Saturday, October 30, 2004

New York Cat Show, Part VII

You may think you've seen a lot of cats here over the past two weeks. Well, you have. But there's still more. And they're all Persians!

There were a lot of Persians at the New York Cat Show. More Persians kitties than any other breed of kitty.

For competition, the Cat Fanciers' Association classify Persians into seven different colour categories: Solid Colour, Silver and Golden, Shaded and Smoke, Tabby, Particolour, Bicolour, and Himalayan. Today's entry is about the Himalayan.

Hello. I'm a Himalayan Persian. Like all kitties, I love to chase feathery things dangled in front of me.
Hello. I'm a Himalayan Persian. Like all kitties, I love to chase feathery things dangled in front of me.

Aren't I a huge puffball?
There are few things more exciting to a kitty than a feather on a stick.

Yep, I could keet playing with this feather all day!
Yep, I could keep playing with this feather all day!

Dearie me. I've tired myself out with all that playing. It must be time for a snooze.
Dearie me. I've tired myself out with all that playing.
It must be time for a snooze.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

New York Cat Show, Part VI

In today's entry you will meet an Ocicat, an Egyptian Mau, an Exotic and a Sphynx.

Hello. I'm an Ocicat.
Hello. I'm an Ocicat. We Ocicats are agouti spotted cats originating from interbreeding of Abyssinian, Siamese and American Shorthair kitties.

Aren't my spots great!
Isn't it cute how my cat bed coordinates with my fur?

Hello. I'm an Egyptian Mau
Hello. I'm an Egyptian Mau. Mau is egyptian for cat. We Mau cats are the only natural spotted breed of domestic cat.

Hello. I'm an Exotic
Hello. I'm an Exotic. I'm basically a Persian with short fur. When I enter cat shows, I am judged against all the same standards as Persians, with one obvious exception.

Hello. I'm a Sphynx
Hello. I'm a Sphynx. Yes, I know what you are thinking. You are thinking that I look funny without fur. Well you'd look pretty funny without fur too! I not actually completely hairless. I have a very fine layer of down, so patting me is like patting a warm peach.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

New York Cat Show, Part V

This entry is about Turkish Angoras, American Shorthairs, British Shorthairs and Japanese Bobtails.

Hello. I'm a Turkish Angora kitty. How are you?
Hello. I'm a Turkish Angora kitty. We Turkish Angoras have lovely fluffly tails and can trace our ancestry back to cats in Turkey.

Hello. I'm a tortie kitty. How are you?
Hello. I'm a tortoiseshell American Shorthair kitty.

These pats are pretty good
Miaow. Purr. These pats are pretty good.
I'm also an American Shorthair. I'm what's called 'pet quality' rather than 'show quality'. I think it's because my nose isn't squishy enough. As long as I get pats I don't really care.

Having a snooze
I'm a British Shorthair and I'm having a snooze.

Hello. I'm a Japanese Bobtail kitty.
Hello. I'm a Japanese Bobtail kitty. The name of my breed is rather apt as my breed originates from Japan and members of my breed have bobtails. You can't see my little bobtail in this picture because of the angle so you'll just have to believe me. Miaow.

Hello. I'm also a Japanese Bobtail kitty.
Hello. I'm also a Japanese Bobtail kitty and I'm also sitting at the wrong angle for you to see my little bobtail. Oh well.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

New York Cat Show, Part IV

I had never met a Maine Coon kitty in real life before. I'd only read about them. I knew they were big kitties, but I didn't really appreciate how big till I saw them for myself!

Hello. I'm a Maine Coon kitty
This lovely kitty weighs over 10 kgs
(more than double the weight of an average moggie).

Maine Coons are very placid cats
Maine Coons are very placid cats

There were lots of ooohhhhs and aaahhhs from the crowd whenever this enormous kitty was taken for a walk!
There were lots of "ooohhhhs" and "aaahhhs" from the crowd whenever this enormous kitty was taken for a walk!

Big beautiful kitty
Maine Coons come in lots of different colours

Another big beautiful kitty
Something they all have in common is that they are huge (and beautiful, obviously)

Friday, October 22, 2004

New York Cat Show, Part III

Yay for Birman kitties. They are so beautiful!

Adorable Birman kittens having a snooze
Adorable Birman kittens having a snooze

Isn't he lovely?
Isn't he lovely?

Look at all the ribbons! This kitty must be very cool.
Look at all the ribbons! This kitty must be very cool.

Another beautiful kitty having a snooze
Another beautiful kitty having a snooze

Kitty cats are very good at snoozing
Kitty cats are very good at snoozing

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

New York Cat Show, Part II

Today it's all about the Abyssinians and their long-furred counterparts, the Somalis.

Hello. I'm an Abyssinian kitty.
Hello. I'm an Abyssinian kitty, a ruddy Abyssinian actually. I'm just hanging out here with my blue Abyssinian pals (see picture below). They look grey to me, but people tell us that their coat colour is called blue.

Hello. We're also Abyssinian kitties.
Hello. My friend and I are also Abyssinian kitties. BTW, my eyes don't normally look alien-laser-beam green, it's just the camera flash.

Hello. I'm a red Abyssinian kitty.
Hello. I'm a red Abyssinian kitty. I've been working hard strutting my stuff on the catwalk so now I have to have a snooze.

Hello. I'm a Somali kitty.
Hello. I'm a Somali kitty. I'm like an Abyssinian kitty, but with longer fur.
Pretty cool hey?

It's me again
I quite enjoy posing and having my picture taken.
That's why I'm such a good show cat.

Monday, October 18, 2004

New York Cat Show, Part I

The New York Cat Show was so exciting! It's the first cat show I've ever been too and I had so much fun meeting so many lovely kitty cats.

There are so many kitty breeds that I'd only ever seen in books (I have A LOT of cat books). It was wonderful to finally meet them.

I met kitties of the following breeds: Abyssinian (including ruddy, red and blue), American Curl, Birman, Bombay, British Shorthair, Burmese, Cornish Rex, Devon Rex, Eqyptian Mau, Exotic, Japanese Bobtail, Maine Coon, Manx, Norwegian Forest Cat, Ocicat, Persian (including solid colour, silver and golden, shaded and smoke, tabby, particolour, bicolour and himalayan), Ragdoll, Scottish Fold, Siamese, Siberian, Somali, Sphynx, Tonkinese, Turkish Angora and Turkish Van.

Needless to say, I took many photos. I'm going to post them here over the next few days.

You may be wondering if these kitties were sad and bored hanging out in the cat cages during the competition. I don't think they were. Many of them slept a lot, which is probably what they would have been doing at home anyway. They were frequently out and about with their people while going to the various show rings for judging, or being groomed by their people or posing for photographs. These show kitties were all incredibly well-behaved. Certainly more so than any kitty who's ever lived with me!

Hello. I'm an American Curl kitty cat. Aren't my ears cool?? They curl backwards!
This is an American Curl kitty. The primary distinguishing feature of this breed is that the kitty's ears curl backwards. This unusual breed began purely by chance back in June 1981 when a cute little curl-eared stray turned up on the doorstep of Joe and Grace Ruga in Lakewood, California. All bona fide American Curls can trace their lineage back to this one kitty. The autosomal dominant ear-curling gene does not affect the kitty's hearing or any other aspect of the kitty's health. It just makes their ears curl backwards.

Hey look! There's a feather on a stick! I loooove playing with feathers on sticks!!
In the bottom left of this photo you can see that someone is holding out a feather to the kitty. There are very few things more exciting to a kitty than chasing a feather on a stick. American Curls are born with straight ears. After 3-5 days the ears curl back in a tight rosebud poition and then gradually unfurl until about 16 weeks.

Hello. I'm a Bombay cat.
This is a Bombay kitty. If the kitty had been looking at the camera at the time, you would see that this kitty has lovely copper eyes. The Bombay breed originated from a crossing between black American Shorthair male with copper eyes and a sable Burmese female.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Everyone really loves Magical Trevor

It's always interesting to see the search terms through which visitors find your site.

Most of my posts in this blog are about cats and Rubik's cubes. Based on this you might expect that when people find my site via search engines, it's with search terms that relate to these topics. This is not the case.

Last month I wrote a blog entry about Magical Trevor. It appears that Magical Trevor is very popular and has been using his magic to increase the hits to my blog.

The most common search term through which people find my site is magical trevor, and related terms including everyone loves magical trevor and magical trevor beans.

FYI, the second most popular search term is a cube-related one: 43,252,003,274,489,856,000. This is the number of valid combinations on a standard Rubik's cube.


Friday, October 15, 2004

Tabouli and Baba Ganoush

As I mentioned in my previous post, I was lucky enough to meet the cloned kitties - Tabouli and Baba Ganoush - at their first public appearance (New York Cat Show 9-10 October).

Baba with Leslie at the New York Cat Show
Here's Baba with Leslie, the Feline Surrogate Manager

Tabouli and Baba are the second and third cloned kitties (the first was CC) and the first two kitties cloned using GSC's chromatin transfer cloning technique.

The kittens were born in separate litters two days apart and to two different surrogate mothers - a tortoisesell named Callie and a lynx point named Sunny.

Callie (Tabouli's surrogate mother) had not had kittens before so Sunny (Baba's surrogate mother) helped her during the birth.

The genetic donor for these two cloned kitties was Tahini, a Bengal cat who lives with the GSC CEO's family.

Tahini with Leslie at the New York Cat Show
Here's Tahini with Leslie

An interesting side note is that Bengal cats are the first documented cross between a nondomestic cat, the Leopard Cat (Prionailurus bengalensis), and the domestic cat (Felis silvestris catus also known as Felis silvestris domesticus). The first three generations after the cross are considered foundation cats to the Bengal breed. It's not until the fourth generation (and beyond) that the cats are officially Bengal breed cats.

Independent genetic analysis of Tahini, Tabouli, Baba and Sunny was done by the veterinary school at the University of California who confirmed that Tabouli and Baba are genetically identical to Tahini and genetically unrelated to Sunny.

Below are some more pics of the cloned kitties from the GSC's media section.

Tahini - the genetic donor for Tabouli and Baba
Here's Tahini with Lou Hawthorne, CEO of GSC

Tabouli and Baba being adorable
Tabouli and Baba being adorable

CC looking at herself in the mirrow
CC looking in the mirror. Isn't she just the sweetest little thing?

If you want to see these more of these adorable kitty clones, check out the kittie clip on the GSC website.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

From the what-to-get-the-person-who-has-everything department...

Pet cloning company, Genetic Savings and Clone, offers gift certificates for their gene banking service.

The $US990 gift certificate entitles the recipient to have the DNA of their cat or dog frozen and stored in GSC's PetBank, ready for cloning at some later point. Note that, at this stage, GSC are only cloning cats. They hope to be cloning dogs by 2005. Apparently dogs are more difficult to clone . Also, the actual cloning will cost significantly more than $990 (currently price tag is $US50,000).

GSC have successfully cloned three cats - CC, Tabouli and Baba Ganoush. Tabouli and Baba are both clones of Tahini, the cat who lives with the GSC CEO's family.

CC - the world's first cloned cat
This is CC, the world's first cloned cat

Tabouli and Baba Ganoush, the second and third cloned cats
Here are Tabouli and Baba Ganoush, the second and third cloned kitties.

I was lucky enough to meet the Tabouli and Baba at the New York Cat Show last weekend. This was the kittens' first public appearance. They are totally adorable, so adorable that they deserve a separate blog entry! Stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

The Incredibles

Peter and I saw The Incredibles tonight. The movie officially opens in about 3 weeks but we got invitations to a special advance screening, thanks to our friend Paul. :)

The Incredibles is the latest offering from animation company Pixar, whose previous films include Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc, Toy Story 1 and 2, and A Bug's Life.

The writer and director of the film, Brad Bird, was interviewed after the screening. I discovered that he did the voice for the character Edna Mode, one of my favourite characters in the film. Not surprisingly, during the audience Q&A session someone asked him to do the Edna voice. It was very funny.

As the film is yet to be officially released, I won't spoil it by telling you stuff. You can read a brief plot outline on IMDB in you want to know more. All I'll say is that it's very funny and you should all go see it!

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Alice's Tea Cup

Went to a very nice place called Alice's Tea Cup last weekend. They had lots of exciting sounding tea, which is great because I love tea. I tried black fruits tea (black Indian tea flavored with black currants, black berries, and blueberries) and Peter had chocolate mint tea (black Indian black tea with mini chocolate chips and peppermint leaves).

mmm... tea...

I love tea, especially fruit flavoured black tea. When in Australia, I bought a lot of interesting tea from places like The Tea Centre, the Nutty Coffee House (who sell coffee as well obviously) and some tea shop in Melbourne whose name escapes me (it's near the Queen Victoria Markets).

Monday, October 11, 2004

Can I have bacon on that sandwich please?

Peter and I went to Quiznos the other day to buy sandwiches. While waiting in line Peter pointed out a sign which said “add bacon to any sub for an extra 99c”. I hadn’t been thinking about bacon when I walked into the shop, but after seeing the sign I thought “yeah, I do want bacon on my sub”.

I ordered the sub and asked for bacon to be added. I noticed that the person who started making the sandwich did not put bacon on. I assumed that she just hadn’t heard me, so I spoke up and again asked for bacon. She looked at me and then ignored my request and handed the sub off the person who puts the salad on.

I asked the salad guy for bacon and he stared at me blankly and then added lettuce. I like lettuce. I think it’s a good addition to any sandwich, but I still wanted bacon. So I asked again, “excuse me, could I please have bacon on my sub”. Again he started at me blankly. So again I asked for bacon. He continued to stare at me like he had no idea what I was talking about. I told him that there was a sign on the counter advertising that bacon could be added to any sub for a small extra charge. He pretty much didn’t believe me and seemed to be saying that I could not have bacon on my sub.

I felt like saying “do you know the meaning of customer service??” But instead I again pointed out the bacon advert on the counter. He still wouldn’t put bacon on my sandwich. By this point I was quite annoyed and decided that I wasn’t leaving until they added bacon to my sandwich!

It wasn’t that they didn’t have bacon. If this had been the case and they’d said “I’m sorry but we’ve run out of bacon today” then I wouldn’t have worried about it. If the person making the sandwich was a trainee and didn’t know if they were allowed to add bacon to the sandwich and said they needed to check with someone else – this would also have been fine. But instead they’d just stare at me blankly and ignore me (as if I’d asked for hippopotamus to be added to the sandwich!), or they'd tell me that I can’t have bacon.

Even if they didn’t have a bacon advertisement, how complicated can it be? If you’re running a sandwich shop and a customer asks if they could please have a particular topping on their sandwich, how is it good business sense to refuse? Especially if I was happy to pay extra for it. If they’d just given me the sandwich I’d asked for, then I’d probably go back there many times and buy many more sandwiches in the future, but now I’m never going back. There are plenty of places around here that make good sandwiches and have significantly better customer service!

Sunday, October 10, 2004

The Zoo, Part IV

Baby tiger was showing the log who's boss
This baby tiger was showing the log who's boss.

The little tiger is really getting stuck into that log
The little tiger is really getting stuck into that log

Now it's time to chomp into the other end of the log
Now it's time to chomp into the other end of the log

Mother tiger
Here's the mother tiger

Baby tiger smooching with mother tiger
"I love you mum!" Awwww, isn't this so sweet!

Baby tiger playing with mother tiger
"Come on mum, it's playtime!"

Saturday, October 09, 2004

The Zoo, Part III

Me out the front of the National Zoo in Washington DC
Here's me at the entrance gates to the zoo

It's a caracal!
Here's a lovely caracal.
You can't see it in the photo above,
but caracals have long tufts of black fur
on the tips of their ears. Very cute.

Relaxed lions
These zoo lions are doing what zoo lions do best - sleeping.

The lions are still pretty relaxed
The boy lion woke up long enough to move from one patch
of grass to another. These lions are pretty relaxed. I guess
it's easy to be so relaxed when you're the king of the jungle.

Snoozing lion and fearless squirrel
Note the squirrel in the foreground of this picture.
As you can see, the little squirrel is fearlessly collecting nuts
(or whatever it is that squirrels collect) in the lions den.
This squirrel is saying "danger? haha! I laugh in the face of danger!"
Actually, he's probably saying "yeah, right, and they call you
the king of the jungle! Whatever!"