Tag Archives: stray animals

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.


Area1: Snippety Happy

We thought we had a new kitty in the hood… what do we know.

The kitty we confirmed about 2 weeks was an agouti female – she was sitting right outside our door, on the ninth floor, on a night when btmao returned home late, thus confirming herself to us. Like Isam when he first appeared, and Brenda, she seemed to trying to find her home, going up and down in tireless frenzy the blocks in the ‘hood.

Around the same time, we spotted a new silver spotted tabby male, young but with fullly ripe “grapes”.

Available adult female, add virile adult male. Bad combo. But as ever, they were scaredy-attention seeking (typical of newly abandoned pets), elusive and refused to give us their daily agenga. Talk about guerilla warfare.

This morning, we spotted the female downing some cooked rice strewn on the muddy roots of a tree. She ran off as I approached. So this evening we decided we would try to nail someone, anyone, to some sort of kitty schedule.

We got more than we ask for… different than what we hoped but definitely more.

We met a new kitty. A striped female with a stumpy tail and surprise of surprises – a tipped ear. She’s a carpark denizen and completely friendly.

Then while btmao fed her, I went round the neighbourhood. The silver spotted tabby boy was out and about, up to his usual frenetic search up and down the blocks looking for a home. But at least he was calm enough and friendly. We decided to call V to come collect him, not least because his loudmouth tendency wasn’t doing himself any fabours.

Thankfully V was available to swing by, ETA 9-ish. The silver spotted tabby boy wouldn’t know what hit him. He’s friendly, bright-eyed but definitely putting on the coy. His call even sounded like he’s wanting to show some lucky gal what a lover he was. And his advertisement was being answered. We were standing at the foot of a block. I heard someone responding to him, but it took btmao’s 6/6 vision (she went home for supplies), to spot the furry Rappunzel up on the third floor, upper body clear over the ledge and at the ready to fly down.

I went up to take a look. It was the rice-gulping agouti-female. But she was right on the ledge and let out a very scared howl. So I left her, and btmao to juggle her watch. btmao had to chaparone the loverlorn twosome as I had to go home to finish up some work. I also told her she just missed Brenda trotting by a while.

btmao just got home and gave me the surprise of week. When I went looking for the spotted tabby boy, he had climbed to the second floor of another block (he’s got the Isam’s initial run-up-and-down-every-block bug), where I had spotted 3 young cats in front of a flat (which occpuants refused to open and talk), 1 friendly ginger and 3 SCAREDY dilute gingers. The friendly I could see was a boy. That was in March. Since then I’ve not caught sight of them except for a chance encounter with one of the dilutes at the foot of our block in the compromised position of pooping. So tonight I requested Vincent to see if he can nab any of the threesome as well. Vincent took care of the spoted tabby boy. btmao met a Malay man who said he feeds nightly using styrofoam plates which he clears (he felt sorry for the many cats around and was angry at irresponsible people who dumped them, ostensibly just “downstairs”) and had just left food for some cats at the ginger’s block. He told her the flat where  where I found the ginger and dilutes loitering belonged to a macik who claimed she doesn’t own them, just fed them as they kept appearing at her door. (The macik, had annoyingly, been trying to lure the spotted tabby boy away while btmao was chaperoning him for V’s arrival) Even Brenda is a regular visitor to her kitty soup kitchen.

So btmao went to see and saw…

… the ginger, one dilute/white cat, and 2 more cats!

V grabbed the friendly ginger and was nearly lynched by the Malay man and his wife/relative on the way back to his van. V kept saying “Sterilise, sterilise” and btmao was luckily there to help defuse the situation too. Ultimately, V got 3 boys from there. The dilute/white was a girl who the Malay man said is already sterilised despite the lack of a tipped ear as he had seen the surgery scar on her. Someone besides us were sterilising kitties in the vicinity it seems (and the Malay man agrees), but who we have no idea, and why was the girl’s ear not tipped? Mysteries.

Sadly, the rice-gulper was not to be found. A minion’s work is truly never done. But now that we know a feeder, who seems responsible, we can try to harness the power for good. Entrapment is the key now.

So in total 4 boys are going to lose their mojo tomorrow. The spotted tabby boy, the ginger, a new tabby white, and a new big-headed agouti tabby tux. The Malay man and his family seemed determined to be there to receive the tom kitties when they return from the event of their lives. I too am looking forward to meeting the new kitties, the responsible feeder encik and make arrangements for the area1 kitties, females or otherwise, still at large. Photos to come too.

But for now we have the task of a lifetime – a ton of names to come up with. Anyone with suggestions for names beginning with C and I? We need about 3 for girls, and 5 for boys. F is also another alphabet we’re using for area1.

Here’s the list of names already owned by our area1 kitties:

Area 1 (135)

Invitation: conversations on cat welfare

Tomorrow, an event hosted by the owners of myanimalfamily is taking place:  conversations on cat welfare

Check the blog entry out even if you aren’t joining in, very good stats on community cat population management.

BambiBaby aka Bradley

It’s been 1 month and 5 days since Bambi went missing. While her bewildered baby has been adapting, moving from dried leaves to the minion dinner service, we are no closer to getting him fostered or sterilised. Since his 2nd escape from our rubbery clutches, we have given up on the idea that he can rehomed, or even fostered unless we can do so ourselves. He is simply too high-strung and scaredy; it would just not be fair to put the responsibility of rehabilitating him on any fosterer. But we are hoping he might calm down once we can get him sterilised, given Ivan‘s example.

We had thought he would no longer respond to btmao after Christmas. In fact, we had not been able to find him since. That is, until the night Brenda and Indy returned, just a mere 3 day period.


It’s a bit dark of course, but I did not want to spook him with the camera flash. Given his character, once spooked, he would give up dinner and run away.

Hopefully, the video shows him more clearly. His face has lost that wide-eyed babyish freshfaced look, his muzzle getting more prominent. He is certainly growing up. We’ve decided to give a proper name, and btmao has chosen to call him Bradley.

Update on the trio

While it may have been the bestest news in a long while when we packed Stanley off for his de-mojo appointment on Christmas evening, we got a bit of a shock on Boxing day. V called btmao for a decision in the morning. Stanley was on the operating table, his juju removed. However, the vet noticed a largish lump on his ear and was asking if we wanted it removed as well. So btmao said yes. It might be a tumour, it might be not, but it seemed to be growing. As V was busy and the reception bad, it was all we had to go on for a while.

Post-surgery, Stanley would need 2 weeks of recovery time. We asked V to foster him if he couldn’t stay at the vet’s. V said he would see what can be done for the big boy. The other two were fine, although Brenda was in heat, which meant that her surgery bill would cost that much more. V would settle the bill and let us know the cost.

On Sunday, 28 Dec, Brenda and Indy returned.

V brought out Indy first. He was still placid, calm, though he did seemed a bit too wild-eyed and overwhelmed. When the carrier door opened, he seemed dumbfolded.

Next was Brenda. But even before we saw her, we heard her. She was crying the block down. We forgot Indy for a moment as we quickly opened the carrier door for her. She shot out like a champion racer and stopped only to get her orientation about 8 metres away. Then she set off purposefully, all the while complaining for the world to hear.


When I turned back from taking this photo, Indy was still inside the carrier. Since I was the one who put him into the carrier, the honour fell to me to get him out. He was still immobile even outside the carrier. So I carried him 5 metres, in the direction of his “home”. He was still immobile. In total, I moved him 5 times, putting him nearly on the doorstep of the family before he clued in to what’s going on. He never did once struggled while I carried him. Obviously, he has deep trust in people and has no inkling of self-preservation.

As for Stanley, the lump behind his ear turned out to be a pus-filled growth, mostly likely a result of an infected wound. He would be fine and need no further follow-up. We settled up with V and would see him when he returned Stanley in 2 weeks’ time.

The next morning, Monday, 29 Dec, I walked out to the mrt station, and was cautiously happy to see that Indy wasn’t outside the flat. Reality bit on Tuesday though. I can no longer be surprised at the nonchalance of the family.

It was not until last night that we met Brenda for the first time after her surgery. She seemed well, though a different cat from the one we released, simply because she wasn’t crying at the top of her lungs nor wary. In fact, she was extremely affectionate and chatting softly.


She was more interested in headbutts and kisses, and kept coming up to btmao and me while the juices of the food seeped through her dinner plate. Finally she ate.


But only a little.



She was still more interested in getting some attention.

In fact, she tried to follow us home.

She looks emaciated, and given our emphasis on not sterilising very skinny cats (especially if their history is not known), it might seemed a contrarian decision to sterilise her. But compared to the first time I saw her, she is actually padded. Also, her fur looks good, again unlike the baldy flanks she spotted then. She is doing well and should settle down fine now that her hormones won’t bother her anymore. We suspect she might be a newly displaced free-ranging pet cat from across the road (like Ryan) as she seemed to commute between the blocks there and Area1. She might also be a newly abandoned pet.

Today 20080821: Why culling is necessary? …

Another template letter, a AVA response to this letter which was in response to this template AVA letter, stemming from the article: Canine Control. The Stray Dilemma For Animal Groups

This story was printed from TODAYonline
Why culling is necessary? …

Thursday • August 21, 2008

Letter from Goh Shih Yong

Assistant Director, Corporate Communications
for Chief Executive Officer
Agri-food & Veterinary Authority
Ministry Of National Development

WE REFER to “Why cull a dog that has been sterilised?” (Aug 15).

Rabies is an acute viral disease transmitted to man by the bite of a rabid animal, most commonly a dog, and the outcome is usually fatal. Though Singapore is free from rabies, the disease is endemic in the region. Hence, we have to remain constantly vigilant as the possibility of rabies entering Singapore remains.

It is especially important to keep the stray dog population in check as stray dogs are highly susceptible to rabies.

The Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) encourages sterilisation as it is one of the ways to help prevent the proliferation of strays. However, sterilisation by itself is not an effective means to control the stray dog population.

Even though culling is an unfortunate task that we would rather not perform, it has to be carried out as an important measure to keep the stray dog population in check.

While AVA encourages the adoption of strays, we agree with the writer that it is not possible to find suitable homes for all the strays. Hence, it is inevitable that some of them have to be put down humanely.

Notwithstanding this, we would like to assure the public that AVA remains concerned about strays and animalwelfare.

We believe that education is key to arresting the pet abandonment and stray animal problem in the long term. We will continue our public education programme and work closely with welfare groups to promote responsible pet ownership.

We thank Ms Jill Hum for her feedback.

The rabies excuse being trotted around is interesting, in light of the fact that this is found on the AVA website:

1. With effect from February 2001, pet dogs and cats from Singapore can be exported to the United Kingdom without having to undergo the 6 months quarantine period. The UK Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF) has informed the Agri-food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) that they have accepted Singapore as a rabies free island under their Pet Travel Scheme (PETS). This Scheme was introduced in Feb 2000 to allow pets to travel between UK and approved European countries.

4. … Singapore has been free from rabies since 1953. To ensure that Singapore continues to be free from rabies, the AVA requires all imported cats and dogs (unless they are from rabies free countries) to be vaccinated against rabies and quarantined for at least 30 days in the Jurong Animal Quarantine Station on arrival. A person who imports a dog or cat from a non-rabies free country into Singapore without ensuring that the animal is vaccinated against rabies and quarantined on arrival is liable on conviction to a fine of $500 as well as a
jail term of 6 months.


So effectively, any outbreak of rabies would probably be from imported cats and dogs, not native furries. Even though the AVA is not interested in doing anything more than pay lip service to local animal welfare, shouldn’t it a least be concentrating on ensuring furries into Singapore ARE rabies-free rather than go after homeless animals that are sterilised and responsibly cared for? Talk about barking up the wrong tree.


To rub salt into the Singaporean intellectual wound, Sri Lanka, a country that’s behind Singapore’s per capita gdp by a whopping 95.44% 2192.11% (or another view: Sri Lanka’s is only 4.56% if Singapore’s is taken as a whole)*, IS taking concrete and humane steps at the national level to address the problem of rabies and homeless animal population control. Action speaks louder than words, but nothing is quite so loud as a pin hitting the ground of dead silence.

EDIT: Mea culpa, mathethical malfunction there. The percentages are corrected now, showing a even more stark contrast.

Today 20080815: Why cull a dog that has been sterilised??

Another letter in response to the article: Canine Control. The Stray Dilemma For Animal Groups

This story was printed from TODAYonline

Why cull a dog that has been sterilised??

Friday • August 15, 2008

Letter from Jill Hum

I REFER to “Microchipping helps AVA in management of strays” (Aug 11).

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) said that it culls stray dogs “to manage the population which poses a risk to transmission of rabies should this be introduced into Singapore” .

Surely there must be a better and less drastic method to combat the threat of rabies than culling?

Anecdotal evidence has shown that sterilisation and not culling is the most effective way to manage the stray population, so why the insistence on culling?

The AVA also said that “even strays which have been sterilised should be properly licensed and homed and not be returned to the environment”.

While I agree with this, I hope theAVA also realises that it is impossible to find homes for all sterilised strays. There are just too many of them. In the meantime, there is no choice but to return those that cannot be rehomed to their original environment.

Animal welfare organisations take the time, trouble and money to sterilise strays to control the population. To cull even sterilised strays is like saying that these strays do not have the right to live.

I urge the AVA to adopt a more compassionate and enlightened approach towards the management of these strays.