Monday, September 11, 2006

Cat haters V Cat feeders

Jennifer say:

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Today Mum and I were going back home when we saw a couple apparently trying to feed a cat. Another cat also came to find them but this poor cat did not managed to eat anything. Mum and I went nearer to sayang the cats, the cats were very afraid of us. The couple then pack their belonging and left in a hurry. Nearby there was this nasty evil nurse (i think from CGH as she was wearing a green uniform). This rude nurse was staring at the couple and when we attempted to touch the cats, she also stared with us with her arms folded. It is so rude to stare at people. Mum said that the couple whom were trying to feed the cats were most probably being scolded by the rude nurse. Whom said that nurses are compassionate? She did not even care about the poor cats.

Hmm..maybe you can said that she was ONLY watching but never scolded...BUT the poor couple did not even to feed the latest cat that had tried to find them for food... So i am sure that the rude nurse must had said something rude to the couple... i wonder whom are her poor patients - had to see her grumpy face. If people are so unkind towards harmless animals, can they treat their own being kindly also?


Sister emailed the ST forum in response to this online forum. I asked her to mention about the tipped ear of sterilized cats and responsible feeding.

This is the email that sister sent to the ST. Hopefully it will be published in the forum soon.
(updated:12 sept - Sister said that her letter was being rejected by ST)

Why should animals pay for Man’s mistakes?

I refer to the article “Dispute over town council’s culling of strays” (The Straits Times, 6 Sep 06). The article reports how from January to July, the Tampines Town Council “received 139 complaints and caught 148 cats”.

I believe that the situation in this estate is just the tip of the ice-berg, and that there are many more cats which are culled as a result of complaints from residents. Culling is used as a quick-fix method to get rid of cats in housing estates, in fact, just a means to an end.

For too long, our “quick-fix” solution has led to the deaths of many cats in Singapore. Not only do people complain about cats’ presence in their estates; they also complain about people feeding cats that they think leads to a proliferation of the cat population.For too long, people have not questioned how a cat population increases.

For too long, there has been a tendency to anthropomorphize cats - to focus on cats’ perceived negative attributes - that can then be used as an excuse for culling cats in Singapore.Scratch beneath the surface of the issue, and we would realise that these cats are paying a hefty price for the mistakes committed by Man.

If we ask ourselves where these cats come from, we would realise that they were once pets that are now abandoned, without the safe shelters of a home. These cats are vulnerable to the vagaries of the weather and potential abuse. Is it the cats’ fault that they were abandoned onto the streets? Is it their fault too, that their previous owners had thrown them out without due consideration of the consequences?

Residents in various parts of Singapore have stepped up on sterilizing the cats in their neighbourhood to ensure that the population of cats is under control (“Trap-neuter-release the long-term cat solution”, The Straits Times, 8 Sep 06). These cats have a tipped left ear that shows that they have been sterilized. These residents also feed the cats and clear up after feeding to ensure that litter is not left behind.

We should note that feeding cats responsibly is not “illegal” and does not lead to a rise in the population. It is only when unsterilised cats mate that the cat population proliferates. As with all cases, there will be irresponsible cat-feeders who do not clear away left-over food, but are we going to blame the cats too, for those people who do this?

More needs to be done to educate people about the circumstances that have led to an increase in the cat population in Singapore. Instead of attributing blame on the presence of these sentient creatures and labeling them a “nuisance”, we should reflect on the root cause of the problem and realise that cats are paying for Man’s mistakes – chiefly pet abandonment and ignorance – and paying dearly with their lives.

For too long, we have applied a “quick-fix” solution by culling cats. If we only begin to ask, “Where do these cats come from?” we would realise that the root cause of the problem lies with Man, and not our feline friends.

NKL (Miss)

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