Confessions of a cat behaviourist

Miss Rebecca Ho has dedicated her life to cats.

Her 15 years of experience rescuing more than 1,000 street cats prompted the 29-yearold to offer consultation services to pet owners, helping them resolve issues they have with their cats.

So much so, that she has even dubbed herself Singapore's own "cat whisperer".

One of her clients had two male cats that started fighting when they reached sexual maturity, with one of them particularly edgy.

To solve the problem, Miss Ho asked the client to buy a spray which uses hormone therapy to help cats de-stress.

"I also advised him to increase the number of litter boxes and water bowls so that the cats did not have to compete," says the owner of Lingcat Feline Services, which opened last month.

Another of her clients downsized from a landed property to a flat, and to help the pet cat adjust to the new environment, Miss Ho set up a programme with more play activities and stimulation to prevent a feeling of being cooped up.

For a 90-minute on-site consultation, Miss Ho charges $200, which includes a customised behaviour modification programme and eight weeks of follow-up.

Her charges may appear high, but Miss Ho says this is not a lucrative business. Indeed, she has been able to make a career out of her passion only because her family has been financially supportive.

"I began feeding strays when I was 14 and started rescuing them after reading a report in the local papers about kittens being burnt alive," she says.

Shortly after, she began a trap-neuter-release programme, where stray cats were caught and taken to the vet for sterilisation before being let back into the neighbourhoods.

Miss Ho eventually got herself qualified.

She has an advanced certificate in feline behaviour awarded by the Centre of Applied Pet Ethology in Sheffield, UK. She also received training in community cat management and attended overseas veterinary conferences.

The faint scars on her arms attest to her years of working with strays.

"Sometimes I had to feed the rescued cats medication – something they hate – hence the scratches," she says with a laugh.

One of Miss Ho's four cats was picked up from the streets. Aptly named Scarface, he was so battered from fighting with other cats that he was bleeding heavily from his ears and cheeks when she found him a few years ago.

Today, he still bears the marks and ragged ears, and cannot shut his jaws properly.

"I used to cry and feel sad for the cats, but these days, I am more rational," Miss Ho says. "I have a bigger goal, which is to end their suffering, through education." Although she no longer rescues strays, Miss Ho says there is much more that needs to be done in terms of educating the public.

She cited last week's news article about a woman who faced losing her Sembawang HDB flat if her 20 cats were not rehomed. At one time, Madam Rashida Begum had 64 rescued cats in her five-room flat.

No matter how good the intentions, this could be problematic for the felines, says Miss Ho. "From my point of view and the international guidelines for cat rescue, putting many cats in a confined area can be detrimental to their welfare as the creatures need their space and independence.

"My dream is for cats to be treasured pets or well-loved community cats. Hopefully raising awareness will help cats and people coexist in harmony."

Secrets of the trade

1. When it comes to cat trapping, time is of the essence. You have to go at their feeding times. Be slightly late and you could go back emptyhanded.

2. Never chase a cat when trying to trap it – it'll only make it run away.

3. If you don't want "battle scars" all over your arms, learn from an experienced cattrapper how to carry a cat that does not want to be captured.


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Singapore win two gold medals in table tennis

Singapore men's doubles pair of Gao Ning (left) and Li Hu beat the Indian pair to win the men's doubles gold
Singapore men's doubles pair of Gao Ning (left) and Li Hu beat the Indian pair to win the men's doubles gold.

The Republic’s dominance in the Commonwealth Games table tennis events were never in doubt.

In the women’s singles final, World No. 4 Feng beat world No.10 Yu Mengyu 4-1 (11-7, 11-8, 11-9, 10-12, 11-2),.

The bronze was won by 18-year-old world No. 41 Lin Ye, who beat Lay Jian Fang of Australia 4-1 (11-5, 11-4, 11-7, 11-7) in the third-place payoff.

In the men’s doubles, world No 12 Gao Ning and Li Hu bounced back to beat India’s Sharath Kamal Achanta and Amalraj Anthony Arputharaj in the final 3-1 (8-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-5) to win Singapore’s first gold medal in this event.

In the men’s singles, Singapore are also assured of another gold medal as Gao and world No. 34 Zhan Jian meet in the final early on Sunday.



Remote-control contraceptives are a thing

Women can have microchips - which will allow them to control their fertility wirelessly - implanted in their bodies.

Hello, future. You somehow managed to sneak up on us again.

Just last month, we reported on android newscasters and computer chips that helped a paralysed man move his hand.

Now, there are chips women can have implanted in their bodies which will allow them to control their fertility wirelessly.

Yes, remote-controlled contraceptives are an actual thing. Life hack. Literally.

The 2cm by 2cm by 0.7cm microchip can be implanted in a outpatient procedure, reported Mashable. It releases the birth control drug levonorgestrel for up to 16 years.

Just flip the on/off switch on the wireless remote to control whether or not you will receive a 30 microgram dose of the drug.

The only problem? Anything that is wireless can be hacked - and you really won't want someone messing around with stuff inside your body.

Also, what if you lose the remote?

The chip is meant to bring contraception to women in developing countries who may not have access to existing contraceptives, reported Mashable.

BBC reported that the project has been backed by Bill Gates, and will be submitted for pre-clinical testing in the US next year.

Sources: BBC, Mashable

Burglar leaves phone at crime scene, calls to ask for it back

A man broke into a house in Florida on Wednesday and left his mobile phone behind.

A man broke into a house in Florida on Wednesday and made away with some loot without getting caught.

The only problem? He had left his mobile phone behind on the victim's bed.

Most people in this situation would just forgo the phone. Wayne Bradley Wade, however, really wanted his back.

So the 46-year-old dialled his mobile number and asked to retrieve it.

Guess who picked up the call. The cops.

Can I have my phone back, please?

Police were investigating the burglary in the house when they heard the phone ring.

They answered the phone and the very helpful Wade even gave them his name.

The fingerprints on the phone matched those from five other burglary cases in the neighbourhood.

Wade was arrested on burglary and grand theft charges. 

At a court hearing on Thursday, he claimed his phone had been stolen.

Sorry, Wade, but we don't buy your story.

Sources: NY Daily News, Click Orlando, Sun Sentinel

Tags: crime and burglary

Split! Nicholas Hoult and Jennifer Lawrence break up ... again

Nicholas Hoult (left) and Jennifer Lawrence.

J Law fans, rejoice. 

The sexy Hunger Games star is single again. 

E! Online reports that the couple, who started dating in 2010 but broke up briefly last year before reuniting on the X-Men: Days of Future Past set, have split up again

"They spent a lot of time apart because of work, and it was difficult on their relationship," said a source, who added that the split was "amicable". 

Not ready

Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised - the 23-year-old actress recently told Marie Claire magazine that she didn't feel ready to take their relationship to the next level. 

"We're so young that it would almost be like if we lived in the same city, what would happen? We'd be living together," she said.

"When we're busy, we agree to mutually ignore each other. Not completely, but neither of us gets mad when the other doesn't text back or call. Life's super busy.

"Obviously you know what they're doing, and you trust them."

Source: E! Online

Cristiano Ronaldo to move back to United? He won't rule it out

Portuguese football star Cristiano Ronaldo smiles as he answers questions during a promotional event held by his sponsor in Tokyo on July 22, 2014.

Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo has not ruled out a return to Manchester United sometime in the future. 

Speaking before Madrid's showdown with Manchester United in Michigan this weekend, he said he may one day return to the club where he "win(s) everything". 

"I was 18 years old (when I signed), I win everything there, the people treat me like a God there so I appreciate that and the future, nobody knows," he said. 

"I had fantastic moments and I appreciate this club. For me, it’s one of the best clubs in the world and I have passion for this club."

“I love Manchester, and to be back, I never know, you never know. Football you never know.

“Of course, I’m happy at Real Madrid, it’s my home, it’s my club, but Manchester treated me unbelievable so we never know.”

Source: Mirror Online, The Telegraph 

Soon, you can hire a ManServant to compliment you every 15 minutes

Start-up company ManServant allows women who want a little pampering to rent a guy.

Want a man who will wait on you hand and foot?

Who will heed your every command, compliment you all the time, serve you, serenade you and drive you around?

Well, you're not looking for a boyfriend then. What you need is a manservant.

And a start-up company in San Francisco has just the men for the job.

Called ManServants, the company says it will soon provide rent-a-guy services to women who want a little pampering.

The ManServant will fulfil any role you dictate - chauffeur, photographer, butler, personal assistant, errands boy etc.

ManServants are parasols holders and pram pushers.

They also act as the much-needed selfie stick.

They make sure your glass is always full.

And that you never miss out on a tweet, even when in the bathtub.

And, of course, they help you make your grand entrance.

In case you're wondering, there's no sex involved.

Mashable reported co-founder Dalal Khajah as saying: "It’s completely PG."

“We have a very strict code of conduct and a very rigorous training process,” she added.

So what are some of the things these ManServants will do?



They will compliment you every 15 minutes, open the doors for you and even hold your purse.



They will respond to the most absurd of names, like Ryan Gosling, and walk around shirtless, if you so desire.

If you pay extra, they will even speak with an accent.







The website doesn't say how much it will cost to hire a ManServant, but we're willing to bet it'll cost a pretty penny.

But think about it: A whole day where a man actually LISTENS to a woman. 

Well, it just might be worth it.

Sources: Mashable, Time

Tags: manservant and start-up

M'sia taxi driver attacks tourist in hotel room

A taxi driver was arrested for attacking a New Zealander in a hotel room in Bukit Bintang.

A taxi driver attacked a tourist after a heated argument over a woman in a hotel room in Kuala Lumpur on Friday.

The 41-year-old cabby slashed the 47-year-old New Zealander on his face and neck at around 12.30am.

The victim, a beekeeper, managed to escape the room and seek help. He was rushed to Kuala Lumpur Hospital. 

The Star reported that the tourist was a regular customer of the cabby.

The man had checked into the hotel room in Bukit Bintang on Wednesday with the woman and taxi driver.

The cabby and the woman, believed to be a prostitute, were arrested on Friday.

The victim is in stable condition.

Source: The Star