About QISH

When I was a kitten, I was rejected by a pet shop. I thought that was bad, because I thought I am not lovable. But as it turned out, it was a blessing in disguise! I've heard of so many bad things and horror stories about pets that stay in a pet shop (fleas, mites, diseases, bad health in general).

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About RUE

I am Rue, and I am your lil cat fairy. No, I don't have superpowers, but I do have super charms. I bring lots of mischief to my hooman momma, but she still thinks sweetly of me. I get naughty a lot of times, but she thinks it's cute! Only because I am charming, and I have the biggest eyes and the pink-est nose in the cat world!

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Something Moved! (Video)

...as I was changing the sheets.

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OMG Moment of Horror

I love going inside things -- boxes, closets, cupboards -- anything that provides dark privacy to my liking. So imagine my excitement when I found the microwave oven slightly open on the countertop. I had to investigate, of course. It smelled of chicken, perhaps the dinner I just had. It was still warm, so it was perfect.

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This Is Embarrassing (Video)

I don't think momma understands that this embarrasses me. And to add insult to the injury, she posted it in YouTube with this fancy schmancy music! My momma is B-A-D!!!

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Thursday, May 29, 2014

This Baby Was About to be Thrown Off a Bridge :(

-- Hooman Momma

I was so mad last night!!! I was walking on the MRT Shaw station bridge from Shangri-la, and the maintenance guy (or probably one of the food cart vendors) was holding this kitten, dangling her over EDSA and about to throw her from the bridge while he was laughing with the other vendors!!! I don't know if he was kidding but F*CK HIM!!! 

How can someone even think of hurting this innocent face? :(

JONNA: Hoy anong ginagawa mo??? (What do you think you're doing???)
JERK: Pinapatapon ho ni Sir eh. (My boss is asking me to discard her.)
JONNA: Alam mo ba na pwede ka makulong sa gagawin mo? At magbabayad ka ng P100,000?!? Akin na yan!!! (Do you know that you can be jailed for that? And you have to pay P100,000! Give me the kitten!)

Luckily I have a sack-like canvas bag with me so I put her there. I realized she was purring inside when we got home. I was sobbing madly out of anger. She is super sweet and well-behaved like Rue, and was very lady-like while having her dinner! And she knows how to use the litterbox already! I'm keeping her in my balcony and she's supposed to go to her furever home next week, but I'm not so sure about that...I think she's trying to make our home hers! She's charming her way to our heart! 

Oh, and I'm naming her SHAWN :)

This is her little home :)
Rue: I am watching you, Shawn. I am watching you.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Meeting Kabang, the Hero Dog

-- Hooman Momma

It was such an honor to meet a real hero, and a great dog at that. Her name is Kabang, the canine who saved two little girls from being run over by a motorcycle in December 2011, and in the process, lost her snout. She saved the lives of those two girls, and she was in turn saved by the world so the vet experts in the US can repair the damage to her face.

I was following her story ever since the local media picked it up. She ran away after the accident, and came back to her family two weeks later without a snout and a big wound on her face. She is being taken care of by a poor family in Zamboanga, and as the story about her heroic deed got circulated worldwide, Karen Kenngott, a critical care nurse in the US, took notice and decided to take action. They raised funds needed for Kabang's surgery, and finally in October 2012, she was brought to UC Davis and was able to raise $27,000 from 47 countries. (See Kabang's TIMELINE here.)

This was how his face looked like before the surgery, as illustrated by Marnie Burgoyne, UC Davis 4th year veterinary student:

Kabang’s appearance before the surgery. Drawing by Marnie Burgoyne, UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine 4th-year student. Photo SOURCE

If you want to see how it looks like in a photo, click the link HERE (warning: graphic content). And this was the procedure done to close the wound on her face:

Skin flaps from the sides and top of Kabang’s head were advanced to cover the wound. Drawing by Marnie Burgoyne, UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine 4th-year student. Photo SOURCE

Kabang’s appearance immediately following surgery, with sutures and temporary nasal stents put in place to create new, permanent nasal passages. Drawing by Marnie Burgoyne, UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine 4th-year student. Photo SOURCE

He stayed in the ICU for a few weeks following surgery, and finally, in June 2013, she was received back in the Philippines with a hero's welcome.

I met her in Capitol Commons, and this is how pretty she is now! 

Happy lil dawgie!
Look at her tongue! So cute!

She loves belly rubs :)

I am so glad she was saved to remind us that dogs are indeed man's bestfriend, and not man's meal. She now lives with Dr. Anton in Zamboanga, so they can properly monitor her health. She actually lives like a queen now, the life that a true hero deserves!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Pets are Everyone's Best Friend

NOTE: This article was originally published in The RAMpage, the official school publication of Asia Pacific College.


Meow! Have you been seeing those furry purring creatures sleeping or standing by the official seal of Asia Pacific College (APC) at the entrance? If you have, then you have met the (un)official APC cats -- Aurelia, the female tiger-gray tabby and Aurelio, the white-orange tom. The names were given by the APC guards, but I heard they’ve got different names given by the students.

Aurelia and Aurelio started hanging around APC some time last year. They are being fed everyday, and you can see that they are actually looking very healthy! They are now spayed and neutered, which is a humane way to control the overpopulation of cats and promote their good health. 

Aurelia proves to be a crowd-drawer, being a naturally sweet cat that she is. She would meow softly and brush herself on people’s legs, wiping away the anxiety of those waiting for the shuttle during rush hour. She enjoys chin scratches and a soft pat on her head. Aurelio, on the other hand, is still a bit wary of people, but would come around when there are less activity at the steps. 

Compassion Towards Animals

Animals are an essential part of the ecosystem. If you are one of those people who hate cats and would want them to vanish from the face of the earth, then imagine your life plagued with rats -- the big, bully black ones! Cats keep pests in check, but we have to keep their population in control, too. Through the TNR (trap-neuter-return) program, feral or homeless cats and dogs alike humanely undergo surgery to remove their reproductive organs. After they recover at the clinic, they are safely returned to their “territory.” They then live healthily, and well, lazily, because they don’t need to respond to nature’s call for mating. There are organizations in Manila that support this, and I work closely with Compassion and Responsibility for Animals (CARA). We have spayed and neutered most of the cats in Magallanes, including Aurelia, Aurelio and the ones at the Interchange Park which I regularly feed after work. 

Be known that hurting, abusing and neglecting the welfare of animals is punishable by law -- an offender can be jailed for as long as 6 years, with a maximum fine of P500,000 (source: House Bill No. 6049). Not all people like animals, and I would understand if you don’t. But lay your hands/feet off them. Never kick, hit or hurt any animal.

Adopt, Don’t Shop.

I found a tiny orange ball of fur while walking along Lapu-Lapu one Friday night in July 2009. I heard tiny meows, and I stopped to touch her, but I left right away. She’s cute, but Qish, my Siamese cat, was sickly at that time and I was sure he wouldn’t approve a tiny addition to our family. Five minutes later, I was on my way back. I know in my heart that I couldn’t leave this tiny kitten behind. She had me at meow. This tiny kitten who was once thrown on the street because she was unwanted, became my celebrity cat. I named her Rue, the French term for “street.”

She grew up to be a beautiful ginger classic tabby with Puss in Boots eyes. People don’t believe me when I tell them that she was just rescued from the street. She has her own blog (www.PAWsomeCats.com), Facebook page and Instagram account, with quite a number of followers! She even became popular when her photo wearing the Little Red Riding Hood costume became viral WORLDWIDE. Syndicated news sites picked up her photo and posted it on their websites. As of last posting, this particular photo had over 17,000 likes, 4,000 shares and 700 comments in one account! 

She has quite an impressive portfolio when it comes to meow-deling. She has two big posters now in Bow & Wow (Shangri-la, Greenbelt 5 and Robinsons Magnolia) and her face was recently on Friskies postcards distributed in different supermarkets nationwide. She was featured in national broadsheets such as Philippine Daily Inquirer and Philippine Star, and appeared in Unang Hirit. She also had a teaser shoot with Luis Manzano for Pilipinas Got Talent! All of these meow-deling contracts has a price -- she gets paid a talent fee, and she gets to live the life of a princess cat! Who would have thought that this beautiful cat once roamed the streets of Magallanes in search for food, and perhaps a heart to give her a home?

Rue shows that any domestic cat or dog can be beautiful if they are given proper care. They are called “puspin” and “aspin,” short for pusang Pinoy and asong Pinoy. These cats and dogs roaming the street can be great companions, just like the ones with breed. They can give you the same affection and love, and they will be forever grateful to you. If you feel that you are ready for an animal companion, ADOPT from a shelter or from the street. Don’t SHOP from breeders or pet shops. There are many cats and dogs dying on the street and in animal shelters. You may not change the world by rescuing an animal from the street, but you definitely change the world of that animal. Who knows, your rescued pet may just be the next celebrity model, just like Rue!

Animal Companionship

I am sure that there are a lot of APC students who have pets. For those who haven’t, let me walk you through the joys of having an animal companion. 

1.  Pets are the greatest stress reliever. Touch their nose, rub their belly, kiss them, and your worries seem to fade away. A lot of studies have already proven that petting an animal can reduce blood pressure.

2.  Learn discipline and responsibility from your pet. If you get up late, your pet will be all over you, asking for breakfast. If you don’t come home at night, you know that someone you love will be hungry. You have to attend to the needs of your pet -- clean their poop, groom their fur, keep track of their vaccination, give them proper exercise. They are living, breathing responsibilities. If you mess up, they can die.

3.  Animal companions are a great source of amusement and entertainment. They can do tricks, making themselves look silly, for the human’s pure enjoyment.

4.  They make great bed buddies. You may realize that they have taken over your bed when you wake up, but hey, who can complain of free purring heated blanket?

5.  Pets help you meet new people, who are potential new best friends! I have met so many of Rue’s fans, and some of them ended up to be great friends.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Letter to Saab

Dearest Saab,

Today you're turning 1. This is not really your birthday, but your rescue-versary. You were such a charming boy that even if I had no plans of adding a new baby to the PAWsome Cats team, I chose to give you your furever home.

You were my dream cat. My mom had her own black cat so many years ago, and her stories of petting her cat's black shiny coat made me dream of you. I imagined photographing you with your bright green eyes standing out of your round face in lusciously black fur. I imagined so many years of mischief being with you, as you are such a fun character.

Indeed, you brought a lot of mischief and laughter in our home. Rue was so jealous of you, but only because you loved life like there's no tomorrow. You played so hard you used to conk out beside your toy, where you were playing. We would gently tug at your ear, paw, tail, but you wouldn't budge as you were recharging. After a power nap, you're back to your mischievous play.

Oh, how you loved fetching your favorite toys! While Qish and Rue would hide during vet visits at home, you willingly sacrificed yourself as their source of entertainment, alternately bringing them your toys for a fetch play. You also did not fear going to the vets' clinic. In fact, you enjoyed it so much you used to roll around their floor, much to our pleasure. There was so much life in you, little boy.

Until you stopped eating your food.

Until you stopped playing and just slept all day.

Until your bright green eyes showed abnormality.

I brought you to our vets right away, little one. You had anisocoria, or uneven dilation of the eyes. It's not really a condition, but a symptom for an underlying illness.

As I celebrated the fact that you tested negative for FIV/FeLV, it didn't prepare me for the worst news a cat owner can recieve. They said you have FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis). It's a death sentence, and you were unfairly chosen to have it.

I will never forget what happened in the consultation room that night. My mind just blacked out. There were so many thoughts, but they were all incoherent. I was shaking, but I can't speak. They were telling me more tests had to be done, and I just nodded. But I didn't cry, because it didn't feel real. I left you there at the clinic because they can take care of you better. I walked for 45 minutes in my office clothes from the clinic to our home, because I thought it would wake me up from this nightmare. If I could walk to the moon and back so everything goes back to how happy we were, I would.

Who knew you will never come home again in one piece after that vet visit?

The "visit" turned out to be a 3-week stay full of love until life slowly slipped out of you. We celebrated Christmas in September, had dinner together on weekdays, slept together on weekends, and painfully accepted that you were only destined to spend a short lifetime with us. I tried to enjoy it as much as I can, because you were a dream I was not meant to keep.

Finally, on Oct. 13, 2013, you went on your journey to the Rainbow Bridge. You didn't even let me send you off. You slipped away, 2 hours after I left you to take a shower. I was there in 15 minutes after Dr. Riza called to say that this may be the time for our last goodbye, but you chose to say it to Dr. Riza and Dr. Melay instead. Perhaps you didn't want me to see your final seizure, or the last breath that you drew. When I got there, you were so limp, so soft, so...lifeless. I finally took you home again the following day, but you were in a million tiny pieces. Your ashes are the only reminder that you once ruled our home.

If there's one lesson that you left me with, it's to EMBRACE LIFE WITH PASSION. Even on your last day when you were already weak and wobbly, you still managed to walk to your favorite sun spot at your suite's balcony, lounging on the fake grass. You even scratched me in defiance when I carried you back to your room, because I thought it was too hot for you. You wanted things to be normal even if you weren't. You wanted to enjoy life even if you were in pain. You just had to soak in the sun, and everything seemed okay.

In your short time of 7 months with us, you always had the zest for life, even if Qish smacks you in the face, or you get sprayed with water for being on the kitchen counter. You were so full of life – maybe that was all the energy you were supposed to have, had you lived to your senior years. And for that, I am grateful. You may not have lived that long, but you touched so many people's heart, because you were such a charming little boy with a vibrant character.

I am trying to help other unfortunate pet parents who have to deal with FIP by offering emotional support or knowledge. I believe what happened to you has a higher purpose – maybe to create awareness, educate people and touch more lives. You are such a hero in our eyes, baby, so brave to fight a disease bigger and stronger than you. I know you are pain-free now, but I miss you terribly.

I love you, Sabio Leãozinho. My wise little lion, happy 1st rescue-versary. Enjoy your party at the Rainbow Bridge.

Longing to see you,
Hooman Momma

Monday, January 6, 2014

Goodbye, Midnight...

-- Hooman Momma

Midnight on his last day. His tummy was also distended, just like Saab's -- a classic sign of the effusive or wet form of FIP.

Midnight is an FIP-positive cat who is very close to my heart because he looks like a grown-up Saab, and he developed FIP right after Saab crossed the Rainbow Bridge. He was given the experimental drug Polyprenyl Immunostimulang (PI) from Hong Kong, and at first he was doing well. Sadly, on the first day of the year, he had to be put to sleep because he was having seizures. His FIP has progressed from dry to the wet form.

I whispered in his ear as he was crossing the Rainbow Bridge: "Run and play with Saab, Midnight. No one else will understand your painful FIP journey other than Saab, because you took the same sad and dark road."

I am sorry for your loss, Ms. Luchie. Midnight and Saab, please take care of each other...

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