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.)

Mary_20090815_010_DSC_0273x

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!

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7 responses to “World Animal Day Weekend – what it means for Singapore’s homeless cats

  1. Hi!

    I am currently working on a project to keep track of the cats colony in Singapore. Our objective is to match the volunteers database to the cats colony so that once CWS receives any complaint case, we can direct the complaint to the nearest volunteer to attend to the case. We are seeking all the stray cat care givers urgently to have more accurate database. I was appalled when AVA told me that 3000+ cats were culled last yr, and the ratio of cats culled to complaint is 1-to-1. If you know of any other car-giver as well, please drop me an email so that we could collect the data from you.

    • Hi BS,
      we, and the caregivers we know (at least all the ones who are willing), are already on the CWS database.

      Perhaps you would like to leave your email address here, so that other caregivers who read this blog may contact you too.

  2. The fact that there are people like you around give me hope for animals everywhere 🙂

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