Monday, November 13, 2017

Volunteering is calling me again

It's funny how at 47, I'm still discovering things about myself. I discovered quite late in life that I like to volunteer. Actually that's not quite true. That photo above is me at around age 11, washing dogs' bowls at the SPCA in KL.

My interest in volunteering extends from animals to people. With fulltime work and family, I don't have time to volunteer on a regular basis so sometimes I just do once-off like wrapping Christmas presents.

My last volunteering was with Juara Turtle Project in 2015 and I had an absolute ball!

So I think the volunteering bug is biting again, and I'm looking around for things to do. Mercy Ships caught my eye -
Mercy Ships uses hospital ships to deliver free, world-class health care services, capacity building and sustainable development aid to those without access in the developing world.... Professionals including surgeons, dentists, nurses, health care trainers, teachers, cooks, seamen, engineers, and agriculturalists donate their time and skills to the effort. 

I'm also looking at Open Heart International, and Rafiki Surgical Missions - a local West Australian-based mission who travel to Tanzania twice a year. I don't even know where Tanzania is ...??!! Somewhere in Africa .... my intrepid soul is lighting up with excitement, just like my turtle trip, when an idea is planted, the seed quickly grows and hopefully become reality.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

New and recycled oven

Once upon a time, we bought a new oven and gas cooktop. That should be the end of the story but it's not! We put up with the tick tick tick of the Baumatic gas cooktop and the oven door which didn't seem to seal properly.

We had paid for a medium-budget range (or so we thought):-

Oven (Baumatic electric oven B067MS) $839
Cooktop (Baumatic gas 60cm BACG6004-C) $399

and "paid" for it recently. There was like a small electrical fault that burnt a tiny hole through the gas cooktop, and then, in trying to remove the oven door to investigate, Rob accidentally broke the oven door!

I quickly shopped through Appliances Online and The Good Guys, ended up going through the latter to buy new gas cooktop and oven:-

DELONGHI DEGH60 60cm Gas Cooktop  339.00
DELONGHI DEL604M 60cm Electric Oven  492.00

Happy with quality so far.

And, the old cooktop and oven finds a new home in my parents' kitchen

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Saving Moses

Having always considered myself an animal lover, my conscience was horribly tested a few days ago. Our cat Moses, who we’ve had for 10 years now after we found him as a stray kitten, needed to go to the vet. His lower canine incisor was broken and bent out at an angle, his jaw looked a bit swollen and he couldn’t eat.

Ever positive, I just thought to myself – “Oh it’s only a loose tooth, maybe all he needs is a shot of local anaesthetic and then yank out that tooth.”

Moses is an outdoor cat, so he roams quite freely in and out of our house through a cat-flap, happy and free to come and go as he pleases. As a tiny kitten, he grew up to be a nervy, skittish cat. I guess we didn’t “rehab” him properly when we first decided to keep him, as we thought that giving him his own space would allow him to recover from his stray beginnings … who knows what happened to his mother and family.

Even though both our cats were neutered, the 2 males didn’t like each other, they avoided each other and would usually hiss or have a spat if they did meet. And when Jimmy landed in our house 5 years ago, both of them started spraying in the house. It was horrible, the most awful smell on chairs and bags. Then the neighbour complained that a cat was spraying at his front door. It looked suspiciously like Theodore, the first stray cat we adopted. The neighbour threatened to set a cat trap and contact the ranger. We were torn and unsure what to do. It was a pretty tough decision, but we gave Theodore back to Cat Haven. I felt quite a bit of guilt, being the one to have to take him, listening to his plaintive miaws and giving him a final scratch on his head as I left with teary eyes.

Moses seemed a little bit happier with Theodore gone. He’s never been a lap-cat, the backyard is his sanctuary and he heaves his large furry body in and out of the cat-flap for feeds. Rob and I used to joke about drowning him, waiting for him to die so we could get a dog. So when we got him to the vet last Sunday, it came as an absolute shock to hear the vet say that we should get an xray in case he had fractured his jaw, he would need a drip, fluids, drugs … at a grand total of $1300!!! Our jaws dropped. My heart sank in horror. What happened to a shot of local and just yanking the tooth out? (Mum and dad, if you’re reading this, remember you raised a loving, compassionate person who wanted to save animals and be a vet when she was younger).

The vet left to give us some privacy as we discussed what to do. It was terribly hard to see Moses and hear him miawing … Jimmy interjecting with “I want a dog” adding to the guilt – could we really euthanize our cat over a broken tooth because we didn’t want to pay so much money? I never blogged about Theodore due to guilt and fear of being judged (I was judged personally by 2 ladies who came to save Noodle the rat).

Even now after the decision was made and I searched online, I can now fully understand the difficult and personal situation for pet-owners, not only a financial but an ethical decision as well. I felt like an absolute hypocrite, a fake “animal lover” - Moses is already 10 years old. And would probably have a few more years to live, so now he’s back home, comfortable and happy to be back in familiar surroundings. We have to try and keep him indoors for a while to let his mouth heal, which he’s not too happy about from his miawing!

So this is our invoice from the vet ... which seems to include a few things not directly related to Moses's broken tooth :- eg Convenia (antibiotic for skin infection) .... erm fluid IV and 24 hours care we might have got away with ... scale and polish dental .... really?? I'm not sure how I feel about veterinary care and clinics after this.... it's mixed emotions, knowing that it's their business and they have to pay staff and cover costs.

I googled older cats and broken teeth to see if it was common for them to lose their teeth due to age and disease and decay, and it was. So having that bit of information in my brain would have put a slightly different perspective on that day - perhaps Moses didn't need an xray, if we had said give us a cheaper option, would they have suggested alternatives?? Perhaps. And perhaps I should have asked for a breakdown and printout of each cost before agreeing to proceed, but that seems horribly clinical and heartless. It's not really a situation where you can shop around and get a second opinion, so this is where I feel that there is a big sympathy card being played.

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