First Cats in China

One month ago, today, was National Pet Day in the U.S. So, I thought it would be fun to talk about the first cats in China.

four kittens

First, a little history…

November of 2013, archaeologists uncovered cat bones in Northwestern China’s Shaanxi province which date back 5,300 years. These bones predated previous beliefs of cat arrivals in China by some 3,000 years.

The 8 bones they uncovered belonged to at least 2 cats and the measurements confirmed that ancient Chinese cats were of the same size as modern cats.

Using radiocarbon dating, scientists revealed the cats lived between 5560 and 5280 BP; the Neolithic period in China. The Chinese Neolithic period involved the Yangshao culture. These people had stable villages, raised pigs and hunted for food. Evidence showed the cats appeared to be accepted members of those villages; probably earning their keep by keeping the pest population in control.

Current day…

Burmese Cat

Burmese Cat

These ancient cats breed with cats brought into China by traveling monks eventually producing the Burmese and Siamese cat breeds.

Siamese cat

Siamese Cat

Now, China has become the 3rd largest pet market in the world after the U.S. and Brazil. In 2012, Chinese pet owners spent $7.84 billion Yuan on animal care.

I know what you’re going to say – Don’t the Chinese eat their cats?

But things are changing! Young Chinese celebrities are taking up the ‘pro-pet cause’ on social media and the Chinese Animal Protection Network has begun organizing large protests against eating dogs and cats.

These actions are spreading and gaining momentum among the Chinese public. There are even cat cafes in cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong! (Read my blog post on cat cafes) Places where cat lovers can go and spend some time with cats, especially those, for whatever reason, can’t keep a cat at home.

grey kitty on laptop

So let’s hear it from all you cat lovers, tell me about your cats. What breed are they, names, rescued or whatever you want to say about them. If you can add a photo to the comment that would be great (not sure it’s possible). Thanks!

Here is our Aggie Girl (short for Miss Agatha Christie) who showed up on our doorstep one icy November day 8 years ago. She is such a sweetheart! We love her.

Aggie Girl

Sources: http://www.bloomberg.com, http://www.the-cat-guide.com & http://www.smithsonianmag.com

 

 

 

 

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What Could Be Better Than Cats With Your Tea?

I love herbal teas and I love cats. So naturally, I would love the idea of cat cafes!

grey kitty on laptop

The world’s first cat cafe opened in Taiwan in 1998 and since, they have sprung up across the globe.

cat mug

Cat cafes would naturally appeal to cat lovers but they serve a more important purpose. They let people who are not allowed pets in their apartments/condos, ‘rent‘ a cat or two for awhile. Also, people with family allergy issues or someone who has a spouse/mate who refuses to let a cat into their living space can come to a cat cafe to get their daily/weekly cat fix. And any cat lover will tell you they would die without a constant supply of their cat fix 🙂

person with cat

Benefits people can get from cat cafes:

  • a warm, fuzzy cat to snooze in their lap
  • cat-themed foods and desserts (although it may be a bit pricey)
  • you may get to provide a forever home for a cat – many cat cafes help find homes for strays
  • purrs to lower your heart rate and blood pressure
  • licks from a scratchy pink tongue

black & white tabby

 

Cat cafes can be found in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, New York City, Oregon, Russia, Japan and others. So look up the closest one to you and go give it a try!

Has anyone ever been to a cat cafe? I’d love to hear where you went and what you thought of it. Or just the idea of cat cafes in general – what do you think? Would you be likely to try it out?

(Here is a photo of our Aggie Girl, a rescue 8 years ago)

Aggie Girl

Sources: http://hellogiggles.com, http://www.lifewithcats.tv, http://www.shanghaidaily.com, http://webecoist.momtastic.com

 

My Friday Post: Celebrating Dragon Delights

I found someone else who loves dragons as much as I do.
Enjoy!

M J Mallon Author

dragon-238931_640

Golden Dragon

Oh,

Mighty Dragon

 Your fiery dare,

 Gleams in a challenge,

No Childish mask,

Highlights your eyes.

Golden elixir promises,

Hang in the air,

Lining up,

To slide off the curve of

Your celebrated tongue.

A challenge!

Adventuress, take a ride.

Will I or forever still,

 Remain in this moment,

Too fearful to slip on,

Temptation’s back.

To sail the secretive seas,

Witness the wonder of sunsets,

Smell the sweet aroma of Waterfalls,

Discover Dry Deserts

And Tempting Temples.

Cavernous Canyons,

Concealed Caves,

Resplendent Rainbows,

Rippling Rivers,

Incandescent Islands,

Languid Lakes,

Majestic Mountains,

Too many splendours,

To describe.

I step back from,

Tempestuous skies.

  Foolish, I.

Must I question

when I can do.

Trust my,

Ever growing,

Heart’s desire Dragon,

Please.

Take me,

with

you!

 

Link:

th

The Incandescent Britania Islands: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/467819/the-incandescent-britania-islands

Cuevas del Drach, in Porto Cristo, Mallorca.

cave-374728_640 Dragons lair Mallorca Dragons Lair Mallorca

Dragons Lair

I took a risk,

Now I am here,

In Lair,

With you.

Enchantment,

Lingers,

Tapering Black Stalagmite,

View original post 432 more words

Buddhas and Skyscrapers

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I follow this blog for her great photos of Hong Kong. It’s easy to imagine my characters, Deshi & Annie from my book Hong Kong Treasure, seeing the same places.
This post takes you to the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery. Some of the Buddhas are funny and others are just gorgeous. Enjoy and tell me which Buddha you liked best!

Peanut Butter and Mussels

Thursday 14th August

As Josh is an avid collector of Buddhas, the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery was an inevitable destination during his visit! We hopped on the bus to Sha Tin and stopped off at Bene Italian for fuel. Josh had gnocchi (mainly to show me what they are) i.e. small dumplings made from potato, semolina or flour. They just tasted like cheesy dough to me…probably something that I’d enjoy as part of a meal, rather than a dish on its own.

hong kong

My lunch was mediocre too.

2

However this means that our day could only get better, right?! After lunch, we made our way over…

The long uphill journey to the monastery is an attraction in itself, as the path is lined on both sides with 500 life-sized golden Buddhas, each in different (and often hilarious) poses.

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Almost there…

910

WE MADE IT!

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Founded in the 1950’s, the Ten Thousand Buddhas…

View original post 325 more words

Wing Chun Legend, Yip Man

In my last post (My 4 Favorite Male Martial Artists) I mentioned that I loved Donnie Yen in the Ip Man movies. So this post is about that legendary Grandmaster, Ip Man (Yip Man).

Ip Man portrait

On October 1st, 1893, Man was born the 3rd of 4 children to a wealthy merchant family in Foshan, Guangdong. He began learning Wing Chun, a style of martial arts developed in Southern China more than 300 years ago by a woman, at the age of 7.

He became a policeman when he was 24 years old and started informally teaching Wing Chun to his friends and coworkers. From 1937 through 1941, Man served in the army then in 1949 when the Chinese Communist Party came into power he fled to Hong Kong, where he eventually opened a martial arts school, becoming the first master to train students publicly.

Ip Man with wooden dummy

Ip Man with wooden dummy

Despite being 5′ tall and 120 pounds, Man was one of the most respected masters of his time and among his notable students was Bruce Lee. (For more on Wing Chun and Bruce Lee, check out my post: Could Bruce Lee Owe His Fame to 2 Females? )

Ip Man & Bruce Lee

Ip Man & Bruce Lee

To read an interview with Ip Man: www.kwokwingchun.com

Ip Man died of cancer on December 2, 1972. Artifacts from his life are on display at the Yip Man Tong Museum on the Foshan Ancestral Temple grounds.

There have been several movies based on his life. My favorite are the Ip Man movies starring Donnie Yen. To watch a trailer from the movie: www.imdb.com/title/tt1220719/

Ip Man movie cover

 

Donnie Yen as Ip Man

Donnie Yen as Ip Man

“It is difficult for a student to pick a good teacher but it is more difficult for a teacher to pick a good student.”

“Regardless of who starts first, ability decides seniority in Wing Chun.”

Ip Man

 

Sources: wikipedia.org, http://www.biography.com & http://www.malineage.com

 

Do you study martial arts? Have you seen any of the movies based on Ip Man’s life? I would love to hear from you.

 

dragon illustrationHong Kong Treasure – A deadly Philippines typhoon stole Annie’s memory. And now, can a handsome Chinese stranger save her from the danger she has forgotten?

Coming in 2015 from Assent Publishing.

To read an excerpt: romancebyddominikwickles.wordpress.com

It’s 2014!

Yea! It’s 2014!

2014

I’m usually excited with a brand new year in which to improve myself. My resolutions revolve around eating healthier, reducing my stress, being more forgiving and exercising more. But I have an extra good reason to be  happy to see 2014. This is the year my romance novel will be published!

Hong Kong Treasure is a contemporary romance with a little mystery and action thrown in for good measure.

 

chinese-foo-dogs

 

After losing everything in a devastating Philippines typhoon, including her memory, Annie is rescued by a handsome Hong Kong stranger. As their love  blossoms, jealousy and an old danger revealed in her nightmares threaten to keep them apart.

 

 

Love me heart

 

Hong Kong Treasure takes place in Hong Kong with side trips to exotic places such as Xi’an, Beijing and Singapore. Deshi Han, the handsome stranger, treats the Caucasian woman he rescues and names, Annie,  as a precious Chinese treasure.

 

statue

 

Can you imagine anything more romantic than being rescued then treated like a princess? Has anyone had a real life rescue and love story?

Follow this blog, follow me on Twitter and friend me on Facebook to get all the updates and publication date for Hong Kong Treasure.

Twitter – @ddominikwickles

Facebook – www.facebook/diane.wickles

 

Is a New Rolls-Royce on Your Christmas List?

Tonight’s the night Santa flies all around the world bringing gifts to one and all. Does your Christmas wish list include a brand new Rolls-Royce? Well, if you live in Hong Kong maybe it does. Hong Kong has more Rolls-Royces per person than any other city in the world.

The-spirit-of-Ecstasy--Flying-Lady hood ornament

Over a lunch in 1904, Henry Royce, an engineer, and Charles Rolls, owner of one of the first car dealerships, envisioned the Rolls-Royce Limited. Since then, every Rolls-Royce is hand-built right down to seamstresses, surface finish technicians and French polishers. Sixty pairs of hands are involved in creating each one of the most luxurious motor cars in the world.

Understandably, a Rolls-Royce is a pretty hefty ticket for your Christmas list. A 2014 Rolls-Royce Ghost will run you over $250,000 (US) and the Phantom goes for around $400,000 (US).

2012 Rolls-Royce Ghost

2012 Rolls-Royce Ghost
Image by Mr. Choppers

2008 Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe

2008 Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe

These cars are also physically hefty weighing around 5,600 pounds each. How would Santa Claus (Sing Daan Lou Yan in Cantonese) ever transport a present that big? Well, ask any 6-year-old and they’ll tell you that Santa has magic. So I guess he would use that magic to get it to your driveway with the traditional big red bow on top.

The Peninsula Hong Kong, a luxury hotel located in Kowloon, has a fleet of fourteen Rolls-Royces to transport their customers, each painted the distinctive Peninsula Green.

Wonder how people in Hong Kong can afford so many Rolls-Royces? It’s most likely due to Hong Kong’s free economy. No sales tax, no capital gains tax. Just imagine it. And their income tax (salary tax to them) ranges from 2% for those earning less than $35,000 (HK) a year to 14% for an annual income between $70,000 (HK) to $105,000 (HK). The richest people pay only 20% for incomes above $105,000 (HK).

So, what’s so special about a Rolls-Royce? Here are just a few of its luxuries:

  • hidden Rolls-Royce umbrella in each door
  • deep, lambs wool rugs under your feet
  • the seats have increased quantity of stitching that improves the rigidity and support for your back
  • heating in all seats comes standard
  • each veneer comes from a single tree to create seamless flow of wood
  • a cool box in the rear compartment with champagne flutes

Oh, how romantic it would be to ride to and from your wedding in a Rolls-Royce. Some how the fairy tale princess dress just seems to belong in a luxury car.

Wouldn’t it make your date feel like a queen if you picked her up  in a Rolls-Royce?

How would you plan your romantic evening in a Rolls-Royce?

Sources: http://www.rolls-roycemotorcars.com, wikipedia.org, gohongkong.about.com, http://www.motortrend.com, http://www.whychristmas.com/cultures/hongkong.shtml

Hong Kong Treasure: A deadly Philippines typhoon stole Annie’s memory. Now, can a handsome Chinese stranger save her from the danger she has forgotten?            Coming in 2014!