Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Self-righteous Cat-killer

Today the Sunday Times reported a certain retired man named Tan Tuan Khoon, aged 62, who traps cats as a past time and sends them to the AVA to be put down. Naturally, he had become a most hated figure for all the animal welfare groups and animal lovers in Singapore. Tan is responsible for the deaths of more than 300 stray cats, as he lost count after 300.

What is more shocking than the fact that he enjoys having cats killed in a systematic manner is the kind of rhetoric that he uses to justify his evil deeds. He says that "trapping and putting down cats is actually the humane thing to do because stray cats generally have a shorter lifespan due to the hazards they face on the streets." That is no different from saying that the weak, the sick and the disadvantaged all deserve to die because they have a lower chance of survival than ordinary people. Stinks of Fascism, doesn't it? It is exactly this line of thinking that Hitler used to justify his genocide of the Jews, or what the Japanese Imperial Army used to brainwash their troops to justify the mass murders of Chinese civilians during WW2. Tan also says that he is "helping stray cats to end their suffering". So when he becomes sick and helpless in the future, I guess he also won't mind other people coming along and merrily put an end to his suffering?

Furthermore, it is so hypocritical for Tan to tell others he is being humane to cats when the truth is that he harbours a strong hatred towards cats for "defecating in his garden and driveway", "cats having kittens in the space between his roof and ceiling, causing the plywood ceiling boards to give way", and "also cats who chased his pet rabbit and stole his food" in the past. Just because a few cats offended him, he wants all the stray cats in Singapore to die for it? How foolish and dangerous is this man's anger! Does he not fear the heavy negative karma that he had accumulated thus far? His lifespan has been shortened and when the time comes for him to die, all those cats that Tan killed would come back to torment him, and to demand their lives back. I foresee a painful death and a woeful destination for him.

The Dhammapada says, "Hatred cannot be conquered with hatred, but only with Metta (loving-kindness) can hatred be conquered." My master LP Jaran once told the story of old Madam Ping, who used to be a helper at Wat Ampawan. Madam Ping also had to deal with the cats defecating in the wrong places. She was very angry with them as she had to clean up their mess. So she used to curse them loudly and hit them with brooms and stuff whenever she sees them wondering into the temple dwellings. This caused the cats to be even more misbehaved. Those cats that were mistreated by Ping got their other cat friends to take revenge by defecating all over the place, making worse messes than before. Ping was at a lost to what to do, when LP learned of this and advised her to apologise to the cats instead. She was told to kindly ask the cats to stop defecating all over the place and offer them food in exchange for their good behaviour. Madam Ping did not quite believe in LP's advice, but she went ahead to try as she did not know what else to do. True enough, the cats accepted her apology and offer of peace. From then on all the cats and even dogs of Wat Ampawan know how to go to the river bank to defecate, rather than defecating on the temple grounds. Even the new animals that come to the temple were told by the older residents not to misbehave. This proved that animals are intelligent and can appreciate kindness. All beings want to be treated with kindness, and none likes to be scolded, beaten or even killed. If a person cultivates Metta towards all beings, he or she will be respected by even fierce beasts like tigers and crocodiles. What more for cats and dogs?

Therefore my advice to Mr Tan is give up your cruelty towards cats right away. Lay down the butcher's knife and repent while you still can. Otherwise after you breathe your last, nobody can save you when your stand before King Yama in the halls of hell, with all the cats that you killed on one side demanding that for you to be punished for your sins. 苦海无边, 回头是岸! Take heed, before it is too late.


Singapore Community Cats said...

Please help Penny who also lives in Yishun

Anonymous said...

Hey, thanks for helping to spread the word. I'm the girl who helped Penny do the website.

Really thanks very much... I hope we can raise enough funds for the 2 sick cats soon. Actually, now 3 cos she just took in another 1 today.

Anonymous said...

As Tan Tuan Khoon does, seems AVA and SPCA enjoy putting down animals as well. Is it not an offence to murder cats and dogs? Seems to me that Tan Tuan Khoon has been given sure warrant for this act by authorities that actually condone it. Their reasons being the same as Mr Tan "helping stray cats to end their suffering" unquote.

Anonymous said...

Hi Wayne,

what a wonderful story u share!

with metta

Anonymous said...

I have also been in Tan's position. Till today, everyday coming home are welcome by the very pungent cat scat messing with my nose. On unlucky days. I have to wash my car carpet and late for work or cleaning my house entrance. Not that I am Mr cleanliness. When stepped on, mostly don't know until the stench seems to follow me back inside the house.
This cat only knows how to make babies. But usually the cat's babies later ,died in difficult to reach crevasses. The different stench I have to endure. My roof is full or rats having world cup. And seems to multiply if I don't set a mouse trap. What the cat helps is tearing up my garbage bags to make the rats easier for night parties.

So far I still have no way of getting rid of the cat. He runs each time he saw me. I think he knows why I am so angry about.

Can anybody help this stray cat or be humane enough to help me?

Wayne Woo said...

The reason the cats and rats in your house are misbehaving is bcos you have not shown any kindness towards them. Trying chanting the Metta Sutta and then radiating loving-kindness towards them, asking them out loud to behave themselves and live in harmony with u. Leave some food for them regularly as a token of your sincerity. You will be surprised how intelligent these little animals are.