. For novices, never ever visit Canberra on a weekend. Compared to the hustle bustle of Sydney, Canberra is one "dead" city. It's so quiet, no traffic at all. Basically, it's a city of two large roundabouts and one bridge over the lake, said my Mama.

It is basically a very well planned city that actually forces its residents to adopt a relaxed lifestyle. I like that! I saw more people riding bicycles than driving cars. So, if we were to move there, the possibility of this cat getting run over by a car is very slim indeed. That, I like too.

We spent the day admiring the flora and fauna by the lake. Lake Burley is man-made but looks as if it's been there forever. Too bad we weren't allowed to take pictures inside the buildings we visited but no prob. There's plenty of the outsides.

Mama said we'll come again in spring to visit the tulip show and go on the hot air balloon ride. I'd like that very much too.

My new friends!!! These birds don't seem scared of cats...very friendly. Perhaps they know we prefer canned tuna than gamey birds

Captain Cook is remembered always...the globe depicts his voyages around the world

Gorgeous autumn/winter colours - I like!!!

Tourists admiring the view?

An arty farty installation at the National Art Gallery

The Telstra Tower used to be the "in" thing back in the 1980s

New parliament house

Old parliament house

People's parliament? The Australian PM did say "Sorry" last year

No, I don't think they allow cats to enter the casino

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Winter Slumber

No, this is not the title of a new Korean soap opera or song.

This is about what cats do in winter. Specifically a particular male called Brad. You know, how some animal species hibernate during winter? Like a bear, for example, it will sleep during winter after eating to its heart's content all of spring, summer and autumn.

That's what Brad is trying to do. He's pretending that he's a bear! He's more like a real bad drug case. Forever drowsy, whoozy, groggy and snoozing, especially when Mama switches the heater on. I hardly get heater time, I must complain. However, since we've signed a ceasefire for winter, I'm not going to make too much of it. Let him be. Let him sleep.

He's nicer when he's asleep anyway....

Brad on the road to hibernation: Act 1

On the road to hibernation: Act 2

On the road to hibernation: Act 3

On the road to hibernation: Act 4

First he just stared at the heater.

Then he starts hogging the heater!

Finally, the greedy Brad claims, "This heater is mine, all mine!!!"

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

My New Toy(s)

Under my Mama's tutelage, I'm discovering more wonders of modern day gadgets, namely digital cameras and MacBooks. If ever she's free she'll teach me the finer points of photography including simple special effects.

For example, last weekend, she taught me how to use the self timer to create self portraits. With the help of some comfy props, namely the bed, pillows, quilt and wardrobe mirrors, I manage to catch myself in action.

Starts with just ONE Angelina....

Then it became TWO Angelinas?

In case any of you ever had a doubt of this cat's literacy and ability to blog, the pictures below are proofs enough. Don't you love my (err...Mama's) pink MacBook?

This self portrait of me is slightly blur... Bad Brad bumped the tripod as the self timer goes off! Drat! I was choosing pictures to upload onto the blog posting.

Thinking about the next posting....hmmm....dis Brad again? hmmmm..... he deserves it!

Cat-in-Sydney posting a comment on someone else's blog...

This is how we improve photographs. iPhoto allows you to apply special effects or boost the colour, among others.

Expect more technologically-driven moments from me....

Monday, June 15, 2009

My Baby Photos

Mama had bought a new laptop. She's replacing her old and trusted iBook with a MacBook. Whoa! She's upgraded big time. She even bought a pink-coloured skin to show the world that the machine belongs to a girl...

So, I had to help Mama sort out and de-clutter the old laptop; delete obsolete files, copy old files to the external drive, sort out iPhoto albums...tons of work. I got distracted by the thousands of photographs Mama stores in her digital albums. Then I saw my baby pictures! I was telling Mama how cute that particular tabby kitten, thinking that could be Tom. "That's not Tom. That's you," she said.

So now you get to see how I look like when I first came to live with Mama. I didn't have any pictures from the first five months of my life as I was living with other people then. Only after Mama adopted me that the camera begins to roll...ACTION!!!

My Mama says this picture never fail to melt her heart and put a smile on her face...

Don't think I can fit into that igloo anymore.

Mama says I'm good at posing for the camera, even when I was still small...err...didn't she name me after a Hollywood star?

My Mama had a hard time cleaning fur off this white quilt cover. But I love her bed. It's so comfy.

I had a pink bed.

Oh well...those were the days before Brad entered my life. It's never the same since he officially became my PET!

...and CUT!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Illiterate No More

People, have I told you that Brad can't read or write yet? Let alone blog! Must say the boy is a slow learner. No, he's not autistic or dyslexic, it's just plain laziness. Poor Mama pulling her hair trying to get him excited about the world of letters... Shameful, really!

Recently, while walking towards the North Sydney train station, Mama saw this large hardcover with a picture of Brad in a bookstore! Actually, some other cat that looks disturbingly just like Brad. Same tabby-ness, same green eyes... The only difference is the nose. Brad has an asymmetrical face with some splash of colour on his nose while the cat on the book has a white unblemished nose.

Now, compare the picture on the book cover with Brad's mug in this photo below. See the resemblance?

Anyway, now that Mama has managed to get Brad interested in the book, the next step is to get him interested to also read the book. I'm satisfied to report that Brad's progress is very very slow.

I'll rue the day when he's literate enough to start his own blog. Grrrr......