Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Letter in Lianhe Zaobao

Thanks to Kootoo Monster for sending this in, and may I also take this opportunity to thank all of you who send me articles from newspapers. I don't read all the papers - and it really helps when you guys bring items like this to our attention.

This letter is from the Lianhe Zaobao today. Here's my go at translating it :-

The writer says that being new to Singapore, he or she is shocked by the number of cats around hawker centres and the like. The writer has seen cats jump on tables. The writer also says that he or she has noticed that there are a number of people who feed cats and that they are being kind but that it is making the place dirty - the writer also noticed someone feeding the cats in the morning and leaving a mess and that the cats were very well fed.

Worse this writer says that cats are dirty and that they may spread germs , especially to children.

The writer also said that if Singapore would like to make a favourable impression on other people visiting Singapore, then something has to be done to control the cats.

JaQ and I are now drafting a reply. First of all, the main problem with litter is not the cats - it's people. I am quite certain there are more people littering than feeding cats because just looking around at the variety of litter (soiled sanitary napkins, canned drinks, chairs!) most of it isn't cat food. If anything needs to be done, all of us just need to be more conscious of what we toss out.

Secondly, feeding is an important component of TNRM. It helps caregivers with trapping, and it in fact keeps cats away from areas they are not wanted - like hawker centre tables.

Thirdly, cats aren't dirty - they are in fact very clean. They don't also go around spreading diseases because most cat diseases are species specific. In fact, caregivers do regular and routine health checks when they feed - so those cats are monitored daily as well.

Finally, I have met tourists who love the Singapore cats. One couple I met had a map and walked to the Singapore River to look for the kucintas and were very disappointed to find it was a statue and not real cats. Another woman was trying to smuggle a cat back with her (I told her that wasn't a good idea and to do it legally). Our cats are pretty unique, especially with the kinked tail, and if anything, I think they would make a good tourist attraction.

Anyone want to write in?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can bet this is a china-woman!

31/10/07 3:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

could also be part of the excuses needed to cull cats once again in private estates etc. Dogs you can make rabbies and licensing an issue but cats is rubbing the old sores again so to link it with Singapore's growth and economy, culling gets the attention.

As if the growth of Singapore can be crippled by some cats receiving their simple meals...evil has no shame, only false allegations against cats.

Singapore can take pride for being a compassionate nation, we have CWS TNR programme, care giver's feeding programme and the many curageous feats and welfare programmes for homeless cats and dogs. The writer is nothing more than a selfish moron.

31/10/07 3:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If where she comes from is sterile, by all means, please go home.

31/10/07 3:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

3.01pm - you beat me to it. Ok lah, say i'm a racist lah but that is so typical......

31/10/07 3:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my colleague just mentioned to me the other day that he thought cats to be really dirty and diseased. meanwhile, he boasts to me about the whores he visits. i have nothing against prostitutes (i actually respect them.) so i told him that i think his penis is much dirtier and more diseased than street cats. literally.

31/10/07 4:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my colleague just mentioned to me the other day that he thought cats to be really dirty and diseased. meanwhile, he boasts to me about the whores he visits. i have nothing against prostitutes (i actually respect them.) so i told him that i think his penis is much dirtier and more diseased than street cats. literally.

31/10/07 4:26 PM  
Anonymous no patience said...

The real danger could be hypocrites blaming cats to keep Singapore clean but spreading VD and other life threatening diseases around.

Stray cats are clean, they are innocent and will make it to heaven. Those who blame them and cause suffering and deaths, will have their tongues and bodies thrown into the fires of ....

31/10/07 5:06 PM  
Anonymous long tail said...

to the stupid visitor, please don't tell us how to keep Singapore clean. Go home and let us know what diseases will be killing you later, maybe hypertension and stroke because you don't know how to relax and enjoy nature, you hurl abuses at pitiful street cats and took time to write against them.

Why are you not enjoying your stay here or elsewhere?

31/10/07 5:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard someone slapped a china whore in geylang when she saw her pouring soup on a kitten! The kitten was rescued.

31/10/07 6:02 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Okay to be far - we don't know where this person is from, and there are lots of people from China who DO love cats too.

The problem is that this letter complains but doesn't give a solution. And WE already know trap and killing them is not a solution. So let's try and be part of the solution - and TNRM is it.

Plus every time someone doesn't like something the health argument gets trotted out - even if there is no correlation to the facts.

31/10/07 6:39 PM  
Anonymous E_Cat said...

will forward this to my friends who are well versed in mandarin to write in

31/10/07 9:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh dear..since its in the Chinese press I would also assume the writer is from the PRC. Not to be racist or national-ist(?) or anything but I am aghast at how some people can give silly views like that, about giving bad impression and so on. Bothers to write to the press some more! Who on earth does this person think he/she is? I have seen tourists actually say hello and be friendly with our strays. This clown is NOT representative of the tourists who come and visit this country. What an idiot..

31/10/07 9:37 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

I agree Anonymous - NOT representative!

e_cat - thanks! Or you can send in an English response and they might translate it, though I think there's a better chance of publication if it is in Mandarin.

31/10/07 9:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

U got to be kidding me.... a arrival from the country that SARS orginated from comes to tell us that our cats are dirty?? I would say clean up your own home before telling others what to do.... and shame on the editor for even letting such a letter get publish! All the years of effort of education just hit a road bump with one dumb letter.

31/10/07 11:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dawn I think u should pen a letter under the auspice of CWS to let this china woman know that unlike her country, there are organisations such as CWS to manage the cats and the cats are not as in her article "WILD CATS" yes that is what she labels them as. These are community cats that are known to the residents and cared for by some.

31/10/07 11:51 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

That's what JaQ and I spent a large part of the afternoon doing :)

1/11/07 12:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stop telling us our community cats are dirty,very rude, ignorant of the excellent CWS TNR program. The moral pollution in Geylang can mean spread of aids to Singapore.

And yes, the editor of the Newspaper is starting a culling session by publishing the letter, written by an ignorant fool.

1/11/07 12:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

cats are dirty and should be killed? Can we then please cull the china "chickens" that are increasing by the day and spreading even to housing estates?

1/11/07 1:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am going to try draft a letter too. I was feeding one night and saw a lady with "disapproval" in her eyes. I chatted her up, realized she's from China. She told me too many cats in Spore and hardly any in her hometown.. because they all end up in their stomachs, yes, that's what she said! So perhaps someone too can write in to remind the writer that in Spore we promote animal welfare and responsibility and not cannibalism as in some countries! *sick*

1/11/07 8:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was talking to my gf who is from HK and after reading the letter in the zaobao. I quote her... "So typical of the mainland Chinese.... the reason why they have no cats and dogs in the streets is because they kill everything... no questions asked.." Honestly with our Govt so pro China and so pro Chinese mass immigration, we have to do something to protect our culture. If not we will become end being a colony of China...

1/11/07 12:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HK is far more advanced due to 150years under the British rule and hope the pride of mainland Chinese government absorb the social values of HK, the SPCA in HK is promoting and reducing euthanasia.

1/11/07 3:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous 6:02pm - ya, i heard of the same story from someone also and in different version each time. I think is just someone bullshit around to exaggerate their rescue work only. Anyway violence will not help, if this person has witness the incident, why not report the case to spca.

1/11/07 3:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bah, there are few strays where she comes from because they've probably eaten them all.

1/11/07 5:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh yes, I'm sure that there are people in China who love animals, but these are still the minority. Traditional Chinese society has long viewed animals as nothing more than a means to an end and old attitudes die hard.

1/11/07 5:42 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Yes HK has very good community cat programmes under their SPCA.

I do believe that people in China are also becoming much more aware of animal welfare issues. Don't forget that when the video of a woman who was seen crushing a kitten to death came out, that the Chinese netizens made her life a living hell and she had to go into hiding.

1/11/07 9:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the one who crushed the kitten, if I see her I will hurt her. Using high heels to crush into the eyes of the baby kitten is beyond description.

2/11/07 9:58 AM  
Blogger Barffie said...

Oh gosh I remember the sick look on her face as she was crushing the life out of that helpless kitten. I would personally give her living hell for that :(

Am writing a response now, I hope it'll be published.

2/11/07 2:48 PM  

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