Thursday, February 15, 2007

Two different carowners

One of the TC officers wrote to me yesterday and said that someone had written in to claim that the cats were scratching on their car. The complainant wanted the TC to compensate him for what he claims is damage caused by the cats. I've written to the TC officer to ask for more details and to also let her know that the authorities are not liable for cars in a public carpark - basically, you park at your own risk. Otherwise it would never end - what if you wanted compensation everytime a bird defecated on your bonnet? Or a tree landed on your car and smashed the windscreen? And who's to say it is necessarily the cat anyway?

I just spoke to the caregiver and she says she'll check where the blocks are and will go down to take a look.

On the other hand, I received another email from another caregiver this morning. I had spoken to the complainant last week and he claimed the cats were on his car. He told me his car was only 5 months old and he did not want it to be scratched. I explained cats rarely ever scratched cars and asked him if he would consider using a car cover. He asked how much it would cost and I said we would get him one out of goodwill. He said he would think about it.

The caregiver contacted him on Monday and he agreed to use the car cover. He then asked why she was going to all this trouble - and she told him that she valued life and didn't want the cats killed. He was shocked and told her that he did not want the cats killed either as he was Buddhist. She went down and had a long talk with him and he has agreed to call her if there are any more problems. She also gave him the car cover.

This morning he emailed her to tell her not to trouble herself to come by and check the area out all the time. He would contact her if he did face anymore problems. Good work to the caregiver for handling it well!

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Blogger vegancat said...

Read Singapore's condo craze highlights rich-poor divide
"The five Cs used to be an aspirational goal," said Colin Goh, whose award-winning feature film "Singapore Dreaming" showed how such aspirations can shatter family relations.

"Now, Singaporeans regard them as essentials, and if you're of a certain class, practically an entitlement. Having the five Cs is no longer a sign of attaining entry into the elite. Rather, the absence of the five Cs indicates one's inadequacy," he said.

15/2/07 12:20 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Very interesting.

15/2/07 12:29 PM  
Blogger vegancat said...

Is this allegation of cats scratching cars peculiar to Singapore? Does Alley Cats or other animal welfare org in other countries have to deal with this type of complaints?

15/2/07 12:34 PM  
Anonymous belle said...

yes, the caregiver was sensitive & empathetic, well done !

He asked how much it would cost and I said we would get him one out of goodwill. He said he would think about it.

sometimes ppl file complaints cos they're in a bad mood; once u offer to do something nice for them, they feel ashamed ...

He told me his car was only 5 months old and he did not want it to be scratched.

He was shocked and told her that he did not want the cats killed either as he was Buddhist.

obviously our friend hasnt been practising the dharma for awhile, since a car shouldnt be more important than compassion to a good buddhist ... or maybe he had a spiritual lapse due to stress ... :-p

i see so many stressed up, frustrated s'poreans these days ... hopefully the budget announcements this afternoon will bring them some cheer & help ease their finances/business... so that they'd stop taking it out on neighbours & little animals... :-p

15/2/07 12:39 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

That's a good question Vegancat but I don't think so. I think one reason is that cars are so much cheaper overseas and so people are not so worried about them.

For example, in the US I used to be quite surprised that people would go into a slot and gently jump bump the car in front and behind them to make space to parallel park. It's perfectly acceptable over there. When I asked about it, I was told that's what bumpers are for!

Here though, if you did that, someone would probably come out and yell at you.

belle - perhaps he thought the cats would just be moved somewhere else. He did tell the volunteer he was in a bad mood when he complained too but he had since gotten over it.

15/2/07 12:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes Dawn that was what happened to a friend of mine who moved to the states since he was a kid but is still a Singapore Citizen. Came back, did a parallel park the way you described. Result was he almost got beaten up by the car owner he bumped.

15/2/07 1:36 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Oh no!

15/2/07 1:39 PM  
Anonymous ej said...

How about adding another 'C' to the 5"Cs'? i.e. Cats.
In some countries, cars are more of a necessity than luxury.

15/2/07 1:40 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

ej - I second that!

Yes if cars were much cheaper, then people might not be so uptight about them. As you mentioned ej, they're more of a necessity and so people aren't so obsessed with their cars. Interestingly, you see a large number of car polishing places in shopping centres here - I've never seen one in a mall overseas, come to think of it.

Of all the things you could own as a status symbol, the car is possibly more visible - but also the most likely to be damaged (car accidents, hitting your car, getting it scratched - by people, not cats!). The only way to ensure your car stays pristine is to leave it at home in a garage and never drive it really.

15/2/07 1:54 PM  
Anonymous ej said...

Right Dawn, keep the car in the garage and don't drive it. As time passes, it will become antique and worth more.
The caregiver long talk with the guy does work.

15/2/07 2:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Spending a LOT of money on a car that you leave in a public carpark will stress you out.

Perhaps get person to sit down (not in the trophy car) and stroke a purring cat ?

15/2/07 2:36 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

ej - good idea, I'll suggest that next time ;)

15/2/07 5:14 PM  

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