Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Adopting a cat - a pop quiz

What should you do if you really, really want a cat, but your significant other is terrified of them?

A. Try to convince your partner that a cat is lovely by introducing them slowly to friend's cats;
B. Adopt a cat and bring it home?

The answer boys and girls, is NOT B. We had someone whom we showed a cat to a week or so ago. He came with his wife who looked really reluctant to be there. When his wife asked about the cat, she was handed the cat to hold, at which point she promptly screamed.

This clearly wasn't a good idea, and the adoption team was going to suggest that he not adopt a cat. However the husband went to speak to one of his neighbours and took a cat from the neighbour! He then promptly wrote in to request to see a number of other cats.

Follow up to this story? We got an email from him yesterday saying that his wife cannot get used to the cat so can he give it to us? However he has just found someone else with multiple cats to give the cat to. I've written to advise him to PLEASE not adopt another cat until his wife is really okay with it.

Some people ARE scared of cats - so they may need time to get used to them. I should know because I used to be one of them. It's important before adopting a cat into your household to make sure everyone is okay with the cat. It may be a bit inconvenient for you if someone objects - but it's a very serious matter for a cat which may soon find itself homeless.


Volunteers helping to fold cards and label shirts.  Posted by Hello

Surprises

Michelle, Marcus, Lillian and I met at the warehouse today to pack the t-shirts, and I was pleasantly surprised that the volunteers turned up! They were really nice girls and did a really good job re-labelling the t-shirts and helping us to pack cards. Thanks to everyone's help, we managed to finish in two hours.

I say pleasantly surprised, because unfortunately we have quite a few volunteers who don't show when they say they will. If they don't confirm, it's usually safer to assume they won't turn up. Just a few weeks ago, Marcus and I attended a meeting fixed by a person who said he couldn't make it at any other time. We asked the other person coming to turn up then - and the person never showed. Same thing with exhibitions and other events - people don't show up and don't even call sometimes. At one exhibition, I had to drop what I was doing and go down for an earlier shift because no one on duty showed.

The bad news - the small t-shirts arrived and apparently they're not a lot smaller than the Mediums. It appears that the sizing of the shirts is just strange. I don't think we will be using this supplier again.

And Marcus and Michelle bought coffee - and non-caffeinated beverages too!

Re-labelling shirts

I'm exhausted - had to drag myself out of bed this morning.

Lillian, Marcus, Michelle and I have a rendezvous at the warehouse this morning to take in the new t-shirts. Since the last lot of t-shirts were the wrong sizes (all the Smalls were actually Mediums), we need to re-label all the shirts. Some students volunteered to come but since I haven't heard from them when I wrote to confirm, I'm guessing it's safe to assume they're not showing.

Last person to get there has to buy coffee according to Michelle, so I better get a move on it!

Lucky cat

Funny - and true - story :-
One of the adopters (who is collecting the cat tomorrow) called to tell one of our adoption volunteers that after we showed the cat to him on Friday, he asked for some time to be sure that this was the right cat for him. He was more and more convinced as the day wore on that it was the right cat for him, and at the same time he bought a Toto (or was it 4D? I always get them mixed up) ticket.

He won the first and third prizes. So now he says the cat is his lucky cat!

Monday, May 30, 2005

Keeping at sterilisation

I spoke to one of the feeders who has been sterilising in one of the areas after another lady brought to our attention that the area was in danger of having their cats trapped. Apparently, she had sterilised some of the cats, but said she could not trap some of them - as a result, the cats have since multiplied, and a once manageable colony has now increased to 20 cats, majority unsterilised.

It's so important to keep on top of sterilisation. A managed colony will keep the population down and stabilised, but feeding the cats and not sterilising them is going to cause massive problems.

The Society has traps for loan, so for any difficult to trap cats, do drop the Society an email and borrow a trap.

Pregnancy

Two women wrote in today to say they wanted to give up their cats because they were pregnant. One I think, used her pregnancy as an excuse. The other was really upset because her doctor had told her that it was possible that if she inhaled cat hair it might go into the foetus.

I'm not sure if she misunderstood her doctor or why the doctor told her that because when I called a doctor friend she explained that it's medically impossible for that to happen. Hair is already trapped in the nose she said, and is stopped at another level. Plus the nutrients from the babies need to go through the blood stream - meaning that the hair would need to go into the blood, which isn't possible at all.

We do find quite a few people say they give up their cats just to be safe, or the doctor will tell them to do it just to be safe. I met an American lady once who told me that in the US now, if you told pregnant ladies to give up their cats, you'd be laughed out of the clinic.

My mother had cats when she was pregnant with me and never contemplated giving them up. I was born a nice healthy, chubby baby.


Christina sent in this photo - thanks!  Posted by Hello


Recovery Posted by Hello


Female cat spay - stitching up. Posted by Hello

Excuses

It really annoys me how some people come up with all sorts of excuses to give up their cats. When you offer them solutions though, they just ignore your suggestions (without even going through them) and keep insisting that they have to give their cat up. I do know responsible people who had to look for new homes as a last resort, but this was their absolute last resort and they tried everything else first. They were also in the minority.

People treat cats like disposable - when something else better comes along, they just get rid of it. It's like the ads I see in the papers sometimes - 'Giving up hobby. Selling dog/cat/hamster/fish".

I was just saying to Michelle that people treat cats like furniture - so easy to give away. Then we both realised some people treat their furniture better than they do their cats.


Shaving and preparing the cat for surgery. Posted by Hello


Weighing the cat to ensure proper dosage.  Posted by Hello


Cat after being given the anaesthetic. Posted by Hello

Monday Morning

and it's already raining kittens. Someone just wrote in to take in 8 kittens which she says are quite wild and whose mother is pregnant again. Sigh.


Cats arriving at the clinic. Posted by Hello

Our first Spay Day

The Spay Day got off to a good start, when one of our volunteers arrived at the clinic with a "Save Lives, sterilize" taxi! The volunteers all arrived on time at 9 am (though one volunteer could not make it at the last minute) and the four cats arrived shortly after.

Jolanda our clinic manager explained everyone's roles and then the volunteers were showed around the clinic.

The vet was very patient and explained what she was doing so that everyone could learn how to assist in future operations. The clinic staff were also very nice - popping in to help a few times during the day.

We were glad that we started small with only 4 cats as there wasn't such a rush factor to finish up. Some of the cats recovered very quickly after surgery, while others took a little longer, but all of them were released by 2 pm. All of us called it a day by 2.20 pm - tired but satisfied that we managed to get the cats done.

The volunteer told us that the cats were all doing well this morning and eating well. So the first Spay Day seems to have gone well!

A Big thank you to all the volunteers who gave up their Sunday to help with Spay Day!

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Comm Meeting

We just finished our committee meeting shortly after midnight. The committee also stuffed newsletters and they're all done so they'll be sent out really soon.

We had quite a few things to decide and discuss, including what we should do about cat management groups and how we need to get more people who are able to help out with liaison with the town councils. It's really hard to find such people - unfortunately many feeders are still frightened to talk to their town council and this really hampers the ability to prevent the cats from being caught in the first place. We need volunteers who don't necessarily need to trap or feed regularly, but are willing to be in charge of mediations and talk to town councils.

Also, Marcus is going to be a tv star! A production company approached us as they are doing an educational programme for children and they need someone to show cat management, so Marcus is it! . There was arm twisting, bribery and general begging, but he agreed!

Friday, May 27, 2005

Bedok volunteers

Went down to show some more cats off today - there were supposed to be three people coming, but only one could make it in the end.

We're planning a meeting for the Bedok volunteers at the suggestion of one of the caregivers - they are one of the best organised and managed groups. It's a good opportunity to meet and to get to know the other people in the neighbourhood. It will also be a chance to discuss sterilisation, how to use traps and how to feed properly, so that there is a more systematic manner of doing things. It will also hopefully be a chance for new volunteers in the area to come down and learn more about what is being done, or even to recruit new volunteers. If you are in the Bedok area and would like to come down, drop the Society or myself an e-mail.

Committee meeting tonight.


One of the cats up for adoption, being carried by the potential adopter. Posted by Hello

Adoption board

Though we have an explanatory note on the adoption board, a lot of people still mistakenly believe that the cats are with the Society. We have no shelter or office - and though we have a few fosters, the number is very small. As such, the vast majority of people who post cats on the adoption board are members of the public whom we don't know.

The adoption team forward the emails sent in to view cats very quickly (within 24 hours if not sooner), but we cannot control when the fosters will call or contact the potential adopters. Some fosters may never call for their own reasons - and the only thing we can do is then to remove the postings for the cats. Writing rude emails to the adoption volunteers does not speed up the process.

Thursday, May 26, 2005


All ready to go to her new home - see the eye peeking out of the middle hole. Posted by Hello

Adoptions

Two of the adoption volunteers and I went down to show some cats today and two were adopted. The potential adopters brought friends though and the cats got a bit scared - in fact, one of the cats to be adopted was so frightened she climbed underneath a cage and refused to come out. Her new adopters will have to pick her up tomorrow.

Another cat was adopted out too which someone else had asked to 'reserve' last week as she was going out of the country and it was her perfect cat. We made arrangements for her to pick it up today, but she said she could not make it which is understandable as these things happen, but then it turned out she had requested to adopt another cat! She also started asking questions about the suitability of the cat as well. I told her if she wasn't interested that she could just tell us. Anyway, the cat has found a good new home today with another adopter who seems very fond of the cat. Some more adoptions tomorrow as well possibly.

Then it was off to post office to pick up mail and buy stamps for the newsletters.


'Our' taxi whizzing by - I literally followed this taxi. Posted by Hello

Cat out

The feeders went in with the police last night and found the man inside, lucid and angry. They were unable to find the cat in the flat, but flat was a mess and very dirty. The feeder said there was urine and defecation all over. It seemed that there was some doubt that he can walk on his own and he had recently been in the Institute of Mental Health as he has a mental disorder of some kind.

One of the neighbours had seen him on Monday and told the police earlier, but apparently when the feeders went and asked for further particulars, it turned out that the neighbour said they had also seen him falling and crawling back into the flat on that same day. Also, he regularly went out to buy his meals but had not been seen doing so for two days. On this basis, the police decided to go in again.

The feeders wanted to try and help him and offered to bring him food on a regular basis. The Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports has also been alerted.

The feeders left the flat after a futile search for the cat. However, when they got downstairs, the cat was there and very hungry. So the cat is safe. Let's hope the MCDYS can do something as well. Unfortunately we have dealt with other cases like this as well. It's often easier to deal with cats ironically because you can remove them from the environment, but you can't do so with a person - even if the person seems to have diminished mental capacity.

SVA

The Society was trying to send an email out to the vets to ask them to volunteer for our Spay Day clinic and we sent it to the Singapore Veterinary Association (SVA) who kindly agreed to circulate it by email. So I asked the vets we met today if they happened to have received the email - and here's the funny thing, of the four vets present, two vets weren't members, one wasn't sure and only one was a member! Looks like I'm going to have send out that appeal letter by snail mail after all!


Kitten up for adoption we saw today - he looks like he's thinking, wow one day I'm going to be that big? Posted by Hello

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Spay Day details

As I mentioned in my earlier post, Jolanda and I met with several volunteers today, including vets to discuss running another Spay Day clinic. There's really so much to decide - even what anesthetic to use. Of course using different anesthetic means that the cat can be knocked out much faster - and the recovery can be quicker too. Other types may be cheaper but may need to be topped up in the middle of the surgery. We're going to be aiming to use the best drugs and materials possible - at the moment it's also very affordable as we're doing a small number of cats.

We heard there were a lot of strays in the vicinity so Jolanda went looking in the area for signs of the strays. I asked one of the lady's in a shop nearby who said she used to have cats, and she said rather dismissively, "Oh I don't like those cats" with the implication that she didn't like strays. I think my face fell in dismay. It's sad that we still have people who prefer pedigree to local cats.

On another front, apparently the HDB, police and AVA all went down to remove the cat from the flat, but when the locksmith tried to open up, the door was latched from the inside. Now the feeders are worried that the MAN may be inside and not well (they heard from the neighbours he was last seen looking sick on Monday), so they're trying to get the police to go in again to see if he's okay. The cat however was seen recently according to one of the neighbours.

Newsletter, traps and meetings

I went down to collect the newsletters today so members can expect to get the newsletters quite soon - hopefully in the next two weeks when we mail them out. We'll also be distributing them at some vets and pet stores.

Also went down to collect the remaining traps, then Jolanda and I went for a meeting about the Spay Days with some of the volunteer vets. We're looking into using more clinics, but there are constraints as to space and the like, so we have to see how we can work around that.

The vets are all so wonderful - very helpful with advice and time. We really appreciate their help!

Also saw the taxi for the first time today! So pleased, but was driving so could not snap a photo.

More later - have a ton of mail to clear and people to call.


Cat under a bench Jolanda and I saw today. Posted by Hello

Cats to be killed if not adopted - Rumour

There is an email going around saying that there are a number of cats on our online adoption board that will be killed this week if not adopted. This is NOT true. These cats are up for adoption but are not with the Society as we are posting them for someone and have no shelter, but they are not slated to be killed this week. They are however still looking for good homes.

Austrian politician wants to ID dog droppings - Other Pet News - MSNBC.com

Austrian politician wants to ID dog droppings - Other Pet News - MSNBC.com

I can actually see this happening here - people scooping up droppings to whisk to the lab to discover whom the culprit is!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

If I tell you about it, then it becomes your problem

You have to love the fact that people sometimes send us the rudest emails. We just got one that immediately started by berating us on the fact that we did not have a pager or contact number for her to call. She said that she knew that we were run by volunteers - but this didn't stop the vitriol from flowing.

Apparently this person saw a very sick cat and was so upset that she did what any really 'concerned' person would do. She immediately rushed home to email us instead of taking the cat to the vet right away all the while complaining that she was so upset about the cat being injured.

Of course the irony is that SHE didn't leave a phone number for us to call her back - and her email address didn't work.

Some people think that by telling the Society about it then they have done their duty. I cannot understand how people can claim to be so concerned and then walk away leaving a sick/dying/injured cat there. If it bothers you so much, do something!

Thank goodness these people are in the minority or the cats would really be in trouble. We've had people email to say they see a cat lying half dead - and didn't even bother to email till the next day. For goodness sake if it bothers you so much, take it to the vet - don't email and just whine about it. Any cat that is really sick or injured needs immediate medical care - which means of course the person on the spot.

Cat in flat - Update

Apparently the HDB were able to trace the relatives of the occupant, but now there is some question as to whether he is still in occupation or not. The neighbours according to the feeder, have not seen him for days, but the siblings believe him to still be there. I spoke with another resident who confirmed that she just saw the cat in the flat this evening.

At any rate, the AVA will be going down tomorrow morning to check out the situation and will enter the flat with the police and the HDB if the cat is still there.

Again this is one of those cases where if you get someone senior enough, the ball starts rolling. I think what is needed is a certain set of protocol to follow. If not, if you get a junior employee, who is unable/unwilling to take the initiative. We have a similar agreement with the SCDF in cases where cats are trapped/caught in high buildings or out or reach places, etc to get the cats down where normal ladders will not reach. It's probably time to sit down with the police to see if we can come up with something similar.

Quarantine

Rather alarmingly, I've noticed that quite a few people do not quarantine new cats that they've picked up. Someone just wrote in to ask if it was okay that she had put a new cat she had picked up with her own cat - she mentioned the new cat had some sort of bugs crawling on it.

Even if the cat looks okay (no ticks, mites, fleas, sneezing, runny eyes, etc) - new cats should NEVER be put with the existing cats when they are first taken in. They should always be quarantined and should be checked up by a vet. A lot of diseases are not immediately visible and may develop as time goes on. Check with your vet when it is okay to mix your own cats with the new arrivals.

Update on cat

After a very frustrating morning of trying to reach various people, the HDB branch office got back and said that they would trace the flat's occupant or relatives. They had called the caregiver but she was uncontactable. Apparently, they said that if they are unable to find the occupant, then we have a problem. I'm hoping that they manage to find the occupant or relatives quickly.

Cat stuck in abandoned flat

I hate these cases - besides the obvious fact that the cat is stuck in the flat/shop/house without any way of getting food sometimes, it's the sheer frustration that no one wants to help the cat! The caregivers in this case told me that they have tried to call the police and the fire brigade, but were told by the former that they need a formal letter, send by POST before they will do anything. The latter said that they only help when human lives are in danger. Now I know this may not be their official policy, and that this may be just the people in charge who are making the call, but it's frustrating nonetheless.

I'm trying to call the HDB to get them to open the flat, which they can surely do as they are the landlords. I certainly hope they will consider helping! The last time we had a cat stuck in an abandoned shophouse, everyone was so reluctant to help I ended up doing a property search on my own to find out who owned the place - only to find out the person was abroad.

Monday, May 23, 2005


Marcus took this - thanks Marcus! Posted by Hello

Animal Hoarding

Animal Hoarding

Aminah mentioned in her comments that Animal Hoarding is a psychological problem and here's a good link about the disorder.


Thanks to Baxter for sending in this photo of a taxi with the sign in Toa Payoh! Posted by Hello

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Newsday.com: Authorities find hundreds of dead cats at animal worker's home

Newsday.com: Authorities find hundreds of dead cats at animal worker's home

Awful - this is exactly the sort of behaviour that harms the cats though people may mean well.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Taxi sighting

Sadly the foster cannot take the cat back as she is going overseas, so now we're scrambling to try and find someone.

On to cheerier things, Jolanda saw the first taxi with our Save Lives Sterilise message today but didn't have a camera handy. I can't wait to see my first sighting! I realise I sound just the slightest bit excited about all of this :)

Banks and adoptions

One of the adoption volunteers and I showed a cat today. The lady seems nice, but she lives in an apartment and she's not willing to screen the windows up which can be a problem. Often people think it's quite safe, but once in a while a cat will surprise you and take a dive. Cats have bad spatial vision so they misjudge how far away an object is for example and may take a dive out of the window as a result. As such, it's really important to grille your windows up - they don't have to be permanent grilles, you can get plastic ones for example.

Another adopter called back to say she has to return her cat as her baby is allergic. She did go to a doctor and did specific allergy tests which showed the baby was allergic to cats so we have to see if the foster can take it back in. Most parents I have to say don't bother to do that - often they give up their cats which they've had all along and unfortunately quite a few doctors seem to tell them to do it 'just in case' without bothering to test. Recent studies have shown a lot of children are actually allergic to cockroaches and that shows up in a LOT of homes, so if for example the child isn't allergic to the cat, getting rid of the cat doesn't help the child either!

The bank called back! After telling me we could not have our own GIRO form, they called around a bit and said it's possible now.


Cat I saw today - she's sterilised, but her ear isn't tipped. Posted by Hello

How difficult is it to open a GIRO account anyway?

Apparently very difficult.

After finally opening our new account a few weeks ago, we waited for our password to log into Internet banking. When it arrived, first it didn't work and then when it did, there was no GIRO facility.

I called the bank today and apparently, you need to apply separately for the GIRO facility (which we were not told when we signed up, though we clearly said so). I was told to go to the bank to ask to sign up. I clarified that I needed to go down and get a form, but was told there was no form and that the Society needs to draft our own letter to apply for GIRO. I then asked if it would not be better to draft the letter BEFORE going to the bank and was told I need to ask the bank what is needed in the letter. And all this time I thought that's what bank call centres were for - to give you the information first so you can save time! Silly me!

I finally got her to promise to call back with the instructions before I go down, but I'm not holding my breath.

AtomFilms - Boba

AtomFilms - Boba

In honour of all things Star Wars - a short film with a cat!

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Punk Kittens

Punk Kittens - They ROCK! by Joel Veitch rathergood.com

This is kind of old but I still love it!

Mail and Town Councils

I went to the post office today for our weekly mail run. I was looking out for taxis with our sign board the entire time but didn't see any. I just know I'm going to be so excited when I spot the first one!

One of the town councils has agreed to meet with the volunteers to try and work something out since they claim that not everyone knows about the agreement between volunteers and the town council, which I find very strange. Surely the town council must share this information?

D-Day!

Today's D-Day (and I don't mean just because "Revenge of the Sith" is opening) because we have 50 taxis that will start trawling the island from today and another 50 tomorrow with the "Save lives, Sterilise" message! I posted a photo of the posters a few days ago and from today taxis will be driving all over Singapore for the next 6 months carrying the message. If you see at taxi, please snap a photo and send it to me (but NOT while you're driving!)!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


Cat in the drain at one of the mediation areas. Posted by Hello

Mediation and newsletter

Number of cats we were asked to take in today :- Five

One of the committee members and I went down to get the newsletter printed today. It'll be done quite soon and then we'll be sending it out to members.

We also went back to revisit two of the mediations we did. One involved a lady letting her cat out of the flat. We went back and the cat wasn't out and the door was closed. However, her daughter said the cat had been let out since we came by. Also the mother said she had kept the cat in since we visited but we have some doubts because she asked how her cat is supposed to use the toilet. We explained that cats use sandtrays, but she kept insisting that she heard this can breed mosquitoes!

At any rate, she says she is going to take it up with the town council. We explained that we were there to mediate and we didn't want her cat to be killed if another complaint came in, and she responded with my personal favourite excuse - the fact that the complainants will be punished in the afterlife for what they have done. At least her daughter looked alarmed when we explained that if she is caught, the cat will be killed - it's such a sweet cat too!

Then we went to the block which Jolanda and I went to last week. We explained again we wanted to sterilise the cats, NOT kill them. The resident who is worried about the growing numbers has even offered to pay for the sterilisation, but now the feeder says she is too busy to help and that she is too busy to feed. We walked around and found people throwing rice out of the window for either the cats or birds. We knocked on the door of the flat, but they refused to open up so we left information for them and hope they call us.

Again well-meaning people are the ones who are sometimes partially responsible for getting the cats killed! If the cat is kept in, and the numbers of the cats reduced through sterilisation, they would be okay where they are. At the rate they are going, if the feeders and owner keep doing what they are doing, the cats are going to get rounded up.

Resources

I am just sending off a packet of information to someone with information on sterilisation and trap-neuter-return. She mentioned she wants to try and convince her town council about sterilisation but wants to come across as knowing what she's talking about and not someone with a lot of complaints but no solutions.

This is an excellent way of going about this - you have to arm yourself with facts and figures and information so that you can convince people on why TNR is important. It cannot be just an opinion for some other people are of the opinion animals should be killed. If you need any information, drop an email to the Society and we'll be happy to post you some information. Alley Cat Allies who are linked on the main website also have great information.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


Poor little kitten Posted by Hello

Poor little kittens

I went for a jog a little while ago and found two dead kittens. Poor little kittens were about 200m apart and one had obviously been run over by a car but the other had no visible marks on its body. I think that both must have been hit by the same car. I was wondering whether to get a necropsy done, but the second kitten had no signs of abuse and the first looked obviously run over. The car may have swerved and somehow hit both kittens in the street. I did go back to take photos just in case. I spoke to Jolanda and she mentioned that she had kittens killed by cars with no visible injuries.

Poor kittens. I don't understand why the person didn't stop. Even if they couldn't have done anything for the kittens, they could have at least moved them off the road. I really hope the second kitten didn't lie there suffering because I think the first one died pretty instantaneously.

It's days like these you feel that you'll never do enough and that there'll always be the cats you get to too late to do anything.

Traps and sick cats

Jolanda and I were down at the warehouse today to receive the traps - all 100 of them. We've ordered them of different sizes and they work great! So if anyone needs traps, drop the Society (or me) an email. As usual it was a pretty long day at the warehouse but the people delivering the traps were really nice and carried them up for us,

Also today seems to be the day people are picking up injured cats. Someone just found an abandoned cat and she took it to the vet after contacting us for advice. I've just spoken with her and she said the cat is in really bad shape - covered in fleas, dehydrated and needs blood work done. It's also the third case we have of sick cats today - the weather is not helping any. Thanks to all the good souls who have been taking them to the vet.


The new cat traps have arrived! You know you need more excitement in your life when cat traps arriving is a BIG event!  Posted by Hello

Frustration

Arrrrgggh - one of the committee members and I went down last week to speak to this lady who let her cat out into the corridor. After we explained to her that she has to keep the cat in for the cat's own safety, she agreed and now we learn that she's letting the cat out again! Why is it so difficult to understand that the cat needs to be kept in?

Also because the town council accepted the complainant anonymously now they can't let the complainant know that it's been acted upon so the complainant is saying nothing has been done. Another reason why anonymous complaints are just a stupid idea! It allows people to (1) make frivolous complaints against someone else and (2) doesn't allow for feedback to be given to the complainant. If you want the problem solved, just go on record.

The town council officer is a nice man and they have gone down too, but the cat owner keeps insisting the cat needs 'fresh air'.

T-shirts and sterilisation

Lillian and I were supposed to go to the warehouse today to receive the new t-shirts, but again, the t-shirts have been held up. It's annoying because we arranged for the traps to be delivered today to accommodate the t-shirt supplier, but apparently he says that the printing did not turn out right again. Sigh. At any rate, Jolanda and I still need to go down and pick up the traps.

Jolanda and I went down to a mediation last week and found the feeders who claimed as usual, that they were not looking after the cats, just 'feeding'. We spoke to them about sterilisation and they seemed to consider it and a resident in the block has offered to pay for it, but apparently, another woman told them if they trapped the cats they would all be killed. This was overheard by the resident sponsoring the sterilisation. So now we have to go down and convince her again that we are not there to kill the cats at all but to get them done.

Monday, May 16, 2005


Good sentiment - but wow, big words! Not sure how many Primary school kids would understand it. Posted by Hello


Signs up in the school hall - pretty intimidating! Posted by Hello

Talk

Thank goodness for all the committee members who showed up today - Marcus, Michelle, Jolanda and one more committee member. The volunteer who wanted to help with education didn't turn up for some reason. At any rate, it was really helpful to have them all there, because it's really difficult to give the talk and hand out postcards at the same time as well as just basically help to handle the power point and switch over to videos.

The talk seemed a bit too difficult for them, so we may need to work on shortening that. The video, which children really seem to like though, couldn't be heard. The school said they would handle the setup, but the sound system wasn't the best, so I'm not sure how much the students could hear. Plus with a big group like that (more than 200 kids), at least half of them weren't paying attention at any one time. We find that smaller talks always work better.

Anyone want to help with education? You do need to be free during school (working) hours though.


Colourful outfits on the children at the school talk Posted by Hello

Busy, busy, busy!

Cats we were asked to take in today :- Two

Today was pretty busy. After last blogging, I spoke with the lady who had been told to remove the cats from the temple. She now says she's not sure whom the man who spoke to her was, but that everyone is scared of him as he is in a position of authority in the temple. Apparently, another friend of hers had fed the cats without sterilisation and the population grew to 21! He gave her friend some time to remove the cats but the woman did nothing apparently. I've asked her to get me his name and I'll go down and speak with him. We can understand he may be frustrated, but there's no reason to threaten the cats. We'll also of course offer sterilisation as the better alternative.

One of the town councils which has been giving problems wrote in as well to ask for more information - which was all given last year! I've told them again to please check within their own town council to see what needs to be done.

Then off to do adoptions - we adopted one cat out on Saturday and another one was adopted today. Another two may be picked up next week after the two ladies think about it. What a disappointment - we had someone who said they were so keen to see a cat and we arranged everyone's time to suit this person, and then they said they could not make it in the end.

Quick rush back to pick up materials then we were off to the school talk!

We're off to another week!

It's early Monday morning and already we have our first unusual request of the week. Someone has written into complain about his wife. I have expressed that it is important to try and resolve it peaceably within the family, but it seems that he has already complained to the town council about her. He said this has been going on for some time. Only later did he mention that they are about to get a divorce.

Sad to say this is not the first case of a husband complaining about his wife (though we've never yet had the converse). It's a sad day when you can't tell the person you're married to about the fact that you are having problems with their cats. There are of course many possibilities, the first being that the person has tried to tell his or her spouse several times to no avail. Alternatively, the spouse with the cats got so fed up that the other spouse went to complain to everyone else without trying to solve it first that he or she now refuses to talk to them. If communication is so bad, I have to say it's not a wonder the marriage may have broken down.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Woman awarded $45,000 in cat death

Woman awarded $45,000 in cat death

"For people who live alone -- they're retired, they're elderly -- this is their family," he said. When their loved one is lost, "the impact is severe." - Well Said.

Friday, May 13, 2005

To report or not to report?

It's always important to report animal abuse cases if there's a chance to actually stop the abusers. This is especially so if the person who perpetrates the abuse is in some position of authority. What happens though if your witness may not be the best of witnesses and the person you're complaining about is someone you're frightened of?

One of the caregivers called today to say that her friend had seen one of the supervisors in her area taking her cats away. I asked why she did not make a report, but she said the town council denied taking the cats and when she complained to her MP, the MP was very unsympathetic, telling her she should spend her time doing other volunteer work instead of running around with cats. Subsequently she said two of her cats were caught, she believes in retaliation.

She believes the town council is not aware of this, but is concerned that the supervisor may have taken this upon himself. She is now concerned that if she reports the situation and it doesn't result in a successful prosecution, he may come back for her remaining cats. On top of that, she says that while her witness is very certain he has the right man, he is old and stutters. She is worried he may not be the most credible of witnesses. We've had a case fall apart once because the witness of an abuse case backed out at the last moment at the police station - witnesses have to be firm and come forward and look credible.

The other people who she says have witnesses this man kicking the cats will not come forward. She is going to speak with them all and try and convince them again. Apparently all of them are scared of this man.

At any rate she asked me to meet with the witness next week and we'll sit down and discuss this. This is a tough case - let's hope more witnesses come forth.

This illustrates why evidence is so very important - a photo taken or a license plate number traced would be a lot of help at this point to back up what is said.

Temple cats

Jolanda met a nasty man last night, who had identified himself as the manager of the temple to the volunteer Jolanda was with. He wanted all the cats removed by today and said that he would get rid of them and that they should all be killed. Jolanda tried to explain to him about the vacuum effect but he refused to listen.

We would like to take this up but the volunteer is worried and reluctant to let us do so. Specifically, I am horrified (but sadly not surprised, as this isn't the first time that it's happened) that a religious institution has people running it who callously kill animals. This is of course assuming this man is who he says he is. No religion that I know would condone this - so how come people act like this?


We saw these cats sitting on an air conditioner vent. Posted by Hello

Clinic arrangements

Jolanda and I went down today to make arrangements for our first Spay Day at the end of this month. We're going to start very small at the recommendation of our volunteer vets - just four cats, so we will not be accepting any cats from other volunteers for the first few sessions. This is because we want to familiarise ourselves with the procedure, rather than start too big and make mistakes.

We then dropped by one of the estates where there was a complaint from a resident. She does not like cats very much and says they make a lot of noise at night, but she's offered to pay for the sterilisation, which is nice of her.

We found the feeders, but they kept saying at first that they were not really looking after the cats. After a long discussion, one of the ladies who seems to feed most frequently agreed to try and help sterilise them. She would not give me her number though, so I hope she calls me.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

I Love My Cat

I Love My Cat

Awwww. The cat is gorgeous too!

Passwords

I'm sitting here with my brand new password, all ready to log into the joys of Internet banking for the Society. I type it in and tada - it tells me I cannot log in now and to try again later. So I try again later - same error message. It gives me a phone number to call, but navigating the complexities of press * for the pleasure of being kept on hold and told my call is important is too much for me right now. I'll never get that message - it's not that I don't expect to wait, but if I was that important I wouldn't be on hold. The sincerity wears a bit thin after hearing that six times you know?

Meow Cafe, Taiwan

Taipei Dining by Taiwan Fun >Wow~Meow Cafe

Lillian just sent me this link. There is a similar one in Hong Kong too.

Banking woes

Just back from the accountant and post office. I received my password for online banking so that hopefully we can get GIRO online. It is amazing how some of the banks have the most archaic GIRO facilities. One of the banks has GIRO information that they openly tell you will likely crash your computer if you use any operating system above Windows ME, and that may or may not save your data. Considering that most of the world has upgraded from Windows ME quite a while ago, this would seem to be a problem.

Also, when we tried to submit the data, no one could seem to agree on what to submit, so we gave up and tried another bank. Crossing fingers that the new bank has better facilities (the other welfare groups suggested they do). I'll find out soon!

Retribution

Jolanda just emailed to tell me about a feeder both of us have had dealings with. Apparently the management of a place this feeder is working with wants to remove the cats. Jolanda offered that the Society would go down and mediate, but the feeder refuses to tell her where this place is. She is insistent that it would be of no help and that she would rather remove the cats. She asked if the Society can find fosters for all the kittens.

When Jolanda persisted and said the cats might die if they are relocated or removed, the feeder then said that the punishment for the people who want to remove them would come in the afterlife.

Now whatever your feelings are on the afterlife, I don't understand this. Another feeder always says the same thing to me as well - if the cats are caught, then it will be on the conscience of the people trapping/the people trapping will be punished in the afterlife. Then she will sit back and do nothing. If the cats can be saved in the here and now, why not save them? Why not make an effort so they don't die now?

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


The cat in the corridor. Posted by Hello

Mediation again

One of the committee members and I went down to do another mediation today. The complaint was that the complainant thought the cat was defecating upstairs.

When we arrived, the friendly cat was sitting in the corridor and came up to play. We spoke to the lady who looks after her and she kept insisting her cat was not the one defecating. She also asked why the complainant did not come and just speak to her directly. She also said that cats should be allowed out, which we explained to her, was not true. At any rate, she says she'll keep the cat in from now on, so we hope that the cat will be left alone.

Feeding and not sterilising

Argh lost a whole post! I don't feel like writing it down again, so I'm going to write about this email I just received. Another lady has been feeding the cats in her condominium according to her daughter. She has not sterilised them, and now the management wrote her a letter to warn her to remove them. The daughter wants to know if we can take them all away.

Again, if the feeder had just started sterilising them, then the management probably would not have more problems. The daughter says her mother is now inclined to just forget it, which means the cats will be fodder for anyone about to trap them.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005


The cats getting ready to go home - the caregivers had to rustle together any carriers they could get because so many sterilised cats were trapped and there weren't enough carriers for them separately.
 Posted by Hello