Saturday, October 22, 2005

Pets in Singapore

Pets in Singapore
Originally uploaded by dawnkua.

From the Straits Times, 21st October - the cover photo of a feature on pets in Singapore. Isn't this a wonderful photo?


Anonymous Existentialist Cat said...

very pampered ex-community cat too - mackeral microwaved first then fried : )

22/10/05 1:01 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Yes - lucky cat!

22/10/05 6:18 PM  
Blogger vegancat said...

It sure is a wonderful start to the weekend! What beautiful people and a beautiful calico!

22/10/05 6:50 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

I agree!

22/10/05 11:35 PM  
Anonymous Aminah Bee said...

This photo gives an "Aww" effect .... Aww so sweet! ... Aww the cat look so cute and adorable!... Aww what a lovely cat! ....

23/10/05 2:11 AM  
Blogger vegancat said...

It is said that the "sufferings" of older people arise not so much from a degenerating physical body, but the emotional sense of "loneliness", "hopelessness" and "feeling of uselessness". We can have the best medical infractures to treat psychiatric problems arising from these "sufferings" but with drugs come debilitating side effects. What more "natural" and "holisthic" is to add a "feeling" animal companion into the "empty nest" and to support this "pet therapy" with support from animal welfare groups and perhaps even the AVA in the care of the animals with they are sick and in the provision of affordable vet care. The cost of subsidized vet care, such as that available in a government polyclinic, may be far less than cost of treating increasing depression amongst the older people (Singapore already has one of the highest suicide rates amongst the older people in the world!)

23/10/05 3:20 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

I have heard (and seen) cases where animals really brought so much joy to the lives of older people. I agree with Vegancat that they can make so much difference.

23/10/05 7:04 PM  
Blogger vegancat said...

I think I have told Dawn the story of this lady called Mei Kam who was a "samsui" woman, who in her 80s, looked frail with a typical dowager hump and arthritic joints but within there was a iron will to live for a few cats in her small rented flat and "downstairs" cats. She woke up early in the morning to walk to the market to buy fish to cook. As her mind withered away by dementia, her last thoughts remained with the care of the cats. She soon forgot even her beloved cats and that was the time she went to a nursing home. Her kindness has touched the hearts of many people, including people from some "stiff" dept that let her flat be "un-rented" so that a lady could come everyday to tend to the very shy cats in her flat. Gradually one by one the cats died naturally and the vacant flat was soon repossessed. If only cats are allowed as resident pet therapy in the nursing homes here, I am sure they will continue to a great source of comfort to Mei Kam as her life ebbs away.

23/10/05 9:02 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

I remember - Vegancat telling me this. Plus I've met so many older people for whom their cats mean the world. One woman literally said she'd kill herself if they took her cats away. Another man said that the cat was his only link left to his dead wife. It's a shame that cats aren't allowed into homes and elder care centres here in the vast majority of cases.

23/10/05 10:07 PM  
Anonymous the imp said...

for Lions' Homes,pets are allowed during Animal Days. we work to bring in dogs(at e moment) and other pets whose owners can come with them.

Pets are not allowed at the homes still because the homes can't cope with additional pets. not an issue about money.but a more practical point that there're not enough people to look after the pets.

23/10/05 10:28 PM  
Blogger vegancat said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

23/10/05 11:06 PM  
Blogger vegancat said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

23/10/05 11:12 PM  
Blogger vegancat said...

The irony of nursing HOME in which people are supposed to be cared for in a "HOME" environment often becomes a regimentalized institution. The mindset of people who decides how homes are run are still of the perception that animals are dirty and hence not in line with a STERILE environment. In the USA, there is a revolutionary concept called EDENIZATION in which a nursing home is transformed into a loving home-environment with garden patch to attend to, birds to look after,and of course resident cats and dogs to look after. When a home is EDENIZED, it is more likely to be successful in applying for funding. Residents benefit from having their medication reduced and even staff turnover is reduced! Who would not want to live a workplace where a cat can just walk across your table with its tail brushing your nose and no one bat an eye!!

"Many nursing homes are searching for innovative ways to remain competitive in a changing market. Proponents of the new paradigm for long-term care have identified the Eden Alternative as one of the social models capable of enhancing the quality of life and care for nursing home residents. Eden interventions create an environment that resembles a natural habitat, that promotes human growth, and that promises to relieve loneliness, boredom, and hopelessness. The story of one nursing home's pathway to Eden provides examples of changes made and some responses to those changes.

Research to evaluate Eden interventions must continue. A natural and nurturing environment is not only good for its residents, it is good for the whole community. A place to live and grow, where companions care about each other, can truly be Eden."

23/10/05 11:14 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Actually Imp we had one or two homes and eldercare centres that wanted cats in them, but we couldn't get approval. It was a shame because you could see how the residents really enjoyed the animals. Cats also are more effective when they live in - otherwise they get too frightened with the change or environment.

Really interesting article Vegancat.

23/10/05 11:36 PM  
Blogger The Imp said...

the approval process is the dumbest thing ever. for us,the directors totally approve of animals. we capture photos,send in psychological reports of animals having a positive effect on the elderly.

as much as the elderly wishes to take in the pets,the directors were sceptical that both elderly and pets will be cared for properly. and when our homes depend alot on volunteers' help,directors don't dare to hedge a bet especially when we don't have a steady number of weekly volunteers.

so now,the programme is in limbo,with only Animals/Pets' Day to brighten the days. and till one takes the brave step of saying yes, we'll just go around it by upping the frequency of these 'special days' where pet owners bring in their pets.

24/10/05 12:38 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Yes it is frustrating sometimes - we know of a home that had actually put aside an area, and had a roster of people who were going to feed the cats already, but it was declined because we were told that there were concerns from the authorities that it might not be a good idea in terms of hygiene. It was a shame.

24/10/05 3:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While it's a good idea of rehab cat project or cats in a nursing home, do bear in mind that there are some elder who may not take well to cats, or who may be allergic to cats. I think it is not unreasonable for authorities or directors to decline. Afterall, they have to look after the interest of the mass.

24/10/05 9:08 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Anonymous - cats in nursing homes are quite common overseas. What happens is that the cats are left in a certain area if people are allergic. In one programme I watched, the residents who didn't want the cats in their room (and there were suprisingly few), just kept their doors shut. In fact in that programme they found that the cat could sense when someone wasn't well, and would sit with them - the doctors and nurses learnt to pay more attention to that patient when the cat was with them.

24/10/05 9:15 AM  
Blogger vegancat said...

Allergy to cats in the older population is not a problem as they grew up in a "dirty" environment. Current escalating incidence of allergy-related problems like asthma, running nose and asthma has been attributed to the "too clean" environment present day children grow up in.
Surprisingly I find that many "old" people are receptive and they told me how they had dogs and cats around them in their kampong days. So these older people are more exposed to animals than we are nowadays. Of course there will also be people who dislike any living beings, including the human kind but I am sure facilities can accomodate these animal-dislikers so as not to deprive a more holisthic environment for the rest of the residents.

24/10/05 10:15 AM  

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