What happened to "housecat"?

Dear fellow Forumosans,
I have been following this Forum since 2003, all the years I had a different account - I got lost over the years, and signed in with a new account 2018 just to follow the news.
All the years passed by, in most widely discussed topics one member - “housecat” had always a good advice to share.
This stopped 2022 when she announced, that she is suffering from a health crisis.

Does anybody know if housecat is still in this forum?


Last I heard she’s still fighting through it. Let’s see about being here. What’s up @housecat?


I see her on Facebook fairly frequently. She’s had some major challenges. She’s in the southern US. Her son is now all grown up and sounds like a great guy.


That is good to hear! I feared the worst. Ironlady, you are also one of the members from early on. Great to hear from you, too!


Hi, ZenDog, please PM and let me know who you used to be.

I’m not here often at all, sorry, but when I log in and find that people have been missing me/worried about me it really does my heart good!

In mid '21 I was diagnosed with cancer. I’ve been through a lot. I just this month have celebrated being in remission for two years!! I am thrilled and thirsty for life like you can’t imagine.

I’m also still weak and have many new problems that come as side effects of the treatments, so it feels like I may never be strong again, of body. And I also will have to have at least one more abdominal surgery. But, slowly, I’m working and trying, and getting better in moments and memories, one at a time. My heart, as always, is in Taiwan and I hope to be there again one day in the near-ish future.

But one obstacle may be my son, who should be done with undergrad school in two semesters, or one year. I understand that because of China tensions, and the rest of the world on fire, military service is compulsory again now?

Can someone please give me a more authoritative update on this? He wants to return, at least for a visit, in a year if nothing changes. He does plan to go on to do a PhD study somewhere. We think Taiwan might not offer a program he’d like, but we do want to look into it because he wants to be there. Otherwise, we might not be back until he has that Phd. (He is studying microbiology with an aim towards doing research on fighting cancer.(This was still his goal before I was ill.)), Oh, and he turns 21 next month.

Thanks again, 'Mosa friends. And thanks for the good information I know I’m about to get.


I am far from a specialist on the military service part, but the change is not from optional to compulsory; it’s a return to one year of service which had been hacked down to a few months during the Ma presidency. Here are the basic conditions:

After a comprehensive two-year assessment and review, and in consideration of personnel requirements under this new strategic framework, we have decided that, beginning in 2024, a one-year term of mandatory military service will be reinstated for eligible males born on or after January 1, 2005.

Source: President Tsai announces military force realignment plan.

In any case, it is awesome to know that are you hanging in there and remain “thrilled and thirsty for life”—that news is simply the best!



They are taking the military back to 1 year instead of 4 months of training. It’s been a long time since I served and a lot has changed, but rest assured, nobody in the military wants to die in DPP’s war, so if push comes to shove, they’ll do whatever it takes to stop military action from even happening (as bad as that sounds). I think in real terms the air force and the navy decides the war, and if they lose, then the military will just capitulate. The amount of “training” I got in the army tells me that. They don’t expect us to put up much of a fight. I’m told navy, air force (as in ones that actually fights, not just people sweeping rocks off runways or maintain aircraft), and marine training is quite a bit tougher, like as tough as US military.

I lost my mom to cancer because she decided to go with alternative therapy or whatever. Good you stuck with tried and true therapy even if it sucks.

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Stop saying this. This is victim blaming.


Its also way off topic and belongs in politics if thats where you want to discuss it.

Good to hear from you @housecat I dont think people can appreciate how hard it is to deal with cancer if they haven’t had to go through something like that themselves. Its great to hear yours is in remission and Ill be keeping my fingers crossed it stays that way for many years and decades to come.


Glad to hear you’re doing well despite those massive spanners being thrown in the works, @housecat.

I’m not sure this counts as “advice”, but I wouldn’t let the military-service thing put you off. We have a few military types in my family and they’ve all been better off for having served. It was a positive experience for them, although it didn’t feel like it at the time. I firmly believe that most young men would benefit from a stint of military training - if it is done properly - and I think it’s a pity most countries don’t make it more appealing.

Of course, Taiwan is not renowned for doing it properly. As @Taiwan_Luthiers said, military service here is a bit of a joke and I can understand why people want to avoid it, but your son is still likely to learn some new skills, perhaps find some lifelong friends, and certainly give him a sense of perspective outside an academic career track. He might even enjoy it. The fact that it is now a year suggests that they might make some half-arsed attempt to structure the whole thing better, rather than just going through the motions. TL;DR if you have other compelling reasons for coming back here - and your son wants to come back here too - you might want to just hold your nose and do it.


I hated every minute of military but there was one time I thought of reenlisting (you can reenlist anytime you’re in the military before your time runs out, much easier than enlisting from the outside) because they paid very well, and your expense is minimal in the military. My dad was against it, I think enlisting is a different kettle of fish and he knew I wouldn’t do well.

I believe they’re going to start paying conscripts like 20k a month which isn’t bad. When you go to basic they will take you to the post office on base and you’ll open an account, all government pay goes there.

When I finished my time I threw the uniform all over the barrack. I don’t get to keep them anyways.

Also (I do not know if this changed), government workers do not pay tax and nhi is free while you’re in the army.

Thank you. I’d A few years back I lost a beautiful friend to breast cancer. She was young, had just given birth to her first child, and couldn’t think of putting her body through so much. It does seem very counter to sense to just sit and allow someone to fill you full of poison. But I watched her die that way so I was more clear about what treatments I was willing to undergo. Through her death, she helped save my life.

And I am so heartbroken to hear of your loss.

A heart felt conversation here is priceless.

Continue please.

My mom took chemo and lost hair, and I guess she’s sick of it and at the time I was 17 and didn’t know that much about cancer treatments (that was 1999 when going on the internet meant a second phone line). She found this Chinese doctor who convinced her that he could save her with acupuncture. Well that didn’t work. One day she went to the emergency room, discharged with an oxygen tank, and then a week later went to the ER again and went into icu for a month before she died.

Chemo sucks but they’ve been proven to work… Just ask Steve jobs… (He showed that alternative treatment don’t work).

I don’t know if my dad sued him for malpractice, he absolutely should.

If they’re proven to work they’d be called medicine, not alternative treatment.