Saturday, December 01, 2007

Stepping down

We had our committee meeting earlier this evening. I wanted to wait till I knew more about how CWS will be running next year, before announcing to you that I will be stepping down at the end of this year.

When I started working with CWS, it was on the understanding that I would be here for 6 months - 6 years on and it's time for me to move on. Due to personal reasons, I will be spending significantly more time away from Singapore, and CWS cannot continue to run if I am on no-pay leave for much of the time. For example, bills and reimbursements piled up while I was away on this last trip, creating a huge backlog.

We have been searching for someone to take over my job for a while. Though I formally told the committee I would be stepping down in late October, I had told them of my intention to step down two years ago. However though we have tried to look for someone, we have not been able to find anyone willing to take on the job. Rebecca came on board this year (and did a great job!) but unfortunately had to leave because of other commitments. As such, we still have not been able to find anyone.

The committee has decided to hire someone to do the administrative work (and a job description will be posted sometime early next week for anyone who may want to apply) and hopefully at some point we will also be able to hire someone else to take over mediations/meeting with TC officers etc. In the meantime, the rest of the committee will help to take over these duties so you can continue to write in and there will very likely be a phone number which everyone can call as well.

This is a very difficult decision for me to come to because I have been very lucky to be able to work in a job which is so fulfilling (most of the time!) and to work with so many wonderful people like you and so many great caregivers. I have gotten to know so many dedicated, hardworking individuals who put in so much time and effort for the cats and I am honestly in awe of your dedication.

In addition, I've 'met' a lot of people through this blog whom I would otherwise not have had the opportunity to know (or get to know better). When I first started this blog, hardly anyone read it and they were mostly people I knew. Now I count amongst the readers a wide spectrum from caregivers to town council officers and from Singaporeans to people abroad. I've had people write in to say that they learnt something new - and I in turn have learnt a lot from you.

It does not however mean that I'm going to disappear once the year is out and that you can never contact me again. I will be getting a new email address and you are always welcome to email me if you have anything I can help you with - or even if you just want to chat.

I haven't yet decided if I should continue with the blog - obviously it will be a new blog as I'll no longer be working with CWS. If I have enough interesting news regarding cats to share, then I'll continue with it and post here to let you guys know what the new blog address will be. Maybe if you have ideas on what I ought to blog about or if you'd like me to continue with the blog, you can drop me a line and share your thoughts with me. It is quite likely that I will continue working with cats even if I'm not in Singapore.

I'm not going to say goodbye because I'll still be here for the next month, blogging almost every day - but even after that, as I said, I'm just an email away. I'll just be helping in a personal capacity rather than in as a CWS staff member. Meanwhile the committee will be there if you need any official CWS help too.

Now is probably a good time to mention that Corbie and Jacin are stepping down too, in addition to the adoption volunteer. Corbie has to go back to the US and we will all miss her - her work on donations and membership has been invaluable the last few months. Jacin, who many of you know for her tireless work (and always cheerful manner) through exhibitions, is taking a larger role as a caregiver in her area and would like to devote more time to her community cats and to working with other caregivers. Good luck Jacin and I know that the community cats are lucky to have you working even harder for them! The adoption volunteer would also like to take a break after 4 years of volunteering on an often difficult job. Thanks to all these wonderful volunteers for everything they have contributed to CWS - we could not have done it without you.



Anonymous Anonymous said...


you've worked so tirelessly for the cause and it will be a sad day when you leave. All of us cat lovers are amazed at all the things you've done and the nonsense you have tolerated with calm. Please accept my deepest gratitude for your dedication and selflessness and all the best to your future endeavours. Hope to see you blogging again about the kitties, whereever you may be.

1/12/07 7:15 AM  
Blogger Aminah Bee said...

Singapore lost, Alley Cat Allies gain!
Dawn you mentioned "I will continue working with cats even if I'm not in Singapore." It won't surprise me if you helping Alley Cat Allies in Washington DC ... well just a wild guess!
When I read your email, I realised the day has come, you're leaving us -- you been sacrificing between CWS and your personal life. You have to give up one for the other.
Dawn, the Saviour of Singapore's stray cats, we certainly will miss you. You done a lot for CWS. We appreciate your dedication and tireless efforts in stray cats sterilisation program, mediation talks with Town Council etc.

If cats could speak, they would said a big MEOW thank you.

God bless you. May you always be happy and healthy.

1/12/07 8:16 AM  
Blogger calsifer said...

I've been keeping my head buried in the sand about the impendence of this announcement since the Jurassic. =P But as that Chinese saying goes: there is no unending gathering.

Please do keep this blog alive. I'd like to suggest a few options:
a) rename this blog and continue all your blogging here
b) rename this blog, continue posting cat stuff here but start a new one

If you choose b, I believe blogspot has a nifty option where you can integrate both blogs: updates to both blogs are visible and in tandem so that readers can switch around to read posts that catch their eyes... good way to get the message out to the uninitiated reading your non-cat blog who would otherwise not be swayed >;)

Another option for b is to come over to for your new blog... that way, it'd be a breeze for us to keep track of your updates. Wordpress is a much more user-friendly blog app with great features (once you get used to it =P)

See you later!

PS We seem to have a knack for coming in and crying SOS on the tailend of CWS persons' tours - Jolanda's cat-trap delivery the last time, and rabble-rousing plotting with you. I hope it doesn't get to be a habit.

1/12/07 9:32 AM  
Blogger VeganCatsg said...

Much as we wish all good things will remain with us permamently, we have to accept that all things in life are flux.
Cats and people who care for cats will always be grateful for the existence of CWS and we hope that CWS always remain and given due recognition by the Government in the advocacy of humane treatment of our fellow feline citizens.
Thank you to Dawn and all the people in CWS!

1/12/07 9:54 AM  
Blogger san said...

6 years is a long time, especially when the initial agreement was 6 months :) Thanks for being with CWS for so long. I must say that if I had not stumbled onto the CWS site, I would not have thought about the community cats in a different way. Thanks to you, I now have Megat with me and of cos the WildBunch :)Keep the blog as it is history and write about the other cats who cross your path :)

1/12/07 9:56 AM  
Anonymous E_Cat said...

Dear Dawn,

The news came suddenly but expected. You have done alot for countless community cats and their caregviers. We especially at the Westenders team are greatful for the help and time you have given us on many occasions. Thank you so much again and I am sure we will all stay in touch!

1/12/07 10:59 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Thank you everyone for your really nice comments and well wishes.

Calsifer - thank you for the suggestion. wordpress has been mentioned a few times so I'll certainly look into that :)

I've really been fortunate to get to know all of you - and for nothing else I hope to keep the blog going to keep that up :) Though I'll just try and think about something relevant to write :)

1/12/07 12:43 PM  
Anonymous belle said...

All good things must come to an end, and Dawn - I wish u the best in all your future endeavours. Im glad I got to know u from here, and i still remember the time we met when u visited Drama Centre for 'silence of the kittens' and its Q & A :-) personally I think it'll be tough for CWS to find another dedicated employee like U, who can blog everything down in addition to site visits, mediations, admin work, etc. UR like a superwoman, really, who can do so much work in one day !!

1/12/07 4:49 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Thanks Belle - and I'm glad I got to meet you too! It's always funny to meet someone and realise they're a blogger :)

As I said, and I do mean it, if there is anything I can do personally even after I have left CWS, I will always be happy to help. I'm just an email (or phone call) away.

1/12/07 6:57 PM  
Blogger VeganCatsg said...

Hopefully the network created will continue to expand so that we can support each other, by writing the MP, TC's and by helping to conduct polls.

1/12/07 7:40 PM  
Blogger Surferket said...

Blah Dawn just when I found you again after so many years of lost contact you are leaving CWS. And it was knowing CWS and the dedicated crew of selfless caregivers and feeders that spured me to do alot to feed the cats at my work place, even getting myself blacklisted by my mgmt.

The cats at home and at workplace are fat now.

1/12/07 8:44 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

vegancatsg- that's what we were just saying. I was just saying to the group we met at the TNRM session today how one of the things I am happiest about is how groups have sprung up and how they are helping each other out. It's a great thing to see.

1/12/07 10:04 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

suferket - I'm not going to be 'lost' don't worry :) And if you need help speaking with your workplace management about a TNRM programme let me know.

1/12/07 10:06 PM  
Blogger Kootoo | Muffin | Milo said...

Dear Dawn,

It's been great knowing you and learning all the good work that CWS has done through this blog. All the best and may our paths cross again!

2/12/07 12:37 PM  
Blogger Sivasothi said...

Thanks for all the hints in earlier posts, I doubt we all would have been as sane about this as we are now.

Posted a short note here.

2/12/07 1:43 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Thanks kootoo/muffin/milo I'm sure they will!

Thanks Siva - I saw the post. That was very sweet of you :)

2/12/07 1:53 PM  
Anonymous suzanna said...

Not that you will remember but I could still recall some 6 yrs ago when you helped us at the meeting with our TC to go thru' TNRM and cat mangement matters in some parts of our estate. Thanks, Dawn, that was the start of cat management here.

I'm sure the cats in other parts of the world will benefit from your work for them.

Thank you!

2/12/07 2:47 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

I do remember! Has it been six years? Am so glad the programme is still doing well.

2/12/07 4:29 PM  
Anonymous Amelia said...

Dawn, Dont Go! Ur really doing a great job and im sure all of us are going to miss you.

3/12/07 12:07 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Amelia - I'm afraid I have to. I'm really going to miss you guys too - even though strangely enough many of us have never 'met'. I promise to be in touch though.

3/12/07 2:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dawn needs a good break from all the cries for help.
Subject her to non-stop requests for help is abusive.

Wonder has any one bother to send her a thank you card and remember to call her with a simple hello just to encourage and show apreciation. Does Singapore deserve Dawn?

3/12/07 12:55 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Some people do - I have had lovely handwritten cards and emails or even text messages and they balance out all the not-so-nice people :)

3/12/07 1:42 PM  
Blogger Applecow said...

hi Dawn, you've done so much for the cats and cat-lovers alike. You'll be sorely missed! All the best for life after CWS!

3/12/07 6:02 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Thanks applecow!

3/12/07 6:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Feel like crying, so who could be as smart and elegant as Dawn! The cats here need someone like Dawn, she has set high standards and has spoken for their welfare, will the years be ahead be alright after Dawn?

4/12/07 12:17 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Absolutely you will! I have seen the way many caregivers are working and I can say without a doubt that many caregivers are now very well versed at speaking with their TCs and working with their managements. And as I said, I'll always be an email away.

4/12/07 12:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Dawn,

Soon May told me about your leaving . I am truly sorry to hear that but I know that wherever you choose to be you will always help cats in need.

Do continue with your blog!
(this is the first time I have accessed it!)

All good wishes and happiness and thank you for all you have done for the cats in Singapore.


5/12/07 10:04 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Thanks Corinna - and I probably will continue with the blog in some slightly different form.

5/12/07 10:07 AM  

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