Tag Archives: community cats

Area1: Schwinger Central

The Snippety Happy bunch are back. They arrived shortly after 10pm this evening. All looked good, though wide-eyed from the trauma of their abduction and mojo-robbery.

Before their homecoming btmao and I went around the area, hoping to encounter the absentee kitty aka Rapunzel, who didn’t join the happy snippees on Monday. As luck, or probably the kitty deities, would have it, that kitty did appear. So V secured the lucky one before releasing the snippety bunch.

Four schwingers de-mojoed, and Rapunzel in the bag. But is it really over, for now at least? btmao say the new kitty in the hood seemed to be a different one from the schwingers rounded up.

More details, naming headaches and yes pictures to come.


Timely refresher: TNRM and how it can work

Of course this is no guarantee that following what Dawn said guarantees your TNRM to work, but having positive contributors to the situation surely add that much potential for success than disincentives. But well, it can be rather discouraging and sometimes feelings of indignation, injustice and wasted effort and hopelessness wells up. Especially following the recent spate of kitty letters and articles in the press, online and some RL issues.

Dr Henna-Jekyll contented after a good breakfast and some attention from btmao, still going strong after 5 years and who knows how many litters before her mojo was finally stolen. Ms Henna-Hyde will return shortly.

For a wild child like Henna, who still is wary of close contact with people after years of btmao tlc, one must ponder: Adoption – always the best thing for a cat?

But whatever the current situation, we must not forget it’s about the Tipped Ear Ones that we minions do what we do – feed responsibly, care for and sterilise them aka TNRM because real progress has been, and is being made, even though sometimes it feels like running on the spot. So here’s a timely refresher on TNRM, with emphasis on M=management.

Area1: New baby on the block

Late on 2 May, we came home from our granddad’s 88 birthday celebration, all tired and eyes drooping. But trust btmao to spot a small dark shape slinking along the pavement and entering the common rubbish chute at the bottom of our block, which was of course open.

With the tell-tale pointy ears and kitty-creep, the critter was no rat. We clicked softly to get its attention. But still it disappeared into the darkness of the chute room after pausing for a while.

We approached and tried to entice the kitten out. But we couldn’t see a thing and didn’t have food so we went back up. Thereafter, we were not able to locate the kitten anymore. The only thing we were sure about it was it had a short tail and thanks to btmao, were fairly it was a tabby kitten.

Kittens are rarely sighted in Area1 since we have sterilised all the adults we know of here since 2007 and have continued to mojo-nab any that have entered Area1 since. So it was probably an abandonee or a lost baby.  In any case we thought the kitten was gone for good when 2 weeks later, as we were reaching home after the usual daily office slog, we both heard a single meow. I didn’t see anything, but btmao stopped and pointed. To our left, peering out from a drain was a kitten, piteously wanting attention but wary at the same time.

Looking at the tail and the size, we believed it was the same kitten we saw going into the rubbish chute 2 weeks earlier. btmao had food, so she laid out service and we stood back to assure the kitten. Also, we could clearly see it was an agouti.

The kitten tucked in

But even in its hunger it was careful and was hesitant at first

While the kitten ate, a kid ran past, and caused the little cat to scoot back into the safety of the drain. But it was apparently too hungry as it crept back out after a while and slowly tucked in again. We discussed the situation. I went home to prepare dinner while she would wait for him (he had meta-dongs, shall we say) to finish up.

But I had barely started cutting the veggies when btmao called and say he was friendly and trusting after food. In fact, he approached her after a luxurious stretch and rubbed himself against her. Fancy that. So we called Foster Mum and confirmed a place for him, I went down with a carrier and we hopped into a cab together.

He was the calmest little cat, tucked himself comfortably and waited for his itinerary to unfold itself. We decided to name him Cody, and estimated his age to be 3 or so months.

Cody settled down to community living easily and was well-liked by Foster Mum and her helpers for his affectionate behaviour. However, he was obviously overwhelmed by being among so many cats as he tends to be shy and while ok with being carried by other people, tended to want to get back into his cage after a while. He is by all accounts, definitely trusting and not so anxious to return to his cage when it’s Foster Mum’s helpers who carry him. We had intended to put him up for adoption last month, but he fell ill. Thankfully he is now recovered and ready for adoption.

Area1: New cat – tabby male

On the morning of 7 March, on the way out to service the Area3 kitties, we sighted a scaredy boy:

He made straight for the school compound between Areas 2 and 1. From the way he made straight for the entry point, it was clear he knew the lay of the land.

Later that same day, we would find out from D that she had also sighted him the night before in Area2.

We next sighted him well within Area1 in the night of 28 Mar 2008, still as scaredy, but not as unapproachable. Unlike the first time when he scooted all the way into his safe zone, that night he was content to observe us from the bushes he rushed into.

We’re going to try to get him de-mojoed, as usual, if he sticks around. Given his size, I wonder if he was the same scaredy kitten we caught sight of once, within the school compound in January. In fact, I wonder if he might be Bradley‘s sibling.

Area3: Pierre, honorary clan member

Meet Pierre.

He is a community cat whose home range abuts Marty and Henna’s tuft. Like them, he’s been around since before or during SARS.

His home consists of a plaza where members of the public sit and chat. He’s actually a very popular fixture and often sits quietly by chatting couples or groups of friends in the evening. As they chat, people who stroke or pet him, and he enjoys the attention, though he won’t demand it. He’s friendliness and politeness personified. Still we believe that he did not survive this long by being oblivious. He’s hardly ever sighted in the daytime and we notice that once he’s had food, he will hide in the bushes that line the plaza perimeter.

Because of the very high traffic volume of his home, we don’t stick around, to avoid attracting the wrong type of attention to him. So we do not have photos of him, until this encounter when we had a camera good enough to take some viewable pictures.

There used to be another 2 or 3 other cats sharing his home, likely his family as they are tabby white like him. They are all sterilised (but not by us minions). But we’ve not sighted them for a long time. The most recent news we heard from A is that a resident, a very cute and dainty tabby female was found dead nearby, either because of road accident or pesticide.


We don’t feed Pierrie as he’s obviously got his supply line down pat. As it turns out, one of his supplier is A from Area2.

PS: for the curious, he was named Pierre as us minions were going on to names starting with P for the new males appearing in Area 3 at the time. Pierre seemed to suit him as he had an air of an elegant romantic despite being the constant pain in Marty’s side during pasar malams. He has always loved people and was such a gentleman with humans even though he and Marty probably would love to kick the other one 10,000 miles from the area.

Area2: Robby

This is the nearest to a viewable picture I managed of Robby, the cat we first encountered while trying to get Brina’s family de-mojoed.


We’ve not sighted him since. The probable reason is he’s a free-ranging virile male just like Stanley was. But I’m tagging him as an area2 cat for convenience. We expect he’ll make guest appearances until we can pin down his schedule and his mojo thereafter.

We named him Robby due to his striking resemblance to Bobby, down to the white diamond adorning the nose of their tabby-masked faces.

Today 20090326: A little compassion will help pet owners

Another follow-up to TODAY 20090316: Rise in lost dogs, despite laws. This was sent in by a friend. She’s a dog-owner who also does TNRM. It is a bloody shame that her comments on the cat stats in the report were all taken out. I’m appending her original letter after the printed version for reference.

But before reading the letters, here’s an idea: after reading it, please follow the letter link on today online and post comments there. Do the same for the other letter, which is online only. Maybe we’ll get more some visibility about the facts behind the stats in the print version.

Today Online Voices Logo

A little compassion will help pet owners

Thursday • March 26, 2009

Letter from Lilian Teo

I REFER to “Rise in lost dogs, despite laws” (March 16).

The Housing and Development Board only allows one dog per flat from a list of small-sized dog breeds. The abandoned dogs reported by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals may have been owned by those who have had to downgrade from private property to public housing.

Also, large dogs may have been bought before the change in rules, and their owners feared running afoul of the law. For them abandoning their pet was the answer.

Exceptions should be made for such cases where the dog is not a dangerous breed.

Part of the problem is that behavioural training is not mandatory. Most dogs require instruction in how to behave around people.

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority should legislate behaviour training for dogs and make it compulsory for pet shops to counsel dog buyers to send their pets for training. This is so as to reduce the number of dogs abandoned for being unmanageable.

Copyright MediaCorp Press Ltd. All rights reserved.

Here’s the original version:

Subject: Response to “Rise in lost dogs, despite laws” (Mar 16)
To: news@newstoday.com.sg; cheekong@mediacorp.com.sg

Dear Editor and Mr Loh,
This report gives me mixed feelings as I am a dog lover who also manages the community cat population in my neighbourhood.

I believe the reason why the tighter dog-licence rules are proving ineffective is due to these rules being out of synch with the aspirations of the modern Singaporean who wants to have pets.

HDB only allows 1 dog per flat from an approved list of small-sized dog breeds. The abandoned dogs reported by SPCA may be former HDB pets or pet dogs whose owners have had to downgrade from private property to public housing and got hit by this rule. Also, large dogs may have been bought before the new licencing rules, and had owners who fear running afoul of regulations. For them abandoning their pets was the answer.

Therefore AVA and HDB should show compassion and empathy, and make exceptions for such cases where the dog does not come from a dangerous breed.

I also feel that part of the problem is that behavioral training is not mandated. Despite their image as obedient animals who are eager to please their human masters, most dogs do require “schooling” in order to know how to behave among people. The AVA should legislate behavior training for dogs and make it compulsory for pet shops to counsel dog buyers to send their newly bought pets for training to reduce the potential of dogs being abandoned for being unmanageable.

While I do not need the statistics for cats to confirm the success of my Trap-Neuter-Release Management (TNRM) programme, which is self-financed, it is good to see formal statistics affirming TNRM at the national level.

TNRM is both humane and effective. It will be even more successful if our leaders and the government agencies they run acknowledge this fact and support sterilisation instead of removal and culling, which is ineffective in managing cat issues. For example, Town Councils instinctively round up cats without first verifying the validity and true cause of cat-related complaints, leaving TNRM managers like me to sterilise the new cats that appear because of the vacuum effect.

HDB’s cat ban also causes problems: how can cat owners be made aware of their duty to be responsible if their pet cats are “illegal”?

Obviously, Singapore ’s pet rules have much room for improvement.