Who Wants Brush Brush?

Monday, January 15, 2007

Operation New Year's Day

2007 started with a cat rescue mission. I received a call from me parents early this New Year's Day morning, saying that they spotted a cat stuck on a ledge on the outer wall of the stairwell of an HDB block. They asked if I could get anyone to help, as they did not think that the poor cat could hold on much longer. The ledge sloped downwards and only goodness knew how long the cat had been stuck up there. My dad said that he tried calling the Civil Defence, who gave them the EMSU number to call, who in turned told them to call the Town Council, only to be dissed for worrying about the unnecessary. The lady on the phone repeatedly insisted that "那个猫会 jump [to safety] 的" (the cat can jump to safety), my mom related to me agitatedly. I told my mom to cool down and go for their breakfast while I try to think of something.

[By the way, it was really quite impossible for the cat to jump to safety. Except for maybe 5 floors downwards.]

I do not know why it did not occur to me sooner, but half an hour into the saga, I realised I could call the SPCA. After relating the severity of the incident to them, they promptly told me that they would dispatch someone to take a look. A man and woman team arrived more than an hour later; we were located at the northenmost part of the island afterall. Anyhow, the woman rang me to ask about the exact location and found the cat quickly, perching precariously on the ledge and having not moved a muscle since my parents caught sight of it. The man and woman assessed the situation, took out a restraint pole, noosed the cat effortlessly and brought it back to safety in under a minute. It was really fortunate that kitty endured the rescue without panicking, except for a little struggle when they were lifting him up. Heck, I would too if someone is attempting to lift me with a noose.

The woman gave me call again after they got the cat. I told them that the cat is a community cat waiting to be sterilised and asked for him not to be brought back with them, which she understood. It would have been really wretched to have the cat rescued only to be brought back to be euthanised. I thanked her profusely and the cat was subsequently released at the void deck. I sms-ed my parents the good news and congratulated them on a blessed 2007, having saved a life on its very first day.

But I have a Question.

Just how did this boy land himself in this predicament? I would like to think that he had ran up 5 floors, jumped up the parapet, missed and landed over the other side. With blessings from his fairy godmother and a multitude of other deities, he managed to land on his paws where he instinctively clawed at the sloping cement and miraculously braked to a stop before plummeting 5 floors down. Given the narrowness of the ledge, he would have only a fraction of a second to react, perhaps a second max. This is the version I chose to believe, rather than someone had, gulp, attempted to murder this cat.

This un-neutered adult tom has appeared in the neightbourhood not too long ago, most likely dumped. Perhaps he was not familiar with the topographics of the area, and hence had gotten himself in such a fix. Dumping cats, as is with trying to murder them, is a punishable offence.

Section 42 of the Animals & Birds Act

—(1) Any person who —

(a) cruelly beats, kicks, ill-treats, over-rides, over-drives, over-loads, tortures, infuriates or terrifies any animal;

(b) causes or procures or, being the owner, permits any animal to be so used;

(c) being in charge of any animal in confinement or in the course of transport from one place to another neglects to supply the animal with sufficient food and water;

(d) by wantonly or unreasonably doing or omitting to do any act, causes any unnecessary pain or suffering or, being the owner, permits any unnecessary pain or suffering to any animal;

(e) causes, procures or, being the owner, permits to be confined, conveyed, lifted or carried any animal in such a manner or position as to subject it to unnecessary pain or suffering;

(f) being the owner of any animal, abandons the animal without reasonable cause or excuse, whether permanently or not, in circumstances likely to cause the animal any unnecessary suffering or distress, or causes or permits the animal to be so abandoned;

(g) employs or causes or procures or, being the owner, permits to be employed in any work of labour, any animal which in consequence of any disease, infirmity, wound or sore, or otherwise is unfit to be so employed; or

(h) causes, procures or assists at the fighting or baiting of any animal, or keeps, uses, manages, or acts or assists in the management of any premises or place for the purpose, or partly for the purpose, of fighting or baiting any animal, or permits any premises or place to be so kept, managed or used, or receives or causes or procures any person to receive money for the admission of any person to the premises or place,

shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $10,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to both; except where an owner is convicted of having permitted cruelty to an animal under subsection (2), he shall be liable to a fine not exceeding $10,000.

The punishment is insufficient, but at least cruelty to animals is an offence. (Oh, and thanks to Joe for enlightening me on the finer points of quoting the law. I just hope I haven't made a fool out of myself by trying to be technical. :))

Case in point, do not abandon your animals, no matter what the circumstance. You will simply be subjecting them to possible abuse in all ways that our wicked human mind can devise.


Just when I thought that the episode has ended, the care giver aunty rang me the other night to complain about this male cat. Apparently, this naughty boy is impossible to catch when he sees a carrier but will happily gallop to you otherwise. He is also fighting almost every night with the resident cats, with some confrontation lasting more than 10 mins in the wee hours of the night. Much as I would like to stop them from fighting, I could not muster enough courage to go downstairs on my own at 4 in the morning.

Grr... Sterilisation is still in the plans for him though.