Before I start, here is an image of cats:
You are welcomed. Now that that’s out of the way, lets get down to more serious business. For Project 2, evolving from last week’s research presentation, I want to focus the project on the exploration of the relationship between community cats and cat caretakers.
Before that, let’s take a look at the relationship between domestic cats and cat owners and how their lives are changed because of their bond together.
How This Cat Helps A Little Girl With Autism Live Her Life To The Fullest (Article Link)
Iris was just 4-years old when she was diagnosed with autism in December 2011. Everyone feared she would never be able to live life normally. Iris struggled with expressing herself, showing affection, communicating and even social interactions.
They brought him a new family friend, Thula, a Maine Coone cat! This cat ended up being more then just a best friend and pet, but a true miracle…
Maine Coon are known to be big and mellow, caring cats, which you can watch below from Cats 101 and Love Your Pets:
At 26 years old, he’s now the world’s oldest living cat and is still going strong! (Article link)
Corduroy was adopted from a shelter in Oregon in 1989
Now he holds the Guinness World Record for the world`s oldest living cat
The cat has a mellow personality and loves cuddles and cat naps in the sun!
He enjoys the attention he gets from other people, and is patient with children
Corduroy was adopted when his owner Reed was only 7 years old
“It is an honour to have Corduroy in our life, I honestly don’t remember much of my life without him”
“He is a wonderful companion and I hope to give him a happy and healthy life for many more years”
I always found the relationship between humans and animals to be interesting as even though we do not understand each other, we still show care and love for each other. I guess that is proof that love is universal?
A short look at the relationship between cats and humans.
Image speaks a thousand words, let us look at images of cats being rescued by firefighters:
I think the cat’s expression says everything.
Now let us take a closer look at cat colony and cat-caretakers:
It should be noted in my artwork to include the tipped ear to show that they are community cats.
“I do my best. I always tell them, I do because I love you guys.”
“We are not the only one who live on this planet. We share this planet.“
1.35 into the video and the caretaker encounters an abandon cat because the cat’s ex-owner saw a cat colony with people taking care of them and decided to abandon his/her cat there.
“I think it’s better if they belong in a house, wouldn’t it. These poor things.”
At around 8.50, the caretaker talks about a deceased cat the day before it pass away coming up to the caretaker and giving it a rub. It reminded me of my own cats when they want to get close to you just a few days before they pass away. It is as if they knew and wanted to give thanks…
“These cats are here because of us… who through human neglect ended up in these situations.”
“One of us comes every single day. Christmas, snowstorm, whatever cuz these cats depends on us, they’re waiting for us. So for me, there’s no way I cannot come not to feed them.”
“I am not gonna be the person who turns away.”
The caretake in this video talks about the frustration of cat-rescue is the endlessness of it.
“People in the community don’t realize there is a problem. And don’t want to accept that there is a problem because basically in today’s society, people thinks that cats are disposable, more so than dogs.”
Some of the challenges the cat caretakers face are outreaching to public, getting volunteer feeds and vets, and money.
“Respect for all life is a basic part of being human.”
“They are social animals in a different ways than dogs.”
“Not everyone are cat lovers.”
“It’s not an option to let them starve.”
“There is a whole set of affections that comes into your life. The cat do appreciate it.”
“We have domesticated cats. Feral cats all descended from domestic cats. There is a particular obligation I think we have animals that we bought into association with us.”
This is the most important video for my research as it directly deals with the relationship of community cats and cat feeders.
Back to a more local context, let’s look at a video on St John’s Island stray cats:
Late last year, I followed NTU’s Cat Management Network on a field trip to St John Island to feed the cat colony there.
I found this video of my cats that I did 6 years ago. Oh how I miss them… At least they are at a much better place now. RIP my little angels.
A deeper look at the relationship between local community cats and caretakers.
Recently there is a case of presumably abandon of cat at my hall. This is due to the friendliness, older age and unsterilised. This brings to attention the case of community cat from abandoning them after they are “no longer cute”.
Let’s take a look at 2 Singapore article that deals with cats and the community in Singapore before closing up on NTU’s cat community:
Cat Killers: Singapore’s love-hate relationship with stray felines (Article link)
She says cat feeding is a vocation, a duty. And though it might not appear on many resumes, it is a full-time job. “Some people tell me this black cat is so cute,” she says, nodding at a sleek snaggle-toothed tom with lurid green eyes. “But they all look the same to me. They’re mouths to feed.”
There are estimated to be around 1,000 cat feeders in Singapore, reckons CWS. The “volunteerism” and “selfless acts” of cat feeders, the Society Against Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) told Coconuts in response to a question about why people feed strays, “are a mark of a kind and caring society, which should certainly be encouraged and supported.”
The animal welfare group was also keen to correct Coconuts on the appropriate descriptor for an outdoors-dwelling cat. They are “community cats,” cared for by people who play “an important role in the community,” SPCA says.
But not everyone loves cats.
That’s a reality made evident by a spate of abuse cases in Yishun. In the last three months, 19 cats have been killed or maimed in that district. At Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, a tabby was found floating in a pond just before Christmas. At Nanyang Technological University (NTU), the last case of cat abuse was two years ago, a tabby called Currie, who was found with lacerations to his face and body and a missing ear. A Facebook page tells the story of his recovery and his new name, Genesis. Lily, a ginger cat, went missing last year and has not been found.
Whoever killed or tortured these animals are probably of unsound mind, but there are also those who have genuine grievances with cats and the people who feed them.
“Singapore has no crime, but what if people can get away with killing cats? It should be equated to murder.”
Singapore’s cat feeder conundrum: To feed or not to feed? (Article link)
Besides pride in what she does, she cares for cats out of compassion and is prepared to live with the consequences.
So is a security guard at Pearl Bank Apartments in Chinatown, who could lose his job if he is caught, but does so because “if I don’t, who will?” he told your correspondent, who lives there.
“I worry about them when I can’t be with them,” Cindy says. “When it rains, I worry. Where will they go for shelter?” she says, pointing out that one of her cats can no longer hide in drains because she is too fat. She started feeding cats after one stray she fed died of a kidney disease, a common ailment among wild-living felines.
Culling does not make the problem go away, according to the “vacuum theory” popular among pro-cat groups. It just makes way for other strays to move into their vacated territory.
“We believe providing humane solutions must be a shared responsibility, something that the government must invest in instead of paying only for impoundment and culling solutions,” the charity says.
Walter Lionel George, author of A Bed of Roses, wrote that cats “know how to obtain food without labour, shelter without confinement, and love without penalties.” It’s hard to see how these words ring true of the Singapore context. Some of the cats killed in Yishun were believed to have been lured with the promise of affection their feeders give them.
Michelle, while stooped to lay out food for a black tom, stumbles upon an inherent risk in getting too close to the animals she looks out for. “It’s sometimes better for the cats to not be too friendly to people, so no harm can come to them.”
It shows the troubling relationship between cats and humans – divided between those who love them and those who resent them (and the unsound minded, who went on to murder cats).
According to NUS CATCAFÉ (http://blog.nus.edu.sg/nuscatcafe/about/), the purpose of a campus CCA group dedicated to campus cat is…
Through sterilization, responsible feeding and proper cat management:
(i) the stray cat population on campus will reduce and stabilize in the long term;
(ii) complaints of food litter left behind by irresponsible feeders will be reduced as we encourage responsible feeding and registering all cat feeders under our network;
(iii) cats will not enter canteens, residential areas and refuse collection areas in search of food;
(iv) constant care and monitoring of the cats’ health will prevent the spread of infectious diseases.
These are some cats avatar I drew during my free time. I was asked during presentation how to develop my own style and I think it would be similar to Project 1’s style but in a slightly different way. I want to evoke the same cuteness and “adorkable-ness” of cats.
One example I can give is Neko Atsume, which I also listed in the previous project.
Another useful guide to illustrate cat behavior/mood:
Once again, I will be incorporating Force Perspective into my artwork, here are some examples:
Using the design principle of scale, Animal Planet juxtapose the kittens onto toy models to create a scene of kittens destroying a town.
Perhaps if I have enough time to animate my artwork, I could isolate where I want to animate instead of animating everything.
Here’s a little video to lighten things up!
The brainstorming area:
A campus cat from the point of view of a student caretaker is their babies.
A caretaker from the point of view of a campus cat is food delivery.
A campus cat from the point of view of a student caretaker is a gesture of compassion and love.
A caretaker from the point of view of a campus cat is patting machine.
A campus cat from the point of view of a student caretaker is a camera filled with cat photos.
A caretaker from the point of view of a campus cat is giant hairless cat.
A campus cat from the point of view of a student caretaker is interactive entertainment device.
A caretaker from the point of view of a campus cat is interactive entertainment device.
An ex-owner from the point of view of a community cat is sadness and abandonment.
An ex-owner from the point of view of a community cat is human neglect.
An community cat from the point of view of a ex-owner is disposable pets.
An community cat from the point of view of a unsound mind is murder.
A community cat from the point of view of thoughtless community is not a problem at all.
A community cat from the point of view of cat-caretaker is love and compassion.
A community cat from the point of view of cat-caretaker is obligation and respect.
A cat-caretaker from the point of view of a dying community cat is love and gratitude.
An community cat from the point of view of a culling is vacuum theory.
A campus cat from the point of view of a student caretaker is stabilized cat population.
A campus cat from the point of view of a student caretaker is less irresponsible feeding.
A campus cat from the point of view of a student caretaker is prevent spread of disease.
A caretaker from the point of view of a campus cat is a second chance at life.
A caretaker from the point of view of a campus cat is company and free food.