Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Love me

The rabbits are in a tussle for love. They both want grooming, and so they lowered their faces to the ground. It is a challenge to see who can be closer to the ground. The rabbit who gets the face closer to the ground wins and gets groomed. 

"Love me. 
No, you love me first. 
You love me first, look, my face is closer to the ground". 

Blackie lost, and has to groom Whitty, who is really very naughty about grooming Blackie in return.

Ok, ok, let me groom both of you.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Rabbit language

Ah, the subtlety of rabbit language. 

Though rabbits don't bark noisily or make other such vocal sounds, if you are patient enough to observe them, you will understand what they are trying to tell you. It is sad that people sometimes treat rabbits like they are exhibits in the cage, without caring to communicate with them. 

I went over to pet Whitty, but she surprised me by hoping away, out of the reach of my hand. Then I noticed that she was looking at me ever slightly. She is actually waiting for me to play "catch" with her. 

And so I went forward and she happily allowed me to scratch her neck. 
 Mind you, it is very easy to misunderstand them, because if they are offended, they also show you their back. Hm...sometimes I think they are too subtle for their own good.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Summer Noodles

Now, it is always summer in Singapore, but it has been so hot lately that I can hardly bear to walk out of any air-conditioned environment into the scorching heat. So when I was preparing lunch, I thought it is a good idea to cook food that would cool the body down. And the meal is ready in less than 20 minutes! 

Soup Noodles for Summer
The chicken soup helps to hydrate the body, while the meat provides protein. I threw in ee-fu noodles, but you could use any noodles you like. Then into the brew I put dried lily bulbs and Solomon's seal. These two nourish yin gently, to counteract the drying effect of heat. 

 Close shot of solomon's seal.

Monday, April 22, 2013

not a Romeo meets Juliet moment

I thought maybe the two dwarf hamsters would like to interact with their own kind occasionally so the hamster pen is put into use again. Hm...this reminds me of the hamster village era long ago. 

Maybe it was the new environment, but the hamsters were not interested in each other at first. They were both trying to bite through the playpen instead. 

Finally, Potato noticed the presence of a female hamster around, and went over for a look.

Unfortunately for him, Ninja noticed her favourite food in the dish, and ignored him completely. 
 Well, another day perhaps.

Anyway, I don't want them to be breeding, so it is best not to let them actually play together. Ninja is too old to be a mother now.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Organic vegetables for Potato

Folks might think I am pet crazy, but I shall be unrepentant about it. 

All the vegetables Potato gets are organic. The simple reason is, his body is really too small to mess around with pesticides and other chemicals. So here he is, enjoying a tasty morsel of organic baby bokchoy. He gets to share the best of the rabbits' breakfast, and loves all his greens. This hammie really knows what is good for him! 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Angry rabbits

The rabbits look rather panicky and fearful here, huh? Don't worry folks, there isn't any animal abuse going on here. It is just time for the rabbits to get their nails cut, and they hate being bundled into the pet carrier. 

 After that, they were so upset that they dashed into their cage and hid in the shadows. They even refused their favourite Oxbow cookies! This morning, they still ignored me :( and ran away from my hand every time I try to pet them. *sob*
In case you don't already know, rabbits are easily offended and they don't forgive quickly :( I had to give them the ultimate treat - banana - before they decided to be less unfriendly, though things aren't back to normal yet.

Hey you two, do we have to go through this drama every time you go to the pet groomer?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction. Apocalyptic literature during the Cold War often set their stories in imaginary post-nuclear war eras, when society returns to primitive living conditions after suffering mass destruction. These are not really far-fetched fancies, if we look at what is happening now in North Korea.

A young leader, blustering about nuclear strikes, and struggling to control his regime, is unpredictable. Nobody wants a nuclear war, not even, Kim, I am sure. What we fear is a misjudgment somewhere that can trigger off actions that we will all regret.

The oddest thing of course, is the continued existence of a kingdom (for that is what North Korea really is) in which the life has been stifled, repressed and controlled. And there is nothing else the world is going to do about it, not even if it is waving around dangerous toys and threatening to kill everyone else.

To add the surreal feel of the moment, I am still working on my final assignments, as if they are going to matter if war does break out and turns nuclear. We are all hoping that this pantomime will follow its usual routine, and life goes on as usual.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The spud and his mushroom

This structure is nicknamed "the mushroom" because of the way it looks.    Potato likes to sleep curled up in it. Unfortunately, we found that he also loves gnawing it, and then licks up the powdered plastic! So we have to remove it. No more "mushroom" bed for the hamster. We gave him a nice paper roll instead. Not sure if it is an adequate replacement, but at least that is organic.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Hamster sleeping

Spot the hamster? He is squashed into the tiny tunnel, and sleeping! This really demonstrates how one can relax in a tight spot, huh? 

 Little foot sticking out

I gave his foot a gentle tug, and out popped his head. It always amazes me to see how supple these little creatures are. He is practically folded into half!

Friday, April 05, 2013


The rabbits are grumpy because it is a hot afternoon and I interrupted their nap to clean their cage. Offended, they found a cool corner to rest while they watch me do housekeeping. 

Hurry up, bunny slave. We want to go back to bed. 

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Kopi Kia

In my old home, we befriended the kopi-kia (coffee boy), as regular customers at the coffeeshop. By and by, we learnt of his life story - he left his family behind in China to work here, to provide better for them. He had a two-year-old daughter. Every day he worked from 12am midnight to 12pm the next afternoon, 7 days a week, and earned $2000 a month. Isn't there a labour law somewhere to prevent such inhumanly long hours?

So when the newspapers started discussing the possibility of self-service in coffee shops, as compared to having a kopi-kia deliver the drinks to our tables, this man came into my mind again. 

While we all appreciate the convenience of having this service at the coffee shop, we cannot ignore the fact that this is an exceedingly menial job that pays the worker far less it should. I had always wondered how many miles a kopi-kia has to walk in one shift. We don't want to have to pay more for our drinks, yet no one should have to exploit his strength for so little in return. 

So, DIY is probably the best way to go at the coffee shops. That would free up manpower for more productive work, which would be more financially rewarding for the worker.

Monday, April 01, 2013

Old hamster's acrobatics

Maybe it is the presence of another hamster, but ever since Potato came, Ninja has become much more active again! They are kept in separate cages, but having Potato around seems to cheer Ninja up. I couldn't believe my eyes when she started going pull-ups using the cage bars.