A cat-and-mouse game

A cat-and-mouse game
Ms Angela Ling, from Cat Welfare Society, spots a community cat which she has been observing for the past year. The cat feeds at the 11th floor of a block in Hougang and urinates and defecates at the other levels.

SINGAPORE - There are about 30 cats living around 10 blocks in Hougang Avenue 8 and company executive Angela Ling says she knows each cat by name and personality.

The 37-year-old lived in the area for more than 20 years before she moved to Sengkang seven years ago, but she has remained attached to the Hougang cats.

Ms Ling used to accompany her late mother on her cat-feeding rounds in the estate.

And for the past 10 years, she has been playing another important role: protecting these cats if residents complain about them.

Ms Ling, who is the vice-president of the Cat Welfare Society (CWS), works closely with the area's town council to mediate on cat-related issues.

She is one of the mediators from the group, which handled more than 2,000 cases last year.

Ms Ling, who is not paid for her efforts, said the reward is in knowing that fewer cats are culled.

She is also actively involved in the Trap-Neuter-Return-Manage programme that was started by the CWS.

It involves allowing a cat back to its original environment after it has been caught and sterilised.

She said: "Simply removing cats from the community is not the solution because of the vacuum effect.

"Cats are territorial, so the number of cats within a community will usually stay constant because the new cats will be chased away. However, if you remove the original cats, new cats will move into the unoccupied space."

The volunteer, who has a full-time job, started out with mediation cases in Hougang, but has since been involved in cases in other neighbourhoods such as Serangoon and Sengkang.

Ms Ling, who is married, spends two to three hours a week on mediation work.

She said: "There was no official training, but we learnt on the job and will liaise with the CWS when we have any queries."


"Although this job affects my personal time, I don't mind because it is my passion."

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