Monday, August 22, 2005

Millionaires and caregivers and millionaire caregivers?

I just received a call and follow-up email from a magazine for of all things, millionaires, wanting to do a feature on the Society's volunteers and on me and my pets. I quickly told them I'm far, far away from being close to millionaire status and I don't really want do an article with me sitting there smiling with my cats. No one is interested in seeing that - most of all me!

What I think would be good and what I've proposed to them instead is to concentrate on the community cats and the volunteers who look after them. They sounded quite agreeable, but said they want a 'high-flying' volunteer. Also now they've just emailed to say they'd prefer a millionaire. I've just written back to say it's going to be very difficult to find a millionaire caregiver - for one thing, we don't ask people for their financial status (background check before you sign up as a TNRM volunteer :- do your cash and assets add up to more than a million dollars? No? Then NO TNRM for you!!). Is anyone here a millionaire caregiver who is just keeping the information from me? :) I won't ask you for THAT much money for the Society, I promise!

It just seems that quite a lot of magazines want to feature pets and people with animals, but I actually think a story about TNRM caregivers might be interesting precisely because it's so unlike the usual stories that are run of people with their pets. Millionaires may not want to do TNRM but it may interest them to know that activities like that exist.

It's quite funny but twice this last week I was asked why we want to focus on Sterilisation because it would mean less cats in Singapore and obviously, being CWS we LIKE cats right? Today I was asked again by this magazine person about my 'passion for cats'. So I have to explain that yes we like cats, but more importantly we see a community problem that needs to be solved. Killing is not working. It's about wanting to find an effective and humane solution and that is - you guessed it! - sterilisation. Somehow I think people tend to think caregivers really enjoy standing out there night after night, getting abused verbally, getting cold and wet, or hot and sweaty, and spending literally hours out there.


Anonymous mrs budak said...

I am a millionaire!!! If you convert all my money to Rupiah.

What a strange proposal. But then again, maybe that's what you should expect from all these high society mags. I don't think a picture of a well-coiffed tai-tai dressed in Prada and Christian Dior is the typical look of a community cat volunteer right?

Yes, we like cats and we would like them to have a good life. Propogating them carelessly would not help in that direction! We're not trying to get cats to rule the world!!!

22/8/05 5:25 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Hahha :) Let me look for my Prada and Christian Dior clothes - oh that's right, I don't have any!!!! :)

I like that Mrs Budak - we don't want them ruling the world!

22/8/05 5:26 PM  
Anonymous the letter b said...

Honestly, who are they kidding with? Do you really think the high society types are interested in the welfare of abandoned pets? They don't even give a hoot about the "lesser" beings like you and i.

They are more interested in spending their never ending supply of money indulging in themselves.


22/8/05 5:50 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Yes - we're kind of in the wrong demographic right? :)

22/8/05 6:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a friend who said she dressed up just to refute the stereotypical ah soh/ah lian cat feeder....

I think she is millionaire but i doubt she would want to reveal herself as such.

I have also known of people who "employed" others to feed stray dogs and a car is supplied. I would also think these people are millionaires

22/8/05 7:09 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

I've actually heard of that too. One of the feeders was supposed to have worked for one of the ladies.

And I am SURE there ARE some millionaires who do go out and feed cats - but I doubt they'd want the publicity. Imagine the abuse 'normal' caregivers put up with - they would be abused verbally and told that they should be spending their money on 'better' things.

Quite sad that caregivers have a rather bad image. It's therefore important to show that caregivers come in all shapes and sizes, races, ages and gender.

22/8/05 7:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I admire the cat feeders for their courage to be compassionate and their perseverence and patience, putting up with abuses and ugly stares. They do not have university qualification but they certainly gain far more in lives than some well educated people whose photos appear in newspaper with PBM or whatever public service awards. The cat feeders do whatever they are doing out of pure compassion, with no hidden agenda of seeking any form of public recognition.
These people may not have millions to bring along when they "graduate" from this life, but they certainly bring along an immeasurable amount of joy and happiness for having lived an unselfish life.

22/8/05 7:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Featuring somebody of "sikit atas" would really bring up the status of our strays. Living in the class conscious society, don't you realise that many a times, the public always associate cat lovers and caregivers as someone who is an eccentric, lonely, pathetic, luny and often poor as well? I have come across strangers who gave rude comments about these caregivers and only after explaining to them the wonderful job they are doing, only then they understood. Dawn, if only you can find someone who is a highflyer, please encourage him or her to come forward and feature him/her in the magazine. Sigh...its a sad class conscious society we are living in!

22/8/05 11:37 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Yes that's why we thought it would be good to show someone who IS a millionaire, but I'm really not sure who would come forward. Spread the word if any of you have friends who might be willing to be featured?

Anonymous is right in saying that it would raise the status. Right now, as Anonymous correctly said, the perception is that cat caregivers are uneducated, lonely and looney (I really like that phrase btw!). The truth is that there are so many different caregivers and many of them are just people who want to give back to the community. Right now, you sense people about to snigger when you tell them abput what we do. How many times do people look at you in disbelief and say "meow, meow"? If someone prominent and well-respected (not necessarily rich) comes forward and says, look I look after cats too, it would really start to make people take a second look.

23/8/05 12:27 AM  
Blogger vegancat said...

I met a plastic surgeon (safe to assume he is in the M row) once who fed cats but I couldn't talk him into trapping these cats for sterilisation as he felt the colony has not expanded over the years. He didn't know or wouldn't want to know what happened to the kittens? Guess he is not a good "role model" :)

23/8/05 11:29 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

I wonder if any other doctors might be? ;)

23/8/05 11:31 AM  
Blogger The Imp said...

you'll probably have millionaire feeders.some quite responsible.but all wants to remain help from moi here.

23/8/05 2:39 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Oh no, if Imp doesn't know, then that about wraps up the search! :)

23/8/05 3:47 PM  
Blogger The Imp said...

excuse me, Imp doesn't know everything hor. that's why Imp needs friends to fish info out of. there's a lawyer who feeds. a couple actually....i assume he's made his millions already.i'll see if i can get a name and persuade him.

23/8/05 5:22 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

See knew Imp would know who's who! :)

23/8/05 5:24 PM  
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