Thursday, August 25, 2011

Animals foretelling Earthquakes

Apparently the animals before the Asian Tsunami also exhibited signs that they knew that it was going to happen. They're an early warning system!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Cats and dogs mentioned in National Day Rally Speech

Thanks to Imp for the heads up on the National Day Rally where cats and dogs are mentioned. The Prime Minister mentioned that as society matures, he hopes that more and more things will be taken over by Singaporeans and not left to the authorities.

That's precisely what community cat and dog caregivers have been trying to do for years. They help to sterilise, manage and mediate - and they get very little support for doing so. Instead, roadblocks have been thrown up in their path.

While I am heartened to see that the Prime Minister has helped out in a case where a dog was caught, I am a little worried that he agreed that Ministers have more important things to worry about then cats and dogs. While I can see that in the broader picture, the Ministers have many things to worry about, I hope that this doesn't give the signal that therefore cat and dog issues should be put on the back burner. After all, these are really people issues too - it is about our environment and how we live in it. I'll post a link to the English transcript when it's out. Here it is.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Gathering support

I've recently learnt about a case where a previously successful TNRM programme seems to be in shambles. Several years ago, a condominium tried to outlaw cat feeding, among other things. However, there was a public outcry, and residents within the condominium spoke out against in.

In addition, the condominium decided to try and implement a TNRM programme. At the time, there were about 30 cats. The condominium management decided to fund the sterilisation of the community cats instead of spending the money (which worked out to a few thousand dollars a year) to trap and kill the cats.

At the time that I left CWS, the programme was still in place. There were some complaints, but the cats were all sterilised and the one recalcitrant feeder seemed to have been persuaded to stop. The last time I met with the management, we were told by some members on the management committee that they had seen a decrease in the number of cats and no new kittens born.

Unfortunately, as time passed, many of the caregivers moved out of the estate. I understand that now there are only 6 or 7 cats left - certainly a huge drop from the original pool of cats. However, at the last AGM, the management committee managed to change the bylaws to outlaw feeding by gathering enough votes to do so. They are not taking action against a feeder there.

This is something that is always a worry - that there are a few committed caregivers and that when they leave, the programme will fall apart. The idea of planning succession is a good one, but it isn't always easy to find someone willing to take over. Some of the time, no new caregivers come forward. On other occasions, the existing feeder doesn't like other people getting involved. Another huge problem is that while it is almost always possible to find feeders, finding caregivers isn't that easy - people either do not have the inclination, the personality or the time to be a caregiver.

What you can do however, if you are in an estate is to sign up with your Residents Committee or Management Committee. This will at least meant that you are in a position to influence what happens in your area. It also means that you are given a heads up should something be happening.

It's also a good idea to rally support early in your community. If you are a caregiver, note whom seems friendly and supportive and try and find a way to get in touch with them. It may be essential should you need to show that there are people who want to allow a TNRM programme to run.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Cat Massage

Here's a funny infographic sent by Candice.

Guide to Cat Massage

Now to make my cats learn this :)