Thursday, July 30, 2009

litter of critters

4 out of 6 of the leukemia caregiver's kittens have been adopted! they still had remnants of the cat flu so only 2 went straight off for their home trials with the more confident adopters. The rest were packed off here for recuperation and fattening up.

A pretty little head on a bag of bones, Mixed Ranger has to pile on the pounds before heading to her new home. But she is the least worrisome, all brass and sassy attitude!

Perk up, little wallflower. She was burning hot when she got here and dehydrated. She gave the woman a scare by lying limp on her lap. After a couple of squirts of water, she finally looked up with her big sad eyes. She hasn't caught any adopter's attention yet.

White Challenger doesn't sweat it, he has a new home waiting for him when his adopter comes back from vacation.

Black Ninja's conjunctivitis is clearing up. He wonders why black cats are the last to be adopted, if ever?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

ah ma & leukemia caregiver update

The woman was BANNED from Ah Ma’s place because she catnapped a kitten held hostage by that incorrigible hoarder.

So she kept away while Ah Ma fumed and hissed. (The kitten has since been adopted.) It looked safe to resurface again this week although Ah Ma, as befuddled as she is, remembered. Quite surprisingly, she only asked the other volunteers if the woman was there to take anymore of her kittens. They said no and they all moved on from there - Ah Ma back out to her favourite coffeeshop and the volunteers back to work on the cockroaches.

And it wasn’t even a surprise to find Ah Ma with 2 more kittens.

It’s tempting but the woman will try to accumulate more brownie points before pulling another catnap. After all, there is no end to the supply as long as people in the neighbourhood treat Ah Ma as a dumping ground. Since the start of the clean-up - 13 new kittens - 1 dead, 5 rehomed. The rest are where they are but thriving at least.

They headed over to the leukemia sufferer with 30+ cats after Ah Ma’s. The situation was already very much under control with most of the old furnishings cleared out and adult cats sterilised.

The old auntie was tired, overwhelmed, almost resigned. One kitten, degenerated to skin on bones, had to be rushed to the hospital. The others were in fairly good shape but teary. In her state, the soul is willing but the flesh is weak. She is just not able to keep up with the care the little ones need right now and we are desperately seeking new homes for these sick babies.

As soul-gutting as these cases are, it is hard to be upset with these old caregivers turned hoarders. No one taught them any better. And they themselves suffered enough for it. So I save my wrath for the ones not sick, not old, just dim, who cling on to archaic ideas that cats must roam and that neutering is evil and immoral.

On one of her trapping days, the woman had to fight off a teen who insisted one of the trapped cats is his. When it roams, pal, it is fair game. She offered free sterilisation for his other 2 cats. He said no. She shrugged. She will get them on their next wandering.

That makes 15 new young cats discovered, caught and sterilised this month alone. 50 and counting since January in a 10-block area. Half of them from homes. It’s hard to reconcile sometimes why we have let other people’s responsibility become our own. But in cat welfare, their problems often become yours. After all, if they are not sterilising, they are either a hoarder or a chronic abandoner and some one has to pick up their pieces eventually. We can at least take heart that some people are coming to their senses before it is too late.

And quite unexpectedly, they become your newfound cat welfare neighbourhood watch. This one-week old kitten was dumped next to a dustbin wrapped in a tissue and saved by our neighbour’s 7-yr old daughter.

It is with the vet, fighting for a chance on this callous earth.

How you can help:
* Donate cat food.
* Foster or adopt a kitten.
* Sponsor the medical fees for the 2 hospitalised kittens.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

this is what I think of teeth scaling

So I had a little gum inflammation, didn’t bother me much, but you thought drooling very unbecoming of a cat.

For that, I made you spend the night with me on the sliver of cold hard floor between the utility cabinet and the junk you keep in the backroom. Because I won't suffer quarantine on my own, not quietly anyway.

You brought Fruitcake in with you, which was a nice touch. We had fun playing hide and seek in your sleeping bag while you were sleeping. So much so you were surprised that we were nowhere to be seen when you woke up the next day.

You called for us and we took our time before we popped our heads out from the top of the cabinet in unison. Gotcha.

Friday, July 03, 2009

mystery call to AVA

An AVA officer got a mystery call today at their Toll-free Hotline for the loaning of cat traps from a particularly exasperating caller. He didn’t know he was conversing with a cat, masquerading as a cat-hater. That would have made his day.

The bare facts are such: The loaning of free traps from AVA is open only to people living in private residences. They will need to present their IC at the Centre for Animal Welfare and Control for collection, where they will be shown how to use the trap. Only one trap can be loaned at a time by the same person for a period of 2 weeks.

Here’s where it gets interesting. I asked what happens after a cat is trapped and the officer said that you must call AVA to collect the cat by the next working day. I asked what happens to the cat and got the obvious answer. I then said that some family members are not comfortable to send cats to their death, can we catch and release them in other areas? The officer strongly discouraged this on the grounds that the cat may be disoriented and cannot find food, leading to suffering.

Tooty the exasperating caller then asked, but you won’t really know what people do with the cats after they are trapped right? The officer was getting slightly alarmed saying have you seen cats getting skinnier and skinnier if cannot find food? At least when it goes to AVA, it will be at peace.

The system certainly sounds good on paper, AVA provides free service to private home residents, nuisance cats removed to a misery-free end. Win-Win.

But so many questions unanswered. How do you ensure that the trapped cats do end up in AVA? How do you ensure that the trapped cats are properly treated overnight, over weekends by trappers who have no love for them?

Someone with a private residence address should go down and borrow a trap to see what information is being imparted to trap loaners. Cat Welfare Society has broached to the Ministry of National Development before to provide information about Trap-Neuter-Return-Manage as an alternative to culling. Whenever someone requests for a trap, AVA can inform people about sterilisation as an alternative, or send a brochure along with the trap. Has this advice been trickled down to the ground staff?

The officer obviously feels for the cats but his hands are tied by a system that is clearly flawed. He was getting annoyed by this heartless caller and hung up even before I said thanks and goodbye. Good for him.

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