Of life, love, cats, dogs (and everything else in between).

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


After many good years at Blogger, i've finally decided to leave this blog behind and start Manniqueen Mania (version 3.0) at Livejournal. How very apt since i've just turned 30 two days' ago! :)

Thanks for still taking the time to visit my blog and do drop me a note if you haven't done so for awhile! It's a small world and with blogs, facebook and such, we might just be more than blog friends and perhaps, even related to each other one way or another!

Tata Blogger! See y'all at LJ!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Fun Times At The Zoo!!

Even though i saw the bronze status of Ah Meng at the zoo's entrance, I didn't even know Ah Meng had passed away the day before when we visited the zoo last Saturday. It was only after i got home and read the papers that i found out the news. Not that i have had much to do with her but she was indeed an icon of the Singapore zoo and i can imagine how painful it is for the keepers who had looked after her in her living years. Farewell Ah Meng.

Anyway, i think my long CNY break was pretty well-spent! Besides the usual visiting and pigging out, the husband and I caught 2 shows - Kungfu Dunk and Ah Long Pte Ltd. Both were mindless but entertaining regardless. Even though we're both Stephen Chow fans and watched possibly all (or 99%) of his movies, we decided to give CJ7 a miss because of the seemingly boring trailers and the bad feedback from friends.

Because we didn't get our prata fix on Friday night, we headed down to Jalan Kayu on Saturday morning for our prata and briyani. It's been awhile since we've been to Jalan Kayu because we discovered Bukit Timah and Prata Cafe subsequently. If my memory still serves me well, i think the last time we were there was probably 7-8 years ago when we were still kids! As usual, we did our food assessment thingie and decided that the best briyani award still goes to Al Azhar at Bukit Timah. Love it but somehow the husband always needs the toilet after eating that! Dad (who loves prata, briyani, indian rojak and such) also suffered the same fate when i brought him there too! Still, tummyaches never stop us from any food! Okay, maybe except for Kenny Rogers and XXL chicken (the horror!!!!) but that's another story.

We've always been pretty spontaneous people (reckless at times, i don't deny) so while we were travelling down the expressway on that same Saturday, Dan suddenly asked if i wanted to go to the zoo because it's been years since we've been there. During our schooling days, we were always doing crazy tourissy stuff like visiting the zoo, bird park, science centre, sentosa, reptile park etc. and it's been awhile since we've revisited any of those places (sentosa with the dog not counted cos we're only at the beach). I gave him the affirmative answer of course and we headed straight home to grab the camera and off we were to the zoo!

Spent close to 4 hours at the zoo and one of the first animals we saw was the capybara (main attraction cos it's the rat year) - LARGEST rodent in the world ok!

The white tiger was awesome! Such big big paws! We spent quite abit of time pacing up and down the boundaries of the tiger enclosure trying to get the best shot of it but our attempts were largely unsuccessful due to technical limitations.

He looked just like a big cat (okay, i know he IS actually a big cat) and was just lazing in the sun licking his paws and cleaning his face. The other white tiger was abit strangy and exhibited stereotypical behaviour, pacing up and down a kazillion times (sorta like us when we were trying to get a good picture! hahaha!), which was not uncommon for zoo animals (and pets). Dan asked me what the arguments for and against zoos were and we discussed that for abit. Can't totally decide if the zoo is a bad or good place but i guess if efforts are put in to conserve our fauna and educate people (especially our next generation), it probably isn't such a bad thing after all.

Our all-time favourite - the meerkats! One of them was obviously posing for the camera - vain little creatures! The last time we visited the zoo, we remembered all of them to be fat, pudgy and pot-bellied! Now, they all look svelte and nimble.

Pygmy hippos - "underwater ballerina of West Africa"? Hmmmm.....i'm reaaaally not quite sure.


Another of our favourite (again)! We both remembered the cheetah facts and were rattling off what we had read as we headed towards the zoo exit. FYI, a cheetah can go up to a max speed of 112km/hr but can only maintain at top speed for at most 300-400m in case it overheats. Sorta like Scooby and other performance cars, the husband didn't forget to add....haha!

At the end of the day, we were deadbeat and brought the day to a perfect close with more bingeing! It is almost mandatory to have KFC everytime we go for a tourissy outing so we did just that and man, it was definitely finger lickin' good! The husband remarked that we should do such stuff more often like we used to, just to break out of our normal routine and i can't agree more.

With the baby on the way, we're pretty reassured of the fact that we'll become "Friends of the Zoo" in no time, just like all our other friends who've been promoted to parents. Wanted to get a little something for the baby (since this is technically his first visit to the zoo) but we couldn't decide what to get! The husband wanted to get a green t-shirt bearing a picture of a super fierce-looking sssssssnake for his little prince but they only had it in toddler sizes and didn't have it in infant size. Besides, since our little one is born in the year of the rat, the big, scary snake might scare the living daylights out of him too....hahaha! In the end, the husband decided that when the baby is old enough, we'd bring him here and he'll get to choose anything he wants! ANYTHING!!!!

Baby, i hope you heard that! :)

Friday, January 18, 2008

2007 Recap

It's 3 weeks since the start of 2008 and i haven't found time to recap all the crazy (in a good way) happenings in 2007. Last year was possibly one of the best years of my life because i felt i had lived it up to the max and i hope this year will be the same too! All in all, 2007 was one helluva a great year and i would never want it any other way!

I'm trying to stay away from lengthy posts so i thought pictures may be more appropriate to depict my crazy 2007!

The biggest thing that happened in 2007 was...

Getting hitched to my soulmate, my twin flame and the love of my life, thus ending our 9-year love marathon! Like they say, you marry someone you can't live without, not someone you can live with. I'm glad i didn't settle for less because i don't think i'd ever ever ever want to walk down the aisle to anyone else except him. :)

The next big thing happened 2-3 weeks after our wedding and we were elated to find out that i had a bun in the oven!! The bun is almost fully baked now and we're counting down to finally seeing his little face (let's just ignore the labour process for now).

Nevermind if you can't make head and tail of the ultrasound picture but the important thing to note is that i was promoted from missus in June 2007 to mummy in July 2007!

With my bun in tow, i still managed to do my first ever public frisbee demo with Chester, ran a trial with him and did another frisbee event - all under the permission and watchful hawk eyes of the husband! :)

Dog-training-wise, this has also been an excellent year because of the progress Chester has made - learning to weave, perfecting his flips, learning back-vaulting and finally getting a real trophy and ribbon in the jumper trials recently.

For a loooooong time, i have been missing this and i finally got the chance to re-live the experience again - returning to Perth to see the Royal Show!! Perth was like my second home years ago and because Dan visited me every couple of months, he was no stranger there and knew where all the good food was too. We had a blast there and even recently, the husband said he wished we were back in Perth again because he felt more free and unstifled there and in his words, "didn't have to report to anyone but my wife only". Hehe!

We took a roadtrip down south, saw our first ever humpback whale up close and personal, was ripped off at a Chinese restaurant at Augusta, terrorised wallabies and cross-dingoes at the various farms, binged on fish and chips and endless dimsum, checked out the dog trials there (and also a Border Collie breeder), checked out a car workshop (the hubby's playground!) and was pleasantly surprised it was owned by a fellow Singaporean, spent a bomb at the sideshows (and chips and ribs and yummy corn-on-the-cob!) at the Royal Show and came back to Singapore with 3 big bags and a hugeass husky toy!

Understandably, i wasn't allowed to go on this ride. The last time i took the ride a couple of years ago, Mum nearly had a heart attack just watching me fly past her a kazillion times.

Someone please whack me with a spade. I still haven't sorted out my 2-gb worth of Perth pictures!

Work-wise, it's been a productive year too. Barely 7 months into this job, the new boss sent me for training and site visits early 2007. Was reluctant at the beginning because the husband (then-boyfriend) and i have a pact (since my trip to London in 2005), that we'll try not to travel without each other if possible. I only agreed to go under the condition that it had to be less than 10 days and before i knew, i was whisked off to South Carolina, Birmingham and finally to Florida.

It was great experience and the trip paid off because i took what i had learnt there and applied it back here. For some reason, problems in one of the animal colonies that had bugged us for years diminished and our colony flourished like nobody's business after that. The boss was mighty pleased to see the returns so soon and urged me to put up a poster presentation late last year at one of the regional conferences. By a stroke of luck, i won an award and the boss was of course, more than happy to entertain folks from local and foreign institutions who were keen for us to help them out with their colony.

Btw, this is sunset at Charleston, South Carolina. Took this on my mobile and mms-ed it to Dan to share this beautiful moment with him.

The colleagues and i have also grown tighter as a team and it wasn't till Christmas that i sorta realised i'm valued more than just a colleague or friend to them. Received a number of cards and pressies from some of them and in the cards, they thanked me for my guidance, love and the lessons i've taught them throughout the year (made me emo!). I'm pleasantly surprised because i never realised they do remember things i've said and these things actually do impact their lives in positive ways. One of the ex-interns even wrote about how she has always regarded me as her mentor because i've not only helped her with work and personal issues but also inspired her to always be fearless and live her dreams no matter what obstacles come along.

It is a good feeling to know that i have helped and perhaps, inspired people, even in the most feeble ways. My colleagues, some of whom are really "young" by my standards, are a sensible and down-to-earth bunch. I look upon them as younger siblings (or even my kids - yah, some of them actually do call me mummy!) and feel the need to guide and nurture them, being their "lieutenant". They're great kids, to be honest, and i hope that this year, i can impart more knowledge to them, create more opportunities for them to shine and to push them further up the ladder.

To sum it all up:

In 2007, i took on the role of a wife and a mother, resumed my status as a traveller for both work and play, progressed as a dog owner, trialler and freestyle-frisbee enthusiast, realised i had become a teacher and mentor!

For 2008, i want to continue being all the above and more!! Okay, maybe the traveller part can be on hold because i foresee myself to be heavily involved in domestic engineering issues! I know this year is gonna be more crazy than the last but i'm also sure i'm gonna have the time of my life juggling diapers/milk bottles/rattles on top of everything else!!

p.s. I'm getting quite sick of Blogger and will probably move to LJ soon - check back for the new addy!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Pictures Galore!

Traffic jams can be good sometimes because my mind wanders off (while the car is stationary, of course!) and i think about stuff that i usually have no time to think about. Have quite a bit to write about 2007 (probably one of the best years of my life!) but that'll have to wait till the next post. I'll try to cut down on lengthy posts i promise, so here're some shots from x'mas!

The picturesque night view from our 18th-storey room at Marina Mandarin. I love! :)

The crazy balloon shower that was part of the hotel's countdown event! Dan and I rushed out of our room when we heard the folks downstairs counting down and in a moment of frenzied excitement, we forgot the room key!! It wasn't until the door slammed shut while we were squealing in delight (ok, I WAS squealing, not the husband) that it dawned upon us that we were stranded outside! We didn't have shoes on but at least i was still in a dress. The husband was dressed only in singlet and berms and was mortified at the idea of having to go down to the lobby, underdressed amongst all the other glam people, to retrieve the spare key!

In the end, we had to use the room phone of another hotel guest (Indonesian man i think) who had totally no clue what we're blabbering about but looked amused and allowed us to use his phone anyway. The duty manager that came to "rescue" us looked equally amused as he requested for our IDs as a routine security check.

The blue x'mas tree at the hotel lobby. I want a blue tree in our new home next year too!

The husband made me shoot this - below one of the chandeliers while waiting for the lift. Dan actually does have a great eye for details and photography and i really like the effect of this picture (all that spiraling and how the picture turned out without flash)! This picture did take abit of effort to shoot because i had to stand right under the chandelier and bend backwards just so the the picture turns out as symmetrical as possible. Had to execute a certain level of agility which was not exactly easy if your centre of gravity has been altered by a growing baby! Haha!

Have more pictures but that'll do for now! Btw, i'm into my 3rd trimester this week and the little one is weighing in at 1.2kg now! Counting down to my estimated due date and i must admit the labour process is sure scaweeee! Still, Dan has reassured me donkey times that he'll be there for me in person and in spirit to see me through the whole process. I can't imagine having to go through it without him and i'm very, very, very thankful that i don't have a squirmish husband who refuses to be the birthing partner for his wife!

Anyway, performing caesareans on dogs and helping to deliver puppies has always been one of the most satisfying aspect of my job but the tide has finally turned and i'll be the one under the knife soon enough!!! Good grief!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Overdue Update!

I can't believe it's the 4th day of 2008 already! As usual, i'm super overdue with the postings because there's so much to do and blogging is probably not ranked very high on my priority list anymore. Not sure if this is a good thing or not, but i realised i don't even post entries at home anymore and blogging is purely a 9-5, weekday only activity!

Anyhow, the past 2 weeks or so have been somewhat crazy! A couple of days before Christmas, a friend's dog had a freak accident and jumped off from 9th storey. Chester has always been very fond of this bitch (literally) and we were deeply shaken when we received the news. Even though we didn't manage to catch her before she breathed her last, we spent some quiet time with her and our dear friend until it was time for the hospital staff to bring her in to be frozen before she was cremated some time later. I shudder at the thought of seeing a loved one dead and stiff before my eyes but i know very well that facing Death is a prerequisite of Life itself. I guess that's why it's important to take time out to breath the air, feel the rain, relish in the good times and not dwell in the bad. Life's too short, really.

The morning of Christmas eve was mental for me too because i hid the husband's presents at my parents' and had no chance to even wrap it and write the card since we spent our weekend there!! Had to take the morning off to tie all the loose ends before heading home to him where both of us took every chance to poke and prod each other's wrapped pressies in a bid to guess what the other person had bought.

Sad to say, because our new home is still not here yet, our plans to spend a nice, cosy x'mas in our new pad was thwarted and we had to proceed to Plan B. It's kinda like a custom thing for us to stay out during Christmas Eve and this year was no exception! However, we've grown abit smarter for the past 3 years ago and instead of getting ripped off at restaurants and have totally no choice over what to eat (it's either Set A or Set B!!!), we've decided that room service was a much better option. We had Zambuca in the comfort of our room for the past 2 years after we were pleasantly surprised that everything on their ala carte menu was still available for room service whilst other guests that were dining in the restaurant itself were subjected to choosing either Set A or Set B.

This year, i decided that we should try another location because i finally discovered how expensive it was to be staying at Pan Pac. True, i loved that place from the food to the view to the glass elevator that made my ears blocked but with a baby arriving soon, i thought it'd be wiser to be more prudent with our moolah. We went to this place instead and got a room which had an equally good, if not better view than Pan Pac. The husband was so afraid i'd fall off the belcony when i was stretching half of my body out trying to get a good shot of the night view!! Pictures later!

The disappointing thing was, we didn't have much choice with food though and ended up, for the first time, having Asian food for our Christmas Eve dinner!! Not a bad choice though, since we cleaned up our plates in no time. After church, we checked out the bar at the hotel lobby for their in-house countdown event but decided against joining in the fun after finding out that 2 drinks (and i can't even touch alcohol!) would cost us close to 200 bucks!!! Headed back to our room for more room service (this time it was a super good beef burger!), chocolates, teevee and couple time till it was midnight.

Something quite funny happened at midnight but i'll talk about it later when i post the photos! Anyways, my guess was right (after all the prodding) that the husband got me a new mobile - i'm finally in the wifi league too and can surf the net in toilets too...haha! My last phone suffered a death of unknown cause and i had to resort to using a super old one which i must mentioned was also a present from the husband. That phone has served me well and even though it's kinda worn out and outdated, it's like a comfy pair of shoes you know you'll never discard! Btw, I kinda realised that the husband has been my faithful mobile supplier for the last 10 years since my dad got me my first Ericsson flap-phone 10 years ago. I have no idea how many times he had to renew his contract with Singtel in the past just to get me new phones (either because they were drowned, misplaced or were simply outdated) but i know it sure is a hell lot lot lot lot of times!!!

The husband's initial guess was that i had got him music DVDs but was stumped when he felt something weird (in his words: "ehhh why round round one?!?!"). Little did he know that the real present (the Xbox360) was still at my parents' place and i had only wrapped 2 games and the controller....muahahahha!! I think he was abit shocked for words when he finally realised what the real present was and could only manage to utter, "you....you....you got me an xbox ah...!??!" I reckon the new console would be perfect for our new 42-inch TV!!!! NOW, we just need the house to be ready before we rock and roll!

I was initially torn between the Xbox360 and the PS3 but after affirmation from my male colleagues that ANY console will make a great gift for any gaming guy, i went for the Xbox360 because of the better graphics and games. I think i made the right choice because the husband has seemingly been enjoying modding and racing virtual cars (i was joking with him that he got his Evo after all!), killing soldiers and being Batista, much to the envy of my male colleagues who have read the husband's facebook status last week. With our bonus being handed out this week, i'm guessing a few of them will be getting the Xbox360 and will be exchanging games with the husband very soon!

And if u think i have been staring at the ceilings for countless nights since then, hell no! I actually ended up being the addict and staying up till 2am to breed Syrupents and attract Mousemallows. That, of course, incurred some good ol' nagging from the husband who would suddenly wake up from his deep slumber, realised it was the wee hours of the morning and would proceed to gently remind me it was time to hit the sack! If he didn't wake up, i think i would have continued playing! All thanks to the walkthrough the husband found for me, i have since also found a great way to recycle all the trash papers in my office too...heh. Gaming is addictive as we discovered years ago when we'd play Worms online on our 56K modem - realised it's not that difficult to chalk up hundreds of dollars on your phone/internet bills if you're a game addict. Thank God for cable modem now.

Now, we're on a quest to look for more multiplayer games so we can game together, but on my condition that the husband is not allowed to "whack" me but i can "whack" him if i want to! Even when we used to play Fifa together, i took Brazil and made the husband take Singapore (or some other crap team). Not a glorious win for me but who cares, it's too hard to defeat him!!! Even when we played as ally teams on AOE, his game statistics at the end was always better than me. I think i can beat him at Puzzle Bobble though....and Street Fighter if i'm lucky that day.

This post turned out to be longer than i'd expected because i seem to have so much to blabber about. Will try to upload some pics soon but for now, it's time for fish steamboat at River Valley Road! We used to love that place (Li Guang Ji) awhile ago but the standard there plummeted for awhile due to a change in chef but apparently they've gotten a new one whose specialty is fish head steamboat so we're gonna give them a 2nd chance - will update you foodies!

Friday, December 21, 2007

My Favouritest Time Of The Year!

Isn't this cute? Too bad i didn't have my real camera with me or i would have captured a much better picture. Seeing this makes me just wanna squeeze her face close to mine. Never mind even if she has the stinkiest breath in the world. :)

My spirits have been very much lifted seeing marked improvements in Sophie's health after doing some tweaking with her drugs and some other stuff. I'm not sure how long she's gonna stay good for but i think for now, i'll just live in the moment and love the moment. Living and working with animals has taught me many important life lessons, and living in the moment is definitely one of them.

It helps that x'mas is just around the corner and it's most definitely my favouritest time of the year! Was going through some old stuff from the husband just a few days ago and read the x'mas card he gave me last year. In it, he was joking about how it was my last year as a Miss and by this time next year (x'mas 07), i'd legally be his Missus and can no longer run away from the commitment anymore! Who says i was going to anyways? Heh! Anyways, i just realised this is the 10th x'mas that me and the husband are spending together! A decade together already!! Kinda surreal how time flies in a whiz.

Getting an x'mas gift for each other has always been a tad stressful for the both of us because we always worry the other party will not like the pressie that we chose. Our worries are always unfounded because most of the time, our taste is pretty similar and we're quite in tune with the other party's needs or wants. Btw, the husband has just thanked me 2 days ago for the Evo that i'm getting him this year. Talk about dropping SUBTLE hints lor!!! In return, i thanked him for the completed 2000-piece glow-in-the-dark jigsaw puzzle that i had planned to do up for the bub's room. Hahahah!

Before x'mas every year, we'll usually take some time off each other to scout for pressies. This year is no different but the difficult part is hiding the present and preventing the other party from ransacking the car/cupboard/drawers! The husband managed to wrap and hide my pressie all in a night while i was at my parents' place and is very, very tight-lipped about its whereabouts even after my incessant pestering. ARGH! I like surprises but i like unravelling surprises more and that includes trying to uncover the pressie's hideout too!

The feasting started 2 weeks ago and that was the bbq at Sis' chalet. Mum's chicken wings were super yummilicious even though she was adamant that this wasn't her best seasoning recipe and she can make better ones (so hao lian right? muahahah!!!). We both missed the bbq we used to have in Perth where it'd just be the two of us pigging out at the belcony of my apartment. I doubt we can have our personal bbq next time in our small belcony but even if we can, i think our immediate neighbours upstairs (one of Dan's good friends is living just 5 storey directly above us) will kill us for the air pollution!!! Then there was a big office lunch last Friday which i think kick-started the festive mood because no one (including me) seems to be in the working mood after that!! I am officially the chocolate distributor and people have been streaming in and out of my office, stealing the chocolates from my red paw stocking (some free gift from PLS when i went to get stuff for the pets).

2 days ago, we had our department pot luck lunch and to be honest, i've never seen so much food in my life. The auntie colleagues among us spent the entire morning in the pantry and kitchen whipping up their specialties like chicken curry, mutton rendang, nasi briyani, fried bee hoon, sambal prawns, samosas etc etc etc!! I ordered a turkey, sushi and a ham platter from Kriston (Mag is still raving about the cheesecakes she ate during our church reception) and spent close to 45 minutes carving the damn 4-kg bird!!!! We were all happy rats by noon time but the only thing that irked me was that most of the food were contributed by the ones that had lesser to share (i.e. those that draw the lowest pay and are so-called at the lower end of the food chain). The big and medium fishes mostly did the eating only and i subtlely suaned a few of them as missing out the whole point and the spirit of x'mas. It's sad but true, how people who have more usually keep what they have to themselves while people who have considerably lesser have no qualms about sharing whatever little they have with others. That aside, i had a good time and ate so much that afternoon, so much so i couldn't even eat dinner that evening!

I'm looking forward to x'mas eve though, because that's traditionally the couple day for me and the husband. It's funny how our x'mas activities morphed as we grew older. When we were much younger, we'd head to Orchard and kuai sio (squeeze) with the other youngsters and the banglas. When the husband got his car later on, we spent a few years joining in the x'mas jam at Orchard, horning and making hell out of noise at everyone and anyone. The last few years, being more mellow with age, we spent our time sipping fruit wine and eating chocolates till the wee hours before doing the most exciting deed - unwrapping the pressies!!! This year will be significantly special because it's our 10th x'mas and we're finally celebrating it as a married couple with a little one on his way. Next year, with our new house and a 9-mth-old bub, i can already imagine how exciting it's all gonna be!!

Anyways, today is a short day for me at work because i need to do some last minute shopping. The girls in the office have all decided to follow suit and i've recklessly approved their last-minute leave and time-off just so they can have an early festive break! X'mas is coming so let all heaven break loose!!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Sophie the Burmese

It's been a roller-coaster of emotions for me lately and my spirits have been up and down like the temperamental weather these days! I still can't decide if i like the rain or not but i suspect the answer will be an affirmative one if i can just stay at home and snuggle up in bed and just enjoy being a couch potato. But no! The rain spells bad traffic, a restless Border Collie, endorphins/adrenaline deficiencies (no long walks, no training with the dog), a very uncomfortable cat whose arthritis is exacerbated and a generally emo mood.

I think a huge part of this recent emo-ness stems from Sophie's (my 19-year-old Burmese whom i love to bits) deteriorating health. I lost Cocoa 2 years ago, January 2005 to be exact, and i remembered that on the day she passed on, it was the rainy season and it was pouring non-stop too. I've never been able to talk about her much ever since she left and i still can't bring myself to do so even after so long.

(If i don't ever write this post about Sophie now, i don't think i ever will if she leaves me soon, so bear with me for abit, please.)

Sophie was diagnosed with kidney and heart disease about a year ago and she lost her vision (both her retinas were detached and i can still recall how i held the opthalmoscope near her eyes and after what i saw, just broke down uncontrollably) in January this year after a hypertension episode. I was very very very shattered then but never lost faith because i believed Sophie was put in my life for a reason - to teach me about love, strength and courage. And in turn, i was placed in her life to see her through her sunset years.

Anyway, if you've heard about Sophie, you'd know that she's an amazing cat and everyone takes to her because she is so gentle and affectionate. Mum was never really too fond of cats (not even Cocoa who lived with us for 10 years) but she grew to really love Sophie and even allowed her to sleep on the bed with her during her stay in Australia.

Sophie came to me when she was 15 years old. I happened to be working in an animal clinic in Perth that time and her owners brought her in to be put to sleep because they were moving away to another state and didn't want to bring her along. Moreover, she was already old (although she didn't behave like a cranky old cat) and it would be hard for her to find a new home. I remembered seeing Sophie for the first time, her eyes wide with fear and anxiety, as i placed her in a cat cage while she awaits death. I was tasked to act as the grim reaper and to give her the lethal injection. I've never ever ever been comfortable with putting any animal to sleep even though my job requires me to do so sometimes. If i had a choice, i'd want every animal to be held by their loved ones till their very last breath but i guess there are times when we have to be cruel to be kind, yeah i guess.

Anyway, i left Sophie in her cat cage the entire day and at the end of the day, i think i had already decided her fate in my heart. The next day, i was back at the clinic and was asked if Sophie had been put down. It was then that i made the final decision and told the head vet that i wanted to adopt her. I don't think they really cared but i called her ex-owners anyway and informed them that i was going to take Sophie in even though they had already paid for her to be put down. I don't think they really cared either and that was how Sophie became part of my life.

I've lots of good memories of me and her in our apartment at Kardinya together - how she'd sit by the bathtub and wait for me to finish my shower, how she'd jump on me every night to snuggle up during winter, how she jumped off my belcony and ended up waiting for me at my parking lot (she was on the roof unfortunately and i had to save her by climbing up a huge stack of chairs!!). It was all really hilarious but heart-warming at the same time. I knew i couldn't leave her in Aussie when it was time for me to head back to Singapore. I didn't know if someone else would abandon her again should her health fail or for any other reasons. Even though she was really quite a senior citizen and a flight would stress her immensely, the risk outweighed all the possible negative outcomes i could imagine.

So the story goes on and Sophie the Burmese survived the 5 hour flight (thank goodness) and migrated to Singapore from Down Under. Anyway, back to when her health started failing 1 year ago. Even though everyone thought her prognosis was poor and it was almost impossible for her to regain her vision because i wasn't even sure how long she had been blind (i was sent to US for a seminar and site visits for 2 freaking weeks), aggressive therapy was started to combat the hypertension and ease her failing heart AND kidneys. It has always been difficult to treat her problems because too much drugs are given, it stresses her kidneys out. It doesn't help that her heart drugs causes her to lose water when her kidneys are already diseased and she is mostly dehydrated. To supplement her with fluids can overload the heart and exacerbate her heart condition. It's like a vicious cycle of never-ending crises and any changes in the dynamics can upset the balance and push her over the edge. It's hard enough to manage her as a patient, and harder still because she is after all my beloved cat.

3 months after her initial episode, one of her retinas miraculously reattached itself. It has been described in textbooks that this usually only happens if therapy was commenced 24 hours following the loss in vision. I guess Sophie didn't read textbooks and she fought hard enough to recover. 10 months after that episode, both her retinas are back where they're supposed to and her vision is almost 80%, if not for other age-related vision problems. My ex-colleagues who just saw her recently remarked that her disease was rather well-controlled but the only thing was, because of the chronicity of her illness, other problems were arising. Sophie is now moderately anemic and requires alternate-day injections to stimulate her red cell production. Also, there are other deficiencies to correct and i'm trying to take this one step at a time and do whatever i can for her until i can do no more. I just really want to make sure she's comfortable till her last breath.

My folks and the husband, who have been very very very supportive of me, have been trying to tell me i've given her 4 good years already and i can only try my best and leave God to work out the rest. 1 week ago, i prayed to God for a miracle to happen, for Sophie to be well like she was when i first met her but now, i pray to God to give me the wisdom to do what's best for her and the courage, love and faith to help Sophie till my human hands can do no more.

2 days ago, Sophie looked much better than she was compared to a week ago. She walked around the room, stopping intermittently to rest her painful hips but she was alert and even came to me for a nuzzle - something which she has stopped to do for awhile. I gave her my ikea rat toy and she nuzzled it too, which made me smile and cry at the same time. She did one of her rare big stretches, gingerly though, and i still can see that scene vividly in my mind now.

Yesterday, i opened the glass cabinet in my room which i avoid if i can. In it lies the ashes of Bonnie and Cocoa and i still see Bonnie's bone and Cocoa's red collar there. I dunno when Sophie will join them but whatever it is, however little time she has, i hope i can make her as comfortable as possible.

When she fell ill in February, i thought she wouldn't make it pass chinese new year but she did. Then i thought she wouldn't make it pass my wedding but she did too. Now, i hope she makes it through this christmas and then my birthday and hopefully get to meet the little bub too. If not, then i can only hope that at the rainbow bridge, she'll be happily reunited with Cocoa whom i'm sure she misses.....