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Choo Mei Fang
Saturday, Nov 1, 2014

Singapore, Crime

Who killed Ling Ling?

The New Paper | Choo Mei Fang | Saturday, Nov 1, 2014

The stray cat whom Ms Tan had been feeding for over a year, who she affectionately calls Ling Ling, was found severed into two at its mid-section, with the internal organs about a metre away, on the grass patch beside Block 47 Marine Crescent on 28 October 2014.

Shock, then horror.

Fruit stall assistant Grace Tan, 53, will never be able to forget the gruesome sight that greeted her around 7pm on Tuesday.

The stray cat she had been feeding for over a year, which she affectionately calls Ling Ling, lay motionless on the grass patch beside Block 47 in Marine Crescent.

Ling Ling's body was covered with a pile of leaves. Ms Tan recoiled when she swept away the leaves. The body was separated in two at its mid-section, with Ling Ling's internal organs about a metre away.

Ms Tan was so stunned, she squatted and started sobbing uncontrollably.

"I was shocked at how someone could be that heartless to do this to an innocent cat," she said.

She was so shaken by the incident she could hardly sleep that night. Images of Ling Ling's body disturbed her.

Ms Tan tearfully recounted the incident to The New Paper yesterday, saying: "It feels as if a part of me is gone."

The name Ling Ling is short for "darling". Ms Tan said the cat was obedient and shy.

FEAR

"Now I fear that other cats might end up just like Ling Ling," she said.

The Singapore Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) picked up the cat's carcass on Tuesday, and said in a Facebook post yesterday that its vets have examined the remains.

It added: "We have arrived at the finding that the cat's state has been wrought by the action of dogs from the community, and are ruling out the cat's condition being caused by sole human agency."

SPCA has sent the carcass to the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority for an independent post-mortem.

Many netizens who commented on the post were sceptical that it was caused by dogs.

Facebook user Jovial Gwee wrote: "If (it was done by) dogs, the cat would have loads of puncture marks, scratches, even maybe torn limbs, right?"

Similarly, Ms Tan did not agree with SPCA.

"It's unnatural for two parts of the body to be placed so neatly if it's done by other animals," she said.

She said she has been feeding stray cats in the area for about six years and she has never seen any stray dogs.

According to another resident, Mr Chan, 50, there was a mongrel in the estate last week. But it did not look fierce or threatening.

"Other than that, the last time I saw a stray dog in this area was about a year ago," he said.

NOWHERE TO BE SEEN

Ms Tan, who feeds over 100 cats, fed Ling Ling daily at around 5.45pm. On Tuesday when she reached Ling Ling's regular spot, it was nowhere in sight.

"I was a bit worried, but I brushed the feeling aside as I thought she might be wandering around the estate," she said.

She decided to feed the cats at the neighbouring blocks first while calling out for Ling Ling repeatedly.

She returned to the same spot about an hour later, and shouted Ling Ling's name a few more times. When the cat still did not appear, she decided to walk across a grass patch to feed other cats.

It was there that she discovered Ling Ling's dismembered body.

"There were even tufts of fur on the grass," Ms Tan said.

Although she was badly shaken and crying, she managed to take out her phone to call Madam Law Mui Eng, a volunteer mediator from the Cat Welfare Society (CWS).

Madam Law, a 56-year-old market helper, immediately alerted the CWS and SPCA.

She said: "I was shocked to hear her crying so badly over the phone."

CWS chief executive Joanne Ng said another horrific incident happened in the vicinity last week. A resident reported to a CWS volunteer mediator that a cat had fallen from height at Block 53.

But it is uncertain if the cat fell on its own or was thrown down.

She said that future cat abuse incidents can be prevented if members of the public are vigilant.

"Residents must step forward to stop persons trying to cause harm to animals and call the police," she said. "(They can also) try to chase off an attacking animal, bearing in mind that their own safety is also important."

Residents could try to scare off the other animals by making loud banging or clapping sounds, Ms Ng said.

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