Woman who cared for community cats for 25 years, dies

NEWS AND COMMENT: This is a story from Singapore. A 74-year-old woman who cared for community cats where she lived has died. She was well known. There have been tributes online. She had a good (but physically weak) heart and she had to scrimp and save over those 25 years. She made sacrifices for the well-being of unwanted cats who should not be in their predicament. She is the kind of person I admire above all others. She got on with helping quietly and persistently, not asking for rewards from people.

Chen Tai and cat
Chen Tai and cat. Pic: Facebook

It appears that she had two names because the name is reported on the mothership.sg website namely  Liu Fang Fang is different to her name as reported on Facebook in tributes to her namely Mdm Tan (Chen Tai).

I don't think that matters because she was a well-known personality. She taught others how to care for community cats and when feeding her cats she covered an area of about six bus stops. I think that gives you a nice feel for the effort she put into her voluntary tasks.

She started out within the vicinity of her block at Jurong West Street 75. Apparently she was known to have a frail heart and died of a heart attack. She kept going despite her frailty which was obviously known to her.

She was admitted to hospital in November 2021. She became more seriously ill while in hospital and succumbed in December 9. She was known for her generosity. There was a funeral procession at 2 PM on 12 December 2021. The local newspaper reported on it.

The Facebook post tells me that her wish was that cat owners must always sterilise their cats and that people in general should love and have compassion for community cats. She wanted people to educate others on how to look after cats.

The Facebook post is written by Siau Li Chao who said that she knew Chen Tai since 2004. At that time she had just started feeding community cats. She met her in a pet shop. She was given guidance for which she was thankful.

She said that she had one vaccination by which I will presume she means one vaccination against Covid. She's kind of implying that Chen Tai died of Covid but I don't think that is what happened. In fact I'm sure of it because she died of a heart attack. But no doubt she took risks with Covid to help the cats. Although Singapore has a very good record in managing Covid.

Siau Li Chao says that somebody else has taken over caring for the community cats. They would have pleased her to know that.

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