Category Archives: Irresponsible Feeding

Here’s looking at you, babe

If you read the papers, you might be aware of several minor storms that have brewed and blown over the issue of stray cats, cats vs dogs, and humans who want cats (and dogs) out of this civilised plane of existence we call Singapore.

The cats vs dogs saga culminated in this post: The Press, on Dawn’s blog, which I fully agree with. The press can be an easy way to reach many with your opinions, but it can also be your worst foe – don’t be the one who turns it against yourself; always know what you’re writing a letter to the press for, how you’re writing it and why you’re writing it the way you did.

But well, what I would like to highlight, amid all the human conflicts is this bit that everybody ought to remember: why we do what we do. It could simply be due to the fact that there is Something about Cats (from the people at the wonderful project kuching coast), or dogs as the case may be.

Remember, it should be about them, not our opinions and squabbles.

Here’s the reverse chronology of the various storms – sometimes they cross borders so it’s just one list, from Dawn’s blog:

The perpetuity of ignorance and intolerance

Complainants strike again.

Mypaper
(Click for details)

Yesterday 2 letters appeared in mypaper. Details on the Unoffical Cat Welfare Society Diary. It’s the same gamut of typical calls/justifications to “solve the problem”:

  • Fear of cats spreading disease to children
  • I don’t hate cats but they shouldn’t appear in my field of vision
  • Feeders are irreponsible, causing messes, so instead of fining them, remove the cats who could not have cleaned up the mess, as Dawn said.

Rather than re-rant, I ask that you check out the CWS diary as I agree with the blog writer, Sarah, who deciphered and commented on both letters. I would add that it is rather surprising at both letter writers’ claims that they have been given the pinball treatment by AVA and Town Councils, which is rather more likely, and all too common, for caregivers, or even hackjobbers at their beck adn call, and whim and fancy.

One of the whinge letters has been reprinted in asiaone, and it is rather unfortunate and, imo, bad taste on the publishers’ part to display one of the pictures originally accompanying the recent NTU Cat Cafe Society article.

Incidentally, 3 letters rebutting these 2 letters were printed today. glad to see new and different names speaking up.

Such complaints are not the first, and they’re definitely not the last we’ll hear of it. Take for example the tasteless goings-on on a morning radio show that seemed to have started this latest round. Ignorance and intolerance still run rampant in cyberlongkang, as evidenced here and here (which were quite amusing in their exasperating blinkeredness).

Singaporeans need to sit down and take a good long think: Why the difference in acceptance level in how our cats are killed?

Why so like that (Selective compassion and apathetic ignorance)

In Dawn‘s latest blog, she wrote about her thoughts on the sudden flurry of help for a few unsterilised cats whose lives are threatened by complaints and the lack of responsible caregivers in their community.

Dawn said:

While I am glad so many people are taking an interest in these cats and wanting to rescue them, it does make me wonder, why these cats in particular? As far as I know, no one knows these cats personally. Here’s my question – what about all the other cats at the AVA that are caught? Why isn’t there a huge outpour of emotion to try and get all of THEM out? Amongst them, there are some unclaimed sterilised cats too, which means that at some point in their lives, they did get some care – they were sterilised after all. There are also even more unsterilised cats whom no one has ever taken care of. Why aren’t people asking for these cats to be released?

I feel very deeply with this sentiment. This is the comment I left on the post:

I think it’s a common human affliction.

All that outpouring of grief for Ah Meng and her granddaughter Atina, but no one’s raising as much as a whimper at what the orang utans in Indonesia are threatened with.

Same as with whale slaughter – NZ only specifically requested the Japanese whaling fleet to leave Migaloo the white Humpback alone when they announced they were going to kill 50 humpbacks this season as well. Why only Migaloo? Aren’t the “normal” humpbacks just as deserving of a reprieve? What about the 50 to 70 highly endangered Fin whales, and 1,000++ little piked whales the Japanese kill year after year after year?

The beef recall that resulted from the downer cattle abuse also – I got an sms and also an email calling for a boycott of US beef. But the abuse is not unique to the slaughterhouse or at this time. It’s been ongoing for so long. Mad cow has been around the block too. And so has bird flu and assorted farm animal epidermics. But people still eat beef and farm animals, and people still don’t care how they’re getting their meat, that factory farming is a problem and they are contributing to it.

Carmen the dog featured in that TODAY commentary is another good example. People went all out to help look for her when she got lost. But why didn’t people do things that would prevent other dogs from going through what she did in the first place? Why so eager to help her, but not other dogs?

After all the protestations of affection, and the outpouring of grief and assorted emotions, life resumes, and it’s as if all the browbeating and breast hammering didn’t take place. And all the abuse and cruelty resumes and keeps happening, until another bout of outcry and outrage. It’s like a merry-go-round that won’t stop.

Why are humans like that? How can we differentiate and compartmentalise our feelings so clearly and so distinctly? I’m sure there’s a scientific name for this condition.

Freda secured for her de-mojo appointment

Freda_20080203_04
We went out tonight to get the young but pregnant female spotted yesterday. We’ve decided to call her Freda, due to her resemblance, both physical and temperament-wise, to Freddy. She will be sterilised on Tuesday, and then will recuperate at Foster Mum’s til the weekend.

Freda_20080203_02
Unwary of the carrier

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Happy to have company

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Her teats looked a bit engorged, but her tummy wasn’t as big as it should be for a heavily pregnant cat.

As affectionate, trusting and clean as she is, which indicates high probability of her being a free-ranging pet cat, her hunger (borne out by her skinniness, and the fact that her spine could be felt when running the hand over her back) is testament to the shameful state of neglect or perhaps nonchlacne her owners bestow on her.

We will never understand how anyone who professes to love a cat, can keep one in such a state of non-fatal neglect.

Area2: Kitties galore!

After last week‘s sighting of the emaciated but friendly tabby boy and the cursory sighting midweek, we decided to do another walkabout tonight, and try to track him.

Though we didn’t find him, we did come across a super friendly, young female agouti… who is pregnant. As we were walking past the small road to the Area 2 carpark, btmao spotted the by-now familiar kitty silhoulette trotting toward us from another direction. We decided to approach and lo and behold, it was a ravenous and talkative young female! She barely started begging for food, and already btmao was laying some kibble on the pavement. We estimated that she would be barely 10 months old, and to our dread already pregnant. She was extremely clean, which indicated she was a free-ranging pet cat, but typical of such cats, she was also extremely skinny. That she was ravenous was no surprise either.

Between gorging on the kibbles, and trying to get head scritches, she was a very busy little cat. All in all, btmao gave her 5 big handfuls of kibbles… and it was still not enough.

Because the lighting conditions were too much for my handphone I took a vid instead, recording her voice if not images of her. If it could have been uploaded on youtube, you would be able to listen to her – the sound of a severely starved cat vocalising as she frantically eat as much as she can.

That she was also anxious to be friendly and get head scritches despite her extreme hunger, tells us the probability that she is or was a pet cat is at 100%.

She was still trying to beg for food after her fifth serving, but concerned that she might suffer from digestion issues and diarrhea (which is likely after a long starvation period) , we stopped and began leaving. She tried to follow us for a bit, but gave up dejectedly.

Our hands are tied as Foster Mum has her hands full too. But we will make arrangements with her to have this lovely girl sterilised as soon as possible. This is because sterilising pregnant cats has its attendant risks, she may need temporary boarding to recover before being returned to Area 2, and the best place to do that, that we know of, is the cattery.

We want to get her sterilised as soon as possible, as our experience with Booties tells us that she’s not healthy enough to bear her litter to full-term and even if she managed that, her babies are not likely to survive, either from poor health, poor care or poor nutrition. Looking at how emaciated she is, for a pregnant cat, she will not be able to care for her babies nor provide them nutrition. So it is better to stop her pregnancy rather than let it continue to drain her.

After leaving the young female, we searched but did not spot the tabby male we wanted to get.

btmao and I split up to widen the coverage. Soon she called me. She was very agitated. Behind a ground floor flat and therefore in the unlit night, were 3-5 cats, and they seemed to be warming up for a squabble. To make a long story short, the flat has cats running in and out. we make out:

  • 1 very friendly 1-2 year old tabby/white male with a long tail, who resembles Kobe
  • (picture)

  • 1 Calico kitten, 4 months old. Skittish.
  • 1 black/dark tuxedo kitten, 4 months old. Skittish.
  • 1 silver/grey tabby or white kitten , 4 months old. Skittish.

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There was also 1 Joe Yeti lookalike, whom we’ve spotted in Joe’s old haunt, and who we call Little Joe. He’s about 2-3 years old, and also we suspect, unsterilised. He was milling around the vicinity and we determined the commotion was due to his presence.

We were already feeling faint – aside from the resident tabby white, all were unapproachable. We thought it was enough for the night. But no. Immediately after we rounded the corner of the flat, we saw a blue-eyed Siamese cross with mittens sitting on a bench, whom we thought at first glance to be the long-missing Sasha. But on second glance, we realised it was also a kitten , 4-6 months old. Again it was skittish and scooted off into the night as soon as it noticed us approaching. We noticed it had a half tail.

Nearby, in the open, and reacting to this kitten’s escape was another smallish cat, a black and white tuxedo quite apart from the brood behind the flat.

We have our work cut out for us.

Area 2: Female kitten needs mojo relief

I was speaking to a friend who lives in Area 2, who knows about our TNRM of the area. She mentioned that a very friendly young tabby/white has been in the area for a few months already. Her kids always played with it, and even named it Mio. She was not sure but thought the kitten was a female.

She said it was extremely friendly and trusting, and always like to follow people around, and to be carried. Sometimes, Mio would sit at the bottom of their block and meow. She would stop as soon as she saw my friend and her daughters. My friend is not able to take the kitten in but would like to get her sterilised at least. She also asked about putting Mio up for adoption.

I agreed with the importance of getting Mio sterilised, as it seemed like Mio was likely to be 6-8 months already. As for adoption, I told her about our standard operating procedure – that cats for adoption were fostered by Foster Mum until rehomed – and that whether we can proceed with this cat depends on Foster Mum’s capacity.

But we still needed to see the cat for ourselves. So earlier this evening, btmao and I went over for a walkabout. We met a super friendly spotted tabby boy with no tail. He was extremely thin (his sides were sunk in, just like Lizzy). He was also clearly unsterilised. btmao fed him and he, typical of former pets or trusting free-ranging pets, tried to follow us for a bit but stopped as soon as he realised we were ignoring him (and probably because we crossed his territory’s border). This was one cat we needed to sterilise for sure, but we can’t do it immediately – he needed to be padded up before we take his mojo away.

In the distance, at the carpark, we saw a commotion. There were a few kids milling around something. We approached, and realised that it was my friend’s kids, with their dad. There, threading her way around her legs was Mio.

I tried talking to them to ascertain her temperament. Some of the kids’ friends also arrived. Judging from all the kids’ eagerness to interact with Mio, and how relaxed she was, it was obvious she had been in a home if not a free-ranging pet cat. Also, she allowed one of the kids to carry her and walk about. Clearly, she enjoyed the attention she was getting. Clearly, too, we needn’t have to ask about how friendly she was.

We parted with the kids, having an idea of what needed to be done for Mio and the boy.

TNRM issues

We’ve said this about: TNRM – it can succeed, with cooperation and support. Today Dawn blogged about one very important aspect that can make or break the cats’ chances of eking out a living among us:  Management

Ask yourself this question Dawn asked in relation to the complaint she’s handling:

How else can two pretty similar estates, which aren’t very far apart have such different levels of complaints?

She goes on to say:

In one, the caregiver there works really well, gets the cats sterilised, and very importantly, helps handle complaints. In the other, just across the road, which is where today’s complaint came from again, I am sure to have the TC or a resident call fairly regularly with pretty valid complaints.

This can make a huge difference – the cats are less obvious, they are less visible, and people are therefore happier. People with complaints are less likely to be frustrated because caregivers are on hand to help them – not yell at them, or dismiss their complaints as pointless before checking.

In reference, please bear in mind: “Good karma feeding” kill cats