The Limelight Market

The Limelight Market, New York City

The Limelight Market, New York City

The Limelight Market, located at the corner of 6th Avenue and 20th Street, is a pretty interesting place, but mostly because of the building it occupies.  As you can tell from the exterior, this building used to be a church.  When you get inside, you’ll see that the chapel has been converted into a series of small stores.

A yogurt shop, inside the Limelight Market, New York City.

This is a yogurt shop.  I didn’t try any, but there was a constant stream of people going to the counter, so it must be pretty good.  Around the corner to the right is Jezalin’s, where I got the kopi luwak arabica.

Inside the Limelight Market, New York City.

Turn around the other way and you see one of the boutiques.  I didn’t pay much attention to what was being sold in the boutiques.  It all looked a little too pricey and useless for my taste.  Through the door in the back there I think there was a pizza restaurant.

Inside the Limelight Market, New York City.

If, from where I was standing in the previous picture, you were to walk forward and go to the left you’d wind up in this area, which looks like it used to be the main sanctuary.  You can walk up onto the second level using stairs hidden away on the sides.  There were more display cases up there and what looked to be a coffee bar that had shut down.  I have a feeling the rent in this place is pretty high, which might be why Jezalin’s was trying to drum up more business by offering the Groupon discount on their kopi luwak.

Stained glass window in the Limelight Market, New York City.

I couldn’t get a straight on shot of the stained glass window because the area was blocked off by a register and some merchandise.  There were smaller stained glass windows in some of the stairwells, but they weren’t completely viewable.  The railing they’d built into the original structure to support the second level and the stairs blocked the windows partially.

Like I said, this isn’t the type of place I’d shop at for myself.  I’ll probably go back just to look around again, and maybe to get another cup of that coffee.  For me, the real fun was waiting outside:

The Rescue Rover, parked outside the Limelight Market.

I love when I see these vehicles, because it’s an opportunity to go inside and play with cats!

Rescued cat, looking for a new home.

Rescued cat, looking for a new home.

I wish I could take them all home…

Elmo and Cookie Monster at Radio City Music Hall

Elmo and Cookie Monster at Radio City Music Hall.

I don’t remember ever liking Sesame Street when I was growing up.  Maybe I did and I just don’t remember anymore.  Regardless, Elmo and Cookie Monster are still in hot demand, despite Sesame Street being 41 years old.  That’s right!  It originally debuted on November 10th, 1969.  So, some of these cute fuzzy guys are older than a lot of people’s parents are now.  That’s something interesting to consider while watching the show.

Sesame Street is popular all over the world.  My wife told me that when she was growing up, Sesame Street was how she first started to learn English.  So, I guess I have to say thanks to Sesame Street for that, at least.  When I showed the above picture to her, she showed me a photo she took in Singapore a few years ago, with Cookie Monster and Elmo hanging out at an N.Y.D.C. Café & Restaurant:

Cookie Monster and Elmo at an N.Y.D.C. Cafe & Restaurant in Singapore.

And it seems that Elmo has a special friend in the Philippines as well:

Elmo and our cat Thumper, hanging out in the Philippines.

That photo wasn’t staged.  Thumper likes to hug Elmo while she lounges on the bed and sleeps next to him sometimes.

They sure do get around don’t they?

The Fudgee Barr Incident

92030107In the Philippines there is a snack cake called Fudgee Barr.  It comes in a variety of flavors including chocolate and vanilla and some green one.  I don’t remember what that’s called.  I’ve had the chocolate and vanilla flavored Fudgee Barrs and they’re both tasty but I prefer the chocolate one.

A few weeks ago, my wife was walking through the hallway eating a chocolate Fudgee Barr.  She was really enjoying herself.  I was following her and happened to look down and noticed that she’d dropped a piece on the floor.  So I said to her, “Honey, you dropped some of your Fudgee Barr.”  She said, “Oops!” and bent over and picked it up.

Her face went from happy to shocked to disgusted.  Well, it wasn’t Fudgee Barr.  At least it wasn’t the kind of fudgy bar she was eating anyway.  The piece of “Fudgee Barr” was on the floor in the hallway next to the storage room where the cats’ litter box is.  I think you can see where I’m going with this.  The moist brown morsel in her fingers was cat shit.

(Image via PinoyShopNSave)

Our Cats Have Adjusted to the Philippines

For any of you that have been following my blog for a while you’ll know that I have cats and that they’re very much a part of the family.  We had cats the entire time we lived in Singapore and while some of them passed away due to illness or accident, we love them and didn’t want to leave them behind when we moved to the Philippines.  Getting our 3 ‘babies’ here from Singapore was a real pain in he ass, and a costly one too, but it’s been rewarding and it’s great to see that they’ve adjusted well to their new environment.

Things didn’t go quite as planned.  We’re staying at my in-law’s place temporarily and there are other cats here.  They haven’t had shots, they’re aggressive and they’re dirty.  We don’t want our relatively pampered cats to mix with them because we don’t want them getting sick or injured.  The area of the house we’re staying in is sort of a mini-suite.  It has its own bathroom and mini-kitchen along with a bedroom, so it’s spacious enough I suppose.  We’re keeping our cats isolated from the others in our area.  They don’t seem to mind too much, though I think they wish they had more room to play.  Eventually, we’ll be moving to a place in Manila where they’ll be able to roam the whole house, once we get window screens installed.

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Thumper, the black cat, seems the least concerned with her change of location.  Even though she’s got sort of a weird, gimpy way of walking due to a birth defect she always seems to be the most confident, even after moving to another country.  She also seems to be the least concerned with the other cats in the house.  Marble, the one in the middle, is busy being fat.  When we first adopted her she was pretty skinny but now she spends most of her time laying around doing nothing and when it’s feeding time she tries to push the other cats out of the way to eat their food before eating hers.  That’s a problem because she’s gaining weight rapidly and the other two cats are going hungry.  I’m thinking about putting her in a cat carrier during feeding time to make sure everyone gets their fair share.  Dapper is still the big sissy she always was, but as long as she has a blanket to hide under at night she’s ok.

One of the weirdest things these cats do now is that they like to chase and eat bugs.  In Singapore, even though there were no window screens, we rarely found a bug or flying insect indoors.  There was one incident with a gecko in the room, but that’s about it.  Here, there are always moths and beetles flying around and all three cats find them incredibly fascinating.  They chase them around and when they manage to catch one, they gobble it up like it’s candy.  Kinda gross, but it doesn’t seem to be making them sick, so I’ll let them do what they want.

They also compete for the platform at the top of their scratch post / gym, because it gives a view out the window.  Things outside are a lot more lively here than in Singapore and they want to be able to watch.  They can sometimes see and hear chickens, other cats, dogs, children playing and people hanging out in the street.

I’m glad to see how well they’ve adjusted and that they’re having a good time.  I hope they’ll be just as quick to adapt the next time we make an international move.  Hm.  That reminds me, it’s almost time for them to get more shots!

For more information on importing cats to the Philippines from Singapore, click here.

Rapists on the Rooves

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Not quite what you were expecting, is it?

I don’t know the name of those cats, but we call the black and white one Rapist #1 and the orange one Rapist #2.  It was actually my sister-in-law that came up with those names.

There are a few female cats in the house here.  Common knowledge about spaying to control breeding isn’t quite as common here as it is in other parts of the world, so none of them have been ‘fixed’.  Also, the way the houses are constructed here often leaves openings where gates have been installed rather than doors, so it’s pretty easy for male cats to make their way into a house.

The first time I saw them I wasn’t sure why they were there.  I had to ask if my in-laws had picked up new cats, but that’s when they told me that they’re the rapists that are always getting the house cats pregnant.

So, I’ve been trying to take measures to keep them out.  I put mesh over the gates by the kitchen and I try to keep the doors closed, but since there’s a big wall in the backyard, people often leave the back gate open anyway.  So, I’m constantly shooing them out.  Or throwing slippers at them to get them to run.

Making things even more complicated is the fact that there’s an old female cat living here.  Rapist #2 looks just like her, except for the balls.  I’ve gotten to where I can tell them apart on first glance, but at first I had to double check to see if it was the rapist or Glory, the orange cat that lives here.

Eventually, I want to get the cats in this house spayed.  There are even free ‘spay days’, or so I’ve heard.  That’ll have to wait though.  First off, I want to get a steady income before worrying about transporting these cats into the city for spaying.  Second, two of them are taking care of kittens and one of them might be pregnant again.

Getting kittens adopted out is hard work…

Living Without Our Cats

Right now I’m in Singapore and my cats are in the Philippines.  We transported them there earlier this month by plane, but had to return to Singapore briefly to wrap up some loose ends.

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So, I thought to myself that this would be a great break!  No need to scoop cat turds.  No need to check their food and water.  No need to constantly sweep up cat hair and litter.  No cats on my head, or doing gymnastics and singing competitions while I’m asleep.

But, it’s just not the same without them around.

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There’s more to cats than just the drawbacks of having to look after them and every time we go somewhere on a trip I worry about them and miss them.  It’s even weirder now that I’m back here in Singapore, in a house where they used to live with us.

When I open the door I keep expecting to see them standing there waiting.  When I get in bed I keep checking to make sure I don’t accidentally kick a cat off the end of the bed while getting under the blanket.  In the morning I keep expecting to find a cat sleeping next to me.  When I see something laying on the bed or the floor out of the corner of my eye, I mistake it for one of my cats.

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For all the trouble and drama they create, I miss having them around.  I’m looking forward to getting back to the Philippines so I can play with them, brush them and torment them on a daily basis again.

Our cats really are part of the family.

Cat Export Preparations Update #6

Things are going right on schedule.  We had kind of a hang-up on Saturday with taking the cats to the vet because it was a public holiday.  I didn’t even realize it!  The vet was closed.  Someone let me know on Friday night.  Coincidentally, it was the person that recognized me from my blog at Teadot.  She noticed the blog post and contacted me on Twitter.  Apparently, we’d chatted a bit on Plurk before I stopped actively using the service.  I guess social media paid off for me this weekend, because it saved me a wasted trip to a closed vet.

Thanks @_rasyidah!

It turned out to be a blessing in disguise.  The vet we were going to take the cats to wanted 104 per cat for the rabies shot and health certificate, but when we called around we wound up finding a vet that would perform the same service, including an application of Frontline to meet the “treated for external parasites” requirement for import to the Philippines, for only 84 dollars per cat.  That’s 60 bucks in savings.  Plus, the clinic was closer so we saved on taxi fare too.

I’ll list the places we went in my “roll-up” post on how to import cats to the Philippines from Singapore later, on my Philippines blog.

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We really had to get the cats to the vet over the weekend to fit our timeline.  Immediately after returning home from the vet, I filled out the online form with AVA to have the certificates converted to AVA certified versions.  That included scanning them and uploading them along with the application.

So, after this I still have to go pick up the certificates from the AVA, which will hopefully be available by tomorrow afternoon, and then take them to the Philippines Airlines office to present to the customer service officers there.  They require that you show them the paperwork before they allow you to board their planes with pets.  I suppose it’s a good policy, but it adds a bit more stress.  The health certificates have to be obtained within 7 days of arrival at your destination and you have to show it to the PAL office no later than two days before the flight.  It creates a sort of time-crunch that we’ll hopefully get over without issue.

As for the cats themselves, this trip was a little less traumatizing for them I think.  On their last trip to the vet we were in a much noisier area, with a lot of traffic and then to cap things off we got caught in one of Singapore’s flash rainstorms that left us pretty drenched.  They did panic a bit when a dog the size of Marmaduke came into the vet, but I don’t blame them.  That thing kinda worried me too.  I’m sure it outweighed me by about 30 pounds.  It was HUGE.

So, that’s it for now!

Total damages so far: 1075 SGD

Total to go (approx.): 260 SGD

Tampines (Edit: Pasir Ris) Library Groups Cats in With Roaches and Rats On Poster

Mobile Photo 25-Apr-2010 PM 06 44 39 This poster is on display in the Tampines Pasir Ris Public Library branch.  While I wholeheartedly agree with the message, that it takes everyone to keep the city clean, I disagree with the images used to portray the negative consequences.

This poster implies that cats are disgusting pests, on the same level as roaches and disease carrying rodents.  Cats are not in the same category of animal.  Cats are domesticated house pets and have been for thousands of years.  In ancient Egypt, when a household’s cat died, the owners would shave off their eyebrows as a sign of mourning.

While I’m not suggesting that we start shaving our eyebrows off to protest cat culling in Singapore, I do want to call attention to the fact that it’s not proper to reinforce the negative perception of these animals.  The person who created this poster was even sly enough to use a black cat, which has always been associated with bad fortune, to add dramatic effect and further create a negative opinion of cats in the general public.

What’s truly ironic about this poster is that cats are Singapore’s greatest defense against the real pests, as mice are a stray cats natural prey.

A clean city may be a reflection of moral and civic values, but kindness to animals is a much better indicator.

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi