Monthly Archives: December 2006

Feeding on rainy days…

Why is Sophia hiding under the bushes soaked and shivering when there is shelter nearby? Why is she terrified at the sight of an umbrella?

Why did Snoopy, Nora and the Calico kitten run for their life when a man approached to lock his bicycle nearby?

Why would Pebbles suddenly struggle free and run into the rain when I tried to carry her past the front of the Indian provision shop?

The terror in their eyes tells all…


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Photos of Mirko

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Photos of Orange Boy


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Update on the sick ones

Photo: Stitches

Orange Boy had a relapse, sneezing and running nose, but now finally seems to get better. He is playing…running and catching paper balls. I noticed that he is now able to stand up on his hind legs to catch the ball in the air..almost back to full strength.

Mirko is also sneezing less but still has the eye discharge,one eye is only half open and quite red. I clean his eyes with saline and apply eye drops twice a day.Both of them are still confined to my room.

Stitches has fully recovered from flu but there is still no improvement in his skin condition. He has the run of the balcony while Silver and Sophia are kept in cages to prevent close contact with Stitches.

Still can’t release Sophia…it’s been raining the whole day. If only we could build a shelter for her in those bushes…

Silver was contemplating jumping on the chair, but then wisely changed her mind. I guess she knows that her hind legs are still not strong enough. She can walk and even jump down from the chair but not strong enough to stand up on her hind legs. Will probably have to keep her in for several weeks until she regains her strength and is able to run from danger…unless she gets adopted first.


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Won’t someone take me home?

…to love and keep forever!

Silver is only about 8 months old and has been sterilized. She is a pretty silver-tabby with straight long tail, very affectionate, purring and kneading all the time, wanting to be held and stroked.

Silver was recently abandoned and really wants to ‘go home’. She has not much of a chance out there, being so trusting she is an easy target for abuse and she doesn’t know the danger of cars…


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Silver is recovering

Silver is much better now…looks like she will make a full recovery soon. I wonder what happened to her…did someone kick or hit her or was she knocked by a car? All she wants is to follow someone home…

Sophia is still with me waiting for sunny days to come.

Stitches’ eczema has spread to the whole cheek area…it’s all covered with black stuff. Seems the cleaning and cream just made it worse. I was considering using spot-on but then the rest of his fur looks healthy and clean…no flea dirt. So I guess it can’t be a flea allergy.

Orange Boy is still sneezing and breathing noisily…licking and rubbing his nose.


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Oh no! Back to square one…

Sylvia saw Big Head yesterday, limping and with a bloody wound at the same old spot. Worse…now he doesn’t allow her to apply the powder probably remembering how he was caught a month ago. I had just released him two days earlier. The old wound had already healed and I just kept him a few days more because of the rain…

Silver is still the same or perhaps there is a slight improvement…hard to say. She will sit down and flop to her side after a few steps. It may be similar to this case:

…like Orange Boy but less severe. I am applying the electric stimulation on her lower back.

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Silver is very weak and not eating

Something is very wrong with Silver…she was fine yesterday so I suspect either injury or poisoning.

Found Silver hiding under a car, she was lying close to the wheel. I told the driver, who had already started the engine, then pulled her out.

She is able to walk but only slowly and with an unsteady back. Syringed her with some nutri-gel and water and then called my daughter to bring the carrier and take her home, as I still had to carry on with my feeding round.

Silver is now comfortably curled up on a towel in a cardboard box , purring and kneading but will growl when I touch her hind legs. There also seems to be a swelling on the lower part of her spine.


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Be kind to animals

The Straits Times Interactive ST Forum – December 21, 2006

At this time of the year, the weather turns cold with northern wintry winds

and frequent rain.

More often than before, I would find a community cat curled on the bonnet

of my car, seeking the warmth of its engine.

I felt joy seeing this. Compassion and the act of giving are part of the

Christmas spirit.

I hope that the other car owners will be forgiving and not complain to the

Town Council about cats sleeping on their cars.

I hope that the Town Council officers will not engage the pest control firms to

trap the cats to be killed at the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority in

response to such complaints.

I am glad that this year, there were more letters published in the ST Forum

“speaking” up for our “dumb” animals because it shows that we have not

traded our souls for compulsive materialism.

For this I say “Thank you Straits Times”.

I have a wish for the New Year and the essence of this was voiced by Dr.

Tony Page, a well-known personality among people who are interested in

the welfare of animals, in an interview in 2000.

He said: “Yes. I dream of a world where animals are viewed as sentient and

sensitive people, whose right to be free from human-enforced suffering is

respected and where our only relations with animals are motivated by the

wish to love and help them.”

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

– Dr Tan Chek Wee

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May all find shelter and warmth…

Little Grey, Billy Boy, Sylvester and Lucky were missing yesterday…but I have the feeling that they are somewhere safe and sheltered from the rain.
All the others were there at feeding time…the old ones and the kittens managed to stay dry (Sandy and her 2 kittens all snuggled up in a corner of the void deck behind a bicycle)
…except for Sophia who was soaked. She always hides in the bushes. Sylvia had tried to bring her to a sheltered area but she would run back into the bushes again. Maybe the stall-holders have chased her away and this is the only place she feels safe. Poor Sofia, I just couldn’t leave her there…she was shivering when I toweled her dry. I put her in the bathroom together with Max…hoping that she will be spared from the flu. I have 12 cats in the house right now…5 of them recovering from flu.
Stitches’ eczema is getting worse, so I stopped using the cleaning solution and cream and try cleaning with salt water and applying neem oil instead.
Big Head and Genie look well enough to be released…just waiting for the rain to relent…

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Max was sterilized on Tuesday

Will release him later. Max seems quite at home at the flat with the tipped-ear female, going in and out the window…there are also bowls with food and water outside.

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A Christmas Present for the Blk *24 Area 2 Cat…

…named ‘Max’ by M, who has offered to sponsor the sterilization as a Christmas present to this cat. Hopefully I can get an appointment for early next week…now we don’t have to worry for his safety until January J

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Complaint about a cat at block *24 area 2

A complaint was made to Town Council that a cat has been meowing for 2 days.

Sylvia, Auntie and myself checked it out yesterday.

I am quite sure that this young male cat belonges to a resident, as it has a collar and bell, stays within the surroundings of this block, seems well fed and is very tame.

Sylvia actually carried it several blocks away…but it went straight back.

I spoke to the complainant, a Malay family, offering some advice on how to scare the Cat away, while I would try to find out to whom this cat belongs. I also offered to get it sterilized in January if the owner cannot be found. They say that the cat once even jumped through their kitchen window. The mother and her youngest daughter are afraid of cats. The father does not care whether the cat is killed…he just wants it removed within a few days…now claiming it has been making noise for the past 3 weeks. The Auntie who is staying nearby says that the cat only appeared there last Sunday.

Went down again today to speak with some residents. Of the two ground floor units where this cat has been seen sleeping on the stairs, one family has sterilized indoor cats, the other family has a sterilized and tipped female cat that enters through their window. Hmmm…I have a feeling that this tipped-ear could be one of Anna’s ‘lost’ cats. Anyway, seems no one knows whose cat it is.


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Up the wall and into the false ceiling

I brought Big Head for removal of stitches today. While I was waiting and wondering what took them so long, the technician came out twice climbing up a ladder and lifting parts of the false ceiling. Maybe some electrical problem or so I thought…

Only after Big Head was safely back in his carrier was I told that he had somehow managed to escape while being pushed back into the carrier. Don’t ask me how he got into the false ceiling…

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Cats on the 12th floor

The complainant says that the cats come in by the window. At one time a pregnant cat even gave birth in their home. This block is actually not in the area under my care but nearby so I went to have a look today.

When I reached this block, I was greeted by the sight of 4 tipped-ears eating out of folded paper bowls at the void deck…I approached the lady who was sitting nearby waiting for the cats to finish their meal. She knew of the problem but denied that any of her cats go up to the 12th floor. It turns out that she is the maid of the family suspected of bringing the cats upstairs. She told me that her Madam Ms. T. had brought the cats for sterilization.

I went up to speak to the complainant and another neighbour. Both said that at times there were various cats on the corridor and that the said family brings them up.

When I knocked at the door of this unit, Ms. T. and some other ladies were playing Mahjong. Her (adult) son finally came to the door saying that I can’t speak with his mother, as she is busy. He said that they do not keep any cats in their home but admitted that they bring them up sometimes. When told about the complaints and what will happen to cat caught by pest control, he said that they would tell their maid not to bring them up again. I left some CWS fliers with him.

Somehow I get the impression that Ms T. is not very concerned about the inconveniences caused to her neighbours or the fact that she endangers the lives of these cats.

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A forced break this month…

Will not be able to sterilize any cats this month, except for Sandy…if can trap her. In a way it’s also good…with all my sick cats. Mirko sneezed a few times today…Hope to make up for it in January.


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Update on the sick cats…

Genie has not been seen since Sunday, so I called AVA and SPCA and printed posters today. Then went down to put up the posters and found her at the void deck of *24 area 1. She greeted me with two sneezes.

Orange Boy seems to be the worst effected now. Have quarantined him in my room. He feels a bit warm, sneezes a lot now and breathes with his mouth open…didn’t touch his dinner.

Searched a long time for the injured black kitten yesterday…but couldn’t find him. Sylvia saw him the day before, cleaned the wound and applied powder.

Sylvia first noticed the little white dots on Fighter’s fur. I looked closely and saw they were nits. At least now I know what to do…will apply the Spot-on tomorrow.

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One sneezes, one coughs and another has watery eyes…

Stitches is still sneezing but otherwise he looks much better, the fever is down and he is eating well. The wet eczema is still not improving.

Big Head’s eyes are both watery now but the new wound (torn skin next to the stitches) is closing up. He is now sleeping in the hammock. I can stroke him, syringe him and wipe his eyes clean but have to move very slowly as he is all tense…ready to defend himself.

Orange Boy has started coughing recently, so I am giving Vibravet to all three of them now.

There is a new black kitten at *14 area 2 (maybe about 6 months old). He has quite a big wound at his back, just where the tail starts. I suspect that he was bitten by the same cat that terrorized Stitches.

Fighter has a skin problem…hair loss, red irritated skin and even wounds at his neck and hind legs. Have applied neem oil several times but no improvement. Then started to apply the cream that I was given for Stitches’ eczema and that seems to help. Wonder if it could be mites? The Photo was taken a few months back, before he skin problem started.

Old Ginger and Sophia are not eating well…now I always give both of them Nutri-plus gel to supplement and improve appetite.

There is also a new and very skinny black-and-white boy…who doesn’t eat much… he too gets syringed with Nutri-plus.

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Learning when to let go

From Vegancat’s blog:

“In volunteering for any cause, we have to learn to let go when it is time to let go.

We will burn ourselves out if we expect the world to be perfect by a certain time. The world will remain imperfect till the day we breathe our last.

We can learn to perfect our compassion by balancing it with wisdom. Wisdom lies within everyone of us. It doesn’t come from intellectualizing. It comes when the mind is still, uncluttered by the noise of the past and the future.

We must learn to help within our physical, mental and financial capabilities.

We have to accept things that we cannot change.

Nothing is permanent in our existence. No suffering, no matter how terrible, last for eternity. We must try not to hold onto the sufferings of others in our mind. It will only make us depressed without affecting what has already happened.

Rejoice on what has been done.”

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Stitches has the flu…

…and I am not surprised…6 days after being released from AVA. He seemed moody yesterday and felt a bit warm. Brought him to the vet this morning…he had a high temperature, running nose and cough. The ‘wound’ at his cheek is actually eczema.

I also released Genie this morning, the wounds look much better…just hope that whoever applied the medicated oil will not do it again…and that she hasn’t caught the flu yet. Stitches and Genie were both out on the balcony together with Big Head in the cage.

Big Head’s skin tore but it seems to be drying and closing up, also one of his eyes is a little watery…

I have no choice but to leave Stitches and Big Head together on the balcony (in separate cages) giving both of them antibiotics and also something that is supposed to reduce the amount of viruses…so hopefully Big Head will not get infected.

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Spoke with the Property Officer today

…and also passed the CWS posters, as well as some other CWS material to him. The officer was friendly and eager to work with me. He even asked for advice and help with a problem in another area about a cat on the twelfth floor. The property officer had already spoken to the feeder (the Indian man) and has also conducted a survey at the block. There seem to be a few ladies staying there who are afraid of cats. He assured me that the pest control would not be sent in again for the time being…

I did not see anymore cat food around this area during the past few days, so hopefully the problem is solved and the remaining few unsterilized cats can be tipped within the next two months. Need to trap the fierce tomcat who attacked Stitches, then hopefully Stitches and maybe some of the other cats will move back to *14 area 2.

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He died alone on a bench…

…in the early morning hours. I don’t know his name and only spoke with him a few times. All I know is that he was estranged from his family and poor. This Indian man also suffered from an illness, sometimes both his legs were covered in bandages. At one time he said that he was just released from the prison and asked me for a small amount to buy some durians for his family. He also knew Maria, the previous cat feeder in the area, and was very sad when told that she had died.

We always saw him sitting either on a bench or on the steps of the TC office or buying some cheap liquor from the 24-hr shop. Sometimes he would shout to no one in particular, but he was a nice man when he was sober. When I saw him with his arm bandaged the day before he died, I asked what happened and we had a short conversation. I felt that he wanted to tell me something…but I was tired at the end of my feeding round and did not encourage him to open up. Of course, now I regret my selfishness…but it’s too late.


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Another failed trapping attempt…

A caregiver at 395 needed help in trapping a very shy female. The cat circled the trap a few times but was not interested in the food. Either she was not hungry or the wet food was not tempting enough. Suggested that they fry some fish for the next attempt and tell other feeders not to feed her on that day. In the end they decided to take one of the males instead.


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Stitches is safe for now…

Unlike me, stitches was not traumatized. I cried yesterday just for the silly reason that I had trouble reading the map and bus guide to find my way to Pasir Panjang… a sleepless night followed and then at AVA I couldn’t even remember my IC and hp numbers…my mind suddenly went totally blank.

Stitches seemed glad to be taken home and he was very hungry. The old wound at his cheek has opened up again and looks quite dirty. Will have to bring him to the vet if it doesn’t improve in a few days time.


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Photos of Big Head

Big Head is very scared and eating only a little. Managed to give him the antibiotics and some Nutri-gel and apply the powder.

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