Daily Archives: December 6, 2007

Respect, Religion, and the Teddy Bear

This bit of news is probably not that novel anymore, but I just want to say that just as with cat-issue complainants in Singapore, I find myself agreeing with the view that “a woman who gives up a comfortable lifestyle and job to go to a third world country to teach children” is more worthy of respect than “a man screaming that he wants another human being whipped for calling a teddy bear Muhammad”… this does remind me of the parallelism of cat and the situation with homosexuals here as well.

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Joey: When have humans, especially bureaucraticals and zealoties, made sense?

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Carlie… forced migrant from Yishun?

Carlie is getting better at trusting me today. She followed to the doorway as soon as she identified and located me. I only had to dole out one small dollop of food to get her to follow me downstairs.

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I’ve thinking about Carlie’s origins, not the evolutionary path that led to her beautifully abstract work-of-art coat pattern, but whence she came. To me, it seemed she exhibited the behaviour of a cat familiar with care-givers – why else the instinct to follow someone who calls using that kitty-clucking, the sound of a bag of jostling cans, spoons tapping on ground, or the sight of mulch on paper? And yet she’s leery of strangers.

She would not likely be a housecat as she has not fouled up the carpark at all. Abandoned home pets, especially toilet-trained ones, would find a nice quiet corner, ideally with a pipe or drainage hole, ideal for precisely this and just let it flow. Instead, Carlie seemed to be fastidious enough to take the trouble to go down to the grass patches.

Today, I finally saw which exit she used to get up and down. Our neighbourhood carpark is one of those with spiral extrances/exits. Thankfully, she uses the entrance to get up and down. Her territory being the second level, this means that she would instinctly scoot back up if a car came up as she was going down. Similarly, if she was going up as a car came up behind her, she would scoot all the faster back to the second level. So in that sense, she was as safe from being spooked and run over on the spiral as could be possible. It would have been the complete opposite if she was using the other spiral, the exit spiral. In any case, that opens onto the ground floor right where Ivan habitually waits for btmao, so all in all, it’s a happy happenstance.

But her street-savvy is a bit of a puzzle (though a good one!). She’s the first cat who has taken up residence without our knowledge. So I was not surprised to see veganmeow’s comment about her resemblance to a cat missing from Yishun. This is not something new, Dawn has blogged about several instances of community cats going missing or rounded up but not showing up at the AVA. For sure, some instances are due to overzealous people who think it a kindness to forcibly send cats into shelters, without so much as a by-your-leave from caregivers (whose cats often are doing better than those in shelters), or overzealous estate cleaning contractors, or catnapped to become homepets, but there are other instances aplenty that remain unsolved.

If Carlie is indeed the cat missing from Yishun, and that cat went missing from being rounded up, perhaps we have a concrete case of round-about-dumping. And here’s something important to remember in cases like this: Always call when you lose a cat. More vitally, to that end, get in touch with your TC and work with them BEFORE the problem happens! Especially if you’re inclined to think it troublesome to claim yuor missing cats back if they were sent to AVA – speaking to the TC and establising a working-relationship will save you that trouble. Remember, management is KEY, as important as sterilisation.

(NOTE: Dawn, if you read this, see how reliant this minion is on your blog for real-life examples! 🙂 )

Area2 disappointing development

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Remember Saba and her housemates?

When we got Sunny and Sumie sterilised last month at our expense, we got the owner, Sue, to agree to let us help arrange to sterilise Saba and her baby at her expense. Saba was to be sterilised in the first week of December, as that’s when we agreed that Sabia, her only surviving kitten out of a litter of 5, will have weaned.

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Sabia at 1 month.

So, I called Sue yesterday evening to arrange for Saba’s de-mojoing. But unsurprisingly, Saba is now pregnant. (She had been doing the birds and bees thing with Stanley in October/November when we went round surveying her area).

The problem is that Sue’s husband is adamant about letting her give birth first, even though Sue says he is unhappy at the fact that more money will have to be spent sterilising their soon-to-be new cats. I made it clear to Sue that it really does mean more cats to be sterilised, at their own expense. She confirms that she is aware of it.

So we will have to wait another 2-3 months at least to have Saba done. I am not too hopeful that Saba’s new kittens will be healthy or survive long, given the outcome of her current and first litter. Also, as time drags on, we are concerned that the family may think of abandoning the babies. However, we are cautiously hopeful that they will at least be responsible in this regard – they do seem to care for the cats, and since I mentioned that Muslim friends have told me about the origin of the M on little Sabia’s forehead which Sue was previously unaware of, they seemed to cherish the cats more. (Sue’s daughters named Sabia Misty precisely because of the M).

We will keep in touch with Sue and monitor the situation.

On a tangent, Sue mentioned that a friend also wants us to help arrange for her pet cat, a young female getting “horny”, to be sterilised. Sue had mentioned us to her friend as her friend was going to send her cat to a vet with whom we mentioned having some unpleasant experience. Unfortunately, while Sue did keep her promise to not tell others that we paid for the sterilisations in November, she did tell her friend about the costs. I reminded Sue that our arrangements for her were special, as we were concerned about the problems in her area and we wanted to reduce the potential for problems there. Therefore, her friend had to make any arrangements herself and that the special rates may not apply, though I can give her the contacts for vets who are ok, in our experience.

Also, I mentioned that already, the actual costs of the November sterilisations were higher than communicated as we had to go with another vet, rather than the usual one due to the urgency of the situation. We had not mentioned the difference in charges to her since we were paying for it. But this time,we had checked and even the usual vet’s fees have risen to be on par with the other vet’s. I told her I was telling her this so she can be prepared for the coming sterilisations and understand that fees and rates may change. She said she understand and that henceforth, she will tell anyone who asks to check with the clinics for the rates.

Hopefully, we will be able to get Saba, her new babies, and Sabia done as planned.

Snowball update

Last night, Snowball‘s new mum, ML, called to update us on his progress, which we appreciated very very much (we do try not to be too intrusive, but at times we can and do feel the suspense of waiting for updates).

Snowball is now Kolar, in accordance with the naming convention of starting with the letter “k” ML has adopted for all her ‘babies’.

Also, he had just been to the vet as he had teary eyes and a runny nose. At the same time, the vet also gave some cream to be applied to his tail, which is bent, and therefore is prone to skin problems. The cream was provided as his tail was very sore in some places.

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There were also scratch marks on his tummy that looked like they resulted from scuffles, but these were almost healed. As Snowball was in the cattery only from Thursday to Sunday and was isolated in a cage by himself all the while, it was a curious diagnosis. Also, he was previously an only-cat… we both left a bit confounded.

In any case, ML will be sending him for a follow-up next week. Meantime, she reported that since Tuesday evening, he’s been eating, prodigiously, and so that’s when she started taking him out for socialisation and to check him over. That was how she discovered the problem on his tail. He would huddle by her and hiss at the resident cats, both female, smaller and younger. Both girls seemed amazed and curious about him, especially given his size it seemed. The dogs were nonchalant but Snowball did half-heartedly attempt to posture at them initially. ML is hopeful that everyone will settle down and get with the programme soon.

ML also very graciously accepted my apology for not noticing the problem with Snowball’s tail. I had explained that I did not want to handle him overmuch when he first arrived at the cattery, as I did not want to add to his stress of being in a different environment. She said it was the same reason why she did not check Snowball over until Tuesday evening.

ML also asked about Snowball’s vaccination… unfortunately, his previous adopter did not hand his vaccination records back. The previous adopter had also neglected to send him for his yearly booster. (While we’re of the view that over the long-term, yearly boosters are not necessary, the first booster is vital, and we do recall emphasizing this to her.) On our part, I’ve also mis-recalled the time-frame for Snowball’s vaccination. He may need to be re-vaccinated as a new case due to the lapse. We will inform ML and also leave it to the vet to decide on the course to take.

Not exactly disasterous but I do hope this is the last surprise we have to deal with in the aftermath of his previous adoption.