Monthly Archives: January 2009

What do vegans eat?

I chew grass!….wheat grass 🙂

…and the cats also like it. They go crazy when I bring out the wheat grass, gathering around me eagerly waiting to be fed…blade by blade…

Of course, I eat lots of other stuff, too.

Here are some good ideas for aspiring vegans:

You don’t even have to eat grass 😉

“Plant Based Nutrition?

Now Available Online At No Cost

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Cats and nonsense

More on cats and HDB from Molly’s blog:

Cats and Nonsense

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Same old excuse

From Dawn’s blog:

Same old excuse

Okay seriously now – how often is HDB going to trot out the tired excuse about cats being ‘nomadic by nature’ and ‘difficult to be confined’ to justify not changing the HDB rule?

Since this has been raised yet again, let me refute this one more time, especially for people who may have come to this blog for the first time :-

1. Cats are excellent apartment animals. Why? They don’t need to be walked and they are small. They entertain themselves. They are pretty quiet most of the time and are generally much quieter than dogs. More than 30 local vets signed letters attesting to the fact that they are wonderful for people in apartments.

2. What on earth is being nomadic by nature? If you let a dog, rabbit or child run around with supervision, I would not be at all surprised if they wandered out of an HDB flat too. Don’t believe me? Just leave that door open 🙂

3. This also applies to cats being difficult to confine. Really? My cats are all confined indoors and they don’t go out. Ever. It wasn’t difficult at all to keep them in. All it took was some time and effort on our part to cat proof the place. Think of it as akin to baby proofing a home.

I know many people who have cats who never, ever go out. Most responsible people with cats do not want their cats to wander in the first place – there are all manner of dangers out there. Also as responsible neighbours, many realise not everyone likes their cats as much as they do and that it is better to keep their cats indoors.

So instead of a ban how about just focusing on responsible pet ownership? The problem isn’t in the inherent nature of cats – it’s in the irresponsible behaviour of some cat owners. Plus right now what incentive is there for being responsible and keeping the cat in? It just means that if the HDB comes along any cat owner can be fined (or possibly evicted) if any cat, no matter how well kept, is found in their flat. If the cat is outdoors though, that isn’t a problem with the HDB at all – but it may be a huge problem for your neighbours.

What’s the solution? Allow people to keep cats – but ensure that these people are responsible. Make sure that the owners are responsible for sterilising their cats and keeping them indoors at all times. Also a limit could be imposed on how many cats are kept in a flat. This also allows the HDB to better use their resources to monitor genuine cases when there is a problem. Currently, they have to have to inspect flats every time there is a complaint, whether that complaint is valid or not. The mere presence of a cat is enough to get a cat owner into trouble – and also means that the rule can, and has been subverted, by neighbours to get even with each other. Instead of promoting harmony, this rule is doing the exact opposite.

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Small, furry, outlawed

Small, furry, outlawed: Singapore torn over cat rights

Reuters – Thursday, January 29

By Gillian Murdoch

SINGAPORE, Jan 29 – Cat lovers in Singapore are campaigning for felines to have the same rights as dogs — a roof over their heads and a safe home.

For decades cats have been banned from Singapore’s high-density Housing and Development Board flats, which house more than 80 percent of the 4.6 million population.

Anyone caught breaking the rule faces a fine of Singapore $4,000 .

Khin, a healthcare worker, was forced to move homes after a housing official spotted her cat and snapped four or five photos of the feline sleeping “illegally” on her couch.

“I never dreamt I would have to move house to keep cats,” said Khin, who has no surname.

“Singapore is modern and they have rules to keep people harmonious but this is ridiculous.”

While some pet owners can afford to move to cat-friendly private housing, others cannot.

“Irresponsible owners would just dump them,” said Boon Yeong, one of a multitude of informal cat feeders who take it upon themselves to look after the estimated 60,000 strays living in Singapore’s storm drains, carparks, and alleyways.

Being thrown or born onto the streets can amount to a virtual death sentence, Yeong said.


Every year more than 10,000 strays are culled by the island’s authorities, the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals .

Strays not rounded up and killed have a life expectancy of two to three years while indoor cats average about 20.

But with felines banned from the vast majority of homes, getting them off Singapore’s streets isn’t easy.

Some desperate cat lovers spend thousands of dollars to board “illegal” moggies, year-after-year, in non-profit cat shelters.

“It’s really a no-choice situation,” said Tay Sia Ping, the manager of the island’s biggest such cat shelter.

About a third of her 1,400 furry boarders were evicted from HDB apartments, she said. Few are ever adopted.

While Singapore’s cat lovers want the “cat ban” lifted, as it was for small dogs three decades ago, authorities say it is necessary to avoid cat-related spats between neighbours.

“Our principal consideration is to preserve a pleasant living environment and good neighbourly relations,” Singapore’s HDB
told Reuters in an emailed statement.

“We need to strike a balance between pet lovers and those who are more sensitive to the disturbances caused by animals.”

HDB’s website says banning cats, not dogs, is justified, as “they are nomadic in nature and are difficult to be confined”.

Some 10,000 years after felines were first domesticated, easing human-cat tensions remains a “million dollar question”, said Kate Blaszak, Asia Veterinary Programmes Manager for the World Society for the Protection of Animals .

The world’s first top-level meeting of cat population management experts, organised last year, did not identify any magic bullets, Blaszak said.

“One size does not fit all. What is effective and appropriate in one situation may in another,” she said.

In the meantime, supporters of Singapore’s strays say they are waiting for the cats’ death sentences to be lifted.

“Most people who have problems don’t want the cats to be killed, nor does killing the cats usually solve the problem,” said Singaporean cat welfare advocate Dawn Kua, one of many who blog about their plight

“No one is happy with the ‘solution’ — it’s just a knee jerk reaction without solving the underlying problem.”

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Peaches sick?

Peaches looks weak and listless and is not eating… the third eyelid is showing a little, no visible injury. She was fine yesterday,eating well and playing with the others.

Could it be a virus again or accidentally injured by heavyweight Billy Boy…fell on her or pounced on her? Gave Zihromax and syringe-feeding her. Perhaps will wait until tomorrow and then bring her to the vet if no improvement….

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New Abandonees

This kitten (tabby with very short tail) appeared in Area 1 two weeks ago. She is about 4 months old.

New young female in Area 2.

This new tipped-ear male appeared today in Area 2. He came up to me asking for food and acted as though he belonged there. Strange…. Kinky, Midnight and One-Eye Jack also seemed to know him.

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Clever Midnight!

This smart cat is holding on to the plate and tipping it to finish up the last bits 🙂

And doesn’t he look like a little Einstein? … he is also a southpaw.

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Someone tried to choke Fat-Boy!

This happened at 6am at the little park close to one of my feeding areas.

Sms from Cat Aunty and Cat Uncle:

“Someone tried to choke Fatboy with cable-ties and masking tape. Saved by Pyjama Aunty!”

Could it be school children? The Indian Feeder also mentioned school boys hitting the cats!

Hope the Pyjama Aunty saw the abuser… and is willing to make a police report. Discussed with Penny… we need to take action to either catch the abuser or at least frighten him off! Posters, reward, police report, patrolling…

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Grumpy Baby now friends with Noisy Alex?

Baby was never close to any other cat after his “little sister” was adopted. It’s sad when those friendships are broken. In the case of Kitty, she was lucky to find herself a good home… but other pairs are separated because of human cruelty! Dusty – left alone after his mother was ‘removed’ and Jade lost her close companion Jake who was probably thrown from hight… cleaners found his body. Still wonder what happened to Onyx…. maybe he is with Pebbles now?

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Let’s get things straight!

Someone is spreading malicious rumors that it was I who found the injured cat, now named Metta, and that I “chuck her with the Indian feeder?.

The truth is that the feeder found the cat and was caring for her and he actually asked a caregiver named Rashida for help… Rashida then called Penny, who was like me stretched over the limit at that time. So I agreed to at least have a look and see what I can do.

What I couldn’t’t do at that time was bring her to the hospital for x-ray and treatment and or take her in so I gave some medication to the feeeder (the same meds that the vet had prescribed earlier for my community cat Ocean) hoping that her sprain or fracture would also heal on it’s own. Ocean was diagnosed as having sprain or fracture (no x-ray taken). He recovered fully within 3 weeks. Even for my own cats and the community cats under my care I have to keep the veterinary expenses down. As I have mentioned before, vet is always my last resort. I took Peaches back from hospital against vet advice because of the large medical bill… and without some kind people sponsoring part of the medical expenses I could not have done as much for the cats…

Sometimes those who find an injured cat or kittens have to do their part…

A few days ago a Lady ran after me telling me she found a kitten and is unable to keep it because of her young child. I told her the benefits for children growing up with pets… she said she would talk to her husband. Ironically, I always see this lady smoking at the coffee shop with her young child next to her…now that second and third-hand smoke is really something that can harm her child. Met the lady again yesterday, she is now caring for the 2 kittens. I am glad she made that choice and advised her to put them up for adoption. She has my contact number and I also reminded her of getting them sterilised at 6 months if she decides to keep them.

It happens quite often that people call me with some problem. I try to advise or help but there is a limit.

Dealing with unreasonable complainants and insincere adopters is adding to the mental stress. Yes, there was another complaint about too many cats…

I think when such point is reached there are only 3 choices:

1. You carry on…while your own health and the cats under your care suffer

2. You decide to give up and ‘wash your hands off’ all cats.

3. Or you have to set limits…

I was at a point where I braced myself for bad news whenever the phone rang… too many calls from other feeders and caregivers for help. advise or just moral support… always some emergency somewhere.

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Many Abuse Cases

Received sms from Penny:

“Helga, one ginger cat report by Indian guy at blk *14 has broken bone at front leg can help to put on blog if so I will send to Springside vet thanks”

This is very near to where the same Indian man (feeder) found Metta. There have been several cases of inured and dead cats in this area… I think it’s confirmed that there is an abuser!

I wanted to put up posters and patrol the area…but didn’t have the time nor energy left to do so. In fact, lately I have been saying “no” to even simple request from other caregivers. I guess it’s burn-out…

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I thought that this topic on rebirth would not interest me…as I still have doubts about rebirth and even individual karma…but then Ajahn Brahm’s talks never strictly keep to one topic… In fact he touched on speciesism… joked about monks and monkeys and even tried to rehome a cat at the end of his talk 🙂

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Go Vegan for Peace

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Update on the paralyzed kitten

A Beautiful Boy

Couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw him walk! Still wobbly and sometimes still dragging the legs but what a tremendous improvement within such a short time! All thanks to the wonderful guardian who takes such good care of him!

…and not forgetting Dr. K who decided to treat the “half-dead” kitten instead of p.t.s.

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Update on Pema & Silverine

Old photo of Pema & Silverine

Visited Pema & Silverine at their new home yesterday… but forgot to take a picture. They are happy and get on well with their new brother, especially Silverine likes him very much.

Silverine had been sneezing on and off and was promptly seen by the vet who even made a house visit. The guardians were assured by the vet that it was nothing to worry about.

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Tranquility in Conflict

Tranquility In Conflict

Ajahn Brahm talks about how tranquility helps us to see more deeply, become more peaceful and happy and thereby gaining compassion and wisdom. Agitation distorts our perception – only a still mind can reflect clearly. With a still mind we are not getting so upset anymore because we understand why we see things differently and understand how the waves of likes and dislikes have been distorting our view.

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These cats and kittens need homes


Ger-Ger is deaf, which is not a big problem for a home-cat but it’s very risky for him being a community cat out on the streets. Ger-Ger has a sweet temprament and is friendly towards other cats.

Young female (about 1 year old) sterilised and litter-box trained

This Mother and her 3 kittens can be adopted separately. She is about one year old and has been sterilised. It was only later that the rescuer realized she was a nursing mother. The kittens were found and reunited with their mother. The kittens – one black, one black-and-white and one tabby – are 6 weeks old..

Handsome and friendly Siamese-X

10 weeks old kitten with nice tabby markings

For adoption enquiries call Penny at 98556410

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Lora has been released

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Kitten trapped

Will pass the kitten to Penny who may have a ready adopter.

I think he/she is about 2 months old. Many new abandonees… sigh!

Kitten in foster home already dewormed, treated for diarrhoea and bathed.

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Billy Boy & Peaches

Billy Boy has his moods. Sometimes he will chase the kittens and they will go into hiding but the next moment they will be playing together again… strange!

I told Sylvia that Billy Boy will have to be released back… she was very worried, saying that the fruit-seller had been complaining about Billy Boy defecating at his stall. She felt that I should at least wait until after Chinese New Year… as a big tent has been put up. She is right, I will have to keep him a while longer. Have just applied the Revolution on him.

Lora’s paw is better and I will probably release her in a few days time.

The kittens are all well and hyper now. Have removed my last flower pot from the balcony after it was toppled twice…. with soil all over the floor.

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Photos of the paralyzed kitten

The little beauty has found herself a home 🙂

Photos courtesy of adopter:

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Update on Charles

From Novena Kitten to well-loved home cat 🙂

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Sick mother cat with 5 kittens abandoned

Some children told Penny about 5 kittens in a drain. She could find only 2 and took them in (they have been adopted). The sick mother cat remained there for another day in the hope that perhaps she would find her 3 missing kittens… then Penny took her also in.

Yesterday morning Penny brought her to the vet. She called me when the vet suggested to put the cat down as she was very sick. We decided to put her on drip for one two days…to give her a chance… but she passed away this morning.

This is already the second mother cat Penny had to bury this year.

The first one was hiding in a drain on new-years day. Penny called me to help her trap but I was out cat-sitting so suggested she call the SPCA. They came quickly and together they managed to get the cat out… but then a panicky Penny called again… the cat had stopped breathing. As the SPCA rescuers were still there I suggested she let them take the body for cremation but Penny wanted to bury her… saying that she was a very good mother to her kittens, caring for them even though she was so sick.

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New photo of Ali

Ali now in Penny’s care. The wound continues to heal nicely. Penny complains that he is quite naughty but she manages to clean the wound and apply the cream.

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Metta taken to the vet

The cat with suspected fractured leg was taken to the vet by a kind caregiver and boarded at a cattery. It turned out that she had not only a broken leg but also a broken pelvis. She has been named Metta.

Metta can walk and is eating well but unable to pee and poo on her own. When I saw her at the cattery today I suddenly recognized her as a cat which I had seen twice before…. young, small size, big round patches at the shoulders. She had been recently sterilised by another caregiver and then went missing 3 times. The first time I saw her near the MRT station. On a hunch I called the caregiver and yes he lost a cat matching my description The second time I saw her in my feeding area. The caregiver complained that she always wanders off. Later she was lost again…

Somehow I didn’t recognize her earlier … maybe because the Indian man (feeder) said that she was one of his downstairs cats… and it’s also quite far from where she was lost.

The caregiver was very relieved to know that she is in good hands and offered to sponsor acupuncture treatment when I mentioned that this might help her to regain her functions. Whitty was able to pee and poo after acupuncture treatment even though her hind legs remained paralyzed…and so did my Orange Boy.

Update: Sponsorship offered by Uncle and Cat Aunty was rejected!

Photo of Metta going for sterilisation Oct. last year

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Stitches still waiting for a good home… Stitches

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Pema & Silverine have been adopted Silverine & Pema

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Cats in HDB flats: Don’t punish responsible pet owners


Cats in HDB flats: Dont punish responsible pet owners

The Straits Times ST Forum Jan 2, 2009

Cats in HDB flats: Dont punish responsible pet owners

SOME months ago, a friend told me an HDB officer had passed her flat and noticed a cat sitting on the sofa in her living room. He whipped out a camera, snapped some photographs and threatened her with a fine. He also asked her to remove the cat.

My friend moved to a private apartment where there are no rules prohibiting cats as pets. Soon after she moved, her former neighbours saw two HDB officers knocking on her door, armed with a camera and two big bags, presumably to remove the cats.

Are HDB officers allowed to remove cats? I understand from the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) that only pest controllers are authorised to remove cats to the AVA.

The HDB should review the archaic rule banning cats. It is not cats that cause nuisance but owners who do not practise pet responsibility.

Fine irresponsible owners who do not keep their cats indoors, do not sterilise their cats or abandon them.

Similarly, it is not dogs that are irresponsible but their owners who do not clear up their mess in public, do not leash their dogs in public or do not obedience-train dogs that bark day and night.

Dr Tan Chek Wee

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