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I am SO MAD right now!

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
An email was forwarded to me by a friend who is involved in wildlife rescue work.

The email is rather long, so I will only copy bits of it here in blue.

A hunched-back old lady in her 70s are hoarding about 30 cats and 2 dogs in her 3 room HDB flat. Her kids have abandoned her because they could not deal with the sight of her living condition. The flat hasn't been cleaned in 4 years. It's smelly, dirty and there are cat faeces and urine everywhere. The walls are blackened with stain and the wall crevices are breeding cockroaches and all kinds of household pests. The place is littered with soiled newspapers, decomposed raw chicken heads (cats were fed raw chicken heads) and maggots. Lots and lots of maggots and cockroaches!

The cats are all terrified ! and cowering in corners and under old furniture because they probably hasn't seen daylight in eternity. They are not sterilised, most are sick and infected because of the contaminated environment. Kittens are dying everywhere. We found a dozen of kittens with serious eye infection but only managed to smuggle 2 to the vet. One little persian baby has lost her eyeball, which was protruded about 1 cm out of her eye socket.

Another kitten has 2 protruding eyeballs from her eye sockets, and was bleeding but the old lady refused to let me take her to the vet. She ties the cats and kittens in bundles to tables and chairs so that they don't run far.

The dog, Mei Mei, is tied to the bed permanently. Only once a week, when the volunteer s go down to clean the place, then will Mei Mei get to run around freely.


I am so MAD right now!

The authorities apparently cannot do anything because the old woman threatens to kill herself if anyone takes her animals away, even if its for a trip to the vet... Its ridiculous!

Even though Lynn and her friends are doing a good deed by helping the old lady, the thing that really gets me is that they are actually going to RETURN animals who cannot be fostered out to the old lady.

This lady is obviously not in the right mental and physical health to take care of even one animal, let alone 30 cats and 2 dogs! Just for your info, a 3-room HDB (government-built) flat is a tiny tiny space. A family of 4 humans would already find it a squeeze.

Here's the link to Lynn's blog, where she documents in more details her encounter with the old lady and the place she stays in. Also, there are some horrendous pictures in there. My heart aches for the poor Persian kitten. http://babywail.multiply.com/journal...ell_and_Back..
post #2 of 22
That sucks, why do the cats have to suffer like that? Poor cats.
post #3 of 22
That is so crazy! Someone needs to sneak some of those cats out. That place is disgusting and filthy. I hate to sounds callous but they need to take the cats regardless of her threats.
post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
I have emailed Lynn and she has replied. Here's her reply:

We are not out of our minds. At this point, the old woman is not even allowing us to touch any of her cats or dogs. The animals that I smuggled out will not be returned to her.

You make it sound so easy to just give the old lady one pet or 2, but this is not as easy done as it is said. Getting the authorities involved is not an option because they'll just send all the animals for culling. I have seen how animals were treated at AVA before being killed so this hell is still better than that hell.

I have people telling me this and that but this is a very sensitive case. We are dealing with someone who is very sick, mentally and physically. We care for her well-being as much as we care for the animals. We don't want to cause an Old Lady to die just to save a bunch of animals. So, we can only clean up and medicate the animals since she's not allowing us to remove them. I hope you understand where we are coming from and don't judge us wrongly. We are all trying our best and we're very very tired.

Thanks for your interest in this case.


So far, Lynn and her friends have only managed to smuggle out 3 kittens. Only these 3 kittens will not be returned to the old lady. Apparently, Lynn and her friends are concerned that the lady will take the loss of her animals so badly that she may die, and they're not willing to sacrifice that to save the lives of "a bunch of animals". Its obvious they only have the lady's interests at heart.

Singapore is such a hopeless society, where animals don't have rights at all. I'm just so sickened.
post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
Latest update... I MAY foster one of the kittens. I do not even know if this kitten is a male or female, but its one of the kittens that Lynn and her friends have managed to smuggle out without the old lady's knowledge. The kitten currently needs medication, so it needs to be fostered before going to its furever home. Its 2 months old. I have asked for a picture as well as details of its medical condition and medication needs.

I've got a familiar feeling of excitement now, even though I know I won't be able to help the rest of the 30 odd cats and 2 dogs. I may be able to make a difference for this little one!

Some of you may know I used to have Cassie and Wukong, and kept them with me while waiting for someone to come adopt them. Meanwhile my parents found out and didn't speak to me for a month because the absolutely hate cats to the extent of my mother threatening to throw boiling water at any stray cat that comes into our backyard (don't worry, I convinced her to fence up the yard to prevent cats from coming in instead).

Now they are abroad and won't be back anytime soon. The only other person at home is my domestic helper, whom I'm thinking of bribing with extra money each month so she'll not tell them about the kitten.

Oh gosh I really want to help this little youngster find another chance at life. Could you guys send me some Hope vibes please?
post #6 of 22
This is terrible and makes me want to cry What country does this lady live in? Is she was in the USA, the police could easily place her on a 5150 hold at a psychiatric hospital since she is expressing suicidal gestures.
post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blast-Off-Girl View Post
This is terrible and makes me want to cry What country does this lady live in? Is she was in the USA, the police could easily place her on a 5150 hold at a psychiatric hospital since she is expressing suicidal gestures.
Well this lady lives in Singapore, where I live too. Lynn (the lady who is trying to bring the animals to vets and help the old lady as well) is volunteering on her own accord and does not belong to any volunteer society.

As such, she does not have the clout to force the lady to give up the animals. And neither do I, sadly. If I could, I'd definitely take the animals by force and foster them all. Unfortunately, I cannot do this. Even fostering one kitten could get me into serious trouble with my parents.

Singapore as a society is definitely NOT pro-animal. I suspect, for this case, authorities have decided that dealing with it just to save the animals is too much effort, so they have decided to back off due to the lady's threats. Its very very sad.

On a brighter note, I will be meeting the little 2 month old kitten tomorrow at the vet's!! I'm excited. I really hope I can foster him/her to health and find him/her a great home.
post #8 of 22
This is a difficult case where the volunteers have been getting flak from both ends, for not doing enough for the old lady and for not doing enough for the animals.

but through all this, they have managed to make very good progress and in a reasonable time to manage both the old lady and to save the cats. For anyone interested in following this case, you can read the updates on http://babywail.multiply.com/journal/item/56

as volunteers, no matter how strongly we feel about something, making quick drastic decisions for change all at once can backfire and i am very happy to see that the volunteers have kept a cool head and approached this issue with care.

with this progress behind them, more can now be done on an effective long term solution for the future.
post #9 of 22
I feel sorry for the old woman. Especially in light of how dire the situation for cats can be in Singapore. She probably thought she was saving them and she is most likely lonely.

Perhaps she can keep some 2 or 3 of the healthy ones though I think she most likely she will only find more to hoard.

BW-Is it possible to keep the kitten in your room only?
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
I've been so busy updating about Chance (the kitten that was saved from this home) that I've completely forgotten to update this thread.

Well from the email Lynn sent out, it sounded like she and her fellow volunteers ALREADY had all the cats or had ready access to them and were prepared to send them to the vet, get them cleaned up and then return them to the old lady. That's what got me so completely angry.

I met Lynn at the vet's while picking Chance up, and her explanation of the whole situation was that the cats are actually still at the lady's house, and any cats that could be rescued out would not be returned.

Of course, I do understand it is darn difficult and expensive to board cats long-term especially if they are sick and unadoptable. Yeah this is really a "between a rock and a hard place" kinda situation.

That said, I don't have any pity for the old lady. Anyone who abuses animals gets no slack from me. If she's mentally ill, then her own children should take up this responsibility and either take care of her or arrange for medical care.

CC12: I am currently fostering Chance now while my parents are away. My parents definitely cannot know of his existence. Nope, not possible to keep in my room either. According to my mother, the house belongs to my parents and not me, so "my room" isn't my room at all, but part of HER house. I don't have a shred of privacy, she reads my mail as well, and ransacks any part of my room as and when she pleases. Convincing her to let me keep a kitten/cat is definitely out of the question.
post #11 of 22
That is too bad Baby Wukong because you love cats so much. Will you be able to be out on your own anytime soon? I am not sure of your age and situation.

I know the old lady is being abusive but she doesn't think that she is and is mentally ill. Hoarding animals usually points to some serious mental health issues. If she has children they should be ashamed of themselves leaving their mother to live like that. Unless of course she abused them too and they want nothing to do with her. So many unknowns in her case.

My mother doesn't like cats either. She keeps telling me that she refuses to stay with me because of my cats. She wishes I had none and always tries to hint to me that I should get rid of them. There is a reason I live thousands of miles away.
post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CC12 View Post
That is too bad Baby Wukong because you love cats so much. Will yo be able to be out on your own anytime soon? I am not sure of your age and situation.

I know the old lady is being abusive but she doesn't think that she is and is mentally ill. Hoarding animals usually points to some serious mental health issues. If she has children they should be ashamed of themselves leaving their mother to live like that. Unless of course she abused them too and they want nothing to do with her. So many unknowns in her case.

My mother doesn't like cats either. She keeps telling me that she refuses to stay with me because of my cats. She wishes I had none and always tries to hint to me that I should get rid of them. There is a reason I live thousands of miles away.
Hmm well there are many differences between the Asian culture and Western culture, especially when it comes to families. My parents have actually told me that if I move out, we'll not be considered family any longer... So that sucks. I'm already more than old enough to move out, but my parents won't hear of it, unfortunately. I'd love to have a cat or two of my own, definitely, but I don't know how long I'll have to wait, or what the future will hold.
post #13 of 22
If they really care about the woman's welfare, tell them that allowing her to live in filth is putting her health in jeopardy, as well as the health of any humans that live close to her house. Filth like that is a breeding ground for disease.
post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweet72947 View Post
If they really care about the woman's welfare, tell them that allowing her to live in filth is putting her health in jeopardy, as well as the health of any humans that live close to her house. Filth like that is a breeding ground for disease.
From what I hear, I don't think the woman is easy to persuade. As for the filth, who knows how long she's been living among that. She seems to thrive while the poor kittens are dying.

Its also really really strange that instead of complaining, her neighbours are the ones who donate cats and kittens to this old lady.. Seriously, I have no idea what they are thinking!
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by CC12 View Post
I feel sorry for the old woman.
So do I. What purpose was there in referring to her 'hunch back' other than to make her seem like an old witch or Quasimodo? She's probably very lonely and trying to do her best "saving" cats from the streets. It's a sad indictment of modern society that she can't trust anyone to help her or the cats. Cats should not have to live like that, but neither should humans.
post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Epona View Post
So do I. What purpose was there in referring to her 'hunch back' other than to make her seem like an old witch or Quasimodo? She's probably very lonely and trying to do her best "saving" cats from the streets. It's a sad indictment of modern society that she can't trust anyone to help her or the cats. Cats should not have to live like that, but neither should humans.
Ermm, I think there was no purpose, other than that she really has a hunched back?

The volunteers (who drafted that email I copied in blue in my very first post) working on this case definitely feel sorry for this old lady, so I don't think they will purposely try to make people harbour negative feelings about her.

I agree she's probably very lonely and has some kind of mental illness, but thinking of all those poor suffering cats makes me too mad to feel sorry for her. Its always the poor defenseless animals that suffer the most when humans go to pieces. At least humans have the power of speech to voice their frustrations and other humans can help them. For so long, who could these poor cats cry out to?

The good news is that the volunteers have succeeded in rescuing somemore cats from the house, and there are about 10 plus cats left in there. Hopefully more will be rescued, and that the old lady's neighbours quit giving her more cats.
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by BabyWukong View Post
Hmm well there are many differences between the Asian culture and Western culture, especially when it comes to families. My parents have actually told me that if I move out, we'll not be considered family any longer... So that sucks. I'm already more than old enough to move out, but my parents won't hear of it, unfortunately. I'd love to have a cat or two of my own, definitely, but I don't know how long I'll have to wait, or what the future will hold.
Ok I understand more now.
My father used to go to Singapore for business and he loved it. He used to bring us back all kinds of beautiful things. For some reason I was thinking of it more Westernized than it probably is.
Hopefully one day you will be able to actually have a cat of your own.
post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 
You're quite right in saying that Singapore is westernized, but that is as a country. However, we have quite a diverse population in terms of race and culture, and my parents belong to an older generation of Chinese who are very traditional in their way of thinking, whereas the younger generation, like myself, tend to have more westernized views
post #19 of 22
Speaking as someone in the mental health field, it really gets under my skin that some of you can't understand how "sick" this woman is. I love animals as much as the next person and hate to see them mistreated. But please have a soul and remember to see both sides of the story. This isn't the USA, this is a country that doesn't have senior social services--there is a fine line to walk in this situation. I find it very unfair to think that people should go in and pull all of the animals out and risk this woman's life--when ultimately many of the cats would probably need euthanized. This needs to be a slow process for the sake of this woman's mental, emotional and physical health.

Leslie
post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack31 View Post
Speaking as someone in the mental health field, it really gets under my skin that some of you can't understand how "sick" this woman is. I love animals as much as the next person and hate to see them mistreated. But please have a soul and remember to see both sides of the story. This isn't the USA, this is a country that doesn't have senior social services--there is a fine line to walk in this situation. I find it very unfair to think that people should go in and pull all of the animals out and risk this woman's life--when ultimately many of the cats would probably need euthanized. This needs to be a slow process for the sake of this woman's mental, emotional and physical health.

Leslie
If I'm included in the "some of you" category", I'm sure you're not implying that I MUST feel sorry for the lady. Everyone's entitled to his/her own views and opinions. I just happen to always stand on the animals' side if I had a choice, that's all.
post #21 of 22
Wow is all I have to say.
post #22 of 22
Thread Starter 
Yesterday evening I brought Chance to the vet and met Lynn (volunteer) there. She was telling me about the progress the volunteers have been making. I really applaud their efforts in cleaning up the place, especially when she described how they had to get rid of literally HUNDREDS of cockroaches from the house. I can imagine how horrible that was...

Anyway, I asked her how the old lady's two dogs were doing since her rescue effort seemed to be concentrated on the cats.

She said the old lady actually feeds the two dogs a wide variety of proper dog food while the cats got rotting raw chicken heads!! This strange old woman cooks chicken heads (still bad, but hey at least its not rotting) for the strays downstairs of her flat, but gives raw chicken heads to the cats in her home because "they have shelter, so they don't need good food". What on earth?!

She's completely warped, I know its a mental illness, but my Lord, is she biased or what??
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