2 tsp strawberry jam
3 pcs. kalamansi
4 tbsp. soy sauce
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp UFC Banana Catsup
a pinch of salt
Who says only the rich shall inherit the net?
On an average day, all I have in my pocket are my cell phone, a few pesos enough for some sticks of cheap cigarette and my digital media player. Sabi nga ng Yano…”walang ibang pera kundi pamasahe, nakayanan ko lang pambili ng dalawang yosi…” In this day and age when no one wants to be caught dead without an ipod, (I’d rather be caught dead WITHOUT an ipod than be caught dead listening to April Boy IN my ipod!) it is a bit challenging for the financially ungifted to stay attuned with our increasingly digitalizing society.
So how do I afford a digital lifestyle when all gears and gadgets have price tags beyond my means?
Enter THE SOURCE, my cousin Elsa. Also known as THE FORGIVER (4 gives), the lending diva for all things consumerist and disposable. Cell phones, ipod, digicam, SD card, external drives, even OROCAN, glow in the dark dildo (yes!), and Astroboy collectibles! Just specify whether you want SONY or ZONY; Apple or Apol and she’ll deliver. Ask and you shall be Four-given!
I call her the REDEEMER. She’s financed the acquisition of currently, my most important gizmo—an all in one digital camera. And in a very convenient and easily repayable terms! I am truly four-given!
I’ll trial-crunch the costs of my own connectivity and digital visibility on, say, a week and see how little it is.
Generic Digital Media Player from
(4 installments of P500.00 each in a span of 2 months, paid 3 quarters of the way already)
Plays digital music, captures and plays video, takes and lets me view pictures and comes with old school “family computer type” games that keep me occupied as I while away the time. This pretty little thing is great! It incorporates into a 3” X 4” piece of tech wonder what could have been a plethora of microchips in individual casings that are takaw-nakaw. What’s more, it’s pocket-friendly both figuratively and literally. I use it mostly for taking digital photos and videos for my blog, for sharing in FB and of course for downloading digital media. It has 2 gigabyte of digital space which I also use for storage. And it’s expandable by another 2gig with its SD slot. But I say to myself, why buy an SD card when it costs just about the same buying another of this gadget? It’s a hard-working gadget and one that wouldn’t hurt you so deep in the pocket if ever you lose it or it gets broken. I had one previously which I accidentally dropped in a jar of used cooking oil (long story) and eventually got unusable. I was more worried about the loss of my files than with its own demise! It was only P1,000.00 in Quiapo—the mecca for all things cheap and
Internet Access P20.00/60 minutes
Assuming that my generic, low-cost digicam has a lifespan of at least 1 year, that means that I get to use it for 365 days for just a small amount of P5.47 a day of use. Add to that the cost of internet access which typically is only about P20.00 per hour. Sometimes even free when I get to use someone else’s. On average, I get online thrice a week. So here’s the equation:
5.47 X 7 days = 38.35 cost of digital equipment per week
20 X 3 = 60.00 cost of getting online on a weekly average
38.35 + 60.00 = P98.35 Total cost a week for maintaining digital lifestyle or,
P393.40 a month or,
P4,720.80 a year
—way, way below the cost of my smoking. (P7,300.00 for a year of a pack a day of Fortune Lights plus some more for Carbocistein which I buy to treat my occasional Smoker’s Cough). That’s why I’m thinking quitting smoking so I can up my online time and maybe upgrade to a better cam. Maybe next year, if by then I have not caught lung cancer yet!
So you see, with just a little, I get a digital life of my own. It is unthinkable for me to be a digital non persona.
I’ll sum it up with the phrase printed on the box of my digicam….
“If you don’t have one, you’re a loser!”
And on the cigarette pack:
That’s very true. Especially about the cat. I don’t know about what makes the politicians happy or whether they find happiness at all but I do know that Vanessa makes me happy every time she jumps into my lap on her own and allow me to gently cuddle her (sometimes I overcuddle her), or whenever she comes in a sneak attack and presses her head against my face when I’m asleep as if saying come love me! Aaaah.
we sleep together most of the time, especially during lazy afternoons
I would reciprocate with TLC. I caress her all over the body and massage her face. She likes it most when I play with her ears, pulling them back with a tight rub starting from her mouth up to the tip of her ears. And she likes it best repeated over and over until she gets bored or something moving catches her attention like a lizard, an ant or even a leaf falling from a tree. She’d then run towards the motion and forget all about me. I will then call her—by name or by the cat sound, gently, shouting, begging—all to no avail! she drops me like a hot potato all of a sudden. Daig pa nya ang isang kisapmata!
“Alright,” I’d say to myself. Let’s see if you can resist a hefty fried tilapia or a porkchop or grilled chicken breast! Winning her back is never difficult! Only expensive.
Everytime she’s on my lap or on top of my chest while I’m lying or even just beside me, Vanessa and I “talk”. I like engaging in conversations with her. Like a true parent to a daughter, I’d tell her how much I love her, teach her “good manners” (kind of: never jump on the dinner table, don’t shit just about anywhere) and sermon her not to get pregnant just yet! She’d just respond with a meow and I know she listens.
Most of the day, Vanessa is asleep. That’s what cats do about 60% of their lifetime. But during her waking hours, she doesn’t watch TV like most children do. She plays and plays and plays. A lot! If my life is Birth, School, Work, Death, hers is Birth, Sleep, Play, Death! She plays with non-living things like a ball of yarn; she climbs small trees, wreak havoc to the garden, bites her biological papa Monty (well, we suspect!), bullies Chelsea the duck-- running after the poor guy and when she catches her, she always gives her a non-penetrating bite on the neck and Chelsea would just quack unable to do anything to let herself loose. Omigod! She’s a brat! She gives me headaches sometimes and I would discipline her with a delayed meal or poke her with a slipper or umbrella or simply scold her.
Still, I love her. Whenever she’s out of sight, I feel this tinge of anxiousness. I’d call her by name, loud enough as to be heard outside our perimeter. After a few seconds, she’d come running to me and then she would stare at my eyes as if asking “what?” Oh, Vanessa! My Girl.
I woke up one morning of February and was surprised to see four cute little kittens by the corner of our kitchen. It was a totally unexpected thing to wake up to and I had absolutely no idea where these cuddly, furry animals came from. A mother cat must have brought her offspring to us. That’s the only rational thing I could think of. Maybe because we leave leftover food at the dirty kitchen for our non-resident cat, Monty, at night for him to feed on but word got it to other village cats’ knowledge that food is available in our place and so they come, too!
I know. I’ve seen other cats feast on Monty’s meal at times. I don’t shoo them away but they are very hostile and aloof.
I thought smilingly, the mother cat was thinking that leaving her kittens to us is the best thing to do since food-- leftover food in particular-- is abundant in this house thus securing her offspring’s survival. You know, the kind of stories you see in telenovelas where the lead actress was pitifully left in the orphanage and the sisters would take her with open arms saying the baby was a gift from heaven…and would name the baby Annaliza or Flordeluna or Esperanza…whatever!
Like the nuns would take in the orphan, I would also love to keep those four cutie kittens and make them as pets but they’re just too many.
That day, I gathered all of them in a basin and fed them with milk and leftover tinola. The kittens were so hungry I could almost hear their stomachs roar. We played with the cats but they seem to be “instructed” not to mingle with creatures outside their own species. They would look you in the eye as if saying “back off!” They were so uncultured and anti-social that made me think these guys came from the slums! Nevertheless, they’re still kittens—all cuddly and lovely!
And the morning and the evening was the first day.
Mothercat was wrong into thinking that her offspring are better off left with us. The very next day, we put all of the kittens in a pail and my cousin drove them to the lake. And when he returned, the pail was already empty. He left the kittens near a pile of garbage by the lake. They’d be better off in that mound of garbage feeding on whatever there is, he argued. Poor cats? Hey, that’s their destiny!
And so we slept when the night came not feeling any guilt nor there was not a drop of love lost. Although I must admit, I wished they remained.
That’s not actually the story. Half of the real story is when on the next day, three new kittens, apparently from a different mother cat was found hiding underneath a wooden bench in the garden. What was surprising was not that there were new kittens but the fact that the house had become a hospicio for kittens whose mothers I jokingly supposed were now ready to flirt again! And what happened to the new kittens?
The first one was “retrieved” by its mother and we saw her coming back for the other two. But we shooed her away. We decided to keep the two as pets. One, we named Candace, after the pre-teen sister of Phineas and Ferb and the other, after checking on its genital, we gave the name Vanessa, after the daughter of Dr. Doofenshmirts, founder of Doofenshmirts Evil, Incorporated and the sole nemesis of Phineas and Ferb’s pet platypus Perry. Between the two, it was Candace that I liked better because she was so affectionate. She loved climbing up my chest and would fall asleep there. Not that Vanessa was less loving but Candace really struck me in the heart. She was the weakling between the two that’s why maybe I loved her more. I must admit, I loved Vanessa less.
Vanessa when she was barely weeks old
That would soon all change when Candace would die one morning. She was very weak and could barely open her mouth to eat. Yes, Candace was a weakling but not that weak as to barely stand up. I embraced her with my arms, kissed her, caressed her and rubbed my face against her furry body to no avail. She very soon left us. I buried her in the park. Again, that was destiny.
And so fate would have it that I was left with the last cat standing—Vanessa whom in time I learned to love with all of my heart, more than I ever loved Candace.(Sumalangit Nawa). And so Vanessa became my girl.
Or so I thought……
The next series of posts is a journey to what has become a love and hate relationship between me and my cat and all her misadventures that come along.