Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Fight Club 2 (2005)

Directed by: Steven Instincts

Cast: Callas, Bombay

Genre: Action

Runtime: 12 minutes

Country: Singapore

Language: Feline

Colour: Full Colour

Sound Mix: Dolby Digital EX

MPAA Rating: PG (it is more goof than gore)

Plot Outline: An office tabby and a soap blackie build a global organisation to help vent male aggression. Watch them slug it out!

A paparazzi shot of our two action stars.

~5-Cat Style

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Encore! Encore!

I have a handful of photos from the adoption drive that I didn't put up because they are so similar to the ones in my earlier post. But rather than let them stay hidden in a folder stashed away in my harddrive, I thought I'd upload them now for your viewing.
~5-Cat Style

Monday, November 28, 2005

Blood, Sweat & Tears

Now to offer my 2 cents on the AVA roadshow...

Weeeeelllll.... *winces*... must I really????

The Roadshow was fun, as it always is when you get to hang out with tons of animals and speak to people about something you're passionate about. Although less satisfying than the World Animal Day event, it was great nonetheless. Could have been better for a variety of reasons, but I will get into that... slowly.

I got there in the morning with The Styler and her charges of 2 lightning bolts. Bolt 1, Callas, was shivering in the car and I had to carry him to try to calm him down a bit. The poor thing does instead have the 6th sense. And its not to see dead people with! Everything was already up and running when we got there, with the other fosters protectively doting on their lovelies and volunteers tending to the merch booth. As usual there was no briefing, as usual I had no idea what to do, and as usual, I just poked my nose in wherever I saw fit. Which brings to mind, Observation Satu.

Why are there no briefings? Just like at the previous adoption drive, I had to figure out what to do by observing others. How efficient could that be if one were just ever so slightly more perceptively impaired? Thankfully there were 2 experienced and excellent volunteers I could observe (1 tending merch and the other, a foster, tending to interested adopters), and I decided to go with talking to adopters, since I had already done it for the previous drive (which was the very first time I had done it, and was about the ONLY ONE doing it ALL day!!!). I apologise if I may have misinformed any (altho the last I checked I think I was cleared), I do not believe I am above human error. Especially when my only instruction came from secretly spying on others, a couple of metres away! And when I ask for instruction, the coveted reply is "Just do lor!". A take on the famous slogan in the true blue Singaporean style that I love so well!

Needless to say, the drive soon became slightly chaotic as the day wore on. At Bishan Park, we were spoilt for space but had our ears blasted to the high heavens. At Ngee Ann City, noise level was acceptable but armpit sweat threatened to fill our flaring nostrils. In that tiny area of about 5 medium-sized steps long and 3 medium-sized steps wide, fosters, volunteers, potential adopters and interested animal lovers practically did the jiggy with it with each other; the cats must have been amused. Eventually another foster turned up and decided to man the 'entrance' and things became alot more manageable. I decided to be her heavy and together we decided the fate of many worshippers of those feline gods we had caged. I found that, on contraire to popular belief, there was really no need for hostilities when siphoning out truly interested adopters from the curious onlooker. In fact, all the folks I spoken to were really polite and understanding when I explained to them why we had to control the amount of people allowed into the area and why we wouldn't take the cats out of the cage or let them handle the cats without the fosters' approval. I recall a certain incident not too long ago when a well-meaning but unforgivably clueless volunteer growled at a poor guy who really only wanted to take a closer look at the kitties. Why so defensive? Does it not occur to you that, while no one gives a blooming grape about your reputation or the lack of it, your behaviour could have and most likely reflected really badly on the society? Even if you must be up in arms, at least do it in knightly fashion! I still say that better management and prepping of volunteers could have very easily kept these unfortunate events at bay. To the gent whose feathers were ruffled those months ago, I apologize to thee. She really did only mean well though curt her tongue might have been.

Observation Sorn. The heat, droning and lack of sleep from the night before soon took a toll on my functional state and I decided to go get a drink. When I came back I thought I'd just observe a bit. Well, it didn't take long for the fact to hit me in the face that there needs to be a whole lot more management. I heard that there was an urgent need for volunteers... but, honestly, how many volunteers can one tiny place hold? At one time I counted 9 volunteers and about 5 fosters squeezed into the area, together with the swarm of adopters and onlookers. I would have thought that 2 manning the merch booth, 2 manning the entrance and 2 tending to the adopters would have sufficed. At no time was anyone swarmed over with too many people (or cats) to handle, anyway. The frantic call for help; hands that eventually went to waste anyway. Some volunteers were really excited to help, but lack of instruction and direction led some to just sit behind and stone/fag, while others busied themselves poking, stroking and snapping the kitties. Is it serious inefficiency or just my seriously impaired judgment?

Observation Trois.... You know what, to hell with Observation Trois. I'm tired just thinking about it. Basically it is NOT the time to be grooming your cats while volunteers are trying to secure a future for your charges. Fur flying in faces is NOT a sure way to guarantee an adoption! There just needs to be more organization to maximally utilize the resources that are available and calling for exploitation. Do fosters do the talking, or volunteers, or both? Do the fosters stay in or out? Do the volunteers stay in or out? Do the fosters stay behind and only come when they called, or is that what volunteers do? What do we say? What do we do? Honestly, it was extremely saddening and disheartening to know that the event could have been so much more efficient and better organized, and it wasn't. The ones that suffer are the cats and no one else. Is it worth it? Really? Is it really a good reason when the excuse "But we are all just volunteers. You can't expect us to give up everything" is given? I am a volunteer and I say, it is not. It is inexcusable to screw up someone's else's hardwork just because you think you are entitled to. If you don't have the heart, don't do it. If you can't give the time, don't say you'll give it. Please, a little reality check will be good for you (and everyone else). I'm not saying don't volunteer if you can't give an arm and a leg, all I'm saying is within your means, ah, tolong!

BUT!!! Despite all my 'observations', the adoption drive didn't go all that bad. One cat managed to get adopted on that day itself and many more interested parties have applied to adopt the other cats. Many transactions took place and I think merch sold like hotcakes. At the end of the day we all went back feeling a little happier to know that we had spent our Sunday on a good cause. Yet I cannot deny that I am disappointed coz really, who knows how many more adoptions could have been secured, how many more sceptics won over, how many more hearts touched so that they might volunteer/donate, and how many more cats feeling a little more comfortable that Sunday....


I sign out.

~The Flyer

Better way to deter feeding of stray cats - A joint CWS-SPCA letter

As Dawn Kua points out, the title of the letter is misleading. The aim is NOT to stop the feeding of community cats, but to encourage responsible feeding.

Better way to deter feeding of stray cats
Nov 28, 2005
(The Straits Times)

WE REFER to the recent correspondence on the feeding of stray cats in relation to the posters displayed by Tampines Town Council at a recent Social Responsibility Carnival.

Although we agree that feeding of strays must be done responsibly, it is regrettable that the posters conveyed messages that promoted a 'stray free' environment while discouraging the feeding of stray cats.

If the town council is not against feeding per se and was trying to convey a message to feed responsibly, it certainly did not succeed. Nor was it necessary to use this approach.

We have found that notices such as these have the opposite effect in that they cause people instead to 'ghost feed', that is, to leave food and run off without getting caught, or even throw food down from windows.

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), in June, produced a responsible cat feeding poster in three languages. It was sent to all town councils with a note that if they required additional copies, to let us know. This invitation still stands.

The object of the notice was to create awareness among animal lovers on keeping the environment clean through responsible feeding of stray cats.

The Cat Welfare Society also has a poster on responsible feeding, sterilisation and abandonment that we will be happy to send to any town council or volunteer that needs them.

We would like to emphasise the importance of sterilisation in keeping the stray cat (and dog) population at bay. Killing simply does not work and efforts to find a more effective humane solution to the overpopulation of strays should be considered by the authorities.

For members of the public who feed and care for strays and would like to have a stray animal sterilised, the SPCA has a voucher scheme which covers the cost of the operation at selected veterinary clinics. You can read more about it at

The Cat Welfare Society also has subsidised sterilisation slots for volunteers and runs workshops showing volunteers how to run trap-neuter-return-manage programmes to sterilise and manage stray cats in the neighbourhood.

This programme includes solving any problems caused inadvertently by the presence of the cats.

We are also more than happy to speak to any town council, management committee or residents' committee that wants to learn more about this programme.

Finally, we invite any town council that has a problem with overpopulation of stray cats and is keen to try the sterilisation method, to contact one of the undersigned and we will be happy to meet you.

Let us all work together to bring about a caring and responsible society which takes care of homeless animals too.

Deirdre Moss (Ms)
Executive Officer

Dawn Kua (Ms)
Director of Operations
Cat Welfare Society

~5-Cat Style

Sunday, November 27, 2005

My meagre 2 hours at Day 2's adoption drive

Day No. 2 at the adoption drive began at 10.30am for me. The Flyer was able to join me today after missing out on all the action yesterday. I quickly prepared the cages for Bombay and Callas. As you can see from the photo below, I chose to keep them separated from the start.

Poor Callas was expectedly tensed so there was a continuation of yesterday's Hissing Symphony No. 6 and Spitting Concerto in C.

Bombay was pouncy and playful, and within minutes he was masterfully conducting an audience with his little paw to the music Callas provided. So seeing that all was well, I decided to capture the morning's happenings with my trusty camera.

My first shot was of this group of beautiful Westies. One West Highland White is gorgeous. A group of them is glorious! It's a pity my photo is blurry. I refuse to take blame though. You can place the blame on the ice milo I was balancing in my palm instead.

Then I saw these two doggy buddies having a quick breakfast together. Only the Jack Russell bothered to stop chowing long enough to smile for me.

I then went off to look for the Enid Blyton bunnies again. They were less shy today. They weren't hiding in the tiny brown boxes anymore. Instead, they were fully stretched out getting some sun and enjoying the ooh's and aah's that were flying their way.

Then I heard a small commotion coming from the CWS corner. Bombay had jumped around too much and upset the litterbox. I quickly went over to help clean up the mess that The Flyer was already sweeping up. I noticed that Bombay was jumpier than normal. He was mewing a lot too and that was unusual as well. I tried to calm Bombay down, but over the next half hour he had clearly gotten more agitated. At one point, he was trying to reach for me through the cage bars so desperately, he scratched my cheek with one claw. Another 10 minutes later, Bombay started biting the bars, the sides of the litterbox and then began tearing up the newspapers. I knew then I had to bring him home. He was too stressed out.

As much as I wanted to stay to meet more potential adopters for Bombay and Callas, the poor dears had already gone through a full day of being caged up yesterday. And it certainly was an uncomfortable day for them... the noise, the heat, the massive loads of people coming through and poking at them. They didn't need to go through one more day like that. It would be a bonus if they could just 'tahan' one more day, but yesterday I had already met a handful of nice people interested in taking them in. So today wasn't crucial. The little kitties didn't have to be traumatised further.

So after putting both Bombay and Callas into their carriers, I made my apologies to The Flyer for having to leave her the rest of the day. I looked at my watch and realised I had about 10 minutes before my Dad arrived to send me and the kitties home. I decided to make good use of the time and take some photos of the cats.

Here's one that is simply too beautiful for words. Just look at those arctic blue eyes.

And here's a really sweet tabby. Aww... don't you just want to pick her up and take her home?

Here is a ginger cat with the sweetest temperament. The Flyer couldn't stop stroking her.

Look at the markings on this one! Doesn't the coat look like swirls of chocolate?

And this cat's coat was so thick, it looked as though it was wearing a lion's mane around the neck.

My 10 minutes was almost up. I had to leave now. It was well into the lunch hour and I noticed that most of the cats were drowsy and collecting their Zzz's. So before I leave you, here are my shots of the sleeping kitties for your viewing pleasure.

Tata for now!

~5-Cat Style

Please DO NOT yank cats out of their cages

Baby animals are adorable, aren't they? Just one look at them and you feel complelled to pick them up, squeeze them to your face and nuzzle your nose into their bellies. Go ahead and indulge yourself! You shouldn't deny yourself such pleasure.

But there are times when it is necessary to refrain yourself from doing so.

Like at today's adoption drive. I was horrified to see a man trying to yank Bombay from his cage. I dashed towards him, pushed Bombay back into the cage, closed the cage door and told him politely, but firmly, "Please do not open the cages."

Please understand... that as much as you desire to play with and cuddle these cuties, this isn't an appropriate place to do so. Bombay may just be a 3-month-old kitten, but he is a mighty strong one. Lose your grip on him for just one moment and he'll be off like lightning! I know this because I bathe my kittens myself. While most times it is an easy procedure, should the kitten decide that he simply isn't in the mood to be soaped and bubbled that day... he sure can kick up one helluva fuss.

And to lose a kitten in a place like a pet roadshow, where there are as many dogs roaming the area as there are wilderbeast on the Serengeti... you really are sending the kitten to an end I cannot bear imagine.

Should you feel like you will implode or explode if you do not lay your hands on a cat or kitten, at least ask the foster for permission. The foster may or may not allow you to handle the cat under supervision. It all depends on the personality of the cat.

The moral of the story: For the safety of the cats and the fosters' heart condition, please DO NOT yank the cats out of their cages.

~5-Cat Style

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Gorgeous animals everywhere!

I left my house in a flurry at 10.30am, lugging behind me two cat carriers with Bombay and Callas inside. The cabby was nice enough not to make any noise about picking the kitties up. In turn, the kitties were nice enough not to make any noise throughout the ride. How polite everyone was! I knew right away it was going to be good day.

When I got to Takashimaya, it was impossible to miss the roadshow. The Civic Plaza was set ablazed with buzzing noises, the brightest colours and the coolest pets. Here's a really cute Maltese who was just soaking in all the attention from the crowd.

And here's an energetic Alsatian pup who was just begging to be let out of his cage. I swear his tail was about to get wagged off!

Ooh! And there were the most lovable rabbits too. Just take a look at this romantic pair. Don't they look like they just hopped out of an Enid Blyton book?

And of course, there were the kitties. All of them gorgeous! But first... here's what the CWS booth looked like. Many thanks to all of you who came down to visit today. Warm hugs to dear supportive friends like Melisa, Kok Hong, Sophia and Ken Ming who came to show their support too. Those of you who missed coming down today... there's still tomorrow!

And now... presenting... the beautiful cats in the CWS corner! On our right, we have a powder-puff cat. All white. All fluffy. Eyes of honey-yellow. So breathtakingly beautiful, it was adopted faster than you can say COTTONCANDYPUFF.

And on our left, we have a smoky gray Persian-cross. Erm... actually... in this photo it looks more sinister than majestic. If I were the casting director of a Harry Potter movie and I had to give Voldemort a cat, this would be it.

Well, don't you agree that based on this pic alone, this could very well be Voldemort's cat? But that's only in this photo. In real life, this Persian-X is very cool looking. More Matrix than Voldemort. Really!

And here's my darling Bombay and Callas!

Bombay, as always, captured everyone's hearts. He was the most relaxed kitty today... truly a cool cat. He didn't mind the maddening noise or the killer heat or the many strangers poking him from all directions. Bombay reached out for the people looking at him with his paw, licked their fingers and entertained them by playing with a crushed ball of paper.

Callas, on the other hand, was in a grumpy mood. He kept hissing at the cats in the cages beside his, sometimes hissing at the people admiring him. At one point, he got so touchy, he and Bombay got into a scuffle and had to be put into separate cages for the rest of the day. Poor dear... most people don't realise how stressful these adoption drives are for cats and kittens. Amazingly, Callas received the most interest from serious adopters. I suppose they must be the ones who DO understand that the cats are probably not themselves in an environment like that and cannot be expected to be at their best.

This is how the cats' cages were arranged for public viewing. To the left of the photo is a foster making sure her cat is all comfy.

This was what Bombay and Callas' cage looked like. After the scuffle though, they had to be separated and Callas was put into the cage below Bombay's.

If I were one of the cats on display, this must be what my neighbours would look like from my view. (That's Bombay playing with a pellet.)

While things were getting busy at the CWS booth, a dog show was being held on stage. It was an obedience training display and the dogs were simply marvellous!

Minister of State for National Development, Mr Heng Chee How, graced the event as Guest of Honour. He came round to our booth and spoke to Liang Tong and Lillian.

And now, we leave our little purring darlings to get a little rest. Till tomorrow...

Do come visit if you haven't already!

~5-Cat Style