Native Singaporeans driven from their home, reduced to seeking refuge and shelter?
Take a good look at this picture. What’s wrong with smiling folks with their kitties? Well, this ain’t home, and the people’s smiles belie their pain. Because the furries are the refugees.
One of their neighbours have complained about their cats and they are under pressure by the Town Council, who doesn’t want them to let their cats wander outside their HDB home; and HDB, who doesn’t allow them to keep their cats inside their home.
The alternatives are certain death for the cats. So, since wildfilms NEVER use the room I’ve nicely set up for them to overnight in, the spare room has been turned into a little refugee centre. Until William can sort things out, or their neighbours forget about the cats and the cats can go back home.
Is it real? Of course! Realer than the farcical show with the word.
Two points to consider here: the impact of the lack of consideration for aftermath and the town councils’ “alignment” with this rule.
First point. HDB bans ONLY cats in flats. What’s more, HDB does not care that this rule contributes abandonment: As long as there is a complaint, HDB will demand that cats be removed from the complaint-flat. It does not care if the cats are dumped downstairs or taken away to be dumped elsewhere. HDB certainly does not care if the cats are sent to die in SPCA or AVA. As long as the flat owner complies and gets rids of the cats, HDB does not care what happens to the cats. Where is the compassion and logic in such a move? Not to mention the spanner in the TNRM work of minions like us when cats get dumped.
The greatest ironic slap in the face with the HDB’s anti-cat stance is that even the AVA advocates keeping cats indoors:
Question: Should cats be kept indoors?
Answer:It is actually advisable to keep your pet cats indoors as it is a whole lot safer. Outdoors, your cat may get into all sorts of trouble such as fights, car accidents sickness and abuse. Cats may also not return. As long as you provide enough space and distractions like kitty toys and scratching posts (and of course yourself as kitty entertainment), your cat should be content with staying at home. After all, cats can sleep up to 18 hours a day! Would you rather your cat be at home in safety and comfort (in its own cosy bed) or outside in a dirty wet drain or perched precariously on some ledge? Did you also know that if your cat is outdoors and caught by pest control companies/neighbours, you may never see your cat again? It has also been estimated that an indoor cat might live up to 20 years but the life expectancy of a cat kept outdoors is less than 5 years.
Furthermore, unsterilised cats that are allowed to roam can breed, give rise to more unwanted cats and cause more animals to be homeless. Keeping your cat indoors would ensure this doesn’t happen. Consider sterilising your cats too, as this can help make them easier to manage and contented staying at home.
So, keep your cats indoors! Be a responsible cat owner.
Second point. Town councils have a prime directive, the snazzy slogan “Our Town Sparkles”, but do they really sparkle?
Cats do have it tough in Singapore. Treated as pests, and sometime bogey-man in lieu of a real target. The slightest complaint metes out death, nevermind if it has not the littlest iota of merit. Singapore itself is a minor treblinka of cats. The irony is that Singapore, Lion City, is named after a great cat, the king of beasts. 85% of people in Singapore stay in flats. Where can you be safe if not at home?
I find the spread in today’s Straits Times trumpeting good neighbourliness aka the kampong spirit, “Common corridors, Uncommon Spirits” (INSIGHT section) ringing extra hollow. But am I surprised? Hardly, not when it’s clear that even basic rights of lifestyle choice (for people of course) is denied. What more the basic right to exist for non-humans? But am I disturbed? For sure!
The spirits, they do haunt me so.