Friday, April 21, 2006

Which is worse?

I was at the block across checking out the remains of the food left outside the flat, when whose head should pop out the window but the woman in the flat with the cats! I went back and knocked on the door but she would not answer,so I went down and called up to her. She was an elderly woman and reluctant to open the door, but I went back up and asked her to please just open up so I could speak with her.

She told me that she did not let the cats up and that she sprayed the community cats with water when they came up.

Her daughter just called. She was quite worried. They used to have 17 cats but in 2004, the HDB came and told them they had to get rid of all the cats. She said she pleaded with the HDB officer and said that they were all rescued cats and all sterilised and kept indoors. She asked if she could keep the oldest three whom she was afraid would not be able to survive. The officer told her that she could not. You can guess what happened next - she released them all downstairs, and continued to feed them, but they started disappearing. The cat that comes up and is alleged to be urinating is from this batch of cats she released. She feeds him in her house every day - after which he goes back out. She said he does not want to stay in.

In the meantime, she has picked up more cats and has gotten them sterilised too. Those are kept indoors. She was worried she was going to be asked to give up these cats too. I told her to not pick up any more cats and to either keep this cat in or to feed it downstairs. She was worried he would keep coming up, but I told her that if he knows he will not be fed upstairs any longer that he will eventually stop coming up. She agreed.

So this is what happens when the HDB rule comes into play, people release all the cats downstairs, because what are their other options? Kill the cats? Board all of them? Who can afford that long term? The cats then are released into the neighbourhood where they will almost certainly give more trouble than if they were kept at home.

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