So! I have been busy these two mornings, running around like a good TNRM minion should, taknig care of “business” in area 2. The result? Scottie and the siblings, Sumie and Sunny have lost their mojo yesterday.
Soon after this vid was taken, he relaxed and napped all the way back.
In contrast, the siblings were as calm as ever.
Total spent on the operation: $145.00 (Sterilisation bill excludes taxi fare of $22.70 to the vet, and $15.90 from the vet. This is not taking into account the transport cost and time for my trips from the vet post-delivery and pre-collection)
In conjunction, we also found out a few things from Sue, the owner of Sumie, Sunny and Saba. For example: the relationship between the kittens and Saba were not as we speculated. In all honesty, we also suspected that it might not be so, given the timeline, but it was the closest to making sense then. Now for the real picture, I give you the timeline of their story, guest-starring Stanley (the long-tailed adult silver male featured here), and Benji (his brother Kenji is sitll missing)
Somewhere in late 2005
- Sally appeared in area 2 with a tipped ear. She displayed the nervousness of a cat thrown into a new environment. Gradually she established herself in one of the two carparks there. By 2006, she became a semipet of Sue’s family, who refused to listen to advice to not leave food and water outside their ground-floor flat. With a regular food supply, Sally wasn’t too keen to depend on the tec soup-kitchen. Sue’s flat is very near the carpark which Sally used to call home.
- Complaint in Sally’s area led to the discovery of Stanley, a long-tailed silver tabby adult male, and a very handsome young dilute calico male (never sighted again).
- Spotted Scottie for the first time in the opposite end of area 2, away from Sally’s. He proved elusive. Later, we found out from Sue that he also frequented Sally’s for the food Sue leaves outside.
- Saba first sighted.
- Sometime before this, a different female cat who has established herself in the same area and went to Sue’s for food, gave birth. She was Sumie and Sunny’s mother, a cat we’ve never sighted. She was caring for and moving her litter of 3/4 kittens around. She was later killed by a dog. Sue adopted the litter, then less than 2 months old. In addition to Sumie and Sunny, there was another ginger kitten with a long tail, who has since disappeared.
- Saba got pregnant.
- Saba gives birth to a litter of 5 during Ramadan/near Hari Raya, of which only 1, Sabia, is still living.
- Somewhere in between all the changes, Sally decided to move back into the carpark.
- We sighted Sumie and Sunny for the first time and flyered all the ground floor units.
- A week after the flyering, Sue spotted btmao feeding Sally at the carpark, and approached her. That’s how the whole story started falling into place. btmao talked to Sue and got her to agree to sterilise her cats – Sumie, Sunny, Saba and Sabia. Benji, who’s been missing for months, also appeared! But he was promptly chased off by Scottie.
- To cut a long story short, Sue said yes after some negotiating and excuses. Sue has 4 children, is a housewife and claims her husband, who works shift, is the decision maker. We even got CWS involved in case they were in financial difficulties. But Sue said they will arrange for sterilisation themselves and the husband, who drives, will send Sumie and Saba for sterilisation first, in the weekend past though we tried our darnest to persuade her to send Sunny as well. But getting any cat done is better than none. We were relieved and were cautiously happy that at last we’ve met a free-ranging pet cat family who just might make honest pets out of their cats.
- But by this Monday, the two were still intact – Sue claimed her husband wasn’t free to send the cats. Now, if you’ve ever arranged for a sterilisation appointment, you’d notice a few things that doesn’t jive.
- Anyway, btmao was especially anxious as the siblings were looking to be at least 7-8 months old, and Sue had said that Saba was mated by Stanley in the week past. That evening, when btmao saw Sumie, Saba (who’ve both been kept indoors to prevent “accidents”), Sunny and even Scottie on the scene, she decided we should just rob the siblings, Saba and Scottie of their mojo and deal with the after-effect. Of course the fact that we have to bear the sterilisation cost for 3 pet cats left a bad after-taste in my mouth. But I was practical and I agreed with btmao’s decision. Luckily, we were able to book 4 sterilisation slots for the next day with Foster Mum’s help. In between all the logistics, btmao got in touch with Sue and told her our plans. Sue was amendable since it meant she didn’t have to pay a cent. In addition, she agreed to house Scottie for us. I arrived with the carrier for Scottie, and proceeded to impress on Sue that I am jobless and we’re doing this for the sake of every cat outside, and not only to help her cats. We decided not to send Saba in yet after checking in on little Sabia.
- On 13 Nov, I sent Scottie, who had spent the night in Sue’s toilet, and the siblings to the vet
- Today, I collected the de-mojoed kitties. The vet receptionist remarked that all three were absolutely lovable and easy to handle. I told her they’re probably home pets allowed to free-range but no one wants to take responsibility. She laughed. Upon arrival, I released Scottie, who proceeded to cry for a bit and then ate out of the bowls outside Sue’s flat. Then he spotted Benji and decided to get some exercise, and chased off Benji. I hope he’ll mellow out and learn to tolerate poor Benji, who is beginning to try to get into Sue’s flat (according to Sue, he’s super-affectionate, a trait which we are well-aware of). At the siblings’ home, I spoke to Sue about preparing for Saba’s turn, which should be soon, especially since Sabia was already starting on solids, as she claimed. I emphasized that the siblings’ bill will be ours but that for Saba and Sabia’s bills she will have bear the full amount. I also showed her the taxi receipts to impress on her the cost of transport and asked her to factor that in to the sterilisation costs as well. (Surprisingly, Sue did not return the receipts to me… instead she gave me $30 as reimbursement. I told her we’ll use it for Stanley). Present at her home was her sister, Julia. Julia lived in a nearby block and she revealed a piece of news that was good for us – Stanley, who refuses to let us near, trusts her and she’s able to catch him. So I asked her to assist – if we can get Stanley at the same time as Saba’s appointment, we’ll share the transport costs. Also, Julia said that Stanley hangs out at a different part of Area2… Sasha’s place, and where Benji and Kenji used to be too. That was also near to where we first spotted Scottie. btmao and I suspect that Sasha and Benji and Kenji had been displaced by Scottie and Stanley or simpyl changed their routines. Neither Sue or Julia have ever seen Sasha or Kenji, whom we’ve not sighted for a few months. But if Benji is able to survive, they may be coping too. Hopefully, after we get Stanley, both he and Scottie will mellow out enough to allow Sasha and Kenji to return.
To be honest, it still baffles me how people can claim to love their cats, but allow them to wander outside. For these semi-pets, it’s not like their family has no idea of the dangers: the fate of siblings’ mother is an example, and Sue has had a cat who passed away from FiV. I an deathly afraid that our sympathy for the cats will be exploited, and that’s why we kept telling Sue that
- we’re trying to save their cats’ lives, that Town Council is not happy and there’s a chronic complainant lurking around. All true.
- we’re helping her to get her cats sterilised because of the first point, and to reduce the possibility that TC will round up all cats in the area
- we do not want her to tell people about what we’ve done for her as the risk was getting too huge for the cats in her area, and we do not have the money to sterilise every pet cat, which should be done by each individual owner anyway.
Regardless of the fact that I still feel we’ve been led by the noses in sterilising the siblings, ultimately, we will still try to work with Sue – it does take more energy to be antagonistic. Besides, we’ve had a few minor pleasant surprises out of this whole saga, which balances out the frustrating parts.
The semi-pets cats
More photos taken today