I sometimes volunteer with the Cat Welfare Society (CWS) in Singapore. In October 2017 I helped out during a cat adoption drive held at Novena United Square shopping centre. Although my role was restricted to selling merchandise to raise funds for the CWS, I made the unfortunate mistake of falling in love with three kittens who are in need of a loving home. I have a good home with plenty of space, could I possibly adopt them?
The CWS is a non-profit organisation that helps to save feline lives by finding homes for stray cats and encouraging responsible ownership through sterilisation and awareness programs. The CWS does not have a physical cat shelter in Singapore, so volunteers foster stray and abandoned cats and rely on organised adoption drives to find permanent homes for them.
I volunteered at a recent adoption drive at Novena United Square. My job was to help sell kitty-inspired clothes, accessories, calendars and other merchandise to raise funds for CWS. The CWS predominately relies on donations to maintain operations so every little penny counts towards their noble mission. During the day however, I could not help but abandon my post and visit all the caged cats. There were over 20 felines at the cat adoption drive, which were on display at the basement of the shopping centre. Passersby were allowed to play, pet and hold the cats in the hopes that a nice family might decide to adopt one.
There were so many sad stories to be told here. One kitty at the cat adoption drive named Melody was found abandoned in busy Little India, where she had to contend with much traffic and nasty people in order to survive. Melody was only one and a half years old and had distinguished markings on her face that made her very sweet. Her foster carer put a pair of cotton bunny ears on her head to make her appear even more cute to encourage interest from shoppers. However, because she was an older cat many of the visitors did not pat or hug her. She sat looking very sad and lonesome in her cage.
Another cat called Tubsy was pitch black with wide green eyes and a knitted red scarf around his neck. The foster carer said he was affectionate and loved head butts and cuddles. Unfortunately a cat like Tubsy is unlikely to be adopted. Asian people dislike black cats as they are considered bad luck or evil, so many black street cats remain homeless or are put down to death.
I also came across two adorable white boy kittens at the cat adoption drive, who were brothers. Their names were Tux and Mo. They were bought into the world by a young mother named Layla, who had been repeatedly abandoned by irresponsible owners. The boys were only 7 weeks old and were named after an active adopter-turned volunteer who has now passed away.
However it was a triplet of black, ginger and grey kittens that really captured my heart. Despite being starkly different colours, the kittens are all siblings from the same litter. This is probably because they have the same mother but different fathers, which is actually quite possible in the feline world. Because these kittens were found abandoned on the street and may have been badly treated, they are suspicious of human interaction and will start meowing, crying and hissing whenever people come close to them. These babies were only 5 weeks old and were in desperate need of a loving home. They are extremely close to one another, always cuddling together, so it would be cruel to separate them.
My husband and I live in a spacious two bedroom apartment close to Little India. One of our bedrooms is completely vacant and our place receives a lot of natural light. Although we are high up on the 23rd floor, we never open the windows because we use air conditioning to maintain the temperature. My husband and I have both grown up with pets and have a deep love of cats. We would dearly love to adopt these three kittens. Our only concern is, what happens if we leave Singapore? It is very much our intent to stay in Singapore forever. However at this moment we are both reliant on work permits to remain here. Whilst we currently have stable jobs, you never know what can happen in the future. If we lose our job, surely we could easily find another one? Otherwise, if we need to move back to Europe, we could transport our kittens with us.
We are in turmoil over the decision. Are three kittens too much for a two bedroom apartment? Should we separate these close siblings and just adopt one of them? What do you think, should we adopt all three of these lovely kittens?