Sunday, February 28, 2010

From "Geraldine Soh's Photos - r a n d o m"

Biting Aluminum Foil

Send your "non-pedigree" local cats, especially those with tipped ears....

Improve the image of local cats (also called DSH or Domestic Short-haired) to Sunday Times

Send photos to

Cats love the sun

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All it takes is ONE person who fears or hates cats to KILL this peacefully sleeping cat and others!

Dear cat,
Do stay away from places such as this ATM machine because all it takes is ONE person who screams at the sight of cats (suffering from illness called Ailurophobia) to call the town council MANY times. The town council will then declares that there are MANY complaints about cats, justifying activation of the community cats for "the assistance of AVA" (a phrase used by one General Manager of a town council who wanted residents to think that the bad guys were really AVA) to terminate them!

A community cat in Pasir Ris

Sarah Palin Fear? House cats against Palin

Adding to the HAZE

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Houdini seems to be back to his usual self this morning

What had so frightened him the last few days?

Time spent with cats is never wasted

Friday, February 26, 2010

Cat on a child's potty

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Cute Tabby-Boy

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010


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A Cancer Survivor's Perspective: Year of Tiger

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Year of Tiger

It's the year of the tiger and I thought I may just pay tribute to the felines, the small harmless ones we can see sleeping in various endearing positions in and around our neighbourhood. I extend this tribute to the caregivers of the felines as well.

Sometime last year, a friend who had been a caregiver to the community cats for some years got me interested in cats through his blog and facebook posts. Through him, I got to understand the cats better.

I have always been and still am a dog lover. I do not mind the cats though, but just thought that they have this attitude, where they either like you or they don't. If they do, they will come 'meowing' and rubbed themselves against you, and if they don't, they will scramble away upon your approach.

However, no matter how much I loved dogs, I would not approach any dog, stray or otherwise and pat them, one never knows when they will bite. Unlike dogs, cats are different. If they come 'meowing', you know they are friendly. There are some that like to bite and scratch in playfulness.

Ever since my interest in cats was aroused, I had been paying attention to them, observing them and stroking them when I could.

There was this calico that allowed me to pat it. As I straightened up to move away, it used a paw to pat my foot. I stroked it again and made a move. Again, it patted my foot - it did not want me to leave! Unfortunately, I could not stay long with it, so I stroked it again and made a quick exit. I walked away exhilarated - wow, this kitty certainly knew how to communicate its intentions. Smart kitty that was!

I noticed that cats can really focus when something catches its attention.

It was also this same calico that helped an owner find his lost cat. He had been searching for his missing cat for 3 days and had put posters up. I was passing by when I noticed this calico had its gaze fixed on something up on the crossbeam of the covered passageway. I followed its gaze and saw a ginger cat squatting on the crossbeam. I called the number stated on the missing cat poster. The owner came and confirmed that it was his cat. It's probably worth considering to enlist the help of a streetsmart kitty to find a lost pet cat.

We used to have a very sick cat in the neighbourhood. Sometime ago, the sick cat crossed my path and hopped onto the cement ledge skirting the void deck. I called his name and he 'meowed'. I called a couple more times and each time, he 'meowed'. I left it and later went down with some water for it, but it was gone. I searched for it for a couple of days and asked the cleaners, but nobody had seen it. I was told that sometimes when a cat knew its end is near, it would find itself some place and spend its last moments there. I wondered if the cat had come to say 'goodbye'. It seemed that they have the ability to communicate but humans may lack the ability to grasp their message.

And there was this white Siamese that liked to sleep on the switchbox which was located some 6 ft or so above ground. I was rummaging through my bag for my mobile to take a picture when a lady passed by, laughed and commented that the cat had such a perculiar behaviour and that the switchbox seemed to be its favourite sleeping place. It could be that the cat realized that it could sleep without being disturbed there. But its perculiar sleeping habit had turned itself into a conversation piece for humans, who would otherwise have passed each other with hardly a look or a smile.

I have actually made some new acquaintances through the cats.

Some months ago, I found a tiny little black kitten on the void deck of my block while on my way home late at night. I had tested the reactions of the resident cats there, but one hissed at it and the other took a swipe at it with a paw. I could not leave it there but I did not know how to care for such a young kitten. Fortunately, a few days earlier, I had spoken to a cat caregiver who lived in the private eatate nearby and had asked for her address. I decided to send the kitten there even though it was late and drizzling slightly. Her husband took the kitten from me and assured me that they would take good care of it.

About two weeks before the Chinese New Year, I chanced upon the lady walking her dog and feeding the cats. She told me that the kitten is now much bigger and has a slender long body. She invited me to her house to look at it. This kitten is now so much different from the scrawny and frightened little kitten when it was first found. It is so playful and noisy too. It is a female and not old enough to be neutered yet. They did not want to run the risk of it being impregnated should it run out of the house, so they bought her a 3-tier cage with a hammock. In the night, she gets to sleep with the caregiver's daughter. Looks like the kitten is living a life of luxury now. Am I glad I made the right decision to send it to her.

In the course of our conversation, she mentioned that her husband is stationed in Malaysia and while there, he is feeding the cats too.

As a cancer patient, I find stroking animals to be destressing and therapeutic. While I have a puppy at home, I find the friendly felines to be an added and extended therapy. I am aware that my cancer is a result of stress caused by human related problems. Sometimes I find life such an irony that animals can provide the therapy to undo the harm caused by humans to fellow humans.

When one has been down that path before as I have, one would have realized that there is more to life, if only one learns to appreciate the things around us.

I am fortunate to have benefitted from the fruits of the labour of love provided by the cat caregivers, who put in so much time, effort and money unselfishly to care for the community cats. For all their sacrifices, all they asked for is that the cats be safe from harm.

May the year of the great cat (Tiger) protect the felines from harm, human induced or otherwise, and may the HDB have a change of heart and remove its ban, and allow HDB dwellers to keep cats as pets.

From the Cat Welfare Society


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"Innocent" cruelty

From a distance I saw a group of primary school kids hitting a part of shrubs with sticks and one kid splashing water from his water bottle.

As I neared the spot, I found that the kids were "victimising" ants on the leaves.

I asked the kids if the ants have harmed anyone of them.

They kept quiet.

I told them to leave the ants alone.

Educating kids is not just about academic achievement but also to be a kinder wholesome human being with respect for all lives.

A cat in SMU canteen

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Spits and smear his nose discharge on the bench

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

"Oh, she cannot control her bladder!"

A typical evening about 7.30pm.

A grandma waits for her grand-daughter in front of a block of HDB flats where she lives.

The school bus arrives.

A girl aged about 10 years of age, rushes from the bus and runs towards the wash area at the back of the void deck.

She lifts up her skirt, pulls down her pants, and pees on the tiled wash area.

The grand-mother says, in Mandarin, that her granddaughter has problem controlling her bladder.

Hopefully the residents living just above the wash area do not complain to the town council about urine stench and blame it on cats!!

Get residents' views for town council report

My Paper
23 February 2010

Kindness to animals is an important value to teach children

Online Only - Kindness to animals is an important value to teach children
07:50 PM Feb 22, 2010
Letter from Abdul Rashid

The intent of this letter is purely to raise our awareness of the general lack of compassion to animals (cats, especially) in our society. Lately, it has been moving to read about the concept of community cats. But here, I hope to bring to the fore the effects of negative behaviour inculcated in our children, through our behaviour.

Here is my observation of things which happen around public places like void decks, coffee shops and even parks - some children's lack of compassion for animals manifested in the way the children treat them. I thought compassion for animals would come naturally with children but I can understand why the forces of nurture can far outnumber nature itself, in children's growing years. I have seen adults in the presence of their children, kicking animals (gently or otherwise,) or throwing things at them. Judging from the adults' behaviours and mannerisms, I can safely say that they were probably brought up seeing such behaviour in their own growing years. They seem to be overly careful about hygiene and disease such that they treat these animals as balls of plagues on four legs.

I was at the vet recently with my kids, to pay our ailing cat Louie a visit. Another cat, Dani, was in a neighbouring cage with obvious bowel control problems. It was such a sorry sight - his fur was wet with urine and we thought Dani had undergone some form of surgery. A tearful elderly lady with her daughter came to visit Dani. After some small talk, we learnt that somebody had brought Dani up to the top floor of a block near the owner's flat and threw Dani off. Dani sustained a fractured spine which rendered him paralysed on his hind limbs with loss of bowel control. Honestly, this note can never paint the horrific picture of what Dani is going through. The situation for Dani is so bad that he may be euthananised.

Getting back to the issue of how this came to be, I have seen for myself the number of times children abuse cats (probably, because they seem to be more ubiquitous in public housing estates) by kicking, spitting, throwing lighted candles at them, shooting them with rubber-bands, etc. Perhaps we can partly blame the media for casting a black shroud on cats. Cats are almost always portrayed as conniving and evil. Such images send sub-conscious negative connotations about cats in general. But how we guide our children remains at the core.

To be fair, I have seen children who are very nice and kind to animals and simply love to see animals at the zoo or some animal shows - but loving animals goes beyond just being entertained by them. Kindness to animals is an important value to teach children and for them to continue to uphold throughout life. In a society bent on achieving A-stars and educational excellence, seeing such cruelty to animals indicates a significant lacking in what we can teach our children at school as well as home. Some people may not like animals, but they can at least learn not to be mean and cruel if there is inculcation of kindness and compassion towards other creatures. Let children grow up to realise how therapeutic animals can be and how good it is to be kind to them. They are after all, a form of life, worthy of respect.

Beautiful community cat in Bedok North