Category Archives: Booties

Adopted 2 Dec 06, together with Timmi.

SOS: helping kitties deal with Mum’s pregnancy, babies and/or kids

Remember Booties and Timmi? This is an appeal for help – advice and suggestions needed from anyone who has gone through a situation where a pet cat starts behaving badly after the stork deposits da package. Please reply or write to us at sephycat at gmail dot com.

The two dames have a 3-month old human addition to the home now.

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Booties is handling the change well.

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But Timmi, unfortunately, isn’t.

In the words of their mum, PC:

I’m having difficulty managing Timmi lately and I was wondering if I could get your advice.

We recently had a baby daughter, she’s now 3 months old. Both T & I barely spent time with them in the 1st one and half months .

The cats have been more needy and I think the baby’s crying drives them berserk, well it nearly drove us to tears!!

We expected that the cats will be confused and more needy with the baby and changes in the routine at home- they used to be able to go into our spare bedroom (now the baby’s room) but they can’t now. So we let them go into the study when they previously couldn’t. They are not allowed in our master bedroom at all.

Timmi is driving me insane with her needy behaviour, she was stalking me everywhere I go and even when I’m on the couch breastfeeding my baby. I try to give some attention to both the cats in the mornings when the baby’s asleep. Timmi has now resorted to negative behaviour to get our attention, she blatantly goes into the master bedroom even when she knows that I can see her doing it! She didn’t show much interest in our room before the baby came along, I used to leave the door open the entire day and she wouldnt bother to go in, now she’s doing it almost everyday. She knows that she will get punished( I scuff her, hiss and beat her butt) for it but she does it anyway. T thinks she’s doing it to get attention even if it is negative – so I ignore her and let her bad behaviour slide.. I really don’t want to punish her everyday, its unhealthy for both of us but her behaviour has gone from bad to worse. The thing is, we really can’t give her as much attention as we used to, T has since change jobs, he works longer hours and his job requires him to travel a fair bit as well. I’ve quit my job to become a stay at home mom. I have to manage the baby, household chores and cats alone most of the time.

Booties is doing okay but unfortunately she cant sit on my lap for the time being, can’t hve fur on me when I carry the baby.

We had a chat about the situation. It’s not the absolute pits yet, but PC would dearly love to get further away from those. She is nearly the end of her tether about coping with Timmi. While her sister has offered to take Timmi, PC considers it the very last resort and hopes very much to keep the family intact.

I did a search online; there’s quite some references about preparing kitties for the arrival of a new baby, but I was not able to find anything about managing the situation if a situation develops after the baby arrives.

Help, anyone?

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What’s bothering you, Timmi?

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Booties and Timmi settling down well

Looks like the girls have settled their accounts with each other at last. What a long time, they went home mid December after all. Kudos to their mum and dad for being patient and understanding. the surprise though is that Timmi is alpha over Booties! What a role reversal.

Email update on 9 April 07:

… Yep, the kitties have worked out their pecking order and Timmi is the reigning “Queen”. We’re keeping Bootie’s name but we’re thinking of changing Timmi’s name… she doesn’t seem to respond to her name.. I think she responds to our voices.

Compare to this on 8 Jan 07 :

Hope things are well both at home and at work. In case you’re wondering how Timmi and Booties are doing, here’s an update:

They’re both healthy and eating well. You’re right about Natural Balance, their coats are now more silky and soft. The patch on Timmi’s head has also improved, the fur is growing back nicely. Booties has been scratching her right ear quite abit. I’m sending themto Jane’s place for grooming on tuesday. If Booties still scratches her ear, I’ll send her to the vet. By the way, which vet did they seepreviously? By any chance, would you have their previous vaccination cards/ history? I need to know when I should send them for their vaccinations.

They are still fighting. They woke me up at 6am this morning! I wonder how you manage with 6 cats…

Sometimes they even seem to be avoiding each other. They’re hardly ever near each other, except during meal times.

I see Timmi approaching Booties but Booties will hiss at her.

I also notice that Timmi waits outside the bedroom door (either in sight or hidden) when Booties uses the litter pan.

Timmi will then either “ambush” Booties when she’s about to leave the pan or when she’s leaving the room. Bootieshates it and will hiss at her. This happens every other day. I’m just wondering if Timmi wants to play but Booties is
not interested. What do you think?

I usually don’t intervene unless I think one of them may get hurt. Whenever they fight, I tend to clap my hands/ scold the both of them – to show that I disapprove of them fighting. Sigh! I wonder if they will ever get along.

Compare that to this sent on 16 Dec 07, 2 days after they got home:

Just thought I update you on the 2 girls. They’re doing well and have settled down. T is also getting used to the girls. As I speak, Booties is now napping on my living room sofa beside T who’s playing with his playstation.

Timmi is also doing better, she’s no longer hiding, although she runs for cover whenever she hears my neighbours come home. She’s really curious and constantly wants to run into my bedroom and study (these 2 rooms are not cat friendly yet). Booties is very affectionate to me and T. Earlier today she slept on my tummy while I napped on the couch! Timmi is friendly to the both of us but she can be shy at times. T and I are giving them alot of attention, petting, praises and snuggling. We’re are officially their slaves!

I’m slowly changing their dry and wet food to Natural Balance (dry) and snappy tom(wet). But I find that snappy tom has a very thick jelly base, I’m wondering if thats ok for kitties. I have doubts about fuzzie cat canned food as I read somewhere that cats can get addicted to tuna and will not want to try other things. As it is, I find that the girls dont eat much of the dry food but love the fuzzie cat canned food. What do you think?

Pictorial update today:

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New Tuxedo Girl In Area 2

While serving dindin to Benji, a little head popped out from a little bush in front of the block opposite from Benji’s feeding ground. The little Tux looked somewhat lost and was inspecting the surrounding, hiding behind a pillar when a huge Retriever appraoched while out for his/her evening run.

I quickly cleared Benji’s dinner plate and scooted to entice the little Tux. Benji quickly followed and hissed at his visitor but immediately proceeded to enjoy a fresh serving of canned fish, professionally. I managed to lift the little Tux’s tail to check gender while our visitor was busy mowing through dinner. Tux turned out to be a girl and immediately reminded me of Booties.

She’s on the slim side, like Benji and Sasha, but definitely has a constant supply of food.

ST 20061221: Be kind to animals. Let the cat sleep on the bonnet

Does it sound out-of-this-world that a homeless cat could die just for sitting on someone’s car? Sadly, it is reality-Booties was a victim of such surrealism. First the complainant said she scratched his car (which is impossible), then apparently he confessed to the town council officer that she didn’t scratch his car, he just didn’t like to see her sitting on his car! (Read the details here)

Luckily, we had stepped up and made the town council aware that we, btmao and I, are caring for the cats in our area. So Booties did not get rounded up immediately as would have happened. Instead the town council officer called us. We were given an ultimatum, “remove” her ourselves or the authorities will do it, aka send her to AVA to be killed. So we moved her into foster care. Away from a life she’s known for 5 years.

A life disrupted because of a petty human. It may not seem like much, but it was still a living, breathing, being who did no one any harm we’re talking about.

We had feared that she would have to live out her life in the cattery or come home with us, when we manage to get a bigger place. This is because no one was interested in adopting her at all, despite her sweet nature and affection for people. She must hold a record of some sort-being on the highly effective CWS adoption bulletin board for almost 2 years and having only elicited all of ONE casual query. Black and white tuxedos just aren’t as appealing, and she’s certainly no kitten. But happily, she was not meant to stay in the cattery forever – she has a home now.

The happy outcome for Booties still does not compensate for the fact that her life could have ended just because she chose the wrong car to sit on. And how many cats have been rounded up and sent to AVA and killed just because they made the same mistake and did not have someone who cared for them?

The Straits Times
Online Letter

Dec 21, 2006
Be kind to animals. Let the cat sleep on the bonnet
At this time of the year, the weather turns cold with northern wintry winds and frequent rain. More often than before, I would find a community cat curled on the bonnet of my car, seeking the warmth of its engine.

I felt joy seeing this. Compassion and the act of giving are part of the Christmas spirit.

I hope that other car owners will be forgiving and not complain to the Town Council about cats sleeping on their cars.

I hope that Town Council officers will not engage the pest control firms to trap the cats to be killed at the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority in response to such complaints.

I am glad that this year, there were more letters published in the ST Forum “speaking” up for our “dumb” animals because it shows that we have not traded our souls for compulsive materialism.

For this I say “Thank you Straits Times”.

I have a wish for the New Year and the essence of this was voiced by Dr Tony Page, a well-known personality among people who are interested in the welfare of animals, in an interview in 2000.

He said: ‘Yes. I dream of a world where animals are viewed as sentient and sensitive people, whose right to be free from human-enforced suffering is respected and where our only relations with animals are motivated by the wish to love and help them.’

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Dr Tan Chek Wee

Playing god – we’d really rather pass

… if we can help it. After all, we’re only lowly mojo-robbing cat minions.

In an ideal world, there would not be a need for cat-mojo robbers like btmao and I, and a number of people here in Singapore and elsewhere around the world. It is a lot of money, time and effort. It’s not like we get any form of support either. Our volunteerism is not recognised, and we don’t get reimbursment. Most property managements, from civil-service town councils to private condos and even hotels, are unempathetic or at best, obtuse to the cause.

And any balance achieved from mojo-robbery is very fragile – the money and effort sometimes can seem fruitless, just with the appearance of a new cat, especially a virile aggressive tom cat or worse, pregnant female. Noise from hierarchy and territorial scuffles, abandoned cats crying like lost children, and mating din can annoy residents and put all cats in the vicinity in danger of culling. And if irresponsible feeders annoy residents, or residents complain for other (sometimes unfathomable) reasons, the cats are again in danger of getting culled.

What have we got for getting into this mojo-robbing business? Stress, wallet-burn, being branded trouble-makers, seen as heretical, mad, unappreciated… the list goes on. There is also happiness, relief (and yes, a smidgeon of pride) when the cats do well and you see them looking healthy post-sterilisation, and keeping injury-free. But along with these come muddy paw-prints on white-tees, fish-breath kisses, rashes from allergic reactions to fish-breath kisses…

If this deal sounds like godhood to you, I don’t want to know what you tell dear diary.

How did this thing about gods and playing their divine roles come about?

Well, there is sometimes a misconception that people who rob pregnant cat mojo, aka allow vets to abort and sterilise kitty mummies, are “playing god”. For eg, Anonymous at 2.49pm on this entry on Dawn’s blog.

When this was followed quickly by this second blog entry, I had to let some steam off, and I did by commenting on it. We certainly don’t want the job, but like the cliche goes, sometimes the greater good matters MORE, and if it entails “playing god”, even if it’s only to anonymous eyes, so be it. In Singapore’s context, there is no option – if you have to, you’d have to. Here’s my comment on that second entry (annotations and links mine for this post only):

Dawn, I feel a rant coming on, so please bear with me.

This is a good example of why caregivers, at least those who give a damn, have to “play god” at some point in the lifetime of the TNRM program they are running.

When to sterilise is not a matter of scheduling that we can simply work around our conscience or beliefs. The logistics involved demand a mental reflexibity, and an acceptance of the wider perspective, ie allowing pregnant cats to give birth before sterilising means you will always have catching up to do. How confident are you of keepnig up with the catching-up? Kittens grow up and wander off, or they get picked up – and who’s to say these kittens will be sterilised and not contribute to the problem?

In such a situation, sterilisation is only as good as blackhole filling, you’re never able to get it done!

Well, unless you have very good resources (e.g. vets willing to sterilise at your convenience) and helping hands at your beck and call. Otherwise you will find yourself swamped and overwhelmed, usually sooner than later.

Education is also important. Care givers who are going to sterilise need to understand a bit of cat physiology and growth – waiting for the cats to go into heat is the suckiest and silliest rule of thumb to live by, unless you don’t care about population control.

My sister and I have, since we started sterilising cats 7 years ago, knowingly sent only 1 pregnant cat for sterilisation. Another got aborted on the operating table despite being very pregnant (she did not look it, and her babies have a history of not surviving). (calsifer’s note: this one is Booties)

This does not mean we derive any satisfaction from “playing god”. Far from it – we feel horrible for months.

But our very low abortion rate is only part luck we believe. It is also because we are paranoid about unsterilised cats, whether males or females, and we strive to get to them asap.

Can we simply postpone sterilisation for pregnant cats so as to leave our personal belief system unruffled? IMHO, if that’s such a big concern, don’t do TNRM – it’s like being caught between the devil and the deep blue sea, with a yawning rift right under your wobbling feet.

People like the objecting Anonymous (calsifer’s note: as mentioned, this is Anonymous at 2.49pm on this entry) in your previous entry ought to spend some time thinking about this “playing god” business before they step in and say we should think about not playing god all the time.

If sterilising a pregnant cat, for the sake of keeping the existing population stable and as safe as possible is “playing god”, then yes, ok, me is very very guilty of “play god”, sir. (I don’t keep a diary, thank Bast)

But there are “gods” and then there are “gods”. I wield my “god” power to save lives. On the other side of the chasm is the god mob that cares only to extinguish cat lives – the Club Rad – irrational cat complainant (or the residents complain for other (sometimes unfathomable) reasons mentioned earlier). Among them is the RA of cat complainant shangri-la: Tony Tan Tuan Khoon.

If I were truly a god, I would grant Messrs Tan and his ilk their wish to see all cats dead – they would be there to witness the death of every cat they’re responsible for, one by one. And to ensure they never forget, at every cat death they witness, they would experience every single fear and pain of the cat as it dies.

Yes, whoever can get that done, even if you half-do it and managed only the witness part, you’re the daddy, you’re the GAWD of my world.

Slightly off-topic addendum: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Anonymouses are funny beings, much like hit-and-runs, ie they never do stick around.

Booties and Timmi are home today

The girls are home!

Their mum, PC, sms’d in the afternoon, and reported that both freaked out during the journey home.

Booties, as expected, recovered almost immediately, and has become PC’s shadow, asking for attention all the time.

Timmi though exhibited the more typical reaction, and took to hiding. Like Snowball, she needs to work it, out on her own schedule.

Hopefully, she comes out of it soon.

Timmi and Booties homegoing confirmed


Booties, Timmi.

The girls’ mum, PC, visited them at Foster Mum’s today. She confirmed they will be going home on Thursday.