Saturday, February 25, 2006

Are We sisters because our eyes look alike?

Mum was watching 'art central' on TV regarding prey and predator when she commented that DD look like The Philippine Tarsier, one of the world smallest monkey.

Really, DD's eyes look like tarsier...yellow and big and cat and tarsier are relatives in the past.... Posted by Picasa

Friday, February 24, 2006

Cute cat forum that i had just joined

Jennifer say:

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My sister had found this cat forum from the web.

I had set an account where i display sweetie, DD and Pong pong's cute photographs.

Here is the main site for sweetie:

Under the family of sweetie, you can see DD and Pong Pong's face where you can link to their sites too.. my special pet websites esp for cats. Someone awarded 5 paws to sweetie, she must have look cute.

I even saw sanju from vegancat's blog too..
I just read yesterday that sanju has found a new owner..lucky cat...
His foster mum's blog also show interesting life story of sanju:

I like visiting the sites of singaporeans to find out why they have this cat and read the bio of the cat.For my cats, i actually have poems for all three of them but unfortunately, the site do not allow me to seperate the lines so everything is joined as one whole sentences.

I set a topic under the forum page for DD:
Topic regarding:
"How do get me to enjoy a bath"
topic link:

I think the reason why i find catster's site cute is because we can put our cat talking, this make it interesting to look at.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Pong Pong visit to the vet

Jennifer say:

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Today, sister and I took Pong Pong to the vet. Sister put her inside the cat carrier before taking the bus to SN to meet me. Pong Pong seems fearless, she did not meow and was very curious of the outside world.

Now the reason why we send pong to the vet is because yesterday, pong had bloody stools - real bloody and the worst thing was she shit at my study table and messed up my bag. Sister forgot to let pong into the bathroom to poo and locked her inside our room so pong poo on my table. This was the second time she poo on the table messing up my bags both times.

Anyway, i am glad today's vet treatment turned out to be fine. We arrived for our appointmet at Mt Pleasant Animal Clinic (North) at SN at 3pm. While waiting for our turn, we chatted with two nice malay aunties. The malay auntie said she send her cat for op for a fee of $800 as her cat got something in the bowel that need to be taken out. She is quite nice, we chat abt our cats..she had 4 cats in hougang, today, she visiting the sick cat that need to be in the clinic for observation.

Our turn sister gave the vet pong's feces from this morning...YES, sister took pong's shit and travelled by bus( luckily only one bus stop from our house) to the clinic. The vet( a young lady called doc tan) seem afraid to touch the feces , we also gave her the digital camera to look at yesterday's shit. The vet listened to pong's heartbeat and proclaimed that everything is fine with her heartbeat. Then the vet said she need to get some fecus by inserting a tube to pong's bottom. So she took pong to the lab. We waited and pong came out. Again waiting time...we continued our chat with malay auntie. After a short while, we were called inside. The vet said pong did not have any worms or any serious condition, she had bloody stools because her lungs has infection from the food she eat - senitive stomach. We spent $69 on the treatment that included mediation.

Then both of us carried pong back home where we walked all the way back home. Both of us supported pong's carrier, she is very heavy.

Pong is so clever. She did not meow till she reached our seem like she know she was now home..home sweet home...

Thursday, February 16, 2006

War of the World

Pong Pong and DD are becoming good friends..Good friends, still a long way to becoming best friends but at least, there are some progress between them - less hissing and more play. It is quite fun to watch them play. Both will jump in the air, box each other and once DD boxed pong pong's head while pong was eating before DD ran away to hide.

Sweetie is still very angry with Pong Pong whenever pong tries to approach her. When i feed sweetie, pong also try to come to eat but is scared to move closer because of sweetie's hissing. Sweetie will take at least two weeks to 1 month to accept pong pong.

Yesterday, sweetie bite DD's neck for no reason till DD meowed in protest. I think sweetie was just playing. Normally, both sweetie and DD will groom each other's head and ears.

Progress of Pong Pong:
So far, I have locked pong inside DD's old basket when i was out. She protested loudly but i needed to lock her in case she get into trouble. Today, she climbed out the window and we almost had a heart attack.
If pong poo or pee, she will meow for us to help her.
For food, she eat everything that i offered her - chicken meat, rice, biscuits...
She has a musical meow..very soft and gentle.
She will response if you call her name. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Poor SN cats - so am i allow to feed community cats?

Jennifer say:

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Actually, i do know the answer to my topic question - YES but when ppl complain in my SN neighbourhood, the community cats run a risk of being caught.

Today as usual, my sister and I were in SN 543 feeding mimi, ginger and ringring. Suddenly a guy that i recognised was a RC member told us outright. I can still remmeber what he said:
RC member: halo, did u feed these cats?
me: yes
RC member: did you see the posters? You cannot feed these cats.
Me: But i clear up everything when i feed them
RC member: Ya, but ppl had complained, i do not really mind but i am shifting and cannot help you.
Me: (staring at him a bit stunned)
RC member: if you want to feed, feed in an less obvious area

That what happened today.
Actually i felt pissed that ppl complained when i doubted there are really 'a lot of ppl feeding cats at 8 plus'. Linda had told me that ppl complained that at 8 plus, there were lot of ppl feeding the cats. Also there will be ppl catching cats this week. And somemore, i am feeding at 9 plus and the cats still come running to me to eat my food. If the cats are feed, why are they still coming to find me? Tml, i am going to the park near my place to spot whom the feeders or are there any one feeding the cats?

Linda called me when i SMS her regarding this matter. She told me that to feed the cats later. Problem still not solved. Sister emailed vegancat too of this matter and vegancat had emailed dawn whom vegan said is a expert in this area.

I am changing my place where i feed them tml..behind the water pipe again...

Monday, February 13, 2006

YuanXiao Jie

Jennifer say:

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Today, dad, mum and i went to cheng huang temple to pray for hongbao. Mum asked for two hongbao and was refused to be granted one, so she asked me to ask on her behalf. I was rejected too. It was then i learnt how cheng huang god is really divine. The temple staff told mum that we should only pray for one hongbao. So mum try again, this time, the god agreed to let her have an hongbao. You will need to drop the cup to see if the god agreed. The hongbao is to bless us for good fortune and health in the Year of Dog..Next year in the Year of pig, we will need to return double the amount in the hongbao to the cheng huang god. I had placed the hongbao in the pouch that carried my EZ-link card.

After our praying, dad took us to Hong San temple in Defu Lane. This is my first time visiting the temple. As usual, we offer incenses to all the gods in the temple. There were stalls cooking food, i though they are selling the food. Later, the temple staff told us that on every yuanxiao jie, the temple offered free food where you can eat in a table of 10 to eat your food. The only thing is you must have patience. We can only start eating after 7.30. There are lot to eat - fried noodles, rojak, laksa, h0kkein mee, desserts, red bean soup, satay and even free beer to drink. We ate fried noodles and dad waited half a hour for the rojak to be prepared. It is actually quite fun to eat together.

And yesterday, for the 'first' time, i watched firework again. The last time i watched was when i was in primary more than 10 years ago. Mum and I took bus 130 at AMK interchange at around 8.30pm to get to 'River Hongbao'. I thought we would be late for the firework. surprisedly, we managed to arrive there at 9.25pm. After a quick walk around, we heard the announcement that firework would be in the air after 3 min. It was amazing to watch the beautiful firework. I did not bring my digital camera and i did not really got a good spot to watch the firework properly but at least, i can still see the firework so high up in the sky. Then we walked around for a short while before taking bus 167 back home.

CNY is over at last, mum had said that she is busy for two weeks, now she must prepared for QingMing festival that is coming soon. It is also the month of the Rain, i hated rainy days.

Caught in the act

This is Pong Pong yesterday evening. See how naught is her face. Posted by Picasa

Caught in the act 2

This is Pong Pong on top of my mum's room aircon. She is rather naught yesterday. Posted by Picasa

Caught in the act

This is Pong Pong caught in the cat by my brother. See how naughty she is. This is the main reason why we need to lock her in the basket. If left alone, she can be quite 'destructive'. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Best of Friends

This is sweetie and DD sleeping together at my bed yesterday afternoon. This is the first time we allowed DD to sleep outside her usual basket where we locked her. We had use her basket to lock Pong Pong that is extremely 'notty' and almost lead mum to madness.

DD really enjoyed to sleep on my bed, she even jumped beside me to sleep yesterday night. Posted by Picasa

Friday, February 10, 2006

Discovery of some cute cats video-sharing websites

Jennifer say:

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On sunday, the Sunday plus featured an article on viewing of free-hosting of video websites. Today, i viewed the website. Of course, i am thinking of making videos of sweetie, DD and pong pong. I am really slow in knowing these sites but thanks to straits times, there is always chances for IT-idiot like me to learn more.

Anyway, i has joined as a member in so i will be hosting some vidoes files later too.

Other websites mentioned in the article included:

I did a seach on you-tube on cats, the videos i find are really funny except for this japanese reality show of a cat that i think is cruel as the person stick tape on the cat's fur. Imagine how painful it is for the cat when you pull off the tape:
here is the 'cruel' video:( it's strange that i cannot put a direct playback in blogger itself and yet the site said that i can place the code in blogger, so i need to place the website link instead)
But not all videos are filmed by cat lovers, you will know when u viewed the videos itself and the comments that is beside the files usually mention what is the video about so ignore those that said things like 'stupid' cats or 'cat bumping into wall'. Overall, it is super cute to watch those cats of real cat lovers.

Here the more funnier videos:

This one Sister must sure see, it look like the time when Sweetie make nana angry and nana wanted to bite her.

There are still dozens of videos files that i do not managed to watch..just use the search engine to search for 'Cats'.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Pong Pong as our third cat

Pong pong has been living with us since the fifth day of CNY. I think i am adopting her as she is an extremely sweet cat.

She love to rub her head against you when u lie on the bed to watch TV. and she sleep beside anyone. She is also toilet trained.

Unfortunately, she has a bad case of ear mites where my sister has treated her using ear lotion. For her fur mites, i had spray her with frontline spray that kills mites effectively within five days. Last time, i also used it on sweetie whom got her mites from the grass. She got rather soft stools. Today, mum said her stools is normal but smelly.

Mum has been asking if i want to keep Pong Pong in the house, i do not really mind as she actually quite obedient except for this:
1) jumpin on the kitchen counter when i prepared her breakfast
2) jumpin on mum's plates that dropped to the floor, luckily no broken plates
3) meowing at us to let her out (we need to keep her in mum's room as she's not on good terms with sweetie and DD yet)
4) hiss like a snake at Sweetie and DD whom hiss back too
5) putting her paws inside the rubbish bin for extra food..yucks

Other than this, she is quite ok. Tonight, we let her out to hiss with sweetie but this war of the world is ok. No major incident happen like cat fight or bitting. So i guess sweetie slowly accepting pong pong now. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, February 05, 2006

More on the history of Taiwanese Opera in Singapore

Jennifer say:

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I was trying to get more information of the zhangzhou opera troupe that is currently performing in Lorong Koo Chye Sheng Hong temple when i came across this article published in 1999. I still remembered mum telling me how in the 1970s, taiwanese opera were very famous then. Every year, Lorong koo Chye Sheng Hong temple will have opera performance in the March to May by Singapore troupe. In July, there are many singapore opera performance in housing estates like AMK, Bedok or SN, mostly near temples.

The ones that i watched (singapore) were performed in SN and sheng hong temple. I watched singapore troupe a few times, not that impressive as compared to taiwan or china troupe that have many opera schools. Singapore opera troupe lacked the money to make customs nor hired more ppl to sing. Of course, if ppl do not appreciate the culture, how to make ppl to actually enter the industry to sing. Mum said in the past, only the poor entered the opera and had to endure hardship inside. And i think most ppl do not actually listen to chinese opera it in fact a dying culture in Singapore unlike taiwan or china. In fact, the original performer of 'gaizaixi' come from China. It is quite a eye opening to watch China performance these few days. I had just watched it yesterday and on the second day of NY.

Anyway, here some background on singapore gaizaixi:
From this source:

Published:September 1, 1999Source:Sinorama
Believe it or not, Singapore is currently the world's busiest spot for ko-tzai-his (Taiwanese folk opera). In an age where traditional drama can barely compete with newer entertainment media like film and television, the Lorong Koo Chye Sheng Hong [city god] Temple in Singapore is still able to stage over 100 days of Taiwanese opera every year.

The world capital of folk opera
The 28th day of the fifth month in the lunar calendar is the birthday of Lorong Koo Chye, a guardian deity venerated as the city god. The icon was brought to Singapore eighty years ago from Anxi in Fujian province, at the request of local followers-ethnic Chinese from southern Fujian, Chaozhou and Guangdong-who remain devoted to the god for his remarkable efficacy. What originally began as two days of thanksgiving opera gradually extended to 50 days, 70 days, and now in the 1990s over 100 days of performances. "There are 101 days of opera this year, running from the 31st day of the third lunar month to the 28th day of the sixth month, but it's still not enough," says Tan Thiam Lye, honorary secretary of the Sheng Hong Temple Association. "Many of those who hoped to sponsor performances have had to wait until next year!"

Because the season is so long, every Fujianese opera group in the city gets invited to perform, along with ko-tzai-his troupes from Taiwan and Xiang opera troupes from mainland China. As Singapore audiences know well, for good opera, the city god temple is the place to go. One regular, a lady in her sixties, says that her husband drives her to the temple every day, half an hour by car, to see the shows. So far this year she has seen nearly two months' worth of operas.
Assistant curator at the Singapore History Museum Ken Cheong, who has written a thesis on Fujianese opera in Singapore, describes the annual performances at the city god temple as a "theatrical jamboree, and a big incentive for opera troupes who usually play for tiny audiences." The three-way support between temple, believers and opera groups makes this a vibrant, living theatre which doesn't need to rely on government support.
The three flowers of Taiwanese opera

Ko-tzai-his is a product of Minnan (southern Fujianese) culture, for which various forms of local opera from the Zhangzhou area of Fujian were merged in Taiwan to create a new operatic form. When this was in turn transmitted back to the Fujian region it was named "Xiang" opera, and because of the migrations of the Minnan people and touring performances by troupes from Taiwan, Xiang caught on in Southeast Asia, becoming known in Singapore as "Taiwanese opera." At the time of WWII, when the Japanese occupied Singapore and Malaysia while holding Taiwan as a colony, ko-tzai-his was renamed "Fujianese" or "Min" opera.

Go South policy
Before 1930, when Singaporeans were still in the dark about ko-tzai-his, what was popular was gaojia opera, based on traditional Nankuan music. Then an opera group from Taiwan, the Phoenix Troupe, visited Singapore and Malaysia after giving some shows in Xiamen, and became an instant sell-out hit. The Phoenix Troupe continued working in Singapore for several years before returning to Taiwan in triumph.
The box-office success of the Phoenix Troupe inspired other ko-tzai-his companies to try their hand in Southeast Asia, and in addition to performing at established venues they began carving up the market for temple shows in Singapore. Unable to resist the ko-tzai-his onslaught, local gaojia troupes either folded or simply converted themselves. The Xin Sai Feng Fujianese Opera Troupe, one of the most prominent in Singapore today, turned to ko-tzai-his in 1936. "It was a matter of survival," says the troupe's third-generation leader Wei Mufa, recalling his father's decision at the time. "Since Fujianese opera was taking over it made sense for us to follow the trend."

Cashing in
The post-war period of the 1950s and early sixties was a boom time for Fujianese opera in Singapore. Opera companies and impresarios from Taiwan recruited the best performers they could get hold of and one after another came south to cash in on the craze. The enthusiasm of opera fans in Southeast Asia made it an unforgettable time for the performers. Liao Chiung-chih, a winner of the National Culture and Arts Award, spent a year and a half in the region during that period, performing with the Peony-Cassia Troupe. Actors' fees for touring overseas were little different from what was paid in Taiwan, but there were big earnings to be had in tips from fans. A wealthy businessman from Brunei once stuffed a red envelope containing 1,500 ringgit-equivalent to over NT$20,000-into Liao's handbag. "That night," she recalls, "I hid under my quilt counting the money, and was so happy that I couldn't sleep a wink. I've never made so much money in my life." Aside from red envelopes there were all sorts of other gifts. One fan used to bring her a baked chicken every day, and another took her to get dentures made and to buy clothes for her son. One lady, a godmother of Liao's, had a gold medallion made for her, which together with its chain came to seven taels in weight.

Coarseness vs. refinement
Good times don't last forever, and traditional opera was soon facing stiff competition from movies and television, while the glory days of the old venues faded out. Meanwhile the younger generation was becoming more westernized, and as multilingualism spread Fujianese opera could no longer rely on a captive audience of Minnan-only speakers.
The times moved on, and with the launch in 1977 of the Singapore government's Mandarin campaign, which included a ban on television programs in other Chinese dialects, the audience for Fujianese opera melted away. Matters weren't helped by the uneven quality of the troupes and the widespread perception that Fujianese opera, with its aging casts, its sometimes slapdash performances and its nonsensical plots, was simply crass. In the stories, a down-on-his-luck aristocrat might continue to appear dressed in sequined finery, or in a scene where the protagonist was in a state of anguish, the supporting actors would just stand around blankly.
"Some Fujianese opera really is very crude," says Frankie Hu, a keen photographer who often comes to watch the operas. "They don't walk or talk properly, they sing pop songs all day long and the leading ladies are fat."
This is an idea that many have considered, given the contrast between the crudity of street opera, with its improvised performances, and the sophistication of the carefully scripted and rehearsed productions that can be seen in the theater. Even the actors themselves feel that if it's not in a theater, then it ain't art.

TV opera saves the day
It was during the 1970s and 80s, when ko-tzai-his was on the way out in Singapore, that opera groups from Taiwanese TV stations began performing in Southeast Asia, so initiating a second springtime for Fujianese opera in the region.
The most popular such group at the time was the TTV Joint Opera, which was invited to do a series of shows at the People's Theatre in Singapore. The 40-plus members of the group, including stars Yang Li-hua, Wang Chin-ying, Hsu Hsiu-nien and Li Ju-lin, turned out in force to effect the transition from television back to stage. By introducing the softer style of make-up used in television opera and adding a few new ballads, they created a fusion of the best in stage and television opera, and filled the 2000-seat auditorium to capacity night after night. Demand for tickets was so great that after a month they had to extend the run by another two weeks. Singapore had become a second home for ko-tzai-his.

What exactly is the appeal of Taiwan's televised operas? "In a word: beauty!" says Sim Siew Tin, executive secretary of the Fujianese Association's Xiang Opera Troupe. "Beautiful actors, beautiful costumes, beautiful sets and beautiful locations." At the peak of televised ko-tzai-his's popularity, TV opera films from Taiwan were the hottest and most expensive item in Singapore's video rental stores.

Promo flyers for live opera at the time highlighted the fact that opera companies were staging new productions using scripts expressed over from Taiwan. Borrowing from the appeal of televised opera in this way proved to be highly effective, and audiences once again began emerging from their front rooms to enjoy the spectacle of outdoor opera. "Seeing that time was right, many performers broke away to form their own groups," says Ken Cheong. The fever has waned since those days, but there are still 13 groups performing in Singapore today, the more prominent of which present up to 200 performances during the course of a year.

This is live theater!
In the suburbs of Singapore, dominated by the high-rises of the government housing projects, redevelopment of old communities has resulted in temples being torn down and merged into newly constructed "joint temples." It may be this god's birthday on one day and that god's birthday on the next day, which means plenty of occasions for setting up opera stages in open areas around the nearby apartment blocks.

The matinee performance attracts only a handful of onlookers, and is a chance for juniors in the company to try out their skills playing servant girls, young soldiers and eunuchs. After the show is over some of the cast play mahjong on the stage, while others go off on errands. Mostly the troupe works from an established repertoire, and it is frequently the case that come 6 p.m. the actors still haven't been told what they'll be performing in two hours time. All they get before the show starts is a brief outline to remind everyone who enters and exits in each scene. For a new production the cast gathers at around five in the afternoon to hear the director explain the story and assign roles, and to run through some action moves. "We do whatever story we think of on the day," says Cai Jianfu. "It's not all fixed in advance."

As to how the performers choose what to sing, it depends on how tragic or comic the plot is, and also sometimes on how they feel on a given day. "Today my voice is OK so I can do a few soprano numbers," says Qiu Meiqi of the Shuang Ming Feng Troupe, "but if I haven't got the voice for it then I stick to songs that don't go so high. So it goes." Qiu's attitude neatly sums up the flexibility of Fujianese street opera.

"A lot of people look down on the street opera troupes, but I think that this type of improvisational performance, in which so much depends on context, is actually art of the very highest kind," says Yung Sai-shing, professor in Chinese Studies at the National University of Singapore. Whether it's high art or low art, traditional drama does after all exist in its own traditional settings and have its own characteristics. And it would be wrong to criticize outdoor theater by imposing on it the viewpoints of Western or modern professional theatre, or of pure art.

Theater of life
Yung Sai-shing says: "Traditional opera is a medium through which an ethnic group forms an identity and provides support for its members. Like the upsurge of interest in Cantonese opera in Hong Kong recently, I think it's all part of a longing for home that surfaces when people feel a crisis of identity."

As demonstrated by the stages that are built outside temples, religious thanksgiving provides the main role for Fujianese street opera. Such operas preserve the original form of traditional opera and constitute an important element in the art and the community-building of an immigrant society. In all such immigrant societies, townsfolk associations, temples and opera troupes are bound in a tight triangle of connections. And when opera like this is transplanted into the professional theater, the domain of pure artistic expression, it loses all semblance of what it originally was.

Close encounter of the first kind
"When we were children a lot of people went to watch the operas, and we had to bring a straw mat and four nails along to 'stake out' a good spot in front of the temple. There were so many people that it was hard just squeezing your way out to go for a pee," recalls Chua Soo Pong.
"The adults watched the opera while we kids checked out the stalls and munched snacks. All the traditional novels I read when I was a child were bought during those operas," says Koh Eng Soon, a freelance writer who collects historical material about opera.

"Why play immortals? Who is the God of literature? For many people Fujianese street operas, free and open to all-comers, provided a first encounter with Chinese cul-ture, and that was especially so for me," says Ken Cheong. A number of Singapore University students have recently been doing field research into traditional opera because the Fujianese opera troupes, with their close involvement in religious culture, provide the best window onto traditional culture.

Friday, February 03, 2006

'The Kidnap' of Pong pong

Today, sister asked the malay family if she can bring pong pong back to our house to play play and she agreed. Poor pong pong, i think she has ear mites as her ears are very dirty. Just now, we had clean her ears using ear lotion. This ear lotion really worked. The last time DD has ear mites and ear infection, we do use the same lotion for 1 month and now she has recovered. We feed her rice and she seem very hungry. The malay auntie said that she only fed her dry food. I will either return her later at 9 or tml early morning. Posted by Picasa

Happy New Year, DD

DD is very excited abt the new year plant(tao hua) that dad bought. Posted by Picasa
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