My cats

Juanma has told me many times that I can empathize better with animals than with humans, that I care more for the welfare of my cats than for any of the people I know. I don’t agree with him, but there must be some truth to this observation.

I know when my cats are sick or are sad. I don’t merely anthropomorphize them because through years of raising them I can sense the slight changes in their meows, the drooping of their ears, or the abnormal shedding of their fur as indicators that something is wrong. My four cats are so dear to me that they figure prominently in most of the plans I have for the future.

I’m thinking of getting my third and a bigger condominium unit because I want to accommodate them and take them away from my ex who currently houses them. I think that they’re becoming too much of a burden to him. (Being with four cats while trying to begin a new life after a time with someone can be very difficult. How can he explain to the guys he’s dating the four felines that sit quietly while they talk about what each looks for in a partner? And for this I am most thankful to him for agreeing to provide a home for our cats) Sure, I see them regularly during the week to deliver their food, buy them the best cat food I can afford, take them to the vet for their vaccines and emergency health needs, but I want to see them every day, play with them, and make sure they have the best life I can provide. The condo I currently have does not allow pets and is too small for four cats.

I do not know when I started to be enamored with cats, but it should be when I was still young. Growing up, we never had a pet in the family because our house was practically open and any neighbors’ dog or cat could enter whenever they feel like it. But cats, they have smitten me with their proud demeanor and elegant gait. They look needy but are never.

I had wanted to have a cat but one cannot own a cat. Leave your door open and the next thing they’ll do is escape and find their happiness somewhere.

I believe my four cats will do the same. Sometimes, I intentionally keep the main door of the unit and screen door open to see what they will do. Didi, the youngest among the four doesn’t think twice of zooming out, Mimi hesitates, Priya observes, and Tumi will squeal, but all of them run out just the same.

I know, however, that they will have a difficult time surviving in the street. I’m imagining Tumi meowing at the top of his lungs waiting for me to scoop him up and take him home.

I understand that these four cats are a lifetime responsibility.

They’re the closest I can have to feeling unconditional love. I care for them because I hold myself accountable for them. The relationship I have with my ex has undergone drastic changes, but my relationship with my four cats will never change. I wish for them to stay healthy, happy, and hopefully one day figure out that the reason they still see me bringing a sack of dry food and cans of wet food to their place even though I do not live with them anymore is because I love them.


Defense of a ‘self-patronizing’ blogger

blogging requires passion and authority

I jst fnd ur blog too patrnzng of urslf (I just find your blog too patronizing of yourself).

The text message above was sent to me by a reader of this blog. In all honesty, I do not clearly understand what he meant because it is syntactically and grammatically perplexing. But I suspect that he is commenting on the very personal tone of this blog, a fact that I do not deny. This blog might have gone too personal that this avid reader (he would not have noticed this if he has not been regularly following the posts in this blog) feels it went beyond the bounds of a comfortable limit of story-telling where despite the importance afforded to honesty, a certain level of detachment must still be maintained, at least retaining a certain measure of objectivity. To bluntly put it, this reader is of the opinion that I am over-sharing what should have been private matters or thoughts.

Will all due respect to this reader and his opinion, I acknowledge the validity of his observation, and I appreciate his concern that this (Going against the current) site becoming a diary worthy of being read by nobody but myself. However, he is missing the point of this enterprise we call blogging. Blogging is meant to be personal and its purpose, barring other motherhood and sweeping statement, is meant for the promotion of the owner of the site. Plain and simple.

In relating a story, aside from telling a truthful story, objectivity is paramount, and the use of the definitive inverted pyramid structure will guarantee that the article will sustain readers’ interest by presenting the most important information first. But these are already observed and done, expertly and impeccably, by other forms of media. These values are the lifeblood of journalism except, of course, in the editorial section of the paper.

Blogging, a relatively recent development, on the other hand, is an anomaly. Anyone, as long as he has access to the internet, can start blogging and, if he writes fairly decently, will eventually capture certain groups of regular readers. Blogging is democratizing; it gives voice to what used to be voiceless groups who rely entirely on mainstream media for information.

Orthodox demands exacted from traditional media are drastically slackened. With the emergence of the individual as an important stakeholder, objectivity is not anymore as important as it used to be. Storytelling is contextualized in the experience of the blogger; it’s always vis-à-vis the blogger’s universe. Never has the role of individual in the event been as important as in blogging.


Like all other media, blogging is also governed by some sort of a check and balance. A blogger will lose his readers in the event he loses his integrity as a writer. That is why in spite of its subjective nature, truthfulness is still highly regarded in this media; however, I must say that the requirement for it is not as strong as in the traditional media. The blogger’s creativity, writing style, humor, sensitivity, and his ability to empathize and relate with his readers’ experience are even more important this time.

Every article in a blog post must bear the signature voice of the writer; the more personal, the better as these are the defining characteristics of a blog. These differentiate it from traditional form of media. Without this distinctive voice, without this ‘self-patronage’, without this glaring self promotion, blogging loses it essence.