Thursday, December 06, 2007

School cats

I got a call today from someone who said that a mother cat had given birth to a bunch of kittens near the statue of the Buddha in their school. The person who called had called a temple and asked them to remove the cats the last time, which they did. However the temple encouraged him to speak with me today and to discuss the possibility of a TNRM programme.

The person I spoke to was concerned about whether the cats might cause a fright to the teachers who are frightened of the cats and the students with asthma. I pointed out that there will always be cats there - the important thing is managing them. At this point, they are unmanaged and more cats will come in. That's far worse than sterilising and managing the cats.

He kept saying that they could not allow cats in their school compound but I explained several times that one cannot stop cats from coming in. He mentioned being vigilant and preventing the cats from coming in during the day but that they can't do anything at night. He also mentioned that no one was feeding them. I pointed out that the cats have taken this area over as their territory. Therefore, they would definitely have some cats there. The question is how best to manage the issue - and that is by sterilising and managing the cats. I also told him that in addition to controlling the population, it can be a very good way to teach the students compassion and responsibility.

He was also worried about whom would handle this if they signed up. I explained that while it's called a TNRM programme, it's up to each individual area to tailor it for themselves and see what works - there's no specific guidelines they must follow.

As they were a Buddhist school, he did seem reluctant to have them sent away to be killed, so I hope that will be one more factor that may influence them to try the programme.



Blogger san said...

Cats in school grounds do not usually make an appearance when there are students and people about. The majority of the kids and teachers in my school were not aware of the school cats or even if they were, the cats usually avoid them even before they come near, except kittens of course but the mother cat was very scrupulous in hiding her kittens from the school population. The only drawback is that sometimes a few kittens would be left behind (she would get them later) when she was transporting her other kittens to a new place and once, the kids were in an uproar as they found kittens and did not want to go back to class to study. However we were fortunate as the teacher in class was an animal lover and rescued the kittesn from being stomped by the horde of kids.

6/12/07 7:17 PM  
Blogger Surferket said...

Don't assume "Buddhist" precludes one from breaking the Buddhist precepts. Humans are great at rationalising to one's own ends.
This is coming from a Buddhist working in a Buddhist environment. It is not Pureland.

6/12/07 8:14 PM  
Anonymous furry said...

It will be very upsetting, appalling and disappointing if this Buddhist school did not extend a helping hand towards these kitties or be tolerance of their existence. Being a buddhist myself (though not the very enlightened type), I do know that tolerance, compassion, responsibilities etc are one the religion is about. There is no excuse if the teachers and students are afraid of the cats or got asthma.

Any updates on the kitties? Can you email me the name of the school? I want to give them a piece of my mind if they send the kitties to their doom, then they are not fit to be a buddhist school at all.

7/12/07 9:13 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

I don't believe the man I spoke to wants them killed - but he's looking for someone to take them all away so they aren't a bother.

No update as yet.

7/12/07 9:26 AM  
Blogger Surferket said...


There aren't that many Buddhist sponsored schools in SG.
Most likely it's the one where Singapore Buddhist Federation is.

7/12/07 7:11 PM  
Blogger Surferket said...

The Buddha instructed his monks not to cut down trees as they are home to many many creatures. This is the Buddhist concept of Compassion which most present day Buddhists and many monks have forgotten in their attachments to rites and rituals.

The mothercat and her kittens' home is the school so this school officer should be reminded of the Buddha's Teachings to respect all living things.

7/12/07 8:11 PM  
Blogger VeganCatsg said...

I think the presence of the mother cat and kittens present a very real community issue that the Principal and teachers can take advantage of in true education of the children by guiding them to use their own mind to resolve it, with compassion, regardless of what are their religious affiliation. It doesn't need a religious person to feel the warm of receiving kindness and learn to give that to other beings.
Hopefully this school will see this issue from this angle instead of removing it "out of sight".

9/12/07 9:09 AM  

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