Trash Cat! Tampines town council apologizes for caging problem pooper in rubbish room

The Tampines rubbish center where the cat was found deprived of his freedom. Photos: Rachel YukiMizu/Facebook
The Tampines rubbish center where the cat was found deprived of his freedom. Photos: Rachel YukiMizu/Facebook

The Tampines town council has apologized for caging a cat and storing it in a public housing trash area.

In a statement, the council said it had ordered taken against the feline after fielding complaints it had been pooping and peeing outside a resident’s home. Those orders to “safely relocate the cat” however were relayed to a “relatively new” employee, it continued, seeming to pass the blame down the ranks.

Cat lover Rachel YukiMizu brought the unhappy puss to attention last week through photos and a video shared to an online community of cat slaves. She was apparently alerted by an eyewitness who claimed to see the trapped cat being brought into the rubbish center at the Tampines public housing estate by two cleaners.

The council said it never intended to leave the cat there.

The bin center was used as a temporary transit point. It was never our intention to cause any harm to the cat,” the post read, adding that it was an “isolated case” and that a warning had been issued to the newbie staffer. 

Town councils and NParks usually work with the Cat Welfare Society’s mediators on issues related to cat complaints. In this case, however, it appears that the nonprofit was not contacted. 

The society said Sunday that it was working with the relevant authorities to address the lapse in kitty protocols. In an online statement, it also highlighted irresponsible owners as a possible cause of the kitty’s plight. The cat had a collar around its neck; a sign that it is not a stray. 

“But first let’s identify the root cause of the problem. It is clearly not the pooping cat. It is his irresponsible owner who refused to keep him indoors, leaving him to wander the blocks,” the post read. 

Yukimizu had posted the photos and video to the Sayang Our Singapore’s Community Cats Facebook page. In her post, she wrote about being denied access to check on the incarcerated fuzzball. 

I approached the cleaning executive as a Cat Welfare Society volunteer to check if it’s a home or community cat … I was denied entry as the [town council] officer told the cleaning executive not to allow me to do anything,” she wrote, adding that she could hear the cat meowing from outside, sounding as if it was “in pain.”

She then contacted the society and police. Two officers and an official from the cat group then arrived at the scene, she added.  

The cat was released from the cage because it was having difficulty breathing, another clip posted by her showed. 

“We released the cat as the cat was overly stressed from being trapped. It was open mouth breathing – symptoms of respiratory arrest,” she wrote.

Here’s hoping he uses his renewed freedom to poop responsibly.

The now-released cat in Tampines.


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