Category Archives: Cally

Semi-pet cat: black and white young female sighted and de-mojoed in June 06. Irregular visits to Area 1 carpark. Not sighted since late 2006.

Cassie to the vet

Cassie has had strange lesions on her back for a week now. We’ve decided to send her to the vet’s, and arranged for V to help us transport her today. She’s expected to stay for a while.

We think it’s ringworm she’s contracted (ref: cat skin problems), and a possible source is Cally, who hasn’t been seen for a while, as btmao noted similar lesions on her at the most recent sighting.

When we got to the carpark, Ivan was there with Cassie. They touched noses for a bit and we also took some pictures and vids.

Then we opened the carrier door, and Cassie walked into the carrier herself, sniffing and exploring, with no wariness at all. She was very calm and curious about her journey.

We isolated her in a room. Later, we realised that she had urinated in it (a rarity, as most homeless cats would be so stressed they clamp up). So we brought the carrier, with her in it, to the toilet for a cleanup. She was more curious than scared, and the toilet certainly did not seem to be a strange place for her. Her tail was wagging all the time and she was purring while I wiped her with a damp cloth. In the shower stall, btmao’s cleaning of the carrier also did not spook her. In fact, she tried to help btmao!

After the cleanup, she once again walked into the carrier herself, utterly trusting.

Given what we know of her history, her conduct did not surprise us at all. But it certainly confirmed that she was once a house-cat, an abandoned house-cat who was saved from the death needle of AVA.

(NOTE: vids and photos to be added here.)


Chrissy secured!

btmao is on leave today. At year’s end, that always mean she ends up running cat errands of one sort or another.

So it didn’t surprise me when she called with the news – she’s got Chrissy in a carrier, and ready for V’s pick up!

Depending on the vet’s verdict, Chrissy may or may not lose her mojo rightaway. We’ve also notified Foster Mum – she’s busy with two new cases on hand (an abuse case – tail amputated, and another kitty with an amputated tail) – but she will also help us take a look at Chrissy and if she can’t be de-mojoed and needs care, we’ll figure it out after.

What was interesting about Chrissy’s capture was that btmao had help. There was a Malaya uncle, whom we’ve never met, who was actually going to give the carpark cats some food from his car.

All the regular Area 1 cats were there, except for Cara: Cassie, Ivan, even Cally! If only Isam was there, we’d have 1 confirmed mojo robbery today.

So anyway, btmao told the encik she already fed them and he didn’t have to leave food.

She also took the opportunity to talk about cat food and nutrition concerns. Turns out encik was feeding Science Diet. Previously, he fed Royal Canin – his cats hated it, keep shedding like crazy and puked like nobody’s business too. They are doing a bit better on Science Diet, but not much.

Since this is the same experience we had with these two brands, btmao asked him to consider Avoderm since it is comparable to Science Diet in price but does not have by-products like SD, or if his budget allows, to consider Natural Balance since Avoderm still does have corn fillers, like SD, which is known to make cats pukey. He was very concerned and enthusiatic and promised to think about what she told him.

The impressive thing about encik is that he’s feeding his home cats and the strays he come across the same kibble, like we do – really, imo, there really is no other way to know the effects of the food you feed homeless cats. Your home cats are the best indicators.

The encik also helped btmao by watching over Chrissy while she went to fetch the carrier. He also assisted with putting Chrissy into the carrier. Encik seemed pleased somebody’s looking after the cats.

I hope btmao took his contact number – maybe we can enlist his help to solve mysteries like Chicken Porridge Day and put a stop to the nonsense.

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.

Area 1 clannies full attendance

After vidding and getting Benji’s pics, we proceeded to the Area 1 carpark. Lo and behold, the elusive Cally was there! She’s very sweet and affectionate. If she wasn’t so elusive, we’d put her up for adoption too.

Cally in her glory

Cally and Cassie also got a little smoochy:

Ivan came along too, and patiently waited for food, the sweet boy

After breaking fast, Cassie displayed some yoga moves as she groomed

This morning’s service

At the area 1 carpark, were ravenous Cassie and Ivan, according to btmao, and the irregular scheduled-one, Cally. No sign of Cara.

In area 3, the usual suspects Marty, Henna, Mary, Martin, Marcus, and Macy.

Macy only nibbled, and was more interested to check out Martin and Marcus’ plates, just to be sure she’s getting the same deal.

Cally still collar-free

Cally has remained au naturel since btmao removed her collar.

You’d have thought that her disappearance, missing left-ear tip, and collar removal would be enough to spook her ‘owners’ to keep her indoor and safe, but no.

I really don’t get it, if the people who ‘owned’ her are really so concerned for her, why is she still free-roaming? Are their concern for their companion animal so shallow? To me, it says a lot about them.

Ha! Cally spotted a collar…

but for a while only.

PHEW, Cally turned up at Cassie’s for food today, looking all right. But btmao was mildly annoyed to find that she was wearing a collar, and removed it.

One – it was one of those that could end up choking her.

Two – it confirmed our suspicions that she IS a free-ranging pet cat. And the ignorant cheapos did not bother to consider her safety or well-being, letting her roam, unsterilised! And yet, they got concerned enough to claim her via a collar.

So much thanks we get for what we do.