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November 8, 2009

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Former stray finds a loving home

Daidai, a six-month-old tabby cat with beautiful colors and markings, has large ears and a small head. Just like other kittens, Daidai is active, energetic and curious about everything. He likes to play and is also very friendly with people. For this young cat, the memory of life on the streets as a stray has faded since his adoption.

In a top-grade community in Pudong New Area, I meet Daidai and his new family, the Powers - Kimbra, her husband Simon and their two beautiful daughters, eight-year-old Hannah, and Mimi, who is almost three years old.

Walking through a Western-style hallway, I am welcomed by Kimbra in a Chinese-decorated living room under the curious watch of Daidai and a cute little Chinese girl with a bob haircut.

Kimbra tells me the little girl is Mimi, their adopted daughter.

Kimbra and her husband, both from Australia, moved to Shanghai with their daughter Hannah in 2005 due to a work opportunity. Now they are both teachers at Shanghai American School.

In 2006, they applied to adopt a child here. After waiting for 14 months, Mimi joined their family. "She's worth the wait," Kimbra says.

And Daidai joined the crew in August.

"He seemed to be about three months old at that time and he still had his milk teeth," Kimbra says.

"I was surprised by how big he was for I had thought he would be smaller. Daidai seemed pretty calm when we met him and was quiet in the taxi just taking everything in and cuddling on Hannah's lap. Once he got home, he sniffed around the house and started playing with things on the very first day. He also used the kitty litter tray so there was no need for toilet training, which Simon and our ayi were very happy about."

Favorite toys

Daidai gets along well with his new family. Sometimes he sleeps lazily on the large cozy sofa, sometimes he cruises around the house and sometimes he plays with Mimi and Hannah.

And you can see Daidai's toys scattered everywhere in the living room.

Hannah and Mimi enjoy posing for the camera, as does Daidai. He stares at the lens, trying to figure out what it is and why it is always emitting flashes of light. If he gets a chance to hold the lens, he does not let go without a fight.

Daidai is curious about everything. Kimbra says that nothing can be left on the floor as Daidai will immediately take it as his own and play with it.

"Pen and thread are his favorites, once he gets it, he can play with it the whole night," Kimbra says. "Daidai likes me the best and if I walk around the house, he will follow me and jump up and down."

Kimbra says that in Australia, most people grow up with either a pet cat or dog. Fish and birds are also common pets.

"Some may even have a horse if they live in the countryside," she says.

"I think it is a great thing for children to grow up with a pet. It teaches them to be compassionate, gentle and responsible.

"We adopted from someone reputable because we wanted to look after an animal that had had a rough start in life and needed some help.

"I feel sorry for stray animals and I think people should be more responsible when it comes to spaying and desexing their animal.

"A pet is for life, not for Christmas ... too many people go into pet ownership without thinking through what it really means. The first cat my family had when I was born lived for 19 years. That is no small commitment." Kimbra says.

It's not only Kimbra who loves Daidai. Hannah and Mimi also love their furry feline.

"I like Daidai, he likes to play piano, and you know, he loves reading too," Hannah says proudly, lifting Daidai onto the piano in hope he will demonstrate his little trick. Daidai has other ideas though and is clearly distracted by the camera.

"One night we had all gone to bed and were asleep. We were woken up by the sound of someone playing the piano," Kimbra says.

"We rushed out into the lounge and my daughter Hannah was there too, but it was not her playing the piano, it was Daidai!"

Though Mimi is not yet three years old, she can express her thoughts very clearly. Kimbra says her daughter has a gift for languages.

"She can understand Chinese and English and switch between the two languages very smoothly," Kimbra says.

Mimi likes to gently pet the cat, and when her mother asks: "Mimi, what are you doing?" She smiles and says: "I like him and I am petting him now."

Whether Daidai can play the piano or not is not so important compared to the love and happiness the kitten has brought to the Powers family.

For Daidai, it's a new start as well, one that gives him a comfortable life. SSAPA:

Under the supervision of Shanghai Association of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine (CAAV), Shanghai Small Animal Protection Association (SSAPA), is the only legal, non-profit pet organization in Shanghai, authorized by Shanghai Bureau of Civil Affairs and Shanghai Association for Science and Technology. It has found adoptee owners for more than 600 dogs. Age: four years old

Gender: male

Breed: Shih Tzu cross-breed

Color: light yellow, brown

Health: good You can imagine what this dog looks like when you hear his name - Afro. His fur is so fashionable that you may think he has been to the pet shop for a special cut. Afro was abandoned early in life and looked like a mop. In those days, the Shih Tzu cross-breed had to find food in the garbage and take shelter from the rain and cold wherever he could.

Afro was saved when crossing a street one day. When he saw the rescuer, he just looked up helplessly, as if saying "please help me." Afro has received much care and love since he was taken to the base. He is really lively and active and very friendly around people. If you like him, you must be aware of the responsibilities involved:

1: Keeping pets is a commitment that requires constant attention and care. In return for their devotion, owners are ensured of certain periods of happiness with their pets. But if you are not ready for the commitment, don't get involved.

2: Feeding should be regular and nutritious.

If you like Afro, contact us via or call 1362-1746-899 Diu Diu, posted recently on this page, is still waiting for a home. She has pretty good looks and is very attached to people. She is very friendly and likes to be held in people's arms, grateful for the comfort. If interested, contact us via the same e-mail address listed at left.


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