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Claws out over a cat: Police called in after cafe owner and woman get into altercation in Bugis

Claws out over a cat: Police called in after cafe owner and woman get into altercation in Bugis
A woman stormed into a cat cafe on Monday and tried to forcefully retrieve a cat, claiming that the owner was mistreating it.
PHOTO: Shin Min Daily News

A tussle between two women over the ownership of a cat — amid allegations of theft, mistreatment and harassment — led to the police being called in.

The incident took place at Fuzzies, a co-working space cum cat cafe at Arab Street, on Monday (July 8).

Owner Lynn Loh, 27, told AsiaOne that a woman named Hani stormed into her shop, demanding to take back one of the cats called Uni. 

Hani, who was with her husband, had reportedly attempted to grab the cat multiple times, claiming that she was the rightful owner. 

But Loh said she had adopted Uni, a Persian mix, from Hani in May 2022. She added that she paid about $1,000, which covered the adoption fee, vaccination costs and other expenses. 

A distressed Loh, who was in tears, refused to let Hani take the cat away and called the cops. 

After the police arrived, the couple were allowed to leave with the cat, on account that Uni's microchip contained Hani's personal information. 

Speaking to Shin Min Daily News, Hani, 56, confirmed that Loh did adopt Uni two years ago, but claimed that she did not take care of the cat as instructed.

Hani accused Loh of mistreating and exploiting Uni by putting it in the cafe, adding that the feline is shy by nature and not suited to be in an environment filled with many people and other cats.

According to its website, Fuzzies, which opened two months ago, allows customers to interact with the cats while they work. It also offers video and board games. 

Theft, harassment accusations

Loh told AsiaOne on Wednesday that she and Hani got to know each other through a mutual friend, who had also adopted a cat from the latter. 

But Loh alleged that Hani had been harassing her and her husband about Uni since the adoption. "She called me every day, and sometimes it would be as late at 10pm or as early as 8am." 

When the calls got too stressful, Loh blocked Hani's number, but claimed the latter continued to contact her husband, badgering him for videos of Uni. 

One month after the adoption, Loh said Hani also turned up at her parent's home in Punggol, asking to take Uni back. By then, she had moved out of her parents' home.

"She got angry at me for not informing her when I moved," Loh added. 

After Loh and her husband stopped responding to her, she said Hani sent them several lawyer's letters, accusing them of stealing her cat. 

Referring to the incident on Monday, Loh said: "When they came, they tried to grab Uni. Even when she ran to hide behind the cathouse, they used a broom to poke her until she came out. I've never seen a cat lover treat a cat like this."

But in the end, she said she had no choice but to let Uni go with Hani as the microchip showed that the cat belonged to her. Her only proof of adoption is documented in her WhatsApp conversations with Hani. 

'I don't know if I'll get Uni back' 

Loh said that she has gotten in touch with a lawyer. "But I don't know if I'll get Uni back," she added. 

Loh, who has six other adopted cats, said she started Fuzzies because she felt bad about leaving her cats alone at home. She and her husband also run a few F&B businesses. 

"My husband and I both work and we leave the cats at home. Sometimes, we're too tired to spend time with them. With the cafe, I can let my customers entertain them," she said. 

She added that she's still in touch with the former owners of her cats and has no issues with them. 

"I still send them videos if they ask. It's understandable if they miss their cat, but Hani was really too much." 

READ ALSO: Geylang cat cafe called out in viral video found to have no licence, owner says he underestimated task

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