Getting to the perspective of a stray cat in Singapore and discussing all she went through before finding her true home and family.
by Stef dela Cruz, MD
Ohai! My name is Ohana. I used to be a stray cat in Singapore, but with a little bit of cunning and creativity, I found myself a furever-home! If you’re a stray looking for a hooman, these tips are exactly what you need.
Cats in Singapore—including yours truly—are quite lucky. While the country keeps stray populations to a minimum through neutering and spaying, stray cats like me, called “community cats” by locals, live out our nine lives in peace, coexisting with hoomans as we make the most of our freedom to roam and explore.
Of course, nothing beats the feeling of belonging to a family who will love you and take care of you for as long as you purr. So, fellow felines, if you’re ready to leave your garbage-eating, scrap-begging lives behind, listen up! Here’s how you can snag yourself your very own hooman.
Disclaimer: Take my advice with a grain of salt. Follow these steps at your own risk! Better yet, don’t follow them at all… just enjoy reading them because they’re based on a true story: mine.
CHOOSE A HOOMAN WHO HAS NEVER HAD CATS BEFORE
You might think it’s foolish to pick a hooman who knows nothing about cats, but think about it: If you’re the only cat in a hooman’s home, then you will probably live a spoiled, happy life. I’m not making this up. In fact, that’s what happened to me!
When I was still a stray cat, I found a lady with absolutely no cat scent on her (read: has never owned a cat). I found out later on that she absolutely hated cats—but because I was an expert at enslaving hoomans, I successfully converted her into a cat person. She then named me Ohana. (In case you’ve been hiding under a rock and you’ve never seen the animated movie “Lilo and Stitch” before, ‘ohana’ is a Hawaiian term that means ‘family’.)
If you succeed at transforming a non-cat person into a cat lover, you will be its master. Correction: You will be its only master.
MAKE YOUR PRESENCE FELT
Once you have chosen a hooman to convert and enslave, go into please-adopt-me mode. Do everything in your power to appear as cute as felinely possible! Roll in the dirt and show your underbelly. Rub against the hooman’s legs, looking up into its eyes occasionally so that it starts feeling attached to you. That was what I did when I met my hooman. I took one look at her and told her through my cute meows, “You’re going to be my meowmy.” Remember, all it takes to convert a cat hater into a cat person is one cat. My dear feline friend, you can be that cat.
Stay in the same neighborhood. You are bound to keep meeting that hooman over and over again because let’s face it, hoomans are ridiculously predictable. I’m betting my tail that if a hooman walked through your neighborhood once, it will do so again in the future! So, whenever your chosen hooman victim passes by, don’t stop being cute (refer to number 2).
That was exactly what I did when I saw the hooman I wanted. Because of my persistence, she started thinking about taking me home with her, asking around if I had an owner or if I was somehow lost.“But he’s been here for a long time,” everybody told her.See? Being consistent paid off!
MAKE YOUR ABSENCE FELT
Once in a while, a hooman will have second thoughts about you, the same way mine once did. If that happens, do something to make the fickle-minded hooman miss you. When my hooman finally decided to adopt me, she said she would happily throw me out if I ruined her leather sofa. I wasn’t stupid, so I stayed as far away as possible from the darned couch!Of course, I knew that wasn’t enough. I had to make my hooman realize that if she got rid of me in the future, it would be her loss, not mine. So, I staged a disappearance.
I escaped from the hooman’s apartment and didn’t show up for several days. She searched day and night in the parking lot, hoping to catch a glimpse of my beautiful silver fur. She put up posters of me and even asked a cat-lady neighbor to help out. Meanwhile, she tried to convince herself that she was better off without me. She tried to think of how there would be no need to vacuum my fur off the floor, how she wouldn’t have to stomach the smell of my pee and poop. Most of all, she thought of how she would no longer spend too much money on food and litter!
However, she was miserable without me. She realized that she would rather live in a smelly apartment full of fur than spend another day without me! So when she found me, my work was done: The hooman had successfully become my slave.
TAME A WILD HOOMAN USING MEOWS AND PURRS
Do you like cat treats, back rubs, and chin scratches like I do? If so, make sure to reward your hooman with meows and purrs so that it gives you everything you want!
Whenever I want my dried fish treats, I meow heartily near the refrigerator where the hooman keeps the goodies. (I have a pretty good batting average; I get what I want nine times out of ten.) Meow during the wee hours of the morning. Hoomans will do anything to stay asleep, so the best time to beg for anything you want is when they’re snoring heartily!
IF YOUR HOOMAN WANTS TO NEUTER OR SPAY YOU, SAY YES
The moment a hooman decides to have you neutered or spayed, you have already fooled it into believing you are its property. Say yes to getting snipped; it’s for your own good anyway! You and your hooman slave will be much happier together once you’ve been fixed. You also get a very fashionable mark on one ear because they cut off the tip right after. Once you’ve been ear-tipped, you know you have slaves taking care of you… in other words, you da boss!
Good luck, fellow felines! I hope you find your fur-ever home. If I may say so, I think these hoomans aren’t that bad. Mine is quite wonderful, and so is the rest of her family. They have done nothing but spoil and love me!Best of luck to you, fellow felines in the Philippines! I hope you have learned something new from the stories I shared with you. Let’s conquer the world, one hooman, one home, and one country at a time!
P.S. Thanks to Filipino hooman Stef dela Cruz. I asked her if I could take over her April column and she said yes!
This story appeared in Animal Scene’s April 2017 issue.