Three years since it officially opened its doors to orphaned cats, and a couple of months after a public dispute with landlords and various government agencies, the Cat Museum, Muses & Mansions of Singapore has announced that it’ll shut down for good come June 10.
The Purvis Street sanctuary for rescued cats and kittens is now seeking to raise S$1 million to find a new permanent space and make a comeback by the year’s end — but first, it’ll have to find folks to adopt the 24 felines remaining in the premises. “Save The Cat Museum — 100 Days of Hope” will soon be rolled out across several crowdfunding websites and through events, noted The Cat Museum’s founder Jessica Seet.
The troubles in sustaining the cat shelter and adoption center first started surfacing in September last year when Seet had a falling-out with the premises’ landlord. Initially occupying three whole floors, the Ministry of National Development and the Urban Renewal Authority took issue with Seet making unauthorized use of the third and fourth floors of the building — licensed as residential premises — as a “cat shelter cum adoption center”, which requires a different license.
Receiving official enforcement notices didn’t sit well with the landlord, and he did not renew Seet’s lease for those two floors. As such, she had to move the dozens of kittens and cats to the second floor, where it currently operates. Until June 10 that is, when Seet’s lease on its premises expires.
In a news release, Seet also claimed that on top of refusing to renew the lease, the landlord is not intending to return her S$21,000 deposit, citing unreasonable repairs. If true, then that’s pretty dastardly.
Million dollar dream
The Cat Museum now hopes to raise S$1 million for a down payment to buy out a permanent space, which Seet plans to dub the Kitty Orphanage, Kitten Kindergarten & Nursery.
“(The tenancy issues) got us on the path of thinking we should buy a place. If we continued to rent, we would always encounter issues like this,” said Seet in a Channel NewsAsia interview.
The funds will also go towards education programmes and workshops for potential stray cat adopters, as well as to help seized street cats through partnerships with the Agri-Food Veterinary Authority (AVA). Working closely with the MND is also in the plans — a wise decision to avoid another dispute with the authorities.
You can find out more details on how to chip in on The Cat Museum’s Facebook page.