Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Fostering Little Angie

Little Angie was found in Sharjah staggering into a feeding area with other hungry, abandoned cats in the vicinity of AUS and University of Sharjah. She was about 7 months old, emaciated, caked with mud, her hair matted, and drooling from her mouth. At first the woman who fed the cats thought she had a serious fatal disease, but Sharjah Feline Friends rep David came over and picked her up. He kept her for a couple of days, saw she was hungry and eating well, so he took her to Belgian vet Jim for a checkup. Jim's specialty is feline dental work. She had rotten teeth and serious gum disease. He fixed her teeth/gum problems, spayed her, and gave her the necessary vaccinations. She was put in a cage for one month and then brought over to my place to be fostered. She came in the same day that Phil arrived in Sharjah, just a couple of hours earlier than Phil. He thought she looked and acted like two of our cats, Sweetie and our first cat Cubby who is no longer with us. It's no surprise then that we are both enjoying her. She purrs all the time and follows us around. She is gaining weight and confidence. Generally, she is a very happy cat, but probably will remain small in size due to starvation in her early months of life. She will be "homed" very quickly, David tells me, because hers is a "rags to riches" story. He has never seen a kitten in such terrible condition. Now, he is very happy that she is safe and happy here in my flat in Sharjah while she awaits a permanent home with a lucky family.

And now for the rest of the story: Phil Roberts of Laramie, Wyoming, adopted little Angie whom he renamed Jameela which means "beautiful" in Arabic. See her photos above. Jameela stayed with me in Sharjah from December to June. During this period, she was often very ill and had to be taken to the vet about every two weeks. On June 6, we transported in the passenger cabin of Lufthansa, arriving same day in Denver, and then drove up to Laramie, a 2.5 hour trip. Jameela is now at home in Laramie with our six other cats, one who came from Sharjah-Dubai 12 years ago (Myty-Myte). She loves being in a big cat family, loves running around our enclosed backyard, and loves climbing our trees. She is healthy and happy now.

Monday, December 1, 2008

New homes for cats

Good news. Eleven-month old Meera and 4-week old Little Lili, my two fostered cats, were both adopted out to good homes in Dubai, last week. According to Sharjah coordinator of Dubai Feline Friends, Meera went to a British couple living in Dubai. And Little Lili who looks just like a miniature Meera (but no relation) was picked up by a Dubai Feline Friends volunteer. Little Lili now has a little "brother" just her age to play with. All will be so happy.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Fostering a cat

My new Sharjah kitty. I'm fostering her for the Dubai Feline Friends Organization that saves vulnerable cats, finds fosterers and then adopts out the cats. She reminds me of a combination of two of our Wyoming cats -- Moose and Sunshine. She is 10 months old.

Uptown Mirdif

Uptown Mirdif cafe

My friend and mass com colleague Ralph Berenger and I ventured out to Uptown Mirdif this weekend. Mirdif is a neighborhood near Dubai International Airport. Uptown Mirdif is an outdoor mall modeled on the round-about of three circles. Each circle contains shops, indoor and outdoor restaurants, and apartments on the second and third floors. The ground is covered with Emirati-styled tiles, giving it a cobble-stone look. The Center is so well organized that underground parking is just minutes away from entrances. The architecture is blended Emirati and European. You can see airlines flying over for landing and take-offs from Dubai International Airpot. Charming. This link tells you more about Mirdif. http://www.bhomes.com/uae/mirdif.xhtml

Bird in my backyard

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Marina at Intercontinental Hotel and Festival City, Dubai

Docking in front of the Intercontinental Hotel, Dubai. 28 September 2008
The largest yachts are the closest in to the hotel and the mall. The marina is modest in size, but the location is prime. While I was walking through the Intercontinental Hotel, a helicopter was landing at the marina. I was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time, took photos, from the hotel lobby, of the party on the chopper, right after it landed. This event illustrates the luxuries in Dubai.

Lobby of the Intercontinental Hotel, Dubai

Dubai Intercontinental Hotel. 28 September 2008.

The Intercontinental Hotel is a landmark. The old hotel close to the sea on the corniche was sold and this new Intercontinental Hotel was built at Festival City located at the inland tip of the Creek. Festival City is one of the popular malls in Dubai. The three pencil sketches of the Dubai Sheikhs line the lobby wall across from the check-in counter. Artistic arrangement of the flowers decorate the long hall.

Birds in my backyard at AUS, Sharjah

Back yard birds at AUS. 30 September 2008
Lots of active little birds spend quite a bit of time in my small backyard, eating inse
cts, probably those big black ants. They are not only actively moving around, but they talk to each other allthe time. It's nice to hear the different voices of the various birds in my neighborhood. Several different varieties come in for a landing, but I don't know what they are. One day a stunningly beautiful big bird landed on the chain-link fence to the right of my yard. Its chest was a peach color, its top feather a dark grey to black, and its tail feathers a gorgeous sky blue. It looked almost like a parrot, bit it wasn't. I got out my camera, but when it saw me through the patio glass, it flew off -- at the speed of light. I've never seen birds fly so fast as these right here. Notice the round white spot on the side of the bird's face in the photo. Another identical spot is on the other side.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Jute bags: Gulf News' gift to its readers.

Sharjah, UAE. 29 Sept 2008
Dubai's prime daily newspaper
Gulf News is distributing jute bags to its 200,000 subscribers for free. I received the two jute bags because obviously I'm a subscriber. Supporting its environmentally "Go Green" campaign, Gulf News is encouraging less use of plastic and supporting eco-friendly alternatives. These specially designed jute bags are multi-colored, differing from the usual single-colored jute bags. They were designed in Dubai and manufactured in India. It took three months to make them. According to Gulf News, jute is concentrated in Bangladesh and India where the soil is fertile and alluvial. Jute needs rain, too, and very little fertilizer. Gulf News reports that jute is 100 percet biodegradable. I wonder why U.S. newspaper don't do something similar, like inserting an item in their papers in an effort to promote environmental and needed social causes. These jute bag inserts definitely raise our collective environmental consciousness. It was a real treat to see the bags laying there outside my door with my Monday morning newspaper.