Our rainy-day fund for our 30 cats is shrinking, and we need more money to care for our cats, who are getting old. Here’s how you can help.
This is Minerva, from Hall 15. The black kitty – who enjoys the safety of Hall 15′s enclosed spaces – is often called ‘meow meow’ by its regular caretaker, a cleaner in Hall 15.
Since AY14/15, NTU Cat Management Network has reached out to these regular caretakers, the invisible heroes who take care of the little kitties we can barely reach.
Every time our volunteers come to them, they’ll share stories of the not so distant past, of sick cats; of cat abusers who left cats severely injured; of the times they needed to raise funds to help these cats – cats that were, at some point, under the purview of Main Committees and faculty advisors past, that we’ve gone door to door to raise funds for, sometimes successfully, mostly not.
It isn’t easy to run a cat welfare organisation. In recent weeks, our mother cat the Cat Welfare Society conducted a fundraiser which nearly failed to meet its target, despite their work for cats on the national level and their Institute of Public Character status.
We have been in NTU for 11 years now. For the last two, we have been conducting an aggressive publicity and advocacy campaign; revamping our club webpage, increasing our presence on social media, and pushing for greater visibility on campus – so we can reach out to hall residents and NTU students and educate them about what to do with our hall cats.
These efforts have paid off – we have received sponsorship offers, most notably by Silversky – and we have received a lot of help from students and hall residents, who adore our cats more than ever.
But we still need your help. Awareness and visibility isn’t enough – we still need to be able to fund our vet expenses and food bills.
Here are three reasons why you should make a regular donation with us:
Our kitties depend on a very limited budget of around $250.00 per month on an estimated 168kg of wet food and 20kg of dry food.
Even with our current food choices, which barely meet the cats’ nutritional needs, we will still spend over $504.00 on food. (A few assumptions are made here – that we spend $1.09 on a 400g can of Angel cat food, which can feed 2 cats in a day, and $63.00 on 20kg of dry food)
We’ve managed to get by in the past due to the kind assistance of several dedicated volunteers, residents and cleaning aunties, who offer to donate or use their own food during their feeding rounds.
Our volunteers have reached out to these caretakers that perennially take care of cats like Minerva alongside our regular volunteer feeders, and offered to sponsor them the cat food they need.
We do this for a very simple reason: we should be the ones enabling them to love our campus cats, because that is our common vision. We cannot simply dump the cats to their care.
So we need your help.
We need to raise a total of $254.00 per month so that we can ease the burden on these caretakers. If we raise more, we will be able to increase the nutritional quality of our food as well.
We spent a total of $5,685.00 for AY14/15 for 13 vet bills – an average of $473.75 per month, or $405.28 per visit.
Most of them were for cats that were, on average, more than 7 years old – 3 years more than the average age of cats in Singapore.
Charlie, Robbie, Midnight and Champion contributed to nearly half of these visits, and both Robbie and Midnight are more than 11 years old.
The NTU cat population – a mature TNRM estate, in cat management terms – is ageing. With that comes a set of completely different problems we will have to deal with – chronic illnesses being the most prevalent.
Incidentally, Charlie, Robbie, Midnight and Champion are the first four cats to need a vet visit at the start of AY 15/16. Midnight needs long-term medication, and she has just incurred another $152.00 from a recent vet visit (above) last Thursday (Oct 8).
We need your help to maintain a good quality of life for our campus cats.
By our calculations, we will require $380.00 per month (80% of our previous monthly spending in the last AY) for us to no longer depend heavily on ad-hoc fundraising campaigns. These will also ease the burden on our faculty advisors, who have been sponsoring much of the shortfall.
Though none of the funds from your standing instructions pledged to us will go to Outreach, your donations will help us focus more of our efforts to public education and advocacy, as we will have more time and energy to put into educating on-campus faculty and residents about what we do for the campus cats – like events such as cat therapy for students and fundraisers for other cat rescue groups that need money more than we do.
With your help, we get to do more, not just to care for our campus cats, but for the cats of Singapore too.
In short, what we need, and what we will get from your monthly standing instruction to us:
- $254.00 to purchase better food – and provide a better quality of life – for our campus cats.
- $380.00 (80% of last year’s monthly expenditure on vet bills) to provide assistance for chronic illnesses like kidney and liver failure, which require constant monitoring and medication
- Financial assurance to our faculty advisors and vet partners that we can adequately pay our vet bills on time