Tag Archives: homeless animals

Area1: Schwinger Central

The Snippety Happy bunch are back. They arrived shortly after 10pm this evening. All looked good, though wide-eyed from the trauma of their abduction and mojo-robbery.

Before their homecoming btmao and I went around the area, hoping to encounter the absentee kitty aka Rapunzel, who didn’t join the happy snippees on Monday. As luck, or probably the kitty deities, would have it, that kitty did appear. So V secured the lucky one before releasing the snippety bunch.

Four schwingers de-mojoed, and Rapunzel in the bag. But is it really over, for now at least? btmao say the new kitty in the hood seemed to be a different one from the schwingers rounded up.

More details, naming headaches and yes pictures to come.

Kitten in mrt station incident: Officious response

A follow-up to the kitten in Dohby Ghaut NEL station incident (or Bureaucracy, boxes, beer. Blech).

From the TODAY Voices section. At least the NEL spin doctors have the grace to acknowledge the mistakes on their part.

‘Proper procedure was not followed’

But there was no evidence that the cat had been hit
Letter from Tammy Tan, vice-president (Corporate Communications), SBS Transit
Updated 09:05 AM Oct 07, 2009

WE REFER to “MRT staff at Dhoby Ghaut ignored pleas; had no regard for animal welfare” by Ms Risa Okamoto Mardjuki (Today Online, Oct 4).

It is rare for animals to enter our stations, but when they do, our staff have been told to spare no effort in ensuring their safety whilst not compromising on the safety of our passengers.

The Standard Operating Procedure in such cases is for station staff to seek assistance from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals (SPCA) and to watch over the animal as the SPCA makes its way to our premises. This has been the way we have handled similar cases in the past when dogs strayed into our station.

Unfortunately, the proper procedure was not followed in this instance. Our station staff first erred by calling the pest control company instead of the SPCA.

An error of judgment was also made when the staff tried to lure the cat into a non-public passageway which is located behind the emergency door. The manner in which this was done was also wrong. Certainly a stick and a garbage bag should not have been used.

To make matters worse, the cat unexpectedly leapt up the wall into a small opening located just beside the emergency door and landed on the tracks instead.

Since the incident occurred on Oct 2, we have conducted several sweeps of our tracks and found no evidence that the cat had been hit by our trains.

We have also been trying to look for it in our tunnels to try and bring it back up to street level and to safety, but we have not been able to spot it. We will continue to keep a lookout for the cat, but we believe that it has since escaped and is now safe.

We wish to offer our sincerest apologies to Ms Mardjuki and all animal lovers for the way in which we have handled this situation. It was not our intention to bring harm to the cat.

We have since learnt from this episode and will be fine-tuning our procedures to ensure that stray animals are better dealt with in future. We will be seeking assistance from the SPCA and our staff will be trained on the proper ways to deal with such situations so that the animals’ welfare is not compromised and our passengers’ safety is assured.

The question of course, is do they walk the talk?

Bureaucracy, boxes, beer. Blech

Reading Dawn’s thoughts on the Cat on MRT tracks incident, one has got to wonder why Singapore bureaucracy has this tendency to stick around in the revolving door, and go with the flow to nowhere. Doesn’t it get motion sick at some point? Or rather, how long does the Singapore bureaucracy like to punish itself and those it affect before it does something and drag or throw itself out of it and perhaps give relief to the affected populace?

Dawn says:

“… the staff member may not have felt empowered to do this – or to face the consequences especially when the management may not already be very cat-friendly to begin with. I remember at least one case where I wrote in to offer our help because we were told that the unsterilised cats were usually rounded up and sent to the AVA if there were complaints or if they were found to be a ‘problem’.

So what needs to be done? Clearly what this episode shows is that there should be some manner of procedure or protocol devised so that staff members DO know what do in future. This would ensure that we don’t have to cross our fingers and hope that if this happens again, the staff member knows something about cats.”

It’s like the long long slate of mrt track “intrusions”. Only now are we getting platform screen doors for the doorless above-ground stations.

And consider the train service disruptions which jolt us out of our complacency every so often. The LTA says it takes a serious view of service disruption. But there’s been 92 instances of disruption over a 3 year period, and it’s always the same old same old in the bag of grievances when the letters of complaints flood the media. About how staff don’t seem to know about crowd control, traffic direction, or plain don’t know what they’re supposed to do. About alternatives which are non-existent or cause more “hardship” to the already inconvenienced commuters.

In place is a SOP which received a parliamentarian airing, so why are there still so many unhappy commuters who complain about the same things each time?

Do we dare hold out much hope that a SOP will be set in place to handle kitties in stations, or that it the SOP in place will actually be followed, or even applied correctly?

It’s also the same old same old in the bag of grievances us minions caregivers have about how we and the kitties living in Singapore’s streets are treated.

The powers that be keep relying on the same tired old excuses for keeping status quo.

Curiously, I keep thinking about the latest Tiger Beer ad making the TV rounds when I think about our situation.

Not that I’m stumping for the frothy or want some morose dousing, but it does demonstrate a life lesson (the ad, not the draught), which is saying quite something since beer ads never make much sense (though the Heineken ones I always found most palatable among the hordes).

The ad is no philosophical dissertation for sure. Two guys fighting over the last bottle in the bucket — can’t they just order more? – decided on arm-wrestling, and end up trying to one-up each other, morphing into bigger and stronger opponents which also happen to counter the other guy’s latest incarnation. The winner morphs into a blond hot chick and wins by shorting the circuits of his robotic rival.

No, there is no kitty involved but how cool that instead of being stiff-necked, conventional, and deadboxed into the one-track idea of bigger must be better, the winner takes stock of the situation (while in the very pleasing form of a buff Jungle Man who stares down Philly_Rheilly_20090927_005xsilverbacks), basically jumped out of the box and threw his then stronger-than-Jungle-Man robotic foe out of orbit with his twist on oneupsmanship. Imagine if he had been lazy and conformed with the flow, and morphed into something stronger than stronger-than-Jungle-Man-robot instead. Bore, broken record, tiresome, credibility depreciation. Vicious cycle.

Whenever I see the ad, I ask myself the million dollar question: why can’t the powers that be do the same when confronted with ideas, facts, or complaints about Singapore ’s cats? Have a tiger or whatever’s their poisons of choice, untie the knots they’re in and LOOK the issues in the eye rather than trotting out and nursing those so-old template responses that don’t do a thing except tighten the knots they’re in, and grind our noses in it. Vicious cycle, anyone?

Maybe this post should be titled “Saatchi & Saatchi for government” instead. [EDIT: Or maybe I don't want that actually, imagine legislation that decree ad-watching quotas on citizens... ]

Footnote
Remember: if you come across an SOS, whether from a fellow human or a little kitten, don’t just walk away. And drink responsibly.

World Animal Day Weekend – what it means for Singapore’s homeless cats

The first time I was aware something specific was mentioned about World Animal Day in Singapore’s media was 2 years ago:

(Google Anthony Lee Mui Yu, the writer of the second article, and you will get a list of letters written by this humanitarian on human-animal issues. A social worker, his compassion extends beyond people, as do many genuine humanitarians.)

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Mary: All I want is to be left alone to enjoy my food

Besides the educational channels on cable, Animal Planet and NatGeo Wild, which are running specials to commemorate this World Animal Weekend, nothing seems to stir for the global plight of the animals, much less the ones living among us on this little red dot.

2 years , 730 days later, and still not much has changed: we, humans, are still going at breakneck speed, in terms of habitat destruction, polluting our living environment, poisoning the fishes, birds and land animals, including ourselves. There are slivers of hope here and there but nothing can’t change anything.

Since us minions are kitty slaves, let us leave the biggies to others, and take stock of what World Animal Day 2009 means for the kitties living in Singapore by touring the Singapore blogosphere:

  • How do you recover from this?
    “Two old aunties rushed down to AVA after they found out that their cats were caught. A mother and her baby.” They were made to choose to save either the mother or the kitten. Read the comments – a reader wrote to AVA and incredibly, got a response that say it did not happen despite the lack of specifics even in the post itself. The clincher is that the response even states caregivers are never forced to make such a choice. Large pinches of salt to go with AVA officialspeak that doesn’t quite wash.
  • Utter Lack of Compassion by SMRT Staff of Dhoby Gaut station
    A young cat was trapped in the NEL in Dhoby Ghaut station during the morning rush hour on 2 Oct 2009, Friday. Only 1 person bothered to detach herself out of the bustling commuter traffic to help the kitten. From the management to the on-site station staff, especially Mr Francisco Dela, showed an appalling lack, not only of compassion, but of competence and ability in the matter. As of now, the fate of the frightened kitten, who managed to disappear onto the tracks thanks to the uncaring attitude and ineptitude of the NEL’s station and cleaning staff, remains unknown.
  • Peacocks on Sentosa
    Proven car paint destroyers and chassis markers, male peacocks, which were introduced onto Sentosa island to add to “the wildlife” are tolerated for their hormone-driven antics, and the car drivers who park where they strut know that the peacocks are only doing their thang. On mainland Singapore, community cats, who are homeless, or free-ranging pet cats with a penchant for carparks or simply love 4 wheeled perches can die just for being caught cosying up to someone’s prized ride. In fact, cats have died from such complaints. Drivers bitten by the carpride bug just need to whine to get AVA to terminate the hapless kitties, or perhaps do it themselves.
  • TC report cards
    The town councils have muster to pass now. As noted by Dawn, there are still questions about the way this works. Already I have heard of stepped up culling in well managed areas with previously cooperative TCs.

Just 4 blogs in a few days, and they already encompass the issues plaguing the homeless animals of Singapore. Yes, there are some notches on the good side, eg MP got heart: Bedok Reservoir Cats saved from death, but there is still no heart in Singapore’s heartlands, both in terms of management and tolerance, nor can the misaligned red-taped choked bureaucratic hearts of Singapore’s leaders get the blood of community spirit past its anemic state. So much for the gahmen’s call for greater tolerance and personal responsibility. Until the Singapore gahmen accept reality and acknowledge that pet issues can’t be legislated away, that homeless animals and animal-related community complaints and conflicts are part of the SAME package, that among Singapore citizens are people aspiring to help animals, and humane methods exist and are effective, it’s the same dirge that accompanies the kitties terminated in Singapore, thanks to government agencies who clutch outdated rules like talismans and treat complainants like royalty to be pampered and mollycoddled, to the point of providing one-stop “service” encompassing free cat traps, cat collection, with no charge on the cost of the trapped cat’s termination (click here for the petition to stop this macabre service). It says quite something when even a global news agency has taken notice and does a feature on the Singapore cat situation.

Not every corner of Singapore is cat gestapo, and there are places where kitties are left unmolested, but the stale cocktail of half-heartedness about doing what’s right, the inertia to “fit in”, be seen as efficient and the eagerness to pander to complaints that continues to be forced down thinking Singaporeans’ throats keeps us in the revolving door, and leaves a foul taste in any intelligent person’s mouth. It doesn’t help that whinging Singaporeans hoodwink themselves about the fates of the cats they cause to be removed from their sights (with a healthy abetting dose from the authorities). Every Smalley among Singapore’s cats is one too many.


Addendum: Say It!

Reuters 20090129: Small, furry, outlawed: Singapore torn over cat rights

I like this. But I confess I was hoping to see a more in-depth article. But hey, international spotlight! Thanks to Ms Murdoch for casting some light where the HDB obstinately insist should remain dark, dank, and smelly. Dawn’s comments are great too (appended)

Small, furry, outlawed: Singapore torn over cat rights

Reuters – Thursday, January 29

By Gillian Murdoch

SINGAPORE, Jan 29 – Cat lovers in Singapore are campaigning for felines to have the same rights as dogs — a roof over their heads and a safe home.

For decades cats have been banned from Singapore’s high-density Housing and Development Board flats, which house more than 80 percent of the 4.6 million population.

Anyone caught breaking the rule faces a fine of Singapore $4,000 .

Khin, a healthcare worker, was forced to move homes after a housing official spotted her cat and snapped four or five photos of the feline sleeping “illegally” on her couch.

“I never dreamt I would have to move house to keep cats,” said Khin, who has no surname.

“Singapore is modern and they have rules to keep people harmonious but this is ridiculous.”

While some pet owners can afford to move to cat-friendly private housing, others cannot.

“Irresponsible owners would just dump them,” said Boon Yeong, one of a multitude of informal cat feeders who take it upon themselves to look after the estimated 60,000 strays living in Singapore’s storm drains, carparks, and alleyways.

Being thrown or born onto the streets can amount to a virtual death sentence, Yeong said.

FURRY FUGITIVES

Every year more than 10,000 strays are culled by the island’s authorities, the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals .

Strays not rounded up and killed have a life expectancy of two to three years while indoor cats average about 20.

But with felines banned from the vast majority of homes, getting them off Singapore’s streets isn’t easy.

Some desperate cat lovers spend thousands of dollars to board “illegal” moggies, year-after-year, in non-profit cat shelters.

“It’s really a no-choice situation,” said Tay Sia Ping, the manager of the island’s biggest such cat shelter.

About a third of her 1,400 furry boarders were evicted from HDB apartments, she said. Few are ever adopted.

While Singapore’s cat lovers want the “cat ban” lifted, as it was for small dogs three decades ago, authorities say it is necessary to avoid cat-related spats between neighbours.

“Our principal consideration is to preserve a pleasant living environment and good neighbourly relations,” Singapore’s HDB told Reuters in an emailed statement.

“We need to strike a balance between pet lovers and those who are more sensitive to the disturbances caused by animals.”

HDB’s website says banning cats, not dogs, is justified, as “they are nomadic in nature and are difficult to be confined”.

Some 10,000 years after felines were first domesticated, easing human-cat tensions remains a “million dollar question”, said Kate Blaszak, Asia Veterinary Programmes Manager for the World Society for the Protection of Animals .

The world’s first top-level meeting of cat population management experts, organised last year, did not identify any magic bullets, Blaszak said.

“One size does not fit all. What is effective and appropriate in one situation may in another,” she said.

In the meantime, supporters of Singapore’s strays say they are waiting for the cats’ death sentences to be lifted.

“Most people who have problems don’t want the cats to be killed, nor does killing the cats usually solve the problem,” said Singaporean cat welfare advocate Dawn Kua, one of many who blog about their plight

“No one is happy with the ‘solution’ — it’s just a knee jerk reaction without solving the underlying problem.”

Here’s Dawn‘s comments:

Friday, January 30, 2009

Same old excuse

Okay seriously now – how often is HDB going to trot out the tired excuse about cats being ‘nomadic by nature’ and ‘difficult to be confined’ to justify not changing the HDB rule?

Since this has been raised yet again, let me refute this one more time, especially for people who may have come to this blog for the first time :-

1. Cats are excellent apartment animals. Why? They don’t need to be walked and they are small. They entertain themselves. They are pretty quiet most of the time and are generally much quieter than dogs. More than 30 local vets signed letters attesting to the fact that they are wonderful for people in apartments.

2. What on earth is being nomadic by nature? If you let a dog, rabbit or child run around with supervision, I would not be at all surprised if they wandered out of an HDB flat too. Don’t believe me? Just leave that door open :)

3. This also applies to cats being difficult to confine. Really? My cats are all confined indoors and they don’t go out. Ever. It wasn’t difficult at all to keep them in. All it took was some time and effort on our part to cat proof the place. Think of it as akin to baby proofing a home.

I know many people who have cats who never, ever go out. Most responsible people with cats do not want their cats to wander in the first place – there are all manner of dangers out there. Also as responsible neighbours, many realise not everyone likes their cats as much as they do and that it is better to keep their cats indoors.

So instead of a ban how about just focusing on responsible pet ownership? The problem isn’t in the inherent nature of cats – it’s in the irresponsible behaviour of some cat owners. Plus right now what incentive is there for being responsible and keeping the cat in? It just means that if the HDB comes along any cat owner can be fined (or possibly evicted) if any cat, no matter how well kept, is found in their flat. If the cat is outdoors though, that isn’t a problem with the HDB at all – but it may be a huge problem for your neighbours.

What’s the solution? Allow people to keep cats – but ensure that these people are responsible. Make sure that the owners are responsible for sterilising their cats and keeping them indoors at all times. Also a limit could be imposed on how many cats are kept in a flat. This also allows the HDB to better use their resources to monitor genuine cases when there is a problem. Currently, they have to have to inspect flats every time there is a complaint, whether that complaint is valid or not. The mere presence of a cat is enough to get a cat owner into trouble – and also means that the rule can, and has been subverted, by neighbours to get even with each other. Instead of promoting harmony, this rule is doing the exact opposite.

Click on the blog post title to read the discussion.

Area2: Brielle’s back

Brielle returned last evening, around 5pm, from her de-mojo adventure. Seems like she coped better than we expected. V said that she was actually quite a nice docile kitten, and was easy to manage.

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Pre-release – crying for freedom

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Closeup

Later that night, A and J found her hanging with her sibs, who have been sterilised along with their Mum earlier, as if she’s been there all along, so it’s good news all around.

(Photos taken by btmao, as I wasn’t on-hand to assist. Goes to show what necessity is able to breed.)

Appeals: Pawpledge’s Project CCK (Choa Chu Kang) – the inspiration for it

Remember this appeal on pawledge we posted on 28 Jan 09?

Please read this, the reason for pawpledge’s Project CCK

Mother cat with 8 cm cut on abdomen

Mother cat with 8 cm cut on abdomen

Suffering at the highest degree…

I don’t know what to say but is vastly saddened by the recent Choa Chu Kang case where this tri-color calico cat was cut open. She was still alive when the caregiver found it, bleeding on the void deck. Her intestines were spilling out but the fighter was still clinging on to dear life. SPCA was notified and she was put down after the painful ordeal. Why does a poor innocent animal have to go through so much pain? And what dysfunction does one go through to bear dishing out so much suffering to a helpless animal? You can look at the SPCA appeal flyer for more information. (http://www.spca.org.sg/SPCAAppeal.pdf)

I can’t stop re-iterating the importance of STERILISATION (TNRM). Sterilisation helps reduce unwanted kittens, pregnant females, territorial behaviour in male cats, cat fights, mating calls, etc etc….everything that sickens and irritates people who don’t like cats / stray animals. Hopefully with less kittens, there’ll be less abuse.

SAYING is not enough, DOING is louder than words. PawPledge is committed to sterilising the cats at Choa Chu Kang. We hope that you will help us as much as you can. We will publish “Project CCK” update on our website for transparency purpose.

[Click here to continue reading]

Jerry needs a home urgently

This email just came in at 10:01pm. Thanks to D, who is mum to Browny, Jerry‘s doggy pal, this confirms Jerry is totally oblivious to the potential danger dogs are to cats, and especially to him. He needs a home so he can be safe from harm. But with Foster Mum’s full now, we have nowhere else to foster him. Any one able to help? We’ll pay for his expenses of course.

Jerry and the stray doggie

Hi calsifer,

This is D, Browny’s owner. We met at blk XXX with Jerry few days back.

Just wondering are you going to find a foster home for Jerry? Today’s encounter made me very worried over him.

I was doing my daily visit to Jerry tonight. While patting him at Blk YYY, he suddenly walk very fast towards the lift lobby. I followed and to my surpirse, saw a black stray dog finding food at the dustin.

I tried to lure him away…but Jerry refused to go. At last, I have to carry him back to Blk XXX which I think is further away from the dog.

I am worried as Jerry seems to be curious/friendly towards dog. I am not sure what will be the reaction of that dog if he sees Jerry. The dog might be friendly too, but I don’t wish to take the risk.

Jerry was not like other kittens that know when and how to hide well into the drain. Jerry is not suitbale to stay outdoor. He needs a home badly.

I really hope you can find a home , if not at least a foster home for Jerry.

Thanks..

D =)

Jerry_posting_full_20090104_01x
Jerry is every dog’s best friend… it’s just not certain if the dog feels the same way

Area2: Jerry Geriatric

[EDIT 20090130] Jerry needs a home urgently


On the first phot-shoot on 1 Jan 2009 for Brina’s family, we met this cat for the first time.

Jerry_front_full_walking_far_20090101_01x
He just came running

Jerry_ground_full_belly_20090101_03x
… presented his tummy and started luxuriating in a good ground squirm

A large tabby white with a bushy tail stump, he was gangly with dense mid-length fur. Obviously he has pedigree somewhere in his lineage. He was also sterilised though his ear was untipped.

This boy was so affectionate and yet so calm, so genteel otherwise, we half-expected him to start strolling with a nice cane and a monocle. As he did seemed to be on the further side of geriatric, we decided to call him Jerry.

Jerry_eating_front_full_20090103_02x
Jerry was ravenous, and yet very measured even in his hunger

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He was totally trusting, and yet even such a social cat as him took care to watch over his back while eating, which was rather unusual for a cat like him.

Two mornings later, we met a boy while out looking for Brina’s family, and he told us this big boy has been around for quite a while, always sitting in the same spot, and that his leg was injured, though he did not specify which leg. We did not notice any limping or distress during our earlier meetings with Jerry, so we observed him while he ate. At about this time, the boy approached. Though Jerry appeared engrossed in his food, he immediately scooted off into the bushes and stayed absolutely still upon hearing the boy. That indicated to us he has had unpleasant experiences with children.

Jerry_BY_20090104_01x

That night we went out again. A couple was feeding him and told us he’s been there at least 2 months, and they also said he’s always sitting in the same spot. He appeared with a bloody forelimb but would not allow anyone to treat it. We also related Jerry’s behaviour of running into the bush that morning. The couple told us they would sometimes observe from the corridor of their flat on a higher floor, and catch schoolkids trying to bully Jerry. As soon as they shout, the cowardly beasts would run off.

Jerry_prone_side_belly_aerialview_20090104_01x

Now his contrarian behaviours of trust and wariness made sense.

Jerry_posting_front_looking_up_playful_20090104_04x

The next morning, we tried to get a good look at the wound he was supposed to have. Though it has healed, the bigger mystery is that it was a surgical site. He kept squirming, so I took a vid instead to get a clear look at it.


Vid: Surgical site. Wound looks clean but thread still intact.

Since the couple confirmed that they had been feeding him every single night since he appeared, and that they had not sent him for treatment, Jerry must have appeared with the surgical wound already on him.

Jerry_grooming_front_face_paw_20090104_03x
What happened to Jerry? How was his life like? Why was he treated and then abandoned to fend for himself, with a bleeding surgical wound?

We will never know what happened to this sweet boy before he appeared in Area2. However, we do know he will need to go to the vet’s, to have the surgical site checked. Also, the surgical thread was probably non-dissolvable, which means it has to be removed as well. And since he was sterilised, we want to get his ear tipped, so that if there are complaints in the area, the TC would hopefully call us rather than activate pest control.

The plan was for Jerry to go to the vet’s together with Brina’s family. Meantime, we hoped he and Brina would stay away from each other as they were on opposite sides of the same block, living cheek by jowl in homeless kitty terms. We wouldn’t want either him nor Brina and her brood to sustain injuries or be driven away. But we needn’t have worried. Brina and Jerry knew and tolerated each other. In fact, Jerry often shared his bush home with her babies. Brayden especially, seemed to like chilling with Uncle Jerry.

On that fateful night, we found Brina’s family but Jerry was not home for the first time. As soon as Brina and her kittens were secured, btmao went looking for Jerry and found him in Benji’s territory. The auntie who lived there helped to lure him back (with Benji tagging along).

Given Jerry’s trusting nature, we thought it would be a simple matter to push him into a carrier. So while V was busy with getting Brielle, we got a carrier from his van and started pushing Jerry in. Surprisingly, he resisted frantically and ran a little away. We tried 2 more times and decided to get V.

Though he was obviously affected and didn’t want to be near the carrier, Jerry kept accepting head scritches from the auntie, So while he was preoccupied, V managed to push him into a carrier. Jerry cried and desperately tried to get out. This was the first time we hear him vocalise beyond his usual (and rare) single meow greeting. He had a coarse small voice. But he was crying at the top of it. Obviously, the carrier evoked unpleasant memories for him.

Like Brina’s family, Jerry was back on Chinese New Year’s Eve.

Jerry_side_belly_aerialview_20090125_01x
Happy to be home

The vet had removed the surgical stitches (which were indeed non-dissolvable), confirmed he was already sterilised and tipped his ear. The surgical site was deemed to be healed and ok, needing no further follow-up. We were relieved.
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Jerry’s tip… on the right ear.

The next morning, Chinese New Year’s Day, we went out to check on Brina’s family and Jerry.

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Jerry doing well, his newly tipped ear a stylish statement.

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His appetite and his affection unaffected by his ordeal

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Jerry’s sides are full, and this was not unexpected, since he’s getting quite a few meals everyday it seems.

We will continue to feed him better food, if only to give him some measure of nutrition against the supermarket brands he’s being fed now.

On the evening of 27th Jan, the second night of the new year, we met D who was out walking her nine-year old dog, Browny, with her husband. We got to talking and discovered Browny and Jerry are friends – Jerry nose-kisses Browny and doesn’t always recognise D and her husband if Browny is not with them.

D doesn’t feed Jerry but brings along treats. As she and her husband are dog people who had no prior experience with cats, the first time Jerry came running to them, they thought he was attacking. As time went by, they realised all he wanted was some attention. It was nice and very tolerant of them to let Jerry be though he scared them initally, given the general intolerance of residents in Area2.

Jerry’s friendliness with dogs and his tolerance of Brina and her kittens indicated he may have come from a multi-cat and dog environment. It also got us worried for his safety since there are dog packs in the area, in addition to his tendency to do running approaches at people.

Jerry_posting_backview_far_20090104_01x
We don’t know who dumped Jerry nor why, but if we can, we will find him a new home… as soon as we can get him into foster care. Unfortunately, Foster Mum’s is full now. We’ll wait and hope.


[EDIT 20090130] Jerry needs a home urgently

Appeals: Pawpledge’s Project CCK (Choa Chu Kang) Commences

Project CCK (Choa Chu Kang) Commences

Baby for Adoption

Baby for Adoption

Area2: Brina and her babies

Meet the dilute calico and her family, aka Brina and her babies.

  • Mum-Brina (first sighted October 13 08)
  • short-tailed and small-sized black kitten with white mittens-Brayden
  • cream-coloured tabby female with long tail-Brenna
  • cream-coloured tabby male with short tail-Brennan
  • torbie tuxedo female with long tail-Brielle
  • agouti with short tail-MIA; unsexed, unnamed, and unphotographed

The family’s first photo-shoot was on 1 Jan 2009. Unfortunately, the agouti kitten was MIA by this time, and we discovered a wound on the top-side of the base of Brenna’s tail.

Brayden_Brenna_Brennan_Brielle_Brina_20090101_04x
(From left) Brayden, Brennan, Brina, Brielle, Brenna

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Brina

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Brayden

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Brennan

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Brenna and Brielle

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Brennan and Brenna, a very close pair

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Brina standing watch while Brenna and Brayden pig out. Brielle sticks close to her

Brina is a great mum, very attentive and watchful. She’s always the last to eat, keeping a watchful eye while her kittens scarf down food with abandon.  She picked a great place for the family as there’s a network of drains with multiple difficult-to-get-at exits which are easily accessible to them. Great for the kitties but unfortunately, it’s right by a very busy walkway, right by a very busy traffic intersection which got us worried about their safety in terms of visibility and in situations where they get spooked and scramble every which way.

But we were also optimistic as Brina has obviously been quite successful with raising her babies.

We’ve been catching glimpses of the kittens, singly or in pairs, since December but never the whole family together. The sightings were always while we pass by on feeder services rushing out to work in the morning. We were not able to locate them when we made our way over to the spot on foot. So we did not make the connection between Brina and the flufflies we kept catching glimpses of until December 2008, when the kittens were more grown up and starting hanging out with their Mum, typically avoiding the early morning and evening human traffic.

They are typical drain cats, disappearing into the network at the first sign of threat.

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Draincats Brielle and Brennan

The first kitten I saw was the now missing agouti. btmao’s first meeting with the kittens were sightings of Brayden. Unfortunately, by the time we established their schedule and took their first pictures on 1 Jan 2009, the agouti kitten was missing, and Brenna was spotting a very raw looking wound on the top-side of the base of her tail. As there are a few dog packs running around, it seemed the most plausible explanation for the missing kitten and Brenna’s injury.

Since the whole family was completely wary of people contact, we could not get a closer look nor to clean it. We could only observe and hope it was a clean wound that would heal.

As the kittens seemed rather small, we decided to monitor them until they were older before sending them to be de-mojoed. Then we started observing them, hoping to determine their respective sexes. Brina was so named because it seemed apt – protector. Brayden and Brennan were rather easy to identify as they were the bolder ones. Brielle, being a torbie, was almost certainly a female. Brenna took us a few more days to confirm and name.

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We finally got a better shot of Brenna’s wound 2 days later, while she ate in the drains.

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It looked better and seemed to be drying up. Also, as Brenna was able to use her tail, we decided to leave it alone rather than try to get her to a vet, as the pre-requisite capture experience might jeopardise plans to get her and her family sterilised. During the following days, the wound would alternate between getting dryer and less red, and newly raw and angry. But after a week or so, it started to really get better.

On the night of 22 Jan 2009, all but Brielle walked willingly into traps set by V, and were sterilised the next day. We were worried for Brielle, as she was the one who seemed most attached to Brina, but she survived 3 days and nights on her own, and was rewarded with reunion on Chinese New Year’s eve.

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So tensed at her last breakfast alone, Brielle’s tail did not even touch the ground

At night, back her family came, on the day of reunions, minus their left ear tips.
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Brina

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Brayden

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Brennan

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Brenna. Thankfully, her tail checked out ok.

Brielle wasn’t in sight when the carriers were hauled out and the newly tipped ear ones starting meowing.

We placed the carriers right in front of the most obvious entrance to their home and started with Brina and then Brayden, who shot off like launched missiles and overshot the entrance. The Brenna and Brennan missiles sputtered, quickly retracing their steps in and scurried into the entrance. Then what should we see but Brenna coming out an exit a few metres away, Brielle shadowing her. They nose-kissed and then disappeared together back into the drains.

Since then, we’ve not seen Brina with the kittens though we’ve sighted her, seemingly on her own, in a similar drain network 2 blocks away. The kittens are still at their original home, and together. We will arrange for Brielle to visit the vet as soon as possible.

At last, trapping happens for Area2. And juicy gossips abound

Quick update: It’s now 12.05am, 23 Jan, and we’re just back from another trapping session, and unlike the last round where we targetted Area2 and ended up with 2 Area1 kitties and 1 marauding male, we went to Area2 and got 5 Area2 kitties!

Aside from the torbie calico female kitten, Brielle who remains at large, and the short-tailed agouti who’s been missing since mid Dec, the dilute calico family comprising Mum-Brina, short-tailed and small-sized black kitten with white mittens-Brayden, 2 cream-coloured tabbies-Brenna (long-tail female) and Brennan (short-tail male), are slated for mojo freedom tomorrow. We also got a new adult male Jerry, whose gentle and sweet nature belies his experience. He is sterilised but ear’s untipped, so we’re sending him to get that done and to get him checked for the surgical wound he appeared with. We started out at 9.50pm (22 Jan), and called it a night at 11.30ish.

Bradley continues to elude efforts to get him but there may be hope. While waiting for V, we met A and her daughter, J, who feeds the cats nightly. A says Bradley usually waits for her behind the eatery at around 8something. We’ll work with her to get him. For interested readers, since we named him, we’ve not been able to find him until last Wednesday. He’s growing up quite well.

A has also sighted Stanley recently, and we’re glad to have the confirmation that he’s well since we’ve not seen him since his release.

Other interesting bits: A lives in the same block as Saba‘s family, and confirms she has a new litter she’s hiding in the drains somewhere.

Scottie has been claimed by the family’s man of the house due to his super sweet nature. Scottie was found with a knife wound to his tail last week and the family has applied medicine.

They also have a new white cat with a a fluffy tail which they paid more than $100 to get sterilised voluntarily but is still terribly unwilling to sterilise Saba. They told A they wanted to ask us to help sterilise Saba but can’t contact us as we’ve changed our numbers- which is incredible since both btmao and I have kept the same hp numbers.

A has been persuading them to get Saba done, but the same excuses as the ones they used on us were trotted out apparently. They even asked A to sponsor $30… a rather brazen request considering that they now have 2 wall-mounted large LCD TVs, expensive looking wall-mounted sound systems, and even renovated their home for the last Hari Raya.

Now that Saba has kittens, she has also been going up to A’s flat to ask for food too! A provides food outside her door. I told A to stop doing that and to feed in common areas with discretion as she would any other cat. I have also requested A not to let the family know she has made contact with us – I am fed up with them and the case with the white cat shows they are more than able to afford and find their own vet.

On a related tangent, btmao is trying to handle a complaint. The TC has pictures of a cat which an Area2  resident claims is noisy in the early morning but will not share the picture nor reveal the complainant’s contact details. In frustration, btmao asked the TCO why can’t the complainant then talk to the feeder or the cat’s owner since he is able to take the cat’s pictures. The TCO has no answer except that people don’t take ownership of their own problems. The TCO then said he would call HDB, so btmao reminded him that HDB does not allow pet cats, which means it would result in more cats outside which means more potential problems for him. He then said he might need to talk to the MP, and btmao said fine, we’ll go see him first. To be fair, the TCO is a nice person and he does try to work with us, but this was a conversation that really got nowhere fast.

Anyway, from our convo with A today, we believe the cat in question is the family’s white cat as A says it goes into the carpark nearby in the early morning and cries for food. We’ll need to think on how to handle this one.

Sally, whom we thought missing or displaced by Saba and the steady stream of later additions to the family is also on A’s floor. A Malay family allows her in to play with their children and shuts her out when they sleep.

Sunny has died, knocked down at the very busy intersection nearby.

The elusive mother cat and second litter we heard about and have yet to locate is most probably Sarsi. Only 1 kitten from her first litter survived, likely kitnapped for its looks. As for her second known and current litter, no one is sure how many there were nor how many are alive now. We shall try to locate her.

A new male cat we named Robby has been on the prowl for love. Two nights ago, he was after Brina like a greyhound was on to a hare. He was sitting right by the drains Brina’s family called home as we were about to call it a night, so V set the trap for him. Unfortunately, he was not interested in food at all, and eluded capture this time. We can only hope Brielle will remain safe until Brina’s return on Sunday, and that his lust will subside soon.

There is another new male cat we sighted early last month untipped and unsterilised. He then turned up 2 weeks later with a tipped ear and a collar. We call him Jet due to his spraying. From A, we got to know that he belongs to the family’s neighbour. The family DEMANDED Jet be sterilised as he was getting intimate with Saba and they don’t want more kittens. The wonder is that the neighbour complied. The bigger wonder is that the neighbour didn’t demand the family reciprocate with Saba’s sterilisation.

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No wonder my head get achesies

We’ve exchanged contact info with A and J and will be sharing more info, esp kitty food info.

Details and of course pictures of Brina and her family, Jerry, Jet to come.

Stanley’s back

Another update on the trio.

Stanley has returned after his 2-week convalescence. Earlier this night, we met up with V, and took over Stanley who had his sterilisation on Boxing Day.

He looked very calm in the carrier, so I pushed the camera right up to the carrier door to snap a pic of him, as we may not see him again if he choose to settle down outside of Areas 1 and 2.

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Closeup of his tipped left ear.

I couldn’t get a clear shot of the site where the lump was. But it was right behind his left ear. I was able to see the surgical stitches and it looked very clean and was healing nicely. Right before he was released, V had piled on the anti-septic powder on the site too. V said he was a terror to handle, though he didn’t look it.

As soon as the carrier door opened, Stanley shot off, blazing across the road into an area outside of Areas 1 and 2. I’m glad to have taken the pics.

V also checked out the territory of the dilute calico mum and her babies. A separate update on them to come.

BambiBaby aka Bradley

It’s been 1 month and 5 days since Bambi went missing. While her bewildered baby has been adapting, moving from dried leaves to the minion dinner service, we are no closer to getting him fostered or sterilised. Since his 2nd escape from our rubbery clutches, we have given up on the idea that he can rehomed, or even fostered unless we can do so ourselves. He is simply too high-strung and scaredy; it would just not be fair to put the responsibility of rehabilitating him on any fosterer. But we are hoping he might calm down once we can get him sterilised, given Ivan‘s example.

We had thought he would no longer respond to btmao after Christmas. In fact, we had not been able to find him since. That is, until the night Brenda and Indy returned, just a mere 3 day period.

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It’s a bit dark of course, but I did not want to spook him with the camera flash. Given his character, once spooked, he would give up dinner and run away.

Hopefully, the video shows him more clearly. His face has lost that wide-eyed babyish freshfaced look, his muzzle getting more prominent. He is certainly growing up. We’ve decided to give a proper name, and btmao has chosen to call him Bradley.

Update on the trio

While it may have been the bestest news in a long while when we packed Stanley off for his de-mojo appointment on Christmas evening, we got a bit of a shock on Boxing day. V called btmao for a decision in the morning. Stanley was on the operating table, his juju removed. However, the vet noticed a largish lump on his ear and was asking if we wanted it removed as well. So btmao said yes. It might be a tumour, it might be not, but it seemed to be growing. As V was busy and the reception bad, it was all we had to go on for a while.

Post-surgery, Stanley would need 2 weeks of recovery time. We asked V to foster him if he couldn’t stay at the vet’s. V said he would see what can be done for the big boy. The other two were fine, although Brenda was in heat, which meant that her surgery bill would cost that much more. V would settle the bill and let us know the cost.

On Sunday, 28 Dec, Brenda and Indy returned.

V brought out Indy first. He was still placid, calm, though he did seemed a bit too wild-eyed and overwhelmed. When the carrier door opened, he seemed dumbfolded.
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Next was Brenda. But even before we saw her, we heard her. She was crying the block down. We forgot Indy for a moment as we quickly opened the carrier door for her. She shot out like a champion racer and stopped only to get her orientation about 8 metres away. Then she set off purposefully, all the while complaining for the world to hear.

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When I turned back from taking this photo, Indy was still inside the carrier. Since I was the one who put him into the carrier, the honour fell to me to get him out. He was still immobile even outside the carrier. So I carried him 5 metres, in the direction of his “home”. He was still immobile. In total, I moved him 5 times, putting him nearly on the doorstep of the family before he clued in to what’s going on. He never did once struggled while I carried him. Obviously, he has deep trust in people and has no inkling of self-preservation.

As for Stanley, the lump behind his ear turned out to be a pus-filled growth, mostly likely a result of an infected wound. He would be fine and need no further follow-up. We settled up with V and would see him when he returned Stanley in 2 weeks’ time.

The next morning, Monday, 29 Dec, I walked out to the mrt station, and was cautiously happy to see that Indy wasn’t outside the flat. Reality bit on Tuesday though. I can no longer be surprised at the nonchalance of the family.

It was not until last night that we met Brenda for the first time after her surgery. She seemed well, though a different cat from the one we released, simply because she wasn’t crying at the top of her lungs nor wary. In fact, she was extremely affectionate and chatting softly.

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She was more interested in headbutts and kisses, and kept coming up to btmao and me while the juices of the food seeped through her dinner plate. Finally she ate.

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But only a little.

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She was still more interested in getting some attention.

In fact, she tried to follow us home.

She looks emaciated, and given our emphasis on not sterilising very skinny cats (especially if their history is not known), it might seemed a contrarian decision to sterilise her. But compared to the first time I saw her, she is actually padded. Also, her fur looks good, again unlike the baldy flanks she spotted then. She is doing well and should settle down fine now that her hormones won’t bother her anymore. We suspect she might be a newly displaced free-ranging pet cat from across the road (like Ryan) as she seemed to commute between the blocks there and Area1. She might also be a newly abandoned pet.