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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Spottiswood rescue

On Monday, Janice who works in the Outram, Spottiswood area, found out her office building management trapped a stray mother cat and her three 2-week-old kittens as part of their pest control management. Janice intervened and the mother cat managed to escape. However this meant that the mother's 3 kittens were now orphaned.

Janice placed the 3 kittens at a vet for checkup and handfeeding and thereafter looked for us to help foster for a longer term. We are already very maxed out in space, but there is no other fosterer in Janice's social circle who can help hand-rear the 3 kittens. We decided to try Bree out as a foster mom as her own kittens are also almost 2 weeks of age. If Bree rejected either one of the kittens, we would hand-rear them ourselves and use a carrier as a makeshift kitten pen.

So last night, Janice brought the 3 kittens to us from the vet and we introduced the weakest one first to Bree. The fostering was successful. We decided to try the other 2 kittens with her as well, one at a time, and Bree accepted all of them - and to our amazement, can nurse them all well together with her own 3 kittens despite being in a kitten-sized pen and being a very big mother cat.

New arrivals - 3 black with white kittens, with Bree

With the arrival of the 3 Spottiswood kittens, we have officially now have 18 foster cats, first time ever we broke our record, and we are now teetering on overcrowding. Our ideal threshold is at 12 foster cats maximum. Thankfully, Bree's kittens and the Spottiswood kittens are healthy so there is no risk of health problems at the moment in Bree's pen.

We are really hoping that more cat lovers and owners will learn to foster kittens on their own, because overcrowding in a cat shelter jeopardises the kittens' welfare more than if you were inexperienced at fostering. There will always be kittens to rescue, and there will always be limited space in catteries - as a cat loving community we can protect the welfare of rescue cats better if more of us will step up and become foster parents in times of need.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Yesterday's new arrival - Rainy

Yesterday we got a call from Jason who found a kitten on a grass patch in the rain, by himself with no mother in sight, in Bukit Panjang. Suspected abandonment case because the strays in that area are neutered and there is no nearby nursing mother or siblings.

We are extremely overcrowded right now but Rainy is only 3 weeks old and unable to eat. He is also not very strong - though his meow is quite powerhouse! - and is having diarrhoea as well.

We got MaryLou to foster him and he started drinking, but still meowed a lot in between suckling on MaryLou. He is about the same size as Simone - who is doing well.

After one day of being with us, he is still meowing a lot. Also, we suspect MaryLou may be giving up on Rainy because he is unwell, she hasn't been keeping him very clean whereas Simone is always nicely fed and clean.

Tonight, we noticed he was getting weak. Hypothermia, and unable to walk well. Also, he is having bouts of weird jerking motions that resemble convulsions. 

We started supplementing him with extra kitten milk added with CoQ10 and glucose, and probiotics for his diarrhoea. He is now being warmed up with a hot water bottle and towels.
Supplementing his foster mother's feeds

Warming him up with towels and hot water bottle

Will have to bring him to the vet tomorrow. Have recorded the fits he gets (resembles hiccups, no foaming at mouth like with convulsions) so that can show the video to the vet. Now just need to monitor him through the night.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Outdoor access kills cats

Cats in Singapore are not safe at all outside of your house's four walls. Much has been expounded on on our blog regarding disallowing your cat outdoor access, yet many owners still do not realise this, so the message needs to be continually pushed through.

Did you know that if you allow your pet cat to roam outside your flat on the corridors or to go downstairs on its own - you are actually KILLING stray cats in your neighbourhood?

When neighbours complain about cats pooing on corridors, it is always because of pet cats that are allowed to step outside the main door of their flat because stray cats don't exhibit such behaviour. But these neighbours think it is the stray cats, so they complain to the town council about stray cats, and culling is carried out. So all the stray cats in your block get caught and put to sleep because YOUR cat pooed on the corridor.

Also, if you allow your cat to go onto the corridors you are exposing yourself as an irresponsible cat owner to your neighbours. If neighbours complain to HDB about you and your errant cat ownership, Cat Welfare cannot advocate for you to keep your cats if they are allowed on corridors, so your cats will have to be forcefully evicted from your flat.

Cats with collars but no tipped ears, sterilised or not, are liable to be put to sleep the very same day that pest control traps your neighbourhood strays to cull. Tipped ear cats are put to sleep within a week. Collars don't mean a thing. To rescuers like us, a stray cat with a collar means an abandoned cat unless it has an ID tag which we can call the owner to confirm. We will bring it for an ear tipping after letting the vet cut it open to check if it is neutered (if female, because x-rays and sonograms cost a lot more). Rescuers will take in such cats to foster and re-home. Either way, you lose your cat - if lucky, for a few days, if not, forever.

Also, your cat will get all kinds of sicknesses that outdoor stray cats have - FIV is enough of a killer to keep your cats indoors. If you don't mind killing stray cats, at least don't kill your own cat.

There are many ways to keep your cats indoors and not want to go outside of the house. Use the tips, and don't ever, ever allow your cat to even lounge on the corridor outside your house.

Bob is going to his forever home on Friday!

Isaac and Hwa fell in love with Bob when they met him, and likewise Bob with them - look at how Bob is manja-ing his new human daddy on his lap in the picture!

They visited us on Saturday and Bob spent the entire visit curling up next to his prospective parents.

After clearing up some questions about Bob's prior nerve disorder and his current abilities and needs, they decided that they would make Bob their first cat together as a family. Hwa is on a business trip and will be back on Thursday, so they will be picking Bob up on Friday evening, and Isaac will be taking the time in between to purchase the necessary items and preparing Bob's living space when they first bring him home.

Isaac and Hwa are friends of Ami, Bob's rescuer.

2nd round of TNRM at Eunos Crescent



CWS Logo-Link to us!

We went to Eunos Crescent Blk 25 and the adjacent Blk 24 on Thursday 24 March at 10pm to do another round of trapping for the stray cat colonies there. Here is the report on the TNRM.

On Thursday night itself, we trapped a total of 10 cats. 4 cats from in front of Blk 25, 2 cats from behind Blk 25, and 4 cats from Blk 24.

We started at Blk 25 and trapped 4 cats from there.

The black cat that eluded us the first round of TNRM


3 of the cats that we trapped at Blk 25 were quite skinny and 1 had an abscess around her abdomen which the vet attended to since it was at the surgical opening site. We returned these 3 cats to the same block after neutering and post-surgery boarding. The fourth cat was relocated to another block. Here are the 4 cats we neutered from in front of Blk 25.

Ginger - relocated to Blk 12

Tricolour - had abscess

Tortoiseshell

Black (from picture above)
There are 2 more cats here that we know of that are not neutered. One of them was trapped the first round of neutering but the vet suspects FIV and that the cat would not survive surgery, so he was returned without surgery. Another has a nerve disorder that we knew of, and so we only fed her and did not trap her at all. There is another black and white cat that we kept on missing out on, it kept on going out of our sight - this cat does not hang out directly under the block so we hope it will go elsewhere and not contribute to the nuisances that unsterilised cats cause especially at complaint-prone Blk 25. 

Behind the block's substation, facing the industrial estate, we trapped 2 ginger cats. One of them had a bad fight-related wound around his neck which the vet also attended to at no extra expense. They were returned to the same site after neutering as well.

Ginger male with fight wound

Ginger/white
At Blk 24, we trapped 4 cats. One of them is an abandoned cat with a collar. Turns out that she is already neutered upon inspection at the vet, so she was sedated and given an ear-tip. The other 3 cats were neutered and ear tipped as well and returned to Blk 24. All the cats we spotted the other night we recced the carpark in between the 2 blocks hung out at the void deck that night, probably waiting for their feeder - who according to instruction did not show up to feed that night so we could trap the cats.

Adjacent block 24
Cats hung out at void deck that night

In the midst of trapping

These are the 4 cats we trapped from Blk 24 -

Abandoned tabby
Red colourpoint male

3 legged tabby/white

Tabby/white, was hiding under car
The total expense for Thursday's TNRM was $445.

The next TNRM rounds at Eunos Crescent will be at Blks 1 and 1A in April. Will report when the dates are planned.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Simone - kitten abandoned in shoe-box at Marsiling

Imagine hearing a kitten meowing from the oddest place, while being on your way to work in the morning. Serene, sister of one of our readers, traced the meowing to the top of the communal letterboxes at her block's void deck in Marsiling. There she saw a shoebox, with a name scribbled on it, and inside - a small 2 week old kitten wrapped in towels, and a pet nursing bottle filled with milk.

Simone in a shoe-box in Marsiling

An evident act of abandonment, with some futile effort from the perpetrator to redeem herself by placing the kitten with towels and a milk bottle. This human basically created an orphan, whoever it is.

Distraught, Serene sought help from friends, and in the meantime, brought the kitten to work and tried to nurse her with the bottle.

Serene hand-feeding Simone

Since it was only 1 kitten, we offered to take little Simone in and try to get either Mary Lou or Bree - both nursing mother cats - to help foster the little one. If either mother were to reject Simone, we would hand-rear her.

So Serene brought Simone over to our foster home during her lunch hour.

Simone was a bit dehydrated and probably as a result, a bit of her third eyelids were visible. But she showed no symptoms of flu', fleas or diarrhoea, and her temperature was normal - thanks to Serene keeping her warm with a hot water bottle. We age Simone to be about 2 weeks old - eyes open but no teeth yet - and tried to get Mary Lou to foster her. Mary Lou's own kittens are now 4 weeks old and need to drink less milk now, so little Simone wouldn't have to compete that much to suckle. Plus, Mary Lou has been a good foster mother to other kittens before.

We placed little Simone who was meowing away into Mary Lou's pen. Barley, Berry and Bamboo immediately accepted their new foster sibling, but Simone didn't know she now had a new mother cat. We slowly nudged Simone towards Mary Lou, covered the pen's blankets, and waited.

Eventually, Simone stopped meowing, had found Mary Lou, and latched on to suckle!

Hungry Simone suckling on Mary Lou greedily
Mary Lou will continue to lactate for 3 weeks or so, which means Simone should have enough mother's milk until she is weaned. In a week's time, we will try partially weaning her with canned food. Mary Lou's own kittens, Barley, Berry and Bamboo, are already experimenting with Mary Lou's kibbles and water (like their mom, they don't really dig canned food that much)!

Will be checking on Simone's health to make sure she rehabilitates well from her dehydration, and to watch for any other signs of sickness that may occur down the line so we can rehabilitate her. The good thing is that Barley and siblings are very healthy now, the flu' they had over a week ago is long gone, so there is a lower risk of Simone falling ill further. We hope little Simone pulls through after her shoe-box abandonment ordeal. For now, Simone is busy exploring the pen in between rounds of drinking yummy mommy's milk!

Adopt little kitties! Kit [Wes and Joey have been adopted]

Update 17 May 2011: More pictures of Joey and Kit here.

3 good friends are looking for forever homes! Read on to find out more about their abandonment and rescue, kitty-bios, and how you can adopt them.



Joey and Wes (adopted)

Their rescue and rehabilitation:
Joey and Wes are 2 of 3 kittens found abandoned at a trash can below a flat in Jurong West when they were just over 3 weeks of age. At the time, they were too young to eat on their own, and needed to be fed milk. They also showed symptoms of flu', and were flea-infested. We de-fleaed them and started their rehabilitation. We hand-fed them with kitten milk and supplements and treated their flu' with medication and herbal flu' remedy - and their flu' symptoms cleared up within a couple of days. Then we got a nursing stray cat, Mary Lou who is temporarily boarding with us, to foster them so they could get mother's milk's antibodies and colostrum, while introducing solid food to them at the same time. Joey and Wes learned to eat first, and eventually we weaned them off mother's milk gradually, leaving their third sibling Junie with their foster mom for longer because she was still very weak and needed special care. Junie did not survive despite having a foster mother's milk: she was the runt and had remained weak. Joey and Wes did not suffer any similar symptoms as Junie did before she faded, were already in a separate pen, and they got healthier by the day.

Joey and Wes then got litter-trained - which took a while, but they finally got it. We tried to train them to learn to eat dry food on its own too and it took some time but they finally got used to eating dry food independently and are eating Solid Gold Indigo Moon.


Their personalities and physical traits:
Joey is a really smart girl, enjoys cuddles and being held, and is outgoing in nature. She is also very easy-going and gets along well with other cats. She is tabby and white and has a long tail. She bears resemblance to Oriental cats as she is lanky and has big pointy ears. She is now 5 weeks old.

Sweet Joey
Joey's tabby markings
Has Oriental eyes and ears, and a sweet smile!


Wes is bigger in size than Joey, being male, and is also tabby and white, but with more tabby colouring and with mackerel tabby markings. He is affectionate and loves to cuddle, likes to talk, and is also more active and playful than Joey who is less needy and more independent. Wes is curious too - loves to explore new things. He gets along very well with Kit - her story below - and they both like to meow for food together.

Wes, curious about the camera
Has white paws and white inverted mask
Exploring our bed


Wes at 8 weeks old taken by Furry-Photos

Like tummy rubs

Wes was adopted the same day this picture was taken



Kit

Her rescue and rehabilitation:
Kit was found abandoned outside a restaurant in Joo Chiat, meowing away. The strays in that neighbourhood are all sterilised so Kit is definitely an abandoned offspring of a house cat. She showed no symptoms of illness except for intestinal worms. We penned her with Joey and Wes and they soon became firm friends. She immediately learned to use the litter box well! We dewormed her the day after she came, when she was 4 weeks old. Then we tried to get Kit to eat dry food on its own, which took a while, but now she knows how to eat kibbles independently, also eating Solid Gold Indigo Moon like Joey and Wes.


Her personality and physical traits:
Kit is a tricoloured girl - white, cream and tabby grey - with a long tail and round eyes. She is very vocal, active and loves to climb and run. She is very close to her pen mates Joey and Wes and meows for them whenever she is separated from them. She is currently 6 weeks old.

Kit
Active and always looking for something to do
Grooming self after her shower
Round eyes, Oriental ears

Kit at 9 weeks old taken by Furry Photos

Kit's beautiful tricolouring

Greedy Kit

Eating treat midway



How to adopt Joey, Wes or Kit

Read our Adoption Agreement, Adoption Fees and Adopters' Questionnaire. Then email or call us (elaine@lovekuchingproject.org / 90880675) with answers to the Adopters' Questionnaire. After that, we can then arrange a visit for you and your family to visit the kittens at our foster home in Ubi.

Update on Sweets - adopted last November

Sweets, who was adopted by Gilbert and family, just went today for his neutering operation! We met him at the vet when we brought Bob for his second booster jab.

Sweets in his carrier

Sweets with his human daddy

He is very handsome now!

Prior to today's neutering, he had been vocalising a lot, and peeing around the house - as male kittens do when they come into sexual maturity. It was a big problem in the house as his human mommy Susan had to clean like mad using disinfectant and vinegar (helps remove pet odours) and spraying Feliway around his marked areas. Hopefully he would become a good boy again after his neuter!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Bree's delivery

Bree finally gave birth today. But it was a harrowing process and not an easy delivery.

She started going into labour this morning, and as feline pregnancies go, there was blood to be expected. But the first kitten came out halfway in a breech position - legs first - and after that she failed to pass out the kitten, while continuing to haemorrhage. Kittens do get born in a breech position sometimes, but it should still be a smooth delivery, and she should not be straining for more than half an hour to deliver the first kitten.

So we knew Bree needed emergency veterinary attention immediately. It was a huge logistics operation to get her into the carrier to get ready to go to the vet.

We rushed her to Mount Pleasant Stevens Road which is open on Sundays, and there the doctor injected her with oxytocin to induce labour so that she could pass out the kittens. If that were to fail to work, a Caesarean surgery would be required to cut her open to get the kittens out if they were still alive.

After the oxytocin was administered, Bree finally passed out the first kitten that was stuck in her uterus since morning. Over the next few hours, she delivered 2 more kittens. By then she was slightly less feral and the vet could take an x-ray to see if there were any more kittens inside. Usually foeteses can be felt by external examination but Bree refused to be touched. Amazingly, she finally consented to being handled for an x-ray.

Thankfully, no more kittens remained inside her womb, so surgery wasn't necessary, and all the kittens are alive.

Bree is now back with us and inside her pen with her kittens. Transferring her back to her pen was no easy feat because she refused to come out of the carrier and was still very feral.

Bree and her kittens inside the carrier
She was still bleeding after the delivery but it wasn't excessive. Now she is inside her pen, covered with blankets, and her kittens have already started to suckle.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

First round of TNRM at Eunos Crescent - Blk 25



CWS Logo-Link to us!

We trapped a total of 9 cats on Friday night for neutering at Eunos Crescent Blk 25! It was an encouraging start to solving the critical stray cat overpopulation problem at Eunos Crescent - and your donated funds made it possible!

Here are some pics of the 9 cats before they were successfully trapped.

Big-sized white male

Torbie female cat exiting from near rubbish dump

Big-sized orange male
Black/white, didn't trap its sibling though

White with black cap-saddle pattern
During the trapping, one of the sterilised males nicknamed Teddybear kept trying to get involved in the trapping - he was so greedy he wanted to eat food from the placed traps even after we fed him!

Teddybear, likely x-BritishShorthair


After the 9 cats were trapped we took their mugshots as per our usual practice, for accounting and records purposes -

Big orange boy

Black/white, likely female

Cap-saddle white/black

Big white boy

Black/white

Torbie girl, has two 3mth old kittens

Black/white tuxedo

Tame tabby, likely female

Tabby/white
We also ran into some kittens that between 2 to 3 months of age who seem healthy - unfortunate that we can't house them now to rehome them - 1 tortoiseshell, 1 ginger, and 1 silver tabby.

6 out of 9 of these cats will be relocated to less cat-populated blocks nearby to ease up the overpopulation at this block, which when numbered with the already neutered ones add to about 20 cats. Their return from post-op boarding will be on Sunday and Lynn the caregiver will oversee the relocation.

We didn't get to meet any of the block's complainants invited to join us that night, but many witnessed from their homes (trapping was done in view of windows) the trapping that was being carried out. We did manage to touch base with the block's feeder, as well as the feeder behind the block near the industrial site, and the feeder from the next block, Blk 24.

6 cats counted remaining un-neutered at this block based on our count, and a tally from the Blk 25 feeder who knows the cats individually and who is not yet neutered. Here is a picture of one of the cats that disappeared the minute the traps were placed -


We also saw a mating couple after the trapping, and we know we missed out on another black and white cat. We also missed out on the cats behind the substation because they went to the industrial site to get food placed by the industrial feeder, avoiding the food-filled traps.

We will be conducting the second round of trapping to neuter these remaining 6 cats on Thursday, 10pm, 24 March. Also, if there is space and time, we will trap some of the un-neutered cats at Blk 24. We communicated to both the blocks' feeders to not feed on Thursday, as well as to pass the message to the industrial site feeder, as the cats behind the rubbish dump / substation do roam to the industrial site to eat.

Blk 24's cats do share a common space with Blk 25 - the carpark, and the cycling lane with grass area connecting the two blocks (facing industrial site). We did a short recce at Blk 24 to count how many un-neutered cats were there. Our cat count yielded 4 cats. Our camera ran out of battery just before then, so here are some phone-camera pics taken of the 4 cats from Blk 24 and in between Blks 24 and 25:

Tabby at void deck

Black/white or tricoloured? cat at cycling lane

Tabby at cycling lane

White cat at carpark

Will report the expenses from this round of TNRM once the amount has been tallied by Damy. We may need more than the projected $1,675 for Eunos Crescent because we underestimated the cat-count and it there are likely more females than 50% of the population. Once we tally the amounts spent on Blk 25's 2 TNRM rounds, we will report the remaining resources in our Sterilisation Fund.

Pawprints