11th May 2017:
Have I been cat-napped? I say that because I’m going through a phase of culture shock. There I was minding my own business, knocking chopsticks around on the floor as if I was Lion Messi, and the next minute I’m in a cold barren apartment.
Where did it all begin? Well, I was stuffed into a dome-shaped box, barely big enough to swing a cat around in. I know, I tried. How do I know exactly? Well, I’m an Expat Cat. A British shorthair of upper class distinction. If you see H.R.H. The Queen has abandoned Corgi dogs one day and gone for a real animal, it’d be me, my kind. I’m practically a Duke. The Duke of Hengli. I’m on a diplomatic mission at the British-ish Embassy here is Dongguan. I can’t say who my Master Brewer is, but he lives in Hengli and manages a corner of the English aisle. I won’t say too much otherwise you’ll be a winner and guess where my Master Brewer is. The Master Brewer is from Hobbiton, in England. I’m not entirely sure why he is heading home, probably to have dinner with H.R.H. The Queen and the now retired Prince Philip. It’ll pave the way to my return to the U.K., no doubt.
Paws for thoughts?
Anyway, back to the here and now, and now and here. I’m in Houjie. My captive is a Sky-Blue Giant shiny-headed thing. I think he is human. I’m not so sure. He grunted and made weird noises when I put my paw in his mouth this morning. He also didn’t seem so keen to share a shower with me in the morning. The absurdity is that he went in without his fur on! The truth is that I shouldn’t have let him join me. Since we met yesterday evening, he buggered off with my Master Brewer and then returned without him. Either the Master Brewer is with H.R.H. The Queen now or Sky-Blue Giant has “put him in his pocket.” I use that phrase because whilst Sky-Blue Giant was sleeping, I heard him snoring and whispering the words, “Aaron, you’re in my pocket.” It seemed his gigantic pockets were the place to look for my Master Brewer. So, I snuck into his wardrobe. I’m good at opening sliding doors and latched doors. My secret is out now. I had a perusal of his pockets. No Master Brewer and no mystical Aaron, whoever or whatever that is.
Waking and sleeping
Sky-Blue Giant tucked himself in bed at 11pm. I believe that to have been most inconsiderate. I’d spent the previous two hours lounging around, checking out the comfy spots of my captor’s hideout. So, just as Sky-Blue Giant slipped into sleep, I checked between his toes, to see if there were any pockets. Not only did I find nothing, but I must have been a tad-heavy pawed and awoke the beast. After escaping his clasp and forced cuddles, I went on my way. I found some ordered paperwork of the Sky-Blue Giant. It made no sense so I rearranged it. Perhaps the pocket and my Master Brewer would be within. No such joy.
My to do list today, is to make a to do list. I’m a cat. It took an awful lot of translation work via the good people of HubHao to get this far. Have you ever made a to do list, without opposable thumbs? I need someone to listen to me and translate the various purrs and meows perfectly. I also really want to climb the curtains…
12th May 2017:
Curiosity killed the cat, they say. Sorry to fool you. I’m a cat called Alexander the Great, that’s what I do… I play, play, play…
Still no word from Master Brewer. I’m not as hungry as I thought I would be. My captor, Sky-Blue Giant, has been slipping my sachets of Whiskas and some titbits from his meal last night. I do like a nibble on some fresh chicken. It seems I am also prone to a swipe of milk-covered Weetabix given the opportunity. To quote a great cat philosopher, “You snooze, you lose.” Master Brewer better be homeward bound sooner or later, but at this moment I am being fed reasonably well. Sadly, no lasagne, but times are tough being cat-napped, I tell you!
The prison, gaol and cell I am within is as far as I can tell, okay. There is a bedroom, a lounge, a kitchen with a secret door beyond it. The secret door is made of glass and doesn’t look so secret. Here a rain-making machine is housed and a small pool of blue water that Sky-Blue Giant won’t let me go near. It smells very clean indeed but he protects it like a deity. Between the rainmaker and the porcelain pool, there is a bowl where I can enjoy drips of cold freshwater. It seems a magical room, but certainly not secret. There are lengths of material hung from a rack. Or rather, there were, until yours truly decided to let gravity pull them down to earth.
It’s in the game.
Yawn. I was up late last night playing a game of FIFA (Feline International Football Association). I nutmegged the desk, slid a slide rule pass under the coffee table and chested one down onto a sleeping Sky-Blue Giant. For keepie-uppies, I kept him awake as much as I could. If Guangzhou R&F need a star striker, I have a mean meow that sounds like a car alarm in the early hours. I heard Sky-Blue Giant say something to the effect of, “Bleeding hell Mogwai, I’m trying to sleep, stop striking so well.” He should know my name is Alexander the Great, not Alexander Supertramp and certainly not Mogwai, whatever supposedly affectionate name that is!
Best foot forward.
I must admit to being unable to read and write. Please don’t think less of me for this. Illiteracy is a problem globally. Well, that said, so is literacy, judging by some other world problems. I’m thinking of enrolling in a forward thinking and international school to pick up some skills soon. I figured, I might as well because Master Brewer has left me here with Sky-Blue Giant and he can barely tie his shoe laces. Not that I can. However, I have developed a skill at shredding anything lace in format. Sky-Blue Giant’s shoes, for instance, are devoid of a pair of laces. Yes, my work.
Alex the Wonder Cat 3-0 Rubbish Bin
Honestly, I don’t know why he bothers? I upend the rubbish bin for a reason. The Sky-Blue Giant is clearly unware of why. He stands the rubbish bin up again and again. If only he could see why I knock it over! I am starting to think he is a fool or has an eyesight problem. Anyway, I need to stop dictating to my writer, because he’s only gone and stood the rubbish bin up again. That boys an idiot!
13th May 2017:
Hey there, “Meow”, greetings. I sacked my typist from yesterday. The title was supposed to read as The Fast & The Furrious 9 – a pun on the word fur but it wrong, and it actually resembled a real title. We had Vin Diesel call us and ask for the script. I’ve sent him two lines and some instructions for pouting. He’ll be alright. I included some polish for his abs.
As for Sky-Blue Giant, what an irritation he is, he comes in fussing me with those gammy-looking spade-sized hands. I worry that he hasn’t properly vetted the students at his school before he gives them a high five. Dog only knows what germs he is carrying before he touches my immaculate and flawlessly smooth fur.
There is still no sign of Master Brewer, but I heard Sky-Blue Giant say he landed in a far-flung land. This confirms my suspicion that he is indeed going to speak with H.R.H. The Queen about me replacing the corgi dogs – or at very least Prince Philip.
Last night, I assisted Sky-Blue Giant in retrieving his supply of straws, hidden here and there. I have positioned them all over the apartment-prison. I really enjoyed playing fetch with them last night. I didn’t get why a few teeth marks meant they had to be thrown in the rubbish bin. Whilst the rubbish bin has doubled up as a nemesis, it has failed to capture my precious straws. There are even some tucked under his duvet. Oh, how he’ll laugh when he rolls over in the night and find one tucked in his bottom-cheeks!
15th May 2017:
Meow. Wassup? Even in the cat world, Sunday is the day of rest. There was little need to write anything more than panic-stricken words about catching the WannaCry Virus. Thankfully, I remain uninfected. No need to do any panic urine marking and elimination habits on this occasion! Instead I’ll crack on with face rubbing the rubbish bin into submission and showing my body language to Sky-Blue Giant. I want my Master Brewer back. So much so, that 2am cat calls were needed. They were so load that even the neighbours awoke.
I’ve also found a new way into Sky-Blue Giant’s bed. He used to have a regular zip-up and close mosquito net. I’ve added some paw-sized ventilation holes and ensured going forward that the net has one zip less. I even tucked in another spare drinking straw. I did this after a spell of quivering my bottom and pouncing at Sky-Blue Giant as he slept. My captor deserves to be tested.
I’ve also discovered a lovely warm place to sit down, a laptop. It suits my higher-than-human body temperature. The keypad is a tad rough but the entertainment level isn’t bad. Cat videos are everywhere. I think Sky-Blue Giant is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to a ring of cat captors.
And the other thing about the internet, is he shares my photos everywhere. He never even asked my permission. Beware of my sinister green glowing tapetum lucidum. I like Sky-Blue Giant taking photos, I hope they spook him out before bedtime. Then, he’ll be softened up for my nightly swipes at his chunky toes.
Amongst my vocabulary there are many signals I pass on. Yet, Sky-Blue Giant meows back at me in the worst kind of way. My meows have meaning. His are utter gibberish. Proper offensive too. Whatever he is trying to say, I feel he is a fool. I wish Master Brewer was here. He’d sort him out with some proper language training. That said Sky-Blue Giant, with his 100 head hairs to my 130,000 per square inch is so inferior to me. He uses two wooden sticks to eat his food. I just use my mouth. The Plonker!
18th May 2017:
Hello there, it is me again, Alexander The Great, cat of the day, so to speak. Today, I am giving you the lowdown on some news sweeping the nation and globe. I’ve put down my differences with chasing the red laser and decided to help you get a clear and simple view of today’s breaking news. It is everywhere. Look here is a photo to show the world impact.
I for one, as a member of the cat family, do not like dogs so much. That being said, I do like a good old game of cat and dog chase. We’re like that. I’m the same with mice, but in that case, the mice usually end up as a gift for Master Brewer or a snack for myself. Not that I have ever seen a mouse! I’ve only seen one mouse on a documentary-drama about a clumsy cat called Tom and his problematic friend of a mouse called Jerry.
The problem of journalism, is like my meowing, what does it all mean? Where are the facts? It can be as hard as breaking through a mosquito-net at 4am in the morning to pounce on Sky-Blue Giant to wake him up. So, to help, here are some facts, followed by some questions, with answers. No speculation and no padding out for fun. I’m a busy cat, I have things to lick.
Dog Meat – The facts:
- Nationally, it is illegal to sell dog meat for human consumption.
- The Chinese Ministry of Agriculture have placed no quarantine procedures for the slaughtering of dogs.
- Selling dog meat contravenes the Animal Epidemic Prevention Law.
- Selling dog meat contravenes the Food Safety Law.
- Eating dog meat (狗肉 gǒu ròu; fragrant meat 香肉 xiāng ròu; Earth mutton – 地羊 dì yáng) has been historically present for thousands of years within China, as far back as 500BCE.
- Dog meat has been consumed in times of food scarcities, such as conflicts.
Why all the worry?
In recent times, many pet dogs have been dog-napped. Chinese Police have worked hard and have scored well-documented hits against illegal slaughterhouses. Chinese activists and friends, of pet dogs and cats too, have worked tirelessly with authorities to crack down on the trade of caged dogs and cats. In 2014, Police arrested and imprisoned 11 people for poisoning dogs and then selling the poisoned meat onwards.
Is this festival in the news a very old traditional affair?
Beginning on the 21st June 2009, less than a decade ago, the
Lychee and Dog Meat Festival (玉林荔枝狗肉节) started. It was started by local restaurants and the public. Not, as often mistakenly reported by foreign media, by the local municipal government. The festival lasts around 10 days.
Who has been helping to save the dogs and cats?
In 2015, one defender of the four-legged kind paid 7,000RMB for 100 dogs. This is a case replicated massively in the following year with news reports of thousands of dogs bought and rehomed. Also, Weibo (and globally on Twitter) net-based citizens cranked messages left, right and centre pushing to end the massacre of dogs and cats for food. The Chinese Minister of Agriculture has received a huge petition titled as per below:
“Do the humane thing by saying no to this festival and save the lives of countless dogs that will fall victim to this event – an event that will butcher, skin alive, beat to death etc. thousands of innocent dogs.”
Who are the Chinese Companion Animal Protection Network (CCAPN)?
They love pets. Who doesn’t?! They are made up of more than 40 societies. Their activities started up the road in Guangzhou, during 2006, and their movement has gained support nationally ever since. A local restaurant to the city, serving dog meat, since 1963 shut their doors in 2015. Others followed their lead.
Has anyone noticed animal rights are improving on China?
Jill Robinson, the 1998 founder of Animals Asia Foundation, was quoted as saying, “In many ways, the animal welfare movement in China is maturing far faster than it ever did in the West.”
In 2009, the Animal protection law of the People’s Republic of China came about. In recent years, celebrities such as Yao Ming (姚明) have supported a nationwide campaign to eradicate the illegal trade of rhinoceros horn and elephant tusks. Yao Ming is also an ambassador for elephant conservation. The Chinese government works closely with “Say No” Campaign with partners African Wildlife Foundation and WildAid.
Many Chinese stars such as Jackie Chan and Lǐ Bīngbīng (李冰冰) have assisted too.
What could happen if someone eats dog meat?
The 2010 legislation included a measure to jail people for up to 15 days for eating dog meat.
Does dog or cat meat make you more fertile?
Torturing animals raises stress levels. Toxicity levels and harmful chemicals rise in the bloodstream. Good luck with that one. The meat has never been proven to taste better but has been shown to cause heart conditions in people… amongst a huge list of possible illnesses caused by dog consumption
So, there you have it, everything you needed to know
21st May 2017:
I’m a cat. I cannot count. I’ve tried. Every time I look at my toes it is a reminder of all those red dots that have evaded me over the years. I also feel I am due a visit to my pedicurist. I keep swiping at various dangling things and Sky-Blue Giant knows it. Every now and then I catch a claw on some near-invisible netting. Ooooh the pain!
I’ve been munching on squishy meat in jelly and dry cereal since my captor removed me from the care of Master Brewer. I refused the fresh salmon offering Sky-Blue Giant put before me on principle. I have since weaved in and out of his legs in the hope of knocking down the giant. It worked for a bloke named Jack, star of the biopic, Jack and The Beanstalk, I think. If I don’t bring him down, I’ll hope that his sofa collapses as a result of my clawing at the material. The slow method may be my only hope.
With a view, from the door to this prison opening-up, I spotted a dog wandering by. The half-witted canine looked at me and yelped. He ran off. He could have at least assisted me in getting out of here. If it wasn’t for the super strong netting at the door, I’d be out. I watch the tony flies struggle in vain to find a hole in. What I need is a mouse to wander in, somehow. If I can pounce on it, decapitate it and show Sky-Blue Giant my capabilities. It’ll strike fear into his heart. He’ll sleep poorly and decide to release me. Oh, how I want to escape! Where are you Master Brewer?
Alexander the Great
26th May 2017:
Sky-Blue Giant is a sly one. Three days ago, Chinese scientists aboard the JiaoLong submersible accompanied by Xinhua journalist Liu Shiping, dived to 4,811 metres below the sea. I, Alexander the Great was whisked away in a basket last night. I could share sea stories about cramped conditions. As the scientists marvelled at “shooting stars” of Euphausiid plankton, I didn’t enjoy a ride in the back of a car. Those underwater explorers stared on at sweater, rocks and sea cucumbers. They enjoyed the company of a sponge and two starfish. I just had my tail and my mysterious second catnapper.
On arrival, I put my differences aside and embraced this Little Red Riding Hood of a catnapper. I suspect that Master Brewer will never return. He has probably left me for a younger kitten. If I catch that kitten, it’ll be despatched to the Mariana Trench. One way. Speaking of a good dinner. I hear American beef is making a return to China. Yes, after 13 years of absence, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said they are talking with China, and hoping have the first consignment over here by July the 16th… hey Little Red Riding Hood, fancy grabbing me a steak? Whilst China has written 117 pages as a wish list. I just demand the beef is tasty. This will add huge competition from Brazil and Australia for beef exports to China… my lips are firmly being licked.
Read more about beef at: https://www.agweb.com/article/china-writes-117-page-wish-list-for-us-trade-blmg/
Anyway, I have a new set of wardrobe doors to prize open. There are places I must flick my ping pong balls and laser lights to be caught. Today is a brief but important message. I’ll leave by sending a message to my new catnapper:
I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you are looking for cuddles, I can tell you I don’t have anything to hug. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long stay with Sky-Blue Giant. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let me go now, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will scratch you when you sleep.
Alexander the Great.