Monday, May 12, 2008

ST (12-5-08)

Here's a letter by someone who wrote in about the Class 95 programme the other day. I noticed that the letter says that they mentioned the cats should be sent to Peru to be eaten - if that is the case, then that line was recycled. I remember being mentioned in another earlier programme when they said the same thing, so it's not even new and offensive - it's an old, offensive theme they keep repeating without any originality, or even any new lines.

Some of the comments under this letter are also quite sad because clearly there are still a lot of misconceptions about TNRM or even why the cats are there. Again, cats are not 'left' outside to find food - they are out there because they are community cats, either because they were abandoned or are the offspring of abandoned cats. I wonder if people ever stop to wonder - how did ALL these cats come from homes? Obviously some of them are abandoned, but many have never, ever lived in a home and have been born, will live and die on the streets.

Cats cannot 'find their own food' - unless of course that means digging in the trash and helping themselves to food in peoples' homes, which again would trigger more complaints which would mean the cats die. Where are they supposed to find this 'food'? Yes cats in the wild, do hunt - but obviously we are in a highly urban area - where are they supposed to find so many rodents for example to eat to survive?

Cats in Singapore, like the people, are very much the result of urban backgrounds. Let me put it this way - if you transplant a Singaporean into a farming community and told them to 'find their own food' and use their 'survival instincts', who wants to bet there's a good chance the Singaporean is going to starve? Sure, people can farm - but let's face it, most Singaporeans, including myself, would have a difficult time growing edible food to eat. And let's not even talk about for example, hunting meat, if you were so inclined.

We evolve to suit our environments - and the cats do too. Cats are naturally scavengers - and they will scavenge wherever there is food. Feeding them responsible, and sterilising, actually means they are LESS likely to make a mess. The problem is not the cats - but the people who leave food and don't clean up. The last time I checked, cats still don't have opposable thumbs with which they can pick up and throw away the leftovers - people, however do.


yskat said...

You are right that many people think that cats can exercise their "animal instincts" and find food if left on their own. I think we need to realise that the domestic cat has never existed outside a human community, and that the evolution of the cat (as well as that of other domestic animals such as the dog, the pig and the horse) is closely tied with human evolution. Conversely, human beings would have developed quite differently if these animals did not exist.

Anonymous said...

i guess the 'animal issue' ia forever being debated in singapore and everywhere.

there will forever be the 'i love them', 'i hate them' and the 'as long as dont bother me' groups.

Dawn said...

Good point yskat - how would we have developed if not for the animals?

Anonymous - yes that's true. It is sad though that so many misconceptions still exist.