Caption this!

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Typhoons are frequent visitors to the Philippines. We get an average of about 20 typhoons a year. (We’re not called “a welcome mat for typhoons” for nothing.) Typhoon Glenda (International name Rammasun) churned through Metro Manila this morning. It is the first Category-3 typhoon after last year’s destructive Category-5 super typhoon Yolanda (International name Haiyan). This one passed through Metro Manila directly.

In the early morning I woke up to the sound of howling winds, windows banging, flower pots and glass breaking, and things literally flying. Our house was dark. Power went out in the middle of the night, I learned.

Well, there was one good thing that happened. This little guy was rescued by my dad when he flew in our window seeking shelter at the height of the typhoon’s rampage.

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Poor little guy was wet and shivering.

 

Herc got over excited thinking it was a new toy that could fly without any strings XDD, so we had to put this little guy under our protective custody  in a makeshift cage, put some some food & water inside and placed it out of Herc’s reach. After the typhoon abated, we waited awhile just to make sure it’s safe outside, and then set him free.

Power outtage, 2 broken windows, and rescuing this little guy… I think we did pretty well. ^_^

 

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Herc’s disappointed face when we set the little bird free made me think about this photo I took a few months back. So I had a little fun with it.

This is the original photo:

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Look at that face. He’s not happy, that’s for sure.

 

What Herc’s probably thinking:

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You’re plotting against me now, aren’t you?

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Herc, My Cat

This is Hercules, my cat.

He’s a 4th generation pet in our family, born and raised in our house. He is now 13 years old, and has recently been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (or Chronic Renal Disease – CRD). Needless to say, I cry every time I look at him and he looks back with those soulful, almond-shaped green eyes.

      

His liver and heart are not in good shape either, so every morning before I go to work, I give him his meds (which he hates), during which he protests a lot and I get some scratches in return. -_- He seems to calm down a little when I sing, or maybe he’s just scared of what must seem like awful moaning to him. XD Afterwards I give him a rubdown and a hug, and stroke his cheeks (which he absolutely loves), and we do this all over again after I get home from work at night. These are lifetime maintenance meds, so he’ll have to get used to them.

   

 

Herc is half Maine Coon, which I learned is one of the breed of cats predisposed to developing chronic kidney disease. He has lost some weight since he got sick. He’s on wet prescription diet now, no dry kibbles anymore (sorry, big guy). He drinks very little water though, and mule-headed as he is, I could never cajole him to drink more. Good thing he has regained his appetite and energy somewhat in the last 2 days (thank God!), but now I have to cut his playtime short and hide his toys because he mustn’t get tired.

 

           

 

Just the other day, he slept on my chest while I was watching TV. Feeling his breathing vibrating though his body I started to cry. His ears perked up and he lifted his head. Somehow he sensed something was wrong, and he started sniffing at my face. There’s an article recently about how tears from different emotions are also structurally different under the microscope. As soon as he got a whiff of my tears he got a weird expression on his face that I almost laughed. And then he butted his head under my chin. I don’t think he was comforting me. I get the feeling he was telling me, “Don’t be such a baby!” XDD

 

   

 

 

I read that with proper care and diet, cats with kidney disease can live up to 2-3 years longer. My Herc is strong, stubborn and resilient. Sentient beings that cats are, he’s also very smart and intelligent. He’s been with me through some of the worst times of my life. Maybe, just maybe, we can get through this together. 😦

 

D.I.Y. Cat House

Moved to a new apartment recently.

Moving house, especially after the family has lived in the same house for more than 40 years, is a pain in the…um, posterior. *rolls eyes* Decades of unintentional hoarding, and you can imagine the magnitude of sifting through and deciding what you bring to the new house and what gets thrown away, since the new place is merely half the space of our old home, but double the rent, yeeesh.( ̄皿 ̄)凸  Having to decide which things of sentimental value to throw out , with so many memories attached to them, is terrible…

My cat, Hercules, used to have a small area of his own (even had stairs to climb). Obviously, everything is now all about space-saving and smart storage and downsizing, so now he has less than a fifth if even that of space. Despite being a tom cat, Herc has always been shy, withdrawn and a little paranoid, even more so now that he is entering old age (going on 11 in human years!). He never goes out of the house of his own accord, because open spaces, strange new places, and sudden noises scare him, so he resorts to hiding in nooks and crannies. I know, weird cat. (←_←) (I feel like I’m badmouthing my cat in my own blog! (>x<) ) Searching for a suitable “enclosed” bed for him might take a while, so I decided to make him his very own Herc’s house in the meantime.


Things I used:

  • Ordinary document storage box (corrugated ones)
  • Wood pattern wallpaper
  • Glue-gun
  • Double-sided padded adhesive
  • Good ol’ trusty cutter and scissors
  • A floor mat or something soft to use as bed (for the cat, not me! XD)

Since the box was already pre-cut when I bought it, it was a whole lot easier than if making it from scratch. I wanted a roof on top for the house, but the box itself was square and the height was just enough for my cat, so I had to use the flaps to extend the height upwards. The main problem was to buttress the scoring on the flaps by gluing additional strips of corrugated board inside (right on the scoring) to reinforce it and prevent it from folding down, then shaped and cut the top into a triangle to accommodate and support the roof. The roof itself was the lid of the box and another lid (which I serendipitiously found lying hereabouts, lucky lucky me! <( ̄︶ ̄)> ) glued together. Having done that, I used my cutter to cut a doorway big enough for my cat. For windows, I find that those finger-holds that come with the box already cut out to be terribly convenient.

I then started applying the wallpaper, which was harder than I initially thought, because you had to peel the backing off a portion at a time to prevent the whole thing sticking to you instead. ( ̄口 ̄)!!  Also, while sticking it on the surface of the box, use a piece of tissue paper or dry cloth to smooth it over and make it stick evenly, and, more importantly, to get rid of those evil, EVIL air bubbles (and you know they want to dominate the world!) so you don’t end up with unsightly folds and air pockets.

A little contrast is nice, so for the roof I used a darker-coloured wood wallpaper. Added Herc’s name (simulating wood planks), and voilà! Herc’s very own cat house!  XD

Yesterday I picked him up from my sister’s house where he had been staying while we were busy moving house, and he seems to like the new house! (Though I think he likes it as sort of a hiding place… ( ̄. ̄)+ …)

Herc’s first night in his new home! Yay!  ★,:*:‧\( ̄▽ ̄)/‧:*‧°★*