Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for the ‘Cats’

Kung hey faaat choy

February 18, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats, Food No Comments →


Saffy and her stuffed toy sheep, with a box of the world’s greatest hopia. Delicately flaky crust, finely ground mung bean paste. Hopia that you have to get from Xiamen, since they invented it.

Adventures in near-sightedness

February 11, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats, Pointless Anecdotes 1 Comment →

Mat may be nearsighted. He also pretends to be afraid of heights. Sometimes we catch him prowling the tops of the shelves.

We’re myopic, so when printed signs are not near enough for us to read, our brain notes the shape of the letters and makes a guess. Today we saw a Valentine event poster that said “A Calibration of Love”. This struck us as admirably unsentimental for our gooey culture. It sounds like something our druid might say while wielding her slide rule to club stupid people unconscious. Then we realized that the text was “A Celebration of Love” haha. Nearsightedness has its advantages.

Drogon tries to read by osmosis

February 05, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Cats No Comments →

drogon le guin

Obituary for a black stray cat

February 04, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats 2 Comments →

black cat

She was a small black cat, extremely frisky, always trying to get in the door. We had to be careful when going down the stairs because she would dart between our feet. She didn’t have a name, we didn’t give her one, she was just “yung pusang itim”—if we gave her a name she would become part of the household, and we already have three and a half feline housemates (Three indoor cats, one outdoor cat who walks the earth and appears at mealtimes). She lived downstairs in the garage with the other strays, and was particularly close to Meriadoc our outdoor cat—we’d open the door and they’d be curled up in a single ball on our welcome mat.

This morning the guard reported that she’d died. They found her in a corner, by a stack of old furniture. She got sick and went quickly. We last saw her on Sunday night and she seemed less frisky than usual. Sad. Terrible things are happening in the world, violence and bloodshed and body bags, and we mourn over a nameless black stray cat. On balance she had a fairly comfortable life—she had regular meals, shelter, and the company of other cats. And she could roam the neighborhood, though she stayed close to the garage. And her life didn’t go unnoticed.

Evolution of cats in art: Japan

January 27, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Art, Cats, Places 1 Comment →

19th century Japanese art featuring cats doing people stuff.

Their descendant in the media: Maru.

From Des Hommes et des Chatons. Of course a cat would be reading Murakami. And we know that Ben Affleck is super-smart, but the cat looks more convincing.

A straitjacket for cranky cats

January 12, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats 1 Comment →

We know from experience that Saffy should be treated like Hannibal Lecter: restrain or get your face bitten off.

Saffy, our feline housemate who is almost 15, has a toothache. How do you know if a cat has a toothache? If they drool, their breath smells worse, they make horrible faces and noises while eating (like they’re trying to dislodge particles caught in their teeth) and keep batting their cheeks. Saffy kept swatting her face so much, her cheeks became raw. To prevent her from wounding herself we cut her claws, an operation which takes at least three people—one to hold Saffy, one to wield the nailclipper, one to hold the other front paw or she’ll take your eye out. There were just two of us, and Saffy split our upper lip so we had duckface for a couple of days. (Drogon allows us to cut his nails. Mat spends half the day buffing his claws on cardboard so we don’t need to cut them.)


Yesterday we took Saffy to her vet, Dr. Mayem at Pendragon Clinic in QC. Mayem extracted four of Saffy’s rotten teeth some years ago—we’ve kept them in a sealed vial, in case we need to cast a terrible hex—and is familiar with the little monster (some of the staff still bear scars). But this time, the vets had something to prevent Saffy from maiming them: a cat grooming bag, or as we like to call it, a straitjacket for crazy cats.


Thanks to this genius invention, Saffy got through her blood test without fuss. Her liver and kidney are fine, so she could be sedated for a dental exam. The vet found an abscess in her gums that was causing her pain and prescribed an antibiotic and a cat-friendly analgesic. No extraction, although we will have to bring her back in a couple of weeks to have her teeth cleaned.

We got a cat grooming bag/straitjacket so we could administer Saffy’s antibiotics without bloodshed (ours). Cat grooming bags are available at Pendragon, Php1,288 for the medium-sized one. Call Pendragon, 0922-VETHELP.