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The equilibrium in the porch and thoughts on CNRM

It has been so “equitable” and peaceful in the porch without Misty’s gangster ways!

Creamy is back to eat with Gerald.

But it won’t be for long because Misty will be released tomorrow (with the vet’s consent).

A small consolation is that when Misty had taken over Samantha and Creamy’s place in the porch, Creamy was none the worse off. He either has a home or he gets to eat from the RYABKs. You can see from the photo that he is definitely not skinny at all!

I discussed with my vet about the complainant-neighbour’s issues with me feeding cats in my porch. She said that perhaps one way would be just to get street cats neutered but do not continue feeding. Cats are street-wise and once there is no food, they will migrate elsewhere to look for food. But I said that if I don’t continue feeding them, they might end up digging rubbish bins which will incur the wrath of the neighbours and cause even more complaints. Also, I won’t be able to keep an eye on their health condition and wellbeing.

It’s a Catch-22 situation, I know. If the environment is not conducive for CNRM, then it is better not to do it. Because feeding street animals might attract more street animals to come in. But at the same time, if our CNRM-cats do their job, they will prevent other unneutered cats from coming in too. So which is going to happen? We won’t know until we try.

Meanwhile, my husband says the sooner Misty is returned to the colony the better. We saw how taking away Samantha brought Misty in. Before that, Samantha was the one chasing Misty away. They fought very ferociously too. The moment a vacuum is created, a new cat will migrate in…because there is food.

So, to feed or not to feed? That is indeed the question.

On this matter, I wish to share what a friend and I discussed recently.

He opined that neutering should be prioritised. In other words, neutering is more important than feeding. I don’t disagree, but on the other side of the coin, I find it hard to catch a cat for neutering unless I first feed the cat! I can see where my friend’s opinion comes from, though. He is a very experienced and seasoned animal rescuer and he has seen enough suffering on the street. In fact, he also thinks that the person who only feeds but does not neuter is more irresponsible than another who brings in a pregnant animal to be spayed.

I will not be judgmental here as every feeder/rescuer has their own thoughts about such things.

For me, if you choose not to neuter, then please ensure you can care for all the offspring. And please know that repeated pregnancies are really unhealthy and risky for the female animal and they do not go through menopause. It is a different matter if you absolutely cannot catch the cat, but if you are not willing to do it, then can you care for the female animal as well as all her offspring? Wouldn’t it be more financially feasible and practical to spend money on neutering and controlling the population than to end up feeding more and more offspring or worse, spending thousands on medical treatment when they fall sick?

A good recent example is Misty and Hiro. Misty’s spaying is already done now and she will not produce anymore kittens. Luckily Misty brought Hiro to our porch before it was too late. Hiro’s collapsed lung and severe flu treatment has definitely cost me far more than Mistry’s spaying. Even then, we still do not know if Hiro’s collapsed lung will function again or if there will be any permanent damage or disability in him for the rest of his life. Misty is also FIV+ and we do not know if she has passed this disease on to Hiro. Maybe, but maybe not. I hope not.

And what about Samantha’s previous litter?. Where are all the kittens? Did they even survive? Samantha is going to be spayed on Tuesday and that will stop all pregnancies from her. But now, I either have to look after Kai, Akira and Indra for life or find them really good homes.

If only Samantha and Misty had already been spayed earlier…

Do you remember Daffodil? She was Rosie and Ginger’s mother. Daffodil was the only survivor on our street when the council came to capture all the cats (this was before I moved into this neighbourhood). There was a very kind couple who fed the cats then. After we moved in, I learnt that Daffodil had been giving birth a few times every single year for the last ten years. The feeders could not catch her or when they could, she was always pregnant. But Daffodil lost all her kittens in every litter and finally, only Rosie and Ginger survived. This is round about the time we moved in. Together with the feeders, we caught Daffodil in my house compound and I took her for spaying. Daffodil lived on with us for another seven years before passing away peacefully under our sofa when she was 17 years old. The feeder suspect that another one of Daffodil’s child might have survived too and I’ve seen this fierce male cat. I named him Benson and the last I saw him many years ago, he was practically bald with a skin problem.

So based on my own limited experience, feeding is good, feeding is kind, but please, please, please…please try your very best to catch the animals you feed and get them neutered. We offer our aid: myanimalcare.org/aid/. It is RM120 per cat and RM200 per dog and terms and conditions apply.

A tribute to my father

It’s Cheng Beng season again.

I would like to pay a short tribute to my father this Cheng Beng.

My father taught me a few things through example of which I will forever be grateful.

He was a man of very, very few words. But by being who he is, he taught me to love all animals because he loved animals. He filled our household with music from records (those black vinyl round discs which spun round to play music), ranging from jazz, western classical to keroncong and local Malay artists; he inculcated a love of music in me from a very young age and that’s something money cannot buy. Music has enriched my life in so many, many ways. He filled our shelves with books of all genre. We even had holy books from various religions. My father was a very avid reader. Since he had come from a deprived childhood, he made sure we had an abundance of books, toys and whatever we needed for as long as I could remember.

My father was also a very generous man. When I came home from school with requests for donations to the school, while other children came back with RM1 or RM2 (which was a lot at that time) from their parents, my father would give RM10 even though he was only a government servant.

He stressed the importance of education and the mastery of English and Bahasa Malaysia. He made my brother and I keep “meanings books”  – these were thick exercise books where we had to write down the vocabulary that we learnt from all our reading and translate them from English to Bahasa Malaysia and vice versa. Every now and then, he would check our “meanings books”. Keeping quiet means he was satisfied with our work. I got ticked off quite a bit every now and then for insufficient words in my books!

My father was incredibly loyal to King and country; he was the epitome of “Berkhidmat kepada Negara”. In his work as a technical assistant in JKR, he was in charge of workers who were mostly Indians and Malays at that time. There was absolutely no racial discrimination in how he carried out his duties and responsibilities to them. He looked after all the workers under him and they often visited us at our house too. Because of the workers, we attended ceremonies in Hindu temples and attended kenduris. In his work with contractors, he was well-known (and even feared) because he was “the government officer who won’t even accept a cup of coffee” from anyone.

We grew up in various small towns in Perak because my father’s service was limited only to the state of Perak. I remember when I was still in primary school, one day, he went away to KL for 2 days. We don’t know why he went, but later, I found out from my grandmother that my father was offered a high-paying engineering job in KL. The private company that wanted to hire him had already even set up his office with his name-tag on the door. My father stayed overnight in a hotel and the next morning, he saw young school children queuing up to wait for the bus to take them to school when it was still dark. He came back home and he never took the job. My father sent us to school and back every day, rain or shine.

For all the valuable silent lessons that my father had taught me, I am forever grateful. He made me what I am today.

Thank you, Papa. 

Man in cat carnage said to be animal lover and reflections on compassion fatigue

This horrifying and extremely disturbing news came to light a few days ago. It was reported that cat carcasses and mutilated remains of cats were discovered in a man’s apartment.

We did not publish this news as we know how disturbing it can be to many readers, especially since it contained very graphic images. We are not even describing the condition of the remains found. Those interested, please google for the news.

Now, there is this follow-up report about the man: https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2023/03/25/man-in-cat-carnage-case-said-to-be-animal-lover/

According to this report, a neighbour said that this man was actually an animal lover.

So, what happened??

What could possibly turn an animal lover into a cat murderer to the point of mutilating the poor animals in the most horrific and brutal ways?

Was it simply a case of burnout or compassion fatigue gone horribly wrong?

Did something snap in this person’s head that led him to commit these horrendous acts of cruelty?

It is a psychiatric case?

We won’t know what happened and we will not speculate until there is more news on it.

But I’d like to digress a bit and talk about compassion fatigue, which may or may not be related this case at all.

Compassion fatigue happens, not only to animal caregivers, but also to other professions like teaching, the medical profession, but especially in charitable work.

It is a case where a person does too much until they become exhausted, lose empathy and emotional connection and become indifferent to the cause.

Warning signs of compassion fatigue
  • feelings of helplessness and powerlessness in the face of another’s suffering.
  • reduced feelings of empathy and sensitivity.
  • feeling overwhelmed and exhausted by work demands.
  • feeling detached, numb and emotionally disconnected.

I remember many years ago when a shelter operator who is a well-known animal lover, was overcome with compassion fatigue until she wanted to euthanise all her animals and then kill herself. The plight of this person was highlighted to me and on a personal basis, I managed to raise immediate funds for her and her animals. So her plan did not materialise. Instead, she turned around with the help of friends and the funds raised. Her shelter is thriving now and she is managing it with help.

This is why we always keep reminding all applicants to keep it small and manageable so that it is sustainable. Please know how much finances, time and energy you can commit to and work within these limits. Do not overdo. Do not take on too much until we are no longer able to manage, something snaps inside us and we turn into a horribly disturbed person.

On a lesser scale, I also remember a former applicant who was way over her head in cat rescue. I used to tell her the same thing – please do within your means. As one person, you cannot take on so much, but she hit back at me saying, precisely these words: You can turn a blind eye, I cannot.

What happened to her after that? She resorted to cheating and scamming to fund her work. We found out and we blacklisted her. I will not describe how she attempted to scam us. In her case, she did not suffer from compassion fatigue and start killing animals, but it went another direction – she started cheating.

I do not know if hoarders also start off with good intentions and then, they take on too much until it becomes a mental disease. They simply do not know when to call it quits. And who suffers? The animals suffer.

Please remember that “Small is Beautiful”.

An update: The owner has taken back his dogs

Ref: https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2023/03/25/man-hit-in-stray-dog-case-under-probe-for-obstructing-civil-servants/

The owner went to PAWS to take back his dogs just before 4pm today.

We are relieved.

Man hit in dog issue under probe for obstructing civil servants

An update on this case: https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2023/03/25/man-hit-in-stray-dog-case-under-probe-for-obstructing-civil-servants/

At the time of writing this blogpost, the man still has not claimed back his dogs from PAWS.

PAWS was actually waiting for him all day yesterday to take back his dogs, but it did not happen and it still hasn’t happened yet.

We really hope he will take back his dogs as soon as possible. 
An update at 4pm: The owner has taken back his dogs now. 

Note: MBPJ’s pound is located in PAWS, that is why the dogs are there.

The girls are confirmed princesses and Samantha’s golden mouth

All the girls are confirmed girls! They had their check-up today and were dewormed.

Guess who is the heaviest amongst them?

Hint: Indra was the smallest, is still the youngest.

Yes, you guessed right!

Indra 820g !!!
Kai 805g
Akira 735g

Indra has overtaken Kai!!

They are all of a healthy weight and given a clean bill of health. At 8 weeks, they can be vaccinated.

Some photos of the princesses this morning before we departed for the trip to the vet’s:

Next up was Samantha.

She had to be dewormed, so the vet tried with a pill popper. That failed. Then the vet assistant tried. That failed too. Then I said I would try. And I managed to get the pill into the mouth but got bitten in the process. It ended with just one tablet (should be one and a half) inside the mouth, which the assistant and vet pushed in with the pill popper after I plonked the tablet in. Samantha just closed her mouth and clenched her teeth so tightly, you absolutely cannot push the pill popper in or open her mouth. I only managed to for a split second before she snapped it shut. As a result, both the vet and I got bitten by Her Royal Calico-Highness.

Th vet gave me some iodine.

It’s five hours after the bite now, it’s still hurting like crazy and totally swollen. My left thumb will be immobilised for at least a week now.

Anyway, Samantha was partially dewormed, also vaccinated, applied Advocate spot-on. She can already be spayed on Tuesday, but after that, I have to separate the kittens from her so that they don’t suckle for comfort.

And the best news is that Samantha is FIV or FeLV negative! Yay!

I’ll write more later. My thumb hurts like crazy as I type this.

P.S. Samantha is exactly like Cleo – both have a golden mouth. If you try to pry the mouth open, gold might fall out from it. Both are coincidentally Calicos with cattitude!

Where is Hiro?


He gets time out to play every day now.

And again, he’s SUCH a good kitten.

Misty and the princesses

No, they are not in the same room! This is just a post about them.

That’s Misty mewing loudly at me.

This morning, the house at the back had renovation/construction again, so it was very loud and noisy (more about this house later). I went into the room and Misty did not hear me! So I just stood there and observed her. She was totally relaxed!

I did show my vet the photos of Misty’s surgical site. She says sometimes the outer skin looks totally healed (as does Misty’s) but the layers of muscle underneath may need more time to heal. That part, we cannot see. So I still cannot release her yet.

About that house at the back – it was totally demolished and was being built from scratch, but the construction started BEFORE the MCO. It is still not ready. Triple facepalm, I know. I wonder how much longer it is going to take. It’s already 3 years now…

About Misty, I haven’t had enough time to socialise with her because there’s so much to do. I think she can be socialised. She’s not as feral as Samantha. She was also easier to catch than Riley or Samantha. But look at Riley now! She is so, so affectionate. I remember Riley’s first visit to the vet’s. She went completely and totally wild in the examination room. Like a ferocious wild animal.

I also haven’t had enough time with Samantha as well. I only go into the room about 4-5 times a day. I cannot risk letting Samantha free in the house because she might escape when someone opens the door and that would be a total waste and nightmare. But Samantha is still behaving like Dr Jekyll and Mrs Hyde. When her kittens are with her, she is totally friendly to me. But the moment she is alone, she still hisses at me. Oh well…

But Riley spends a lot of time in the room with Samantha and the princesses. Just now, I walked in and Riley and Samantha were lying down side by side. Aww…I think either Riley is really Samantha’s biological daughter from an earlier litter or Samantha acted as Riley’s mentor while she was a kitten and so Riley looks up to her as a mother-figure. The two of them are really close.

Meanwhile, here are the princesses:

Today I wanted to train the girls to eat from a metal bowl. Only Indra knew how to do it.

Kai and Akira refused to eat from a metal bowl. They still wanted Tupperwares. Mahal punya taste? 


Look at how much he has grown!!

He’s so big now!!