Monday, January 23, 2017

A Birding Break

I swear I looked nicer in jungle togs and minimal makeup..

I had a lot of leave days left over last year and I wanted to do more birding and photography in Fraser's Hill. Asked around but as usual, no one wanted to follow me to a remote place with bad internet connection and hardly anything to do.. My daddy also dowan to follow. I wonder why.. haha.

So I took a whole week off  and in true Oza style; booked a room for 3 nights at Sri Berkat for me, myself and I. I was actually thinking of bringing Kopi up with me, but due to the chaos at home caused by the lovely Mr Bamboo, I had to take him instead. That morning he somehow managed to fall off our 3rd floor apartment to the empty space below. He got stuck at a window, so his foot hurts. And since any encounter with my lovely brats will escalate to a noisy yelling match, I took him away to recuperate.

Unfortunately, Bamboo is a typical orange cat, which means that he will loudly complain and create a lot of fuss if he is unhappy. He kicked up such a fuss when I stopped at Tesco to buy his kitty litter and some supplies, I had to hurry, worried that he might injure himself if I left him for too long. He yowled and growled all the way to KKB in his cage. I couldn't let him loose, even on a leash - too dangerous to the driver. He only piped down when we were going up the hill because I drove much slower then. Then I got worried if he was still alive because it was too quiet!

Arrived at the bungalow by 5 pm or so to check in. Set up his food and kitty litter bin, rested for a bit before going out to look for birds nearby. Came back by about seven to check on him and freshen up, then went out to eat at the food court.

That night I realised that Bamboo is refusing to use his litter bin, maybe because I had taken an old, smaller one instead of the one he was using at the house. Cracked my head thinking how he could do his business without soiling the room carpet if he wouldn't use the bin. In the end, used the tray underneath the cage which was large enough for Mr Picky's ass. I had to deal with clean litter scratched outside onto the surrounding papers, but at least I knew we wouldn't screw up the room and risk being thrown out.

He also didn't eat until i came back and sat with him while he ate. After that he cuddled close and slept. Poor thing must have been really traumatised by the fall.

I had called up Durai, an old bird-guide friend, and he told me he had 2 Japanese clients and no transport. So I volunteered my car and we went off birding together the next 2 days. It was REALLY nice to have a group. We saw lots of great birds, I got some pretty good photos, and we were in good company.

We were fortunate enough to see some siamang who overnighted in a tree near the entrance gate. Favourite lifer: red-bearded bee-eater. Soooo happy. I didn't even know we had them here. There were also a number of migrants like the grey wagtail and mugimaki flycatcher. Saw lots of sultan tits (after years of no luck) and red and crimson orioles (I only saw them once a long time ago). We also saw forktails, but didn't have a chance to take any photos.

With friends Durai, Mitsui-san, myself and Iino-san.

It was a nice, restful break. I spent a lot of time walking around birding and taking photographs. I could do some basic cooking at the bungalow and Bamboo could roam the halls when I'm around. I even let him go out into the garden sometimes. The bungalow even has a free-roaming rabbit! It was lovely :) 

On Friday morning I just hung around the bungalow. there are lots of birds there, so there is no real need to go far. Got some white-thighed surili too, but the photos are rather disappointing. Left just after noon and reached home by about four. Then I conked out. Haha.

-The End - 

Friday, January 20, 2017

Saying goodbye...

29th December 2016 - I picked up this little boy called Bamboo from his owner who was leaving Malaysia for good. 

As expected, it caused a major brouhaha at my little apartment, because true to form, Pikachu was hostile to strangers coming into his domain. Kopi also learnt from his Tai Kor, but he was a little more kind hearted. I think at some point he was trying to make friends with Bamboo. 

However, Bamboo is a headstrong teenager with no concept of respecting others' territory. From the beginning he was already uncomfortable in my apartment because it basically reeks of my 4 other cats. And this fella is really sensitive to smells. I also made the mistake of not taking something of his from the original owner. So this guy was in a new place, which smells of other cats, without anything familiar to comfort him. And his owner didn't notice my messages asking for his cat tree and litter tray... Soon my little flat turned into a war zone...

In the beginning I had kept Bamboo in my tiny little study. After a while he started to resent the confined space and demanded to be let out. By demand I mean rattling the door really loudly, OK. Once he was out, he would insist on strutting around like a samseng, claiming the flat as his own. Oi. Hello! He would then invariably bump into Kopi and Pikachu, who were actually minding their own business. Being hissed at did not go well with the two, so they yelled back at him. Being well-trained at standing up to themselves, Michelle and Trina also hissed at him if he ever came too close. 

After a while, Kopi and Pikachu got enough of yelling matches and the confrontations escalated to real, vicious fighting. The type where fur flew all over the place. And they actually sported scratches and minor wounds for it. Adoi.... Mummy cannot do anything at home without stopping every 5 minutes to break them up. In the end Bamboo was confined to my room plus the study which he could access via the windows. I had to put his kitty litter in my room, which I hate. Doors were shut to minimise confrontations. Which still happened when the little samseng escapes and strolls over to the eating area or balcony. 

And so it continued for close to 3 weeks. At some point I got quite fed up and felt tempted to throw him off the balcony. But... he has a way of working his way into your heart. Either that or mummy is just one big softie for cats. Haha..

You see, he's just an insecure little cat who missed his papa, and could not fathom the idea of sharing space with other cats. When he's away from other cats, he's a real sweetheart. He would cuddle up to you and purr like a motorboat. And he's a chicken-heart when it came to vacuum cleaners. Once I was vacuuming up the hall, and I saw him run towards the kitchen. I didn't check on him until I finished. And where did I find him? High up under the washing area awning! Guess who had to bring him down lah. Note: I live on the 3rd floor. Good thing I'm not TOO afraid of heights. 

It was a bit of a conundrum that I had agreed to foster him just before the new year, because I had already booked a room up in Fraser's Hill for the new year week. I was thinking of taking one of the boys up with me, most probably Kopi because he doesn't make as much of a fuss as Pikachu in the car. It would be rather unfair to expect my sister to deal with the daily cat drama at home while I chilled up the hill. In the end, my mind was made up for me. 

Bamboo fell 3 floors down to the void area below. I do not know how it happened because I was in the study trying to clear my work before leaving on holiday. I took him up the hill with me. Seriously, it wasn't much fun. Bamboo can be loud, and the volume increases as he gets more and more agitated. Especially if I was driving fast. And when he was quiet I feared that he had died. Haha. Very stressful.

Finally we arrived at Sri Berkat and settled in for the next 3.5 days. It was very nice. Bamboo was happy because I allowed him to roam and there were no other cats to fight with. Unfortunately I had to bring him back down. The brouhaha continued.

I had to start spamming everyone to find him a home, and FINALLY, a colleague came through. A friend of his agreed to take Bamboo in. So I shipped him off, worried that he might annoy them so much that he would be abandoned by the roadside. Thankfully that didn't happen.

So now he is the cat of Pn Ijat and her husband. I hope he will be very happy in their house in Port Dickson. As for me, I am extremely grateful to have my house back, sans cat drama. Pikachu and Kopi are very happy to have their mummy back, taking turns to manja2 with me, demanding extra attention until they are satisfied that I won't be so daft as to foster another cat ever again.