Monthly Archives: December 2006

Clannies monthly stats (Dec 06)

In accordance with Tracking – TNRM Reimbursement from CWS:

  No. Remarks
Total number of cats 25
  • 6 in Area 3: Marty, Hannah, Martin, Macy, Marcus, Mary
  • 9 in Area 2: Sasha, Satin, Benji, Buddy, Buffy, Benny, Sally, Bella, Omii
  • 10 in Area 1: Ian, Baby, Chica, Salvi (free-ranging pet cats), Ivan, Cara, Cassie, Cally, new ginger-tom, Isam
Total sterilised 17
  • 6 in Area 3: Marty, Hannah, Martin, Macy, Marcus, Mary
  • 3 in Area 2: Sasha, Satin, Sally
  • 8 in Area 1: Ian, Baby, Chica, Salvi, Ivan, Cara, Cassie, Cally
Newly sterilised this month 0 -
Still unsterilised 8
  • 6 in Area 2: 3 females – Buffy, Bella, Omi; 3 males – Benji, Benny, Buddy (either free-ranging pet cat or abandoned)
  • 2 in Area 2: 11 male, large ginger tom, Isam
Newly abandoned this month 2
  • 2 in Area 1: 1 male – Isam, 1 female – Chrissy
Newly killed or missing this month 1
  • 1 in Area 1: 1 female – Chrissy (removed into foster-care for liver failure)
Number of complaints this month 0 -

REALITY CHECK

What does it take to mother/father a non-human, specifically what does it mean to be a cat parent?

Yes, cats are easier to care for than dogs, in that they don’t need to be walked and you won’t need to pick up poo after them. But then, that can also be said of other animals – hamsters, rabbits, fish, birds (but please try to avoid keeping birds – it is cruel to keep these beautiful creatures meant to fly the skies cooped up in tiny prisons all their lives, the equivalent of you living in a broom cupboard).

As with all animals, cats do make great pets if you take the time to learn about them.

So whatever animal parent you choose to become, you must first understand that life will never be the same again, and not only in the good ways.

Having pets, (we rather call them companion animals) and being a pet owner (we rather prefer the term companion animal guardian), is very similar to having kids and being parents. The only difference is, your non-human child will never fly the coop, he/she will depend on you for everything for the rest of his/her life.

Yes, there is love, fun and joy in having pets. But there is also frustration, sadness, and stress. There is also responsibility and obligation. Just like having kids.

There is love because of affection between you and your non-human child. There is fun and joy as you watch and appreciate the enjoyment your non-human child takes in playtime, in amusing himself or amusing you. Sometimes it’s just the way you enjoy each other’s company.

There is frustration because your non-human child won’t grow up and learn to talk in the same language you do, unlike kids. Smashed ornaments, scratched furniture, stolen food, destroyed newspapers, inter-sibling rivalry (if you have more than one), these are just some of things you would have to contend with. You can’t discipline them the same way you do kids. And there are some things you just can’t blame them for, because it’s tied to what they are, their nature.

There is sadness and stress, when your non-human child falls sick and you need to juggle vet bills, medication duties and nursing shifts. There is also sadness and stress from society. Friends and family may not understand why you choose to have non-human kids, and they even have unpleasant opinions on how your non-human kids look.

In Singapore, the general public is neutral but a minority, either through ignorance or bigotism, are anti-non-human. There are people who complain at the slightest provocation. The ‘elite’ among these will go to the ends of the earth just to see your non-human babies ‘removed’. This is a latent threat for cat parents living in HDB flats because of the HDB’s exclusive ban on cats.

Outside of the home environment are other issues, for example, taxis that refuse passengers with dogs or cat carriers. There are some that will suggest you put your non-human child in the boot!

There is responsibility and obligation. You are responsible for providing for your non-human child. Even if you don’t eat, you can’t deny your non-human child food and care. You are obliged to ensure your non-human child has a clean, pleasant and safe home to live in – this includes poop-shovelling duty and may extend to safe-proofing windows.

Adoption, whether of a human child or otherwise, must never be a spur-of-moment decision. It is a weighty issue. But if you are able to accept that it is not just fun and games, and do not treat your non-human child as a toy, or burden, then you are taking the first step with the right mindset. Despite all the seemingly heavy points highlighted, having a non-human child or two in your life can be a very enriching experience. By all accounts, it is also beneficial to your health.

Now you need to find out:

  • Which non-human child would suit you and your lifestyle- cat, dog, fish, hamster, rabbit?
  • Learn about them : needs, behaviour, physiology and quirks (for cats, click here)
  • Talk to people who have experience
  • Ask yourself if you are prepared for the whole package, not just the goodies

Remy the one-eyed boy

(Edit: Vegancat started a discussion about Remy on STOMP, on 1 Jan 07)

REMY
adopt_remyx

Remy was found abandoned outside a food-court with a tipped ear, badly crusted eyes and severe diahrrea. The vet found the sharp tip of a toothpick in his empty right eye socket, and deduced the missing eye was long gone. He was also found to have a very badly burnt tongue, probably from trying to eat very hot food people at the foodcourt threw to him. Estimated to be 5-7 yrs old, the vet confirmed he is sterilized. He is a very gentle male with a very soft voice. He enjoys attention and will politely bat your hand for more if you stop stroking him. He is fully recovered, and safe in a foster home, awaiting a loving permanent home. In addition to the grooming needs of a long-haired cat, his eyes will need to be cleaned once a day, everyday, to help rid him of the crust that accumulates. Sterilized, litter-trained, vaccinated, suitable for single/multi-cat family. Free to a caring, responsible, good home only.

(Adoption notice on 22 May 05)

HIS STORY
Sometime in September 2004, our mum told us she spotted from a distance, a pair of long-haired cats wandering in the neighbourhood marketplace. One was an adult, the other was a kitten. The kitten was earnestly following the adult and they were walking away.

Before she could catch up for a closer look, she saw a woman approach the pair, and scoop up the kitten and left. The adult then disappeared around a corner. Our mum couldn’t find the cat by the time she got around that same corner. It was a workday, either Monday or Tuesday.

Now, it is common knowledge that our DSH are well, DSH, and long-haired cats don’t hang out by themselves on the streets. So since that day, she tried to find the long-haired cat – she would go to the marketplace earlier and walk around a few times. But no luck. We also tried when we got home from work. The cat eluded us, or someone, nice or with a penchant for “breed” cats, picked him up.

On that Sunday, btmao and I went to the market for our breakfast without our mum – we were going to visit Foster Mum’s early. After breakfast, as we were leaving the marketplace, I don’t know why but I happened to turn around for a look past the side of the marketplace building, which I’ve not done before – obscured by trees as it were, and there it was: the long-haired cat!

We called to it, and it came up to us very calmly. It had very crusty eyes, but the fur coat looked to be in ok condition. I stroked it and ran my fingers along its flanks. The fur left dust on our fingers.

The cat looked scrawny as hell, but felt worse than Corrie’s initial condition – if not for its furry coat, I think we’d be shocked at the emaciation.

Despite the condition he was in, he was extremely trusting and friendly. He was purring his heart out as I touched him.

Interestingly, he also had a tipped ear.

btmao and I debated for a bit, and then we called Foster Mum, and asked if she could could foster the cat while we look for a home for it. Thankfully, she said ok.

Then, I watched over the cat as btmao went home for the carrier. I checked it more closely while entertaining it.

The fur did not return immediately when I lifted a flap up – dehydration for sure. The right eye was nearly closed because of the goop and sight in the left eye was at least 50% obscured. It’s a wonder it could see at all. The crust was so bad I couldn’t even make out its eye colour. I had a bad feeling about its eyes, especially the right one. I hoped it was ok.

Since it was friendly, I flipped the tail, and parted the furry bloomers for a look – a boy! This guy had a genteel, stately vibe to him, despite his condition. Even his voice is very soft and gentle. A name was starting to surface.

At this time, he crossed the same slip road and assumed poop position. He strained very badly but nothing was coming out. I was concerned to see orangy, pink tissue showing out of his ass – he’s got prolapsed rectum syndrome.

Then to my further horror, the boy squirted out runny light yellow-brown stuff. Poor thing. He must be suffering very badly from the change in diet he would have been enduring.

By the time btmao came back with the carrier, a Chinese uncle on a bicycle had stopped by to observe the proceedings. He’s seen the boy around the week past, but did not know anything else.

The boy did not protest but struggled a little bit as we put him into the carrier. He weighed practically nothing.

In Foster Care
remy3x
Remy, a week into foster care. His condition then was a lot worse than this picture suggests.

At Foster Mum’s, he continued to demonstrate he’s the sweetest thing ever. She cleaned out his eyes, and it was then that we knew for sure – his right eye was missing, there’s only an empty socket where his eye should be. His left eye seemed fine.

Foster Mum then bathed him – he did not struggle or protest at all!

We agreed that he’s probably malnutritioned and needed to be watched over until his diarrhea cleared up – hopefully his prolapsed rectum was due to runs and nothing more serious. Foster Mum would also send him to the vet for an examination, because his crusty eyes may be a sign of other illnesses.

remy4x
But the boy looked happy to be in a home environment; he was accepting of the change in his environment and seemed to settle down immediately – unlike most cats. Even newly abandoned pets freaks out at the initial stage of being moved into foster care, though it is a more familiar environment than the cold hard streets.

On the way to Foster Mum’s, we settled on a name. Remy seemed a good name for him. So Remy he became.

Remy was a hungry boy, he ate like a mowing machine, and cleaned up everything given to him. But at times, it seemed something was bothering him and he would slow down for a while.

Still, he wasn’t given all that he wanted to eat. With his diarrhea, his food intake has to be very controlled to avoid aggravating his problem further.

It would take time, but we would get to fulfilling his full intake eventually.

What Did He Go Through?
A few days later, Foster Mum accompanied him to the vet. The diagnosis:

  • Severe diarrhea and dehydration
    But of course. This helped confirm our suspicion that Remy was an abandoned home cat. Sudden diet changes tend to upset home cats, and given what was available to Remy, it was a wonder he was still alive after all that diarrhea. The dehydration was as result of the diarrhea.
  • Prolapsed rectum – probably, hopefully, due to the diarrhea
  • Chronic eye discharge which will constantly cause his eyes to be crusty
    No wonder he was all goopy-eyed
  • 100% burnt tongue
    This amazed us all given how he was able to eat normally. This boy is really stoic. He probably got his tongue burnt from trying to eat things like hot fishballs patrons at the marketplace eateries threw at him. Poor thing. Or perhaps it was an deliberate act of cruelty? Because the reflex reaction to having something too hot is to spit it out – and so it is very unlikely to cook a tongue so completely just by popping something too hot into the mouth.
  • Right eye missing, but something’s in the socket
    The vet fished out a part of a toothpick, the sharp end of one to be precise. His eye was judged to be long gone. But how long had that toothpick head been in there? How had it got in there? We were even more amazed at this boy’s stoicism. It must have irritated if not hurt him when Foster Mum cleaned his eyes every evening, but he never struggled or protested.
  • Age: at least 5-7 years old, optimistically
    Another reason for abandonment?

Remy was given a tongue salve, medication for his diarrhea, supplements for his malnutrition, and eye-drops.

Foster Mum slowly nursed him back to health, and his prolapsed rectum syndrome dissipated. Every evening, without fail she would wash his eyes and help clear the crust. Not a day was skipped because it would build up phenemonally every day.

In early 2005, around February/March, Foster Mum sent Remy for full bloodwork and physical. He was certified fully healthy. We were relieved at the results.

Remy was a quiet boy, and he never picked quarrels with anyone. In fact, he’d studiously stay out of trouble. He did seemed a bit clumsy and would fall off shelves because he misjudge the distance to jump. His missing eye was definitely a problem for him.

At first he was also very adamant about doing his business outside of the litterbox. We got a bit crazy over it because it’d be tough to rehome him if he did not become civilised.

Later he did get over it and learnt to use the litterbox as all good boys should.

remy12x

Then we found another issue. Remy had curly fur – you heard that right. And so his fur gets matted very easily. He needed regular trims, otherwise skin problems may result from the matting.

Through it all, Remy remained the stoic boy. He’d respond when called and purred his heart out even before he got the scritches he was hoping for.

He was also scrawny, but continued to eat like a machine. It was only sometime in March that he started padding up and looking more like a cat given full square meals on the dot.

Quest for a home
We felt it time to start his adoption run. There were a number of things against our pinning hopes on his getting a home -

  • His looks were against him. His right eye was missing, but his eye socket and eyelid were still there, and with nothing to prop up the eyelid. It can look a bit disconcerting to see his almost closed eyelid and a bit of the pink flesh of the socket in the area where his eyelid didn’t cover. To some who hold great store by aesthetics, he was an ugly-looking brute
  • His age
  • His coat – he definitely needed regular and attentive grooming
  • His appetite – he’s a voracious eater

remy1x

So we began his adoption run in May. As we expected, there was nary a pip of interest in him. But look at him – is he any less of a cat because he’s one eye short?

remyx

We didn’t think so. Patience was what we needed.

remy10x

Then it happened, the first enquiry ever. Sometime in July, someone wrote in through the CWS adoption board, indicating an interest in giving the old boy a home!

remy9x
Laying it down

It was difficult to contain our excitement, but we had to be sure the potential adopter understood the care Remy needed. We were also nervous because we were very new to the adoption process.

Before the visit, I had a long chat with S, the lady adopter. She and her husband, G, already had 4 cats – adopted and rescued, and they were ready to add a fifth, with the caveat that the new addition is able to fit in with the residents. They had also decided to take in a cat that did not have a high chance getting a home, a handicapped cat for example.

Why Remy? He was on the CWS adoption board for quite a while and he’s handicapped. Plus, they were the first to enquire about him after 2 months – he’s definitely got only a teeny chance for adoption.

The old boy certainly fit their requirements too, he’s the sweetest thing in the cattery, so much so Foster Mum has a special soft spot for him.

We arranged a visit, and the couple brought along their son and their helper. While the family sized Remy up, Remy was happy to give over and accept all the head rubs and chin tickles he could get. We were also happy to know S and G also does TNRM.

We ended the visit with S and G saying they’ll take Remy!

remy11x
Happy boy

But they had just moved into their new place, and needed some time to get ready before they can bring him back.

No problem! We could hold him for them!

remy8x
I’ll drink to that!

When we told Foster Mum, she broke down and cried, with happiness for Remy and with sadness that he was leaving. But there was still time for her to say her goodbyes.

At last the day came for Remy to go home. It was a Friday evening, a bit out-of-schedule for us, but we wanted to be there to send Remy off. Foster Mum had prepped him – bathed, nail-clipped and frontlined. But she wasn’t for sending Remy off – too much crying would result she said, so after she had kissed him farewell, Foster Mum left her home, and said she would return much later, after Remy’s on the way to his new home.

remy2x

Remy was ready to go, and in fact walked into the open carrier without any prompting or prodding.

S and G gave us a lift home. Just like the first time we travelled with him, Remy just sat calmly in his carrier and watched. No protest, no struggle. We’ve never seen a cat take to being in a carrier so peaceably.

Terror in the House?
It seemed a great place to end the part of Remy’s story we know, but well, it wasn’t to be.

Remy started life in his new home in a room – to ease the introduction process for every cat.

By month’s end, he had settled down, but not in. At this time, S was cat-sitting for a friend. The guests were housed in Remy’s old room. Of all things, the silly boy took to stalking the door: territorial behaviour. What a change from the non-confrontational policy he lived by in the cattery.

On hindsight, it was  instinctive, and indicated that he’s established himself. So it was a good sign, of sorts.

That door-stalking was a first but not the last of a long list of antics that we would not associate with the Remy we knew in the cattery:

  • he picked up his old habit and took to pooping everywhere but the litterbox
  • he made an enemy in the resident alpha cat
  • he was forever in the kitchen, stealing food, getting in the way and and making a mess. Even plain spaghetti was not safe from him
  • he lived in the kitchen and did not mingle with the other cats
  • thievery
    • S once cooked a bowl of noodles with a cob of corn for G, but he did not see it in his bowl. It was a mystery. Remy was quiet and refused dinner that evening and the next day’s breakfast – an unheard of event in gluttonous Remy’s short history. But by evening, he gave up the corn cob and solved the mystery for S.
    • S lost a whole slab of meat… yup, Remy stole it.

remy7x
Is this the face of a monster?

S and G had a really trying time with Remy, and we were braced for his return. They also seemed to have problems bonding with him. But who could blame them? Remy’s not helping the situation with his behaviour, especially his insistence on living in the kitchen and being uninterested in everything but food and food stealing.

Frankly, it was also a bit embarrassing to us that he’s acting like it was Dr Remy Jekyll in the cattery and Mr Remy Hyde in his new home. We should have checked for potion stashes in his luggage before allowing him to leave.

But now, 15 months since his adoption, Remy seemed to have mellowed out, to everybody’s relief.

S appreciates his affection. He’s no longer pooping everywhere, he’s no longer staking out the kitchen, he doesn’t steal food (quite as much), he’s found his place in the kitty hierarchy, he’s affectionate and purry and he’s back to being the sweetest and most stoic cat we know.

How do we know? S said so herself. He’s now latched onto her as Mum, and follows her around the house sometimes. She trims his fur herself because he needs such regular care that it’s too costly to send him for grooming. And she gives him a buzz-cut every time – his curly fur mats too easily otherwise. He would sit or lie quietly while Mummy Barber’s at work. At times, she would trim too close and nick him, and all he would do is let out a little yelp and continued as he was, purring and trusting to Mum.

S told us about the home-grooming and apologised that it’s not the greatest fashion statement in the world, but to her it was more important that he was comfortable and his fur kept mat-free. We wholeheartedly agreed. Looking good is only superficial, and Remy doesn’t need the approval of others on his looks, all he needed was the love of his mum and dad.

How to rationalise the angel and the hellraiser? We think he just needed to get it out of his system. He may be stoic and the easiest-going cat in the world, but it must have been frustrating and scary to be abandoned, abused, suffered on the streets, get some stability in his life in foster care, and then to adapt to another totally different environment. And in the process he’s lost his eye, and was clumsy, and no longer sharp and sure of his landings. For a cat that must be very frightful indeed, what more a cat his age.

It just took him quite a bit longer than usual to work it out all. Thankfully, his parents were patient and understanding, though they did not, understandably, appreciate some of the monkeying he got up to.

Remy’s safe now, and he’s among family. The next time we visit, we shall try to take his pics and pics of his housemates too. (UPDATE: Phots from 16 Sep 07 visit here)

(Edit: Vegancat started a discussion about Remy on STOMP, on 1 Jan 07)

Won’t you see past my frightful face?

Cat mentioned how one of the community cats she cares for, Tua Tao (hokkien, literally big head) looks “ugly” to people, because of his skin problems and his wounds.

I know I have only mentioned in passing other cats in my area and focussed my attention on Tua Tao & the kittens. Xiao Hei & Ah Hua are very popular cats. Everyone dotes both of them. Elusive cats like Ah Wang comes & goes.

The kittens are growing up & out of their cuteness. The neighbours are starting to see them as another black cat & an ugly face tortoiseshell. Tua Tao is worse. Everyone finds him dirty, ugly & fierce. He is an outcaste, shooed away by everyone.

Just last week, a colleague was chatting with me on the phone & the cats came up. She made a remark that made me cringed. “I just realised Sesame has a mid-length tail. That spoils the whole ‘look’. A black cat should have a perfect long tail. And I can’t stand Tua Tao. He is so ugly & dirty. I don’t understand why you would go through all these trouble for such a cat. He won’t even let you touch him!”

Coincidentally, we had also just heard from Remy‘s mother. She was upset that her friends who visit refuse to even look at him even though he’s the most affectionate and friendly cat among her brood, and they go chasing after her other cats, who wouldn’t want anything to do with them. Why? Simply because he’s only got one eye!

remy1x

Emotional Blackmail – favoured weapon of the lazy and cowardly

Yesterday, I received an email appealing for help to adopt a kitten that was about to be sent to the SPCA aka get killed. The gist of the email:

Mrs A, a feeder from my area, rescued a black kitten sometime back. She just informed me that she is sending the kitten to SPCA in at noon later. 27 Dec (12.30-1pm). Her friend will be coming to pick it up. I tried to discourage her but she still prefers to carry on to send to SPCA.

 

As we all know, the chances the kitten will be put to sleep is high given SPCA is already filled with animals, especially those given up during this festive season.

 

Given such a short notice, if you have friends who can adopt, foster or pay for cattery stay. Maybe can contact Mrs A directly by 12noon today at (xxxxxxxx) before the kitten is taken away. Thanks.

Today I see on Dawn’s blog, this post which I have no doubt refers to the same woman and the same cat (italics mine for easy reference, bold mine for emphasis):

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Asking early

One of the town councils wrote the day before Christmas Eve to say that a complainant had called them to say a cat had been going up and defecating for a while, and that this being the festive season she wanted to know what to do. I wrote back to the TC and said that while our volunteers were more than willing to help, they too wanted to have time to celebrate the festive season too. I said I would contact the complainant and the volunteer right after Christmas (which I did). The volunteer went down yesterday and could not find the cat complained of, nor did the people in the area see it the last few days. The officer wrote to say that the complainant (who told me someone is feeding the cats upstairs) said that she wanted the problem solved immediately.

Here’s the thing I don’t understand. I CAN understand people being frustrated. I can understand people wanting their houses to be nice and clean, especially during festive seasons, but why do they have to wait till the last possible moment to ask for help? Do volunteers not have a right to celebrate the festive season too? Since this is something that had been happening for a time, she surely could have come forward earlier. In addition, there would be a much better chance of solving the problem BY Christmas.

Our adoption volunteer also got a call two days ago. She was rather upset. A woman contacted her and said she had to get rid of a cat that she had picked up by noon the next day. The volunteer suggested several options to her – she would try her best to find a foster but needed more time (especially since it is the festive season and many people are away), boarding, holding the cat for a longer period, etc. The woman said that she was old and had asthma. She said she had asked around and none of the other volunteers in her area wanted to help her. Now the thing is, it turns out that she had the cat for a MONTH. In the first place, the adoption volunteer told me she asked the woman why she had picked the cat up. If you pick a cat up, you have to be prepared to hold it – not some other volunteer, not someone you know – YOU!

In addition, if she had taken active steps to get the cat adopted out, put up posters, sent in an adoption notice, etc, there would have been a better chance of getting it adopted out. Sitting and waiting for a month and asking friends to take the cat is not the most active way of adopting a cat out. If she had acted earlier, the cat would have a better chance of being adopted. The volunteer told her that in essence she would be sending the cat down to be killed. The woman told her apparently that she wasn’t doing the sending – she had someone else to do it for her.

posted by Dawn @ 11:46 AM

I’ve previously ranted about emotional blackmailing, so chalk this up to another symptomatic display. The woman seem to think she’s absolved of responsibility just because “she had someone else to do it for her”. Good karma feeding we’re familiar with, so now there’s good karma rescue.

In the comments for this blog entry of Dawn’s, someone mentioned the kitty is being cared for by someone else now. This is Dawn’s response to that, which I totally agree with:

One thing that does disturb me about these cases is that usually someone will feel bad and take the cat which is obviously good for the cat – but reinforces the person’s behaviour. In addition, there are lots of good fosters and volunteers who are equally in desperate situations, but are holding onto the cats anyway. In a sense, because they don’t complain/threaten, they don’t get their cats adopted out as quickly.

5:34 PM

Time and again, emotional blackmailers pop up, hoping to scare and coerce others to take over their problems, just like I described in my rant. I am tired of these people, they are almost as low as pet abandoners in my book, and just as bad as good karma feeders.

Yup, we got another biggie X’mas prezzie

This afternoon, Foster Mum visited Chrissy at the vet as promised.

The kitty’s prognosis? She’s slightly anemic, and she has liver problems.

Like last year, when Abby was our Christmas present, Chrissy’s problems seem to start with having irresponsible owners.

Anyway, she will stay at the vet’s for now. Later, she may be moved to Foster Mum’s, depending on her needs and whether Foster Mum is able to add another one to her brood of needy cats, which already includes about 10 advanced FiV kitties, two crippled cats (one of them being Debbie), 1 liver failure abused old girl called ViVi, a young, maturing half-blind male called Blessing who can’t be sterilised (his litter-mate died from the anesthesia during pre-op), Karma, a young female tortie kitten who’s deaf, mute and is has slight physical deformities, other abused cats and kittens (among them Shadow) … and so on. This is on top of the healthy cats looking for homes, so you can appreciate why we try not to bring in new cats, Foster Mum and her two helpers have their hands FULL, every single day.

Please keep your fingers crossed for Chrissy’s good health and Foster Mum’s availability.

Just when we thought we could have a breather for a bit, with our fostered/for adoption cats down to 4 (Corrie, Angel, Frankie, and of course, dear Cassie who’s not in foster care). A cat minion’s job is not to anticipate, but to react. But we’re lucky in that we can still ask Foster Mum for help. How many cat minions out there have such luxury?

(Edit: listing of kitties mentioned – they’ve been blogged over two days on 1 and 2 Jan)

Cat complainants have privileges over dirty HDB estate complainants?

This is an interesting post on the Singapore Community Cats (SCC) blog:

25 December, 2006

“Tam-pines” is sooo…dirty

Filed under: community news — vegancatsg @ 3:11 pm

A Singaporean who was away for about 10 yeas in the land of the long white clouds or more recently and popularly known as the land of the lords of the ring, has been giving a hard time to his Town Council with feedback of how dirty his estate has become.

Papers on property rental and sales are glue-stuck onto letter boxes, within the lift, on the electricty meter outside his flat.

The daily mess of flyers at the base of the letter boxes (as the post-lady opens the common back cover of the letter boxes, some of the flyers in the boxes fall off).

Daily mess of discarded items at the lift lobbies.

He was asked for his particulars such as name, address and telephone number (if so, why were anonymous complaints about cats entertained? or is this a new policy?)

The officer said he was aware of the problems. When asked what he was going to do about it, there was silence. (Why were volunteers given short notices to resolve complaints about cats?)

I told him that Tampines has earned a reputation of being No. 1 “hitler” to cats and crows. He said, “What rubbish! The cause is human….totally human….”

I said, “Welcome home. Sama-sama (Same-same) dirty in every estate lah. In fact the whole island is a huge garbage dump!”

A complaint against cats leads to all and sundry in the vicinity being rounded up and K.I.L.L.E.D at the AVA. The least that the officers in charge could do is to follow-up and check if the massacre made a difference in the situation.

Right?

WRONG!

Cat complainants are allowed the privilege of anonymity, so how to check? And anyway, removing cats only creates the vacuum effect and leaves an opening for new cats to move in. Soon, another complaint comes in, and the cycle repeats. Does it make sense to allow anonymity in this case? Does it even make sense to just jump, and round up every cat in the vicinity because of 1 complaint? The vacuum effect is a topic that anyone interested in containing the homeless cat population MUST know. The Why Feral Eradication Won’t Work article on the Feral Cat Coalition site is a great reference.

My comment to the SCC post, and I do ask that if you are thinking of complaining about the state of your HDB estate to your town council, do try it out, and put a comment here about the results:

Is it a new policy? Maybe, maybe not. Could your friend help do an experiment? When he next complains and is asked for his particulars, ask him to decline and see what happens.

It’d be interesting to know if the officer will still accept his complaint. If his complaint is refused because he don’t want to disclose his particulars, he can make noise by asking why cat complainants are able to retain anonymity. The outcome will be even more interesting.