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Met a stray cat that needs rescue? Go to our website to submit a Rescue Request
Want to adopt a cat from us? Here are the cats that are up for adoption!
Come volunteer to clean the foster space and play with kitties!
Wish to give to Love Kuching Project? Deposit to our DBS Current Account 027-907655-0 or find out other ways to give here

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

TNR on Thursday, 8:30pm

We will be heading to Sims Drive for to sterilise an estimate of 6 stray cats there this week. 

There are actually 2 separate colonies of cats in this area, one near an abandoned building, and the other roaming the HDB void decks. 

This is the abandoned building, where there are about 4 cats. 

4 cats spotted here, possibly more
2 of 4 cats spotted
1 of 3 tuxedos

A wary tuxedo hid away...

At the residential area, there are 2 cats at least, that need neutering. At the time of the recces our Sterilisation Volunteers conducted, one mother cat still was nursing kittens and so could not be neutered. She is now ready. They hide in a drain.

Kittens skittish, mom food motivated
This cat may "belong" to someone
At one of the void decks our Sterilisation Volunteers spotted a scaredy-cat that runs to the second floor for safety, raising suspicion that it is actually a cat that an irresponsible owner allows to roam.

The third cat is a tortoiseshell. 

And we hope that the 6 we saw are all there are, because this would mean just one round of TNR needed. Thursday trap, Friday neuter, Saturday return. And a peaceful neighbourhood once again, with a damper on the cat overpopulation crisis we have in urban Singapore.

Current fundraising need: Make a pledge to our ER Fund.
Make a financial gift via a deposit to our POSB savings account 188-52652-7.  Find out more.   Become a monthly giver to help ensure our rescues continue getting their needs met.   Feed and provide litter to the cats we foster via our corporate sponsor The Water Dish.    Follow on us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Finally, the Full Story: Friendly the cat from Serangoon North

[Warning: Some images may be considered graphic]

Friendly comes from rather unknown origins, and thus his story took a long time to tell, but here it is, finally, in its complete version.

This is Friendly when he first arrived in our foster home on 23 Jan 2014.

Very fearful, although not aggressive
This was his story before he came to Love Kuching:

He was rescued by his feeder and brought to a vet when his ear started showing signs of inflammation. However, after that, his feeder disappeared, leaving the clinic in a very difficult position: what treatment options did the rescuer want? Who was going to pay for any kind of treatment or diagnostic tests? Since no one was around to help Friendly make these decisions, the clinic vets went ahead and did the bare minimum to save Friendly's ear, which was at the time already necrotic (rotting) and had to be re-sectioned. It could have been a form of cancer, squamous cell carcinoma (based on clinical signs), but since no one was around to decide on or pay for a biopsy, we will never know for sure it was cancer or not.

Friendly's vets approached other rescuers who might know the feeder uncle, but they also could not contact him. In the end, these rescuers tried to foot most of the bill, although they also were not able to make decisions for Friendly since the bill was already very high, Friendly already having stayed at the clinic for about 3 months by then.

We were out of space, and so Friendly was waiting for a cat suite to vacate before he could move here and out of expensive veterinary hospitalisation.

Finally, we had the space for him and got him to stay with us. The day after he came here, we brought him to the vet to see Dr Dawn Chong.

Friendly at The Animal Clinic

At the time, because no real diagnosis had been made, he was only on topical antibiotic steroidal ointment. Dr Chong and us decided we had to know more about Friendly, so much investigation started, while Friendly in the meantime received a steroid jab to relieve the inflammation. Dr Chong also detected that Friendly had a heart murmur.

Friendly in his cat suite

Friendly's ear being cleaned
The steroid jab worked and his inflammation went down, but it started bleeding profusely the next week, he became anorexic and weak, breathing and heart rate were not good, and he had to be given fluids, oxygen and mirtazapine (for appetite). We also syringed him stock, TCM tonic, glucose. He improved after that.

This was the investigation that went on after that first visit we made to Dr Chong:

We called his previous vets to find out what had be administered to him (a variety of antibiotics), and what was his necrotic ear like before they resectioned it and what made them suspect squamous cell carcinoma cancer.

Because Friendly's ear was necrotic, we also looked up a rare but not impossible diagnosis: necrotic otitis externa. It was basically the rotting of the external ear and cases of this was rare in cats.

Dr Chong and us decided to treat Friendly for both SCC and necrotic otitis externa.

For SCC: the only treatment is a form of chemotherapy, an oral drug called piroxicam, that also acts as a painkiller apart from reducing tumour growth. Even without tumours the painkiller effect would already be useful. It has a side effect of gastric upsets, so he takes it alongside a gastric medication, famotidine.

For necrotic otitis externa: the topical treatment would be tacrolimus ointment, brand name Protopic. Also, he would need a different class of antibiotics than what he had already been on before, the quinolone class of antibiotics. So Dr Chong prescribed ciprofloxacin, an oral course, as well as ciprofloxacin ear drops to be used together with Protopic.

For inflammation of his ear, he would need steroids every now and then to control it. Oral prednisolone or a long-lasting Depredil jab suffice very well so far.

By the way, the heart murmur? Much better now, after some supplements of coQ10, magnesium, arjuna, taurine, l-carnitine.

Now, look at that ear:

After treatment, Friendly's ear is better!

The good thing about Friendly is that while he looks awful without ears, he loves to eat and finishes everything we give him, even with medications or supplements within. He can use the litter box, he can move, and he will tell you when he is in pain (we got a bite once). He is however rather fearful, and when he is scared, he starts to pee or poo. We will be improving that aspect of his emotions soon with Azmira Fear Essence that our corporate sponsor The Water Dish is donating this quarter when stock arrives. We also give him St John's Wort which helps with his emotional welfare and have also ordered valerian, another herbal supplement for calming.

The only thing is, his Tacrolimus ointment is not cheap. It helps a lot, we haven't seen uncontrollable bleeding in a long time, and when we clean his ear, there is barely any pus or blood. But he uses a tube a week and it is a definite drain on our Veterinary Fund:

So do consider helping us bolster our Veterinary Fund for future purchases of his medication so we won't (true story) see blood spurting everywhere again.

How to give to our Veterinary Fund:
Make a deposit to our POSB savings account 188-52652-7 and then SMS Elaine to indicate that your deposit is meant for the Vet Fund. We will then apportion it there. If you need us to mail you a receipt do also text us your address.

Another thing we absolutely have to bring up:

Friendly's story is so long, and he failed to get the best and most effective treatment right from the start, is because of a rescuer who had no funds to pay for Friendly's vet bill. This is the exact kind of scenario we want to prevent with our Emergency Response Fund we blogged about before. We want to be there with the funds, with the cat, right from the start, for rescuers who have absolutely zero funds to pay for veterinary fees which are badly needed for the injured or sick stray cat they meet. Read about our ER Fund, and then make a pledge. It will not work without you, and yes, there are more cats out there like Friendly who have nobody making sound veterinary decisions for their care simply because they have no money. Let's do something for these silent voices out there who have no one to pay for their care.

Current fundraising need: Make a pledge to our ER Fund.
Make a financial gift via a deposit to our POSB savings account 188-52652-7.  Find out more.  
Become a monthly giver to help ensure our rescues continue getting their needs met.  
Feed and provide litter to the cats we foster via our corporate sponsor The Water Dish.   
Follow on us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Alfie De Meow range of cat-themed jewellery now also available at Cat Cafe Neko no Niwa!

Have you already visited Singapore's first cat cafe, Cat Cafe Neko no Niwa

Cat Cafe Neko no Niwa is located at
54A Boat Quay (Level 2)

If you are one of the many cat lovers who have already visited the cat cafe, you might have noticed our merchandise partner, Alfie De Meow, has its range of kitschy cat-themed jewellery for sale there too!

Alfie de Meow is a cats-only jewellery label inspired by a rescued calico named Alfie.

10% of all proceeds from Alfie De Meow come to Love Kuching Project this year! Have a look at what are some of the merchandise they have on display at the cat cafe. 
Alfie De Meow

Alfie De Meow is also available at Dulcetfig

Current fundraising need: Make a pledge to our ER Fund.
Make a financial gift via a deposit to our POSB savings account 188-52652-7.  Find out more.   Become a monthly giver to help ensure our rescues continue getting their needs met.   Feed and provide litter to the cats we foster via our corporate sponsor The Water Dish.    Follow on us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Salary Crowdfunding For Elaine Manager Of LKP

To remain aboveboard in line with ROS statutes which states no member can gain financially from the society's income, Elaine is crowdfunding her salary separately. Do read, give and share.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Pre-Launch: Emergency Response Fund #lkp2014 #ERfund

Update 25 April 2014: We are $75 away from our $500 total a month in pledges for monthly donations to the ER Fund. Help us make it there. Pledge now. Details below. 

Imagine this scenario: a passerby comes across a stray cat that is clearly injured, and wants to help cats. He is however either unemployed, deep in debt, or a student. He is willing to foster the cat if Love Kuching's foster space is full, but he cannot afford to bring the cat to the vet. What else are his options?
At present: none.
Unfortunately, what most people in this predicament do, is to bring this cat to the vet anyway, then owe the vet clinic the bill, and thereafter try their luck fundraising on social media. If no funds can be raised for the bill, the rescuer often does not return to the same vet again, and the doctors are unable to make decisions that could better the cat's health, simply because the rescuer has gone missing. If the cat is no longer at the clinic, the rescuer who may need a review consultation will not go back to the vet she owes money to, also detrimental to the cat's welfare being ferried place to place with piecemeal medical histories and perhaps with a less experienced vet doing the review.
Last year, we launched the Stray Cat Fund to help cats in such scenarios, including cats that also get fostered by us. It was a rough draft, and skeletal in operations. We closed the Stray Cat Fund end of last year because in its place we are hoping to launch the Emergency Response Fund, or ER Fund.
The ER Fund is a more means-testing based, logistically airtight structure that will help such cats who need funds to see the vet but can be fostered outside of our foster space. It works together with our soon to be launched Foster Network that will support these external foster caregivers whose foster cats benefited from the ER Fund.
Here are some of the basics on how the ER Fund will work:
1. A Love Kuching volunteer will have to be present at the vet clinic (The Animal Clinic, Katong) in order for the ER Fund to be used for paying the cat's vet bill. Payment will be on site with no outstanding owed to the clinic when the cat leaves.
2. Love Kuching will be registered as an owner of the stray cat and be the sole decision-maker for the cat's treatment after consulting with the vet. This is to reduce unnecessary tests and expensive treatments when more economic yet effective solutions are available. 
3. The ER Fund can only be used for the same cat once. Subsequent vet visits will not be paid for by Love Kuching. Should subsequent reviews be required, the rescuer should have ample lead time to raise funds on her own for the cat before going back for reviews. Should the same rescuer encounter a new stray cat needing the ER Fund the same rule applies in that Love Kuching will disburse the Fund for this new cat once only. 
4. The ER Fund can only be used for a cat if there is an available foster caregiver, the rescuer himself. If the rescuer is unable to foster and Love Kuching's foster space is full, going forward our Foster Network that will soon be launched will fill this gap. In either scenario, the ER Fund cannot be used for any cat that has no aftercare provision to prevent overstaying in the vet clinic under costly hospitalisation. 
5. Every rescuer under the ER Fund scheme needs to register with us. The database of rescuers will also help us to track the cats that have benefited under the ER Fund. We reserve the right to terminate relationships with any of the rescuers.  
6. Triage: the ER Fund will have a fall below sum of $500. When the ER Fund is at or below $500, cases will be triaged. Only cats that are in life-threatening scenarios that will benefit from intervention will be allowed to use the ER Fund. Cats with comparatively minor ailments, or are beyond intervention, will not be allowed access to the ER Fund once we have reached the triage stage. 

This pre-launch is a brief overlay of what the ER Fund will be used for. If you believe that this is something the local cat rescue industry needs, we need your help. 

We want to achieve the fall below fee of $500 monthly so that at the very least, cats requiring life-saving intervention can benefit from the ER Fund. We hope to achieve this by monthly donations to the Fund, to a total of $500 and above. Thereafter, lump-sum donations above $500 can be used to benefit other stray cats without triage. 
To achieve this, we would like to invite you to pledge a monthly sum you can set aside via standing instruction to the ER Fund. When we have reached pledges of $500 in total, we will launch the ER Fund and start helping stray cats immediately. we are only asking for pledges right now, to test the feasability of our target fall-below sum of $500. When this sum has been achieved you will be contacted to set up your standing instructions.
How to pledge: Email us with your name and monthly ER Fund pledge amount . On our end, we will tally these pledges and announce firstly over social media that we have reached our target and thereafter contact you on how to set up your standing instruction. 
There is no time limit to this. The sooner we can hit $500 and above in monthly pledges, the sooner with can launch the ER Fund. 
Questions? Feedback? Drop us a line at elaine@lovekuchingproject.org

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