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?