Sunday, November 30, 2008
Cats have been blamed for dog poo as some residents are not able to tell. Some town council's Property Officers are too lazy to investigate and accept complaints of blaming cats for dog poo by activating the pest controllers to round up the "downstairs" cats to be killed at the AVA.
Even if the poo were due to cat, a responsible officer must investigate as it is often due to irresponsible owners who let their cats roam out (some owners do not train their cats to use litter-bins, preferring them to do on the toilet floor, hence such cats are more likely to poo and pee on cemented common corridors or staircases) or lazy feeders who lure "downstairs" cats to feed.
In both instances, the cause is irresponsible human being, who ought to be educated, or fined, if there are regulations on "responsible cat-ownership" instead of a stupid ban, to do so!
Saturday, November 29, 2008
3.30pm, at the playground, a Malay kid said he saw a man putting a cage on the branches on this tree earlier in the afternoon. Was this abandoning this kitten that was now snugly sleeping holding onto the slim trunk?
I stood on the handle of a low ladder and managed to grab the kitten by the body to bring her down.
She was friendly with very clean ears. Definitely a home-kitten that was just abandoned!
A young lady called Sheila, who lives in the block facing the park and who brought the ladder as well as this big paper carton, decided to adopt this kitten. She said that she still felt grieved and angered by the loss of a kitten some time ago when she was renting a room in the Commonwealth area. The landlord threw away all her cat stuff as well as the kitten. She couldn’t find the kitten.
We exchanged mobile numbers and I repeatedly sms-ed that she must wire-mesh her door and window grills. I offered to take over the kitten until her flat is cat-safe but she said she would be going now to buy the wire-mesh from a pet shop.
Hope things turn out well for this kitten.
The passer-by’s including a China National grand-parents and their little girl aged about 10, passed positive comments about the kitten in the box.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Even though I see this cat once a week, she recognises my voice from a distance and comes "galloping".
Cats do have feelings and memories.
If we allow ourselves to see cats as feeling creatures, we will never be able to condone any excuse to "cull".
We delude ourselves as the most intelligent living beings on this planet and therefore have "dominion" over all other creatures "created" at our disposal. See how our "intelligence" is bringing us to the brink of destroying this common home we called "earth".
We delude ourselves as the only "intelligent" beings in existence.
Will we only wake up when one day, aliens, far more intelligent than we can ever imagine, land on this earth and view us two-legged as "animals" to be used for their food and entertainment? And of course to be "culled" because there just too many of us encroaching into their new home?
Adopted and named MiNi, she is now safe in a home.
Photos taken on 23-06-2008
Photo taken on 27-11-2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Photo taken today at about 1pm
I doubt anyone would complain to the town council about this man smoking on this bench. The smell of a single stick of cigarette could be detected 2-3 metres away. Why? Because he is a human.
Would any human complain of a cat napping on a public bench? Most human won't but all it takes to put the life of this innocent harmless cat in danger is a human who hates or has phobia of cats to call the town council to complain!
Photo taken on 04-06-2008
The differential action towards human and animal by the town council is SPECI-ISM.
Pete Singer - "In an earlier stage of our development most human groups held to a tribal ethic. Members of the tribe were protected, but people of other tribes could be robbed or killed as one pleased. Gradually the circle of protection expanded, but as recently as 150 years ago we did not include blacks. So African human beings could be captured, shipped to America and sold. In Australia white settlers regarded Aborigines as a pest and hunted them down, much as kangaroos are hunted down today. Just as we have progressed beyond the blatantly racist ethic of the era of slavery and colonialism, so we must now progress beyond the speciesist ethic of the era of factory farming, of the use of animals as mere research tools, of whaling, seal hunting, kangaroo slaughter and the destruction of wilderness. We must take the final step in expanding the circle of ethics."
"In the first place, it is my opinion that the sky was made to shelter all creation, and that the earth was made so that things created able to stand might have something to stand on. Even those human beings who love argument for the arguing's sake could surely not deny this fact. Next we may ask to what extent did human effort contribute to the creation of heaven and earth; and the answer is that it contributed nothing. What right, then, do human beings hold to decide that things not of their own creation nevertheless belong to them? Of course the absence of right need not prevent such creatures from making that decision, but surely there can be no possible justification for them prohibiting others from innocent passage in and out of so-called human property... .....therefore I enter wherever I like." Natsume Soseki (1867-1916)
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
A community cat that used to live in the vicinity of a coffee-shop suffered a fracture to a hind limb
She is not pretty in the conventional sense. She is old. Her reflexes are slow. Her hearing is partially impaired.
She was sterilised a long time ago when it wasn't a "fashion" to tip the left ear.
Yet she is doted on by many people. An Indian lady who works in a factory across the road would give her food before she even ordered her own breakfast.
A young lady, who works in a shop nearby who has been caring for her for many years, found her limping on the 17th November 2008.
She took her to a vet who confirmed a fracture. The cat is called Toti-Coffee and is resting in her home. The young lady decided to adopt her as she felt it would be unsafe for her to live on her own in the "urban wilderness" because of her advanced age.
However the young lady is worried about leaving her alone in the home as she works long hours.
If you think you can give this cat a good home as well, please leave your contact in "comments".
12.30pm, I decided to walk within CHIJME to take shelter from the rain and see what I found - a scrawny little ginger-white kitten totally drenched and curled up on the side of the walkway. Fortunately I have with me today, a plastic bag that was just big enough to put the kitten in. I took a taxi to my estate and then drove to hand the kitten to Mei to care.
3.30pm, Phyllis called to let me know that Jimes had just passed away peacefully. She suspected it might have suffered a fractured spine as there was no movement in the hind legs.
You can help Jimes on its way to a good rebirth by doing good and positive acts in its name. Positive energy is generated by kind thoughts, kind words and kind acts. Mentally direct this energy to Jimes. This energy will be like water sprinkled onto the good karmic seeds in Jimes’ mindstream. The flowering of these good karmic seeds will result in a good rebirth for Jimes, such as being born as a human endowed with compassion that is balanced with wisdom. Recite prayers or send him loving-kindness. It doesn’t matter what are the religious labels of prayers and meditation, if it comes from the heart, they are like rays of light shining on the path and guiding Jimes towards the light of bliss.
How long have you lain your tired body on the corridor?
How many patters of feet have passed you by?
And how many eyes have skipped you by?
What memories were there In your young ailing body
That withered before it had even bloomed
Leave your pain behind
In the body that is now returning to mother earth
Carry forth the joy of love
Perhaps the seeds we planted together today
Will blossom in a time not far away
When I am old and crumbling in a nursing home
You are young and filled with loving-kindness
You hold my hand and whisper in my ear
Be not afraid my dear
Leave your pain behind
I am here to guide you to the Light of everlasting bliss
1) Save a cat that is about to be euthanised.
- Call the AVA (http://www.ava.gov.sg/)Claiming of impounded dogs and cats Tel: 6471 9987 / 6471 9996 (You may need to pay for impounding fee, boarding fees and microchipping).
- Call the SPCA (http://www.spca.org.sg/) Tel: 62875355 (Ask for cats that are to be euthanised; these are cats that are assessed by a visiting vet as "not suitable for adoption". You may have to argue very hard with a "we know what is best for the cat" attitude.)
- MettaCats (http://www.mettacats.blogspot.com/)
- Paw Pledge
- Vegan & Meowies
- Fostercats for Adoption
- Cats for Adoption
3) Give a home to a community cat. Most of our community cats are abandoned. Community cats in Singapore are in perpetual dangers of being
- Blamed for "hygiene" risk if they are within food-serving areas
- Blamed for scratches on cars if they are in car parks
- Blamed for spread of diseases if they are near child care centres
- Blamed for making noise if they are in HDB estates
- Blamed for "upstairs" defecation that is usually caused by irresponsible owners who let their cats roam freely out of the flats, or irresponsible feeders who lure community cats upstairs to feed. Irresponsible Property Officers of the town council who do not investigate,will assume the "downstairs cats" are responsible and thereby activating the pest controllers to round up the "downstairs" cats, which will be killed without mercy!"
- Blamed for phobia of cats (Ailurophobia)
- Run over by cars
- Abused by psychotic human beings
- Poisoned from drinking drain water that is often sprayed with anti-mosquito-larval chemicals
- Caught in traps,which are loan free of charge by the AVA (at tax payers' expense), to human beings who live in landed properties who are upset with the intrusion of cats into their "lovely" gardens.
Contemplate before bringing a cat home
1) If you are single
- Who will care for your cat when you are on vacation?
- What if you meet a partner who does not like cat?
- What if you get married and have a child and your in-laws are dead-set against keeping your cat?
- What if you fall critically ill?
- Will you keep the cat when a child is on the way?
- Will you be able to care for a cat, who, like any living being, will fall ill, will be old and will die?
- Are you adopting a cat as a "live" toy? Leaving a cat in the presence of a child unsupervised can give rise to harm on both. A cat is NOT a toy. A good motivation for the addition of a cat to family with children is to cultivate compassion to animals. Will you abandon the cat if anyone in the family develop allergy that most family doctors will readily blame on the cat instead of suggesting ways to reduce allergen-exposure?
- Will you bring the cat along to where-ever you will be going? There will be expenses from vet certification, vaccination, air-freight (some airlines include cat in a carrier into the luggage allowance) and quarantine.
6) Making the window and door grills "cat-safe" to keep the cat indoors.
7) The patience to wait for a cat to adapt to a new environment, especially one that has a cat or cats or dog/s. Some cats adapt easily. Some cats take a long time to adapt. Sometimes it is easier for a guardian to adapt to a "difficult" cat :)
8) Some adopters expect a cat to adapt perfectly into a home without door or window grills because "some of my friends have cats and they do not have grills or put mesh on their grills" or "my home won't look nice anymore with grills or mesh on grills". Cats do not have intelligence like us human beings to understand that they cannot jump after that bird at the window! A tragedy worse than instant death is being paralysed from a fall.
Some adopters expect a cat to adapt to a home with expensive leather furniture. Cats, unlike us human beings, do not understand that the furniture is expensive and therefore not to be used to remove their nail sheaths.
We, as human beings, have the intelligence to undertand the limitations of a cat's intelligence. We, as human beings, have the the ability to exercise our wisdom and adapt to living with a cat instead of expecting vice versa.
Be a GUARDIAN of a cat that you bring home, NOT just a mere OWNER.
This is a very friendly tabby male cat that I saw at the gym about 2-3 weeks ago. He is a definitely abandonee. I got him sterilized about 2 weeks ago. Today I heard from SK that his life is in danger. A female gym-user has complaint to the AVA about 2 cats (the new tabby at the entrance of the gym and a old timer - a female sterilized tabby that usually sleeps within the shrubs and not at the entrance. She has now befriended the male tabby and hence she is now more visible). Her reason - she is just scared of cats. SK contacted a gym admin. staff who fortunately likes cats. She has contacted the regular 9am feeder to feed further away from the gym entrance but the cats still returned to the area in front of the gym entrance. SK has suggested that the feeder stop feeding altogther (there are ample feeders at other part of the area around the gym) and to use scare-away techniques (such as spraying water) on the cats but the administrative lady felt it would be cruel. This admin. person is now allowing the cat-fearful user to enter they gym via a side entrance. Let's hope the cats will eventually stay away from the entrance and there is no need to relocate them to a new place which may still put them in mortal danger of hunger and being hounded by other cats.
25-10-2006: Video-clip of him in the reception room of the Vet. He would be vaccinated and dewormed. On Wednesday, he would move to a boarding facility for rehoming. I renamed him Gym-Boy on his registration card.
25-10-2006, 7pm: Phyllis called to say that Gym-Mee has arrived at the shelter. She said he appeared to be an intelligent boy but a bit nervous. We hope he will go to a real home soon.
At 10/26/2006 06:40:24 PM, Anonymous said...
Hi, to whoever u are. if u r gonna adopt this cat, this is for u. This fat cat has a name now. Gym mee, lovely! as an ex animal show trainer n presenter, i think this cat is very clever. he's also very lovely and tame, especially friendly, somehow too friendly that he never knew how dangerous humans can be sometimes. honestly, i really miss him. been looking out for him since the day he went missing until now. everyone at the gym's been asking for him too, fr the cleaners to the gym users, everyone..... i've never come across a cat as clever, as friendly n as lazy as him. he sure noes how to ask for pamper. juz by looking at the way he sleeps never fails to cheer up your day. he is such a cat! seriously, i have no idea why such a lovely cat would end up a stray cat. somehow, i really miss the time of having him and another partner follow me all the way from the centre entrance to the car park but i noe by finding him a permanent home is the only solution. pls take him in good hand n im sure he will bring u happiness, alot of happiness.(i took this pic of him earlier ..... i juz hope that whoever that adopts him, pls treasure him cos he's definitely a gem to us n that we all miz him veri much)
My comments: Gym-Mee is definitely not born a stray. He is born and he grew up in the company of our species, homo-sapiens. What is uncomprehensive is how some of our species can "dispose" of such trusting home companions and hope they survive on the streets. For every Gym-Mee who lives, many have perished from being run over by cars (such as this kitten), from starvation because they can be hounded by the established community of cats in any particular area or from infected wounds from being attacked and injured. If not for Grace at the gym, this cat would also have died at the hands of a gym-user who has a fear of cats. Cats rounded by pest control personnel are sent to AVA where they will be killed. Someone is coming to see him at the shelter on Saturday and hopefully Gym-Mee will be the one selected. Come back on this blog for update.
I told Grace that if Gym-Mee is not adopted, he can return to the gym provided the lady who wanted to complain to "higher authorities would give an undertaking or a promise that she will withdraw her threat and that there will be people at all times of the gym to commit to looking out and caring for him. If Gym-Mee can be trained to move over to the Sepak Takraw centre with regular supply of food, water and shelter, he will be safe.
I am but a dwarf
If you look at me way up high
With a mind cleared of unfounded fear
I am like you
Yearning for affection
The pats on my head
The nibbles I get
I am lonely
Wanting to follow the people I love
Why do none stop and stay?
I am just a little cat
With a big heart
For someone who will stop
And bring me home to love
For the rest of
Just one of my lives
A lovely couple have visited Gym-Mee this morning. They have three cats in mind. They have gone home to ponder about which cat to adopt, this being their very first cat. Next week, they will return to pick up the lucky cat.
Will it be Gym-Mee? I think he certainly hopes so.
Gym-Mee is now called Zacky and his story continues on this blog called FOCUS
November 23, 2008 Zacky After Bath
With today’s slight warm morning weather, the cats went for a bath.
Here is Zacky after his bath, seeking human’s companionship. He looks kinda scruffy but he is really clean and has cologne on him - Apple flavored.
By historical records, this high degree of cleanliness last for 1 day before he will be masked by his male musky cat feel.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
- NOVEMBER 24, 2008
Mr. Albarella Follows Flocks Home to Roost, Then Blasts a 'Heart-Rending Scream'
By STACY MEICHTRY and DAVIDE BERRETTA
ROME -- Giovanni Albarella won't back down from a street fight, even though he's always outnumbered.
As the sun goes down, Mr. Albarella often squares off against millions of birds that cloud the skies of this ancient city. European starlings -- birds individually small enough to fit in a hand -- are collectively a menace. They swoop and poop indiscriminately, clearing Rome's outdoor cafes, frightening children and, more recently, forcing an emergency landing of a Boeing 737.
Mr. Albarella says he has a method to shoo the birds away. Backed by city hall, the 37-year-old conservationist and a team of assistants crisscross Rome with high-powered megaphones that they point at trees teeming with starlings. The goal: to drive the birds out of the city and back to the countryside.
The megaphones emit what Mr. Albarella calls a "heart-rending scream" -- a recording of starlings issuing a screeching distress call. The sound, he says, is the only way to drive the birds from their roosts without harm.
"This is a great responsibility," Mr. Albarella says, as the flocks began filtering into town one recent evening. "You delve into a conflict, a tension, a problem of cohabitation between man and animal."
Thousands of birds squawked overhead and showered the cobblestones with droppings. Pedestrians ran for cover. A few opened umbrellas.
Mr. Albarella, dressed in a suit and a crimson tie, shrugged off the downpour. "Badges of honor earned on the battlefield," he said, pointing to the droppings that dotted his shoulders.
In recent decades, Rome's starling population has begun to rival that of its residents, testing the patience of a people who take special pride in cohabiting with animals.
Legend has it that the city's founders, Romulus and Remus, were nursed by a she-wolf. Today the city maintains strict codes on the treatment of animals, such as fining residents who keep goldfish in bowls rather than more-spacious aquariums. Thousands of stray cats live and lounge in the city's ancient ruins, fed and pampered by locals.
Starlings, however, are often seen as peskier creatures. They are unusually gregarious birds that flock together by the hundreds of thousands, issuing a cacophony of squawks and chirps from highly developed vocal chords.
The starlings weren't always city slickers. Though the birds have long flown from Northern Europe to Rome's warmer climate for the winter, they used to remain outside city limits, roosting in the countryside.
As Rome expanded after the end of World War II, starlings began to leave their natural habitats for the city, which offered warmer temperatures and fewer predators. By day, flocks continued to feed on insects and seeds in the countryside. By night, however, the birds began commuting to Rome to roost in its leafiest areas: the tree-lined avenues, parks and riverbanks of the city center.
Residents and shopkeepers complain the flocks have taken over their neighborhoods. Consumer-rights groups have called on the city to investigate potential health risks posed by the birds. Scarecrows are popping up in piazzas.
"Look at the sidewalk. It's empty!" said Luciano Piergentili, 41, surveying the foot traffic outside his café as the birds swarmed overhead. The birds, he says, have driven away customers, and their droppings have caused a number of slips and falls, including a recent scooter accident. "It's dangerous," he says.
Earlier this month, a Rome-bound Ryanair Boeing 737 collided with a flock of starlings in midair. The birds clogged the plane's engines just as the jet was approaching Rome's Ciampino airport. The impact forced the pilot to make an emergency landing, skidding down the runway and flattening landing gear on one side. A few people received medical attention, but no one was seriously injured. Ciampino airport was shut down for days as crews worked to clear the jet from the runway.
On the streets of Rome, the task of dealing with the starlings has fallen squarely on Mr. Albarella's shoulders.
His career as a conservationist began in high school when he stumbled across a fallen blackcap, a small bird, at a park in his hometown of Naples. He phoned the Lega Italiana Protezione Uccelli, the Italian League for the Protection of Birds, for advice, but the bird's fate was already sealed. "I took it in, but there was nothing I could do," he recalls.
Mr. Albarella kept in touch with the organization, volunteering while he studied animal husbandry in college. Two years ago, the bird-protection group hired Mr. Albarella and charged him with managing relations with government officials.
The starling quickly landed in Mr. Albarella's dossier as relations between the bird and its host city soured. For more than a decade, LIPU, the conservation group, had been trying to monitor the birds and chase them away. But the birds had proven surprisingly resilient.
LIPU initially installed stationary megaphones near the starling nests, belting one version of the starlings' distress call for days. But the birds grew accustomed to the sound, and ignored it.
LIPU then tweaked the soundtrack "to better simulate a sense of danger," Mr. Albarella says. The birds simply moved to nearby locations.
Some residents complained the methods weren't tough enough and would only drive the birds from one neighborhood to another, spreading the pain. A recent article in Rome daily Il Tempo mentioned the alternative of shearing the branches of trees that attract the birds.
"Those megaphones are scarier than the birds," the editorial read. "It's a funereal sound that seems to foretell of deadly events."
The bird-protection group's strategy is evolving. Today, Mr. Albarella leads a roaming strike force -- backed by an annual budget of €150,000 ($187,000). The idea is to follow the birds wherever they live, hoping to persuade them there's no safe haven in the city.
Residents phone or email his office with tips on the birds' latest movements, and Mr. Albarella's team arrives on the scene in a green Fiat loaded with megaphones.
Recently, Mr. Albarella staked out a row of trees lining the Tiber River. He had interviewed workers at a nearby hospital to gather clues on the starlings' favorite trees.
Mr. Albarella followed a trail of droppings, stopping at a stretch of granite where excrement was splattered several layers thick. "This will require a deeper investigation," he concluded.
The reconnaissance allowed Mr. Albarella to prepare his "operation." A couple of days later, he arrived with a dozen assistants, clad in hooded jump suits and face masks, who took positions beneath the trees.
As thousands of starlings began swooping into the area in giant flocks, the trees came alive. Pedestrians cleared the street. The conservationist, unruffled, gave the signal, and the squad unleashed a simultaneous blast from the megaphones.
The flocks dispersed. If the sound stalks the birds wherever they roost, says Mr. Albarella, many will return to the countryside.
Progress is hard to measure. Mr. Albarella estimates that the birds still number between three and four million. Whatever the result, Mr. Albarella believes the conflict between man and bird "must be resolved in the best way: by satisfying the former without harming the latter."