I was recently sent an email from a caregiver who had gotten into an email altercation about a cat in the condo she lives in. First of all, it appears there is only ONE cat. Secondly, as with many of these cases, it seems that the cat wasn't even the issue - the issue seems to have been about the fact that she had seen the complainant's son chasing the cat the day before. According to her email, she had gone up and told the boy not to do it, because it might scare the cat.
I wasn't there obviously but the boy's father took it badly and immediately sent a complaint to the whole condominium about this ONE cat. He included some very choice insults to the caregiver, questioning her sexual orientation and her ability to have children.
The caregiver was upset, and clearly she has a right to be. It still puzzles me why the boy's father, if he was really upset didn't just speak to the complainant directly. He knew exactly whom she was. Plus if he didn't like the way she spoke to his son, then why didn't he raise it with her?
Someone in the US asked me the other day about whether people in Singapore generally tell children off if they are out of line. She said when she grew up, there was a sense of community, and people looked out for each other - and that included telling children off if they needed to be.
I don't think my grandmother would have hesitated to tell off any of the neighbour's children if they were doing something wrong. I also don't think their parents would take offence. Certainly, I remember being chastised by a neighbour once - and my mother didn't fly off the handle. Often it was for our own good. Is it just me or does there seem to be a shift now where if you told someone else's child off, you'd better be ready to be ripped to pieces? I can understand a parent being up in arms if the person is being abusive/rude/nasty to a child, but what about an honest admonishment? Or do some parents think they are the only ones entitled to discipline their children?
Of course, the sad thing now is that the cat is being made the scapegoat. The caregiver has moved him temporarily for his safety.
One other issue the caregiver brought up was suing the man in defamation. I can totally understand why she would feel that way - but honestly, the man's emails were so ludicrous, that I don't think anyone would have believed him. Sometimes, you have to be the bigger person and turn the other cheek - and that's what the caregiver is doing. All I think it's doing to the complainant is giving him an ulcer with his anger.