Cats of Singapore, rejoice!

By Law Kim Hwee

One Mr Eddy Yap made a sharp, if heartbreaking, observation in my last post, “Benjamin’s Death: Out Of The Mouth of Ministers….“.

He wrote, “Cats lives are more important than human lives, that is what I can see till now! As you can see they emphasized on Cats Killers, and comes to Kid Jump to death in their GRC, they just keep quiet, silence without any thoughtful words on the case! What I see here is a very cruel Government and No humanity on humans’ lives at all! Cats lives are really better than Human Lives is what I can see and feel…! I very Sad and very Cruel of them!”

Mr Yap’s comment triggered my vague memory of cats, dead cats in Yishun, animal activism, ACRES (Animal Concerns Research & Education Society), its founder and the same MP who reportedly went with Benjamin’s immediate family members to meet with the Ang Mo Kio Police on 1 Feb. I then looked up the MP’s Facebook to try to see what’s said about cats and Benjamin by his PAP MP.

Below is the result of my inquiry into Mr Yap’s observation.

Cats of Singapore, Rejoice!
Cats of Singapore, Rejoice!
Our lives count for more
Than that of a 14-year old boy! Rejoice!

Only here in Singapore
Are we cats truly cared for
How can we Tabbies ask for more?

A photo of one of our own dead
Takes pride of place in an MP’s Facebook page
A day before Benjamin Lim met his tragic fate.
Then a regal pose of one of us takes centrestage
Mmmeeeoooow…again in a Facebook page
20 days exactly after Benjamin’s forgotten and dead

Let none be in whatsoever doubt
Our MP’s wish for a ‘compassionate Lunar New Year.’
A message clear and loud
Is compassion meant for us, us, us cats!
Since from 26 Jan when Benjamin leapt to his death
Till today, not even Benjamin’s name the MP once said.

Cats of Singapore, rejoice!
(Double confirm) Our lives count for much, much more
Than that of a 14-year old boy! Rejoice!

And to think that a cat has nine lives – 9 life-threatening encounters before it’s dead – but our fellow 14-year old Singapore family member has but only one. And Benjamin lost his from just one encounter thro’ educators who were entrusted to be there to care for him but passed him to enforcers who were entrusted to uphold the law (or is it their protocols). SG50?.

I have been at a total loss for words since I learned of this tragedy. No words seemed adequate, yet it felt inhuman to be silent over it. Like other normal persons, I too was struck by an unspeakable grief for this tragic unfolding of events. For days, thoughts of the Lim family followed me, all through the CNY period.

And thoughts of cats too, dead cats found at the foot of HDB flats in Yishun, precipitating a virtual state of emergency being trumpeted and showcased throughout the media. Then a human life was lost at the foot of those same HDB flats in Yishun, and there has been utter silence. How is such disregard even humanly possible? I wonder for I felt a human urge that compelled me to speak out at such times of grief. Words of solace are natural human expressions that will not prejudice any inquiry. So as a cat lover myself and adopter of one stray cat, I feel a sense of great irony and — sheer eeriness — at this unnatural silence, like I’m not living among real human beings. I am sure there are many others who have similar thoughts as mine, and Mr Eddy Yap and this poem just speak out what’s already on everybody’s mind.

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