KTM railway cats, other rescued felines up for adoption

SLA | March 2012

The Spooner Story – From Workers' Quarters to HDB Rental Flats Ong Eng Hui The former KTMB workers' quarters at Spooner Road was handed over to SLA as part of the KTM railway premises returned to the State on 1 July 2011. The site comprises two blocks of flats - the Kemuning Residential Block and the Melati Residential Block. SLA has been working closely with HDB to explore the use of the two blocks as interim rental housing for low income and needy families. While working with HDB to iron out the operational details for the handover of the site, SLA concurrently extended a helping hand to the Cat Welfare Society (CWS) by offering the premises as a temporary holding area for its cats. A total of 50-odd cats were re-homed during this period. "We are grateful to SLA for allowing caregivers entry into the area to continue to feed and manage the cats. Thank you very much for working with us for a humane solution for the animals," said Veron Lau, vice-president of CWS. Following months of meetings, site inspections and discussions between SLA and HDB, the 12,325-square metre site was officially tenanted to HDB on 22 December 2011, subject to renewal every 3 years for a maximum tenure of 10 years till 2021. The flats are estimated to be ready for public use by the fourth quarter of 2012. "We faced various challenges sorting out the operational issues, but we managed to overcome them by working hand-in-hand with SLA. We are really glad to have taken over the flats to boost the rental supply for our needy Singaporean families. This would not have been possible without the close working relationship and collaboration between SLA and HDB," said Bernard Ng, the HDB officer-in-charge of the Spooner Road project. The handover of the flats to HDB helps alleviate the shortage of rental housing in Singapore, and marks a significant milestone in SLA's efforts to collaborate with relevant agencies as a whole-of-government approach to optimize the use of the various former KTM buildings. Source: SLA

MyPaper | Oct 3, 2011

Older KTM cats charm would-be owners Sophie Hong

THEY are no longer the cute kittens that they once were. But the abandoned felines from Tanjong Pagar Railway Station - also known as Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) cats - still have their share of admirers. One such cat lover is Ms Maria Braberry, a 25-year-old copywriter, who fell for the quiet charms of a ginger tabby named Shiro. At eight years old, Shiro would be approaching its 50s in human terms. "I have a soft spot for older cats, because they are often passed over for little kittens which are always snapped up really quickly," said Ms Braberry. "Plus, he seemed really sad. Since there are so many stray cats around, I might as well adopt instead of buy one," she added. What sealed the deal for Ms Braberry was when she tried to talk to Shiro and it mewed piteously back. Ms Braberry met Shiro at an adoption drive held yesterday at the Pet Safari store in nex shopping mall. Out of the 15 cats there, five were KTM cats. Three of the KTM cats, including Shiro, were adopted, while 10 other cats are pending adoption. About 50 cats were found abandoned after the railway station closed in June. Close to 20 of them have been re-claimed by their former owners. Another 10 are undergoing rehabilitation to get them used to humans, while 15 have been successfully rehabilitated. Among the rehabilitated cats, eight have been adopted, mostly through adoption drives organised jointly by the Cat Welfare Society and Pet Lovers Foundation. Ms Fareena Omar, president of the society, said: "This collaboration provided a platform for us to spread the message of 'adopt, don't buy' among potential pet owners. "The response from the public has been good so far, and the adoption rate exceeded our expectations." For details on the cat adoption drives, visit www.catwelfare.org or www.petloverscentre.com Source: AsiaOne

TODAY | Oct 1, 2011

KTM cats in search of new homes Esther Ng

With the former KTM railway station at Tanjong Pagar having shut its doors, the cats that have been abandoned there are now looking for a new home. Some of the 50 cats left at the station will be looking for new owners at an adoption drive by the Cat Welfare Society (CWS) at Nex shopping mall tomorrow, which will also include other rescued cats. Only five of the KTM cats have found homes, said the CWS, which sterilised 30 of the cats. Some 20 were later re-claimed by their owners, among them KTM staff formerly based there. A recent trend observed by the CWS during two adoption drives in the past month: More people are adopting older cats than kittens. "Over 50 per cent of the cats adopted are six months old or older," said CWS president Fareena Omar. One reason is that some have realised that older cats are more suited to working lifestyles. Said Ms Fareena: "Adult cats are less hyper, more independent and often have a calmer temperament." Some of the KTM cats have found homes. One of them is Daddy, a three-year-old ginger cat, adopted by civil servant Hans Eikaas. "Actually, it was my six-year-old daughter's choice," said Dr Eikaas. "We used to live with a 14-year-old cat and we think that older pets are used to people, toilet-trained already and can often handle children quite well." Source: TODAY

VegVibe | Sep 2011

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The Straits Times | Sep 4, 2011

KTM railway cats, other rescued felines up for adoption Grace Chua

A month-old female kitten was found in a warehouse at Tanjong Pagar Railway Station, after the station went out of service in July. Within a month at foster carer Harvon Goh's Pasir Ris home, the ginger and white feline nearly doubled in size. Now, it is the first of the 'KTM cats' - affectionately named for the Keretapi Tanah Melayu train station that was their home - to be adopted. The Cat Welfare Society (CWS) and pet shop chain Pet Lovers Centre are holding a three-month adoption drive, from Sunday, for the KTM cats and other rescued felines. About 50 cats were left behind when Tanjong Pagar Railway Station closed, and volunteers from CWS have been feeding and caring for them. The society is also working to sterilise them, said CWS vice-president Veron Lau. But not all the KTM cats are suitable for adoption, she said. Some dislike being confined or held. About 20 cats are now in a rehabilitation area at the closed railway station, getting accustomed to human companionship. Adopters are screened. They must pay an adoption fee of $40, and CWS will visit their homes to deliver the animals and teach them how to cat-proof the house. 'We not only have to screen the cat for adoptability, but we also have to screen the owner for suitability,' Ms Lau said. Five KTM cats of varying ages are up for adoption in the first drive today, at the Pet Safari store in VivoCity from 3pm to 8pm. For more information, visit www.catwelfare.org or www.petloverscentre.com Source: The Straits Times

Lianhe Wanbao | Sep 3, 2011

星洲日报 | Sep 3, 2011 新加坡‧丹戎巴葛火车站‧20猫等人领养 (新加坡3日讯)丹戎巴葛火车站已人去楼空,但里头仍住着20只猫! 这20只猫的主人,是前铁道公司的职员及火车站商店的租户。 继火车站6月30日关闭后,可爱的猫咪就被主人舍弃在里头,无人照顾。 一群爱猫者见状,立即联络猫福利协会。协会转而向土地管理局提出申请,重新进入丹戎巴葛火车站,照顾猫咪。 当局批准申请后,协会的两名义工每周三次到火车站,每次携带三公斤的猫食及数公升的食水,喂养小猫。 协会透露,原本在火车站一共找到50只猫,至今已有近40只猫完成手术,并尽快为它们寻找新主人。 猫福利协会副总裁刘韵冰透露,约一半已进行绝育的小猫,可随时让人领养。 Source: 星洲日报

MyPaper | Sep 2, 2011

First of 50 railway station cats finds home Sophie Hong

A KITTEN has become the first of some 50 cats at the now-defunct Tanjong Pagar Railway Station to find a new home. Previously looked after by railway workers and Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) tenants, those cats were left behind after the station closed on June 30. Since then, the Cat Welfare Society (CWS) has been caring for them, with two volunteers going to the station thrice a week with food and water. "When I was there, the harsh reality of the lives of the stray cats hit me and I was saddened by the situation," said Ms Harvon Goh, 37, a supporter of CWS. Ms Goh has been fostering the ginger tabby since it was five weeks old, and will hand the now-seven- week-old feline to its owner when he returns from an overseas trip on Sept 16. CWS is working to sterilise all the KTM cats. Progress has been good, with close to 40 cats neutered, but a few are still too wary of humans to be put on the surgical table. Ms Veron Lau, vice- president of CWS, said: "We are slowly gaining their trust with regular feedings and interaction." Besides that, CWS is rehabilitating 20 cats in an abandoned block at the railway station previously used to accommodate railway workers. The block was provided by the Singapore Land Authority. This is to allow them to get used to human companionship before they can be put up for adoption. "We will assess them on health and temperament, and on whether they are more suitable to be homed, sheltered or to become community cats," said Ms Lau on the future of the cats. Those interested to adopt a cat will be able to do so at an upcoming three-month community cat- adoption drive. It is organised by CWS and Pet Lovers Foundation. Potential adopters will have to fill up a screening form and go through a selection process. A home visit will be conducted for applicants who pass the screening process, and they will also have to pay an adoption fee of $40. The cat-adoption drive will begin on Sunday and end on Dec 11. For more information, visit www. catwelfare.org or www.petloverscentre.com Source: AsiaOne

CWS | Sep 4, 2011

How you can help KTM cats

1) Foster a KTM Cat 2) Adopt a KTM Cat 3) Donate cat litter for the holding area 4) Donate cat food of respectable brand (Sanabelle/Fussie Cat) 5) Help drive gerry cans of water to the station as water supply is cut off at the station. Entry to SLA is restricted. We will be arranging a drop off point of donated things at the Spooner Road entrance to the KTM from 2 - 4pm this Saturday. Please email veron@catwelfare.org

MyPaper | July 28, 2011

Help for 50 felines left at Tanjong Pagar train station Rachel Chan

Few know this, but some 50 occupants still live inside the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station and other former Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) premises nearby. They are cats previously owned by railway workers and tenants, who left them behind when the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) sealed the station's entrance at midnight on June 30. Most of them skulk in the nooks and crannies of the huge compound, deprived of human contact. Thankfully, they have not been forgotten. A small band of cat feeders took notice of them and wrote to the Cat Welfare Society (CWS) last month. The latter then asked the SLA for permission to re-enter the premises to look after the cats. Since then, two volunteers drive to the premises three times a week, armed with 3kg of cat food and several litres of bottled water each time. It is no easy task. It takes 20 minutes to walk from the main gate to the feeding points within the station grounds, which is estimated to be 11/2 times the size of the Padang. But the cat lovers want to do more for the felines' long-term welfare. CWS plans to sterilise 80 per cent of the cats, and re-home the kittens and the more sociable adult felines. On Tuesday night, CWS vice-president Veron Lau, accompanied by cat trapper Rebecca Ho and feeder Sandy Lim, captured 12 cats for sterilisation in the first mass-trapping exercise. Ms Lim said: "I hope that the KTM cats can be given rehabilitation space to live out their lives in a no-culling zone, within the vast railway territory." Yesterday, the SLA and the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) said in a joint statement that the two government agencies are working closely with CWS on "a permanent solution to re-house the cats". They said that AVA "serves in an advisory role, in the discussion on the plan for the cats", and it "loans traps to CWS for it to trap cats for sterilisation". They added: "We understand that CWS is helping to sterilise the cats and will be putting them up for adoption by cat lovers, and (is helping) to re-house the cats in proper shelters. We thank CWS for being proactive and helpful." But not all the cats are suitable to be adopted or rehomed, said Ms Lau. "People are often under the mistaken notion that strays would be better off in shelters. However, we have seen animals waste away in a matter of months, from depression and stress. Temperament must be taken into consideration - these are, after all, community cats and have been so for years," she said. As for the sterilised cats, 11 of them will be rehabilitated in a holding area, which is an apartment in the former workers' quarters in Spooner Road - away from the track-removal works at the station. Rehabilitation is necessary to assess the cats' temperament and suitability for adoption, said Ms Lau. Those interested in adopting a KTM cat can contact CWS via its website (www.catwelfare.org) or Facebook page. CWS will also be putting up some 10 kittens and adult cats for adoption at Pet Safari in VivoCity on Sept 4. Source: AsiaOne

ST Razor TV | July 28, 2011

What will happen to the KTM stray cats? Rachel Scully THEY roam along the KTM tracks and staff quarters at Tanjong Pagar Railway Station and call it home. Fifty abandoned cats have gone without food and water after the closure of Tanjong Pagar Railway Station on July 1. The station and tracks now sit on State Land which is managed and owned by the Singapore Land Authority and is not open to the public. But animal activist, Sandy Lim, is on a mission to rescue these cats and to sterilise them before returning them to their natural home where they can live their lives without breeding and bearing unwanted kittens. In a collaboration with the Cat Welfare Society, Sandy drives from her home in Changi to Tanjong Pagar Railway Station at least twice a week to feed the stray cats. For more on how the KTM cats are managed, watch RazorTV. Source: Straits Times

CWS | July 28, 2011 Help for KTM cats

When we inherited the Tanjong Pagar KTM land, we also inherited it's beautiful architecture, greenery and it's cats. There are currently a group of tireless caregivers who continue to look after the cats at the KTM. The SLA has kindly provided these caregivers entry onto the premises as well as a designated feeding area for the cats.This is to ensure that the cats' welfare can be looked into and the population contained through sterilisation. Due to the initial trauma of having their previous owners move away and the heavy disposal works that was carried out, the cats had dispersed from their locations and were hiding in the outlying buildings. The caregivers have conducted several search and rescue operations in the area already and their efforts in setting up a feeding station also drew back some of the dispersed cats to prevent an animal welfare issue. More however can be done to ensure the safety of these cats.

Some people have asked why we do not relocate the cats to a safer location. The question is, what is a safer location? These cats have been living in the open on this land for years. They are not suited to be relocated to a shelter. Some are also not rehomable due to lack of sociability. Our HDB estates should also not have to be overburdened with an increase of cats.. The cats call KTM their home and they should be able to continue their existence there. With the many positive and encouraging inter-organisational dialogues about turning this heritage space into a green space, future plans for the area should accomodate the existence of these cats as we seek to control and reduce the population through humane and sustainable means.

If you'd like to help the KTM cats to ensure their welfare and preserve their home, do contact veron@catwelfare.org. Let's work together to help these cats preserve their home.

We would like to thank the following for their kind and generous donation of cat supplies and for the sterilisation and treatment of the KTM cats: Steph Lee John Yek from RE&S Lynette Foo from Palate Sensations Lim Kim Yang Harvon Goh The Online Pet Store Lucky's Pet Haven PawMart We'd also like to thank the following volunteers for their dedication in looking after the welfare of the KTM cats over the past few months: Sandy Lim Yap Ai Lian Sofia Sharif Khartika Sharif Tan Shirin Lim Kim Yang Lim Cho Seng Wendy Ng Tasneem Peeraully

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