Workshop of Ten Fathers

Kitten finally came out to meet the nightshift cool guys

Kitten attracted love from everyone

Kitten on the work bench
There was a kitten hiding inside a palette in the workshop refusing to come out for the whole day, according to colleagues in the day-shift. Once we took over the shift, the kitten crawled out slowly and began to explore the workshop. Ha. Day-shift twats. Even small animals hate them.

The problem with little kittens walking around the workshop was that they could die and in the process, make one of us the murderer. Dave the Korean was the first one who almost did, missing kitten by just 2 inches of his moving forklift. The second would be me, who almost crushed the life out of kitten several times when she kept circling beneath my feet. To save her from a premature death, I took her outside the workshop twice. Each time she came back, exasperatedly, to my work bay.

As a last resort, I placed her on my work bench. While I worked, I stole occasional glances at kitten. She was either hopping around looking for a way to escape or mewing at me. I couldn't hear her due to my earplugs and noises from work. I reckon she was uncomfortable with the noises. Well, either a deaf cat or a dead cat. I had to choose the lesser evil.

I was wrong. Kitten did not hate the noise. She learnt very fast within hours. Doubting her abilities at first, she learnt to leap. From the work bench to a nearby chair, she reduced her height of fall and managed to escape. Back to the work bench after roaming around my legs yet again, with the chair pulled much farther each time, she escaped twice more.

After graduating from leaping school, she was placed on the drawing table which was a much higher one. This time round, she would not attempt another escape. Luke the Aussie came to her rescue. He came to my work bay twice, so I knew he had a soft spot for kitten. Everyone of us did actually. Indeed so, Luke declared he would bring her back home after work. He locked kitten up in a cardboard box with big holes pierced for ventilation. That wasn't a bad idea. It could stop kitten from running around risking death and shield her slightly from loud noise. She drank up a small dish of milk in her prison term, which was a good thing.

During the 2300 hrs break, we took her out for her to have a breather. Everyone took a go and had her on his lap. She was placed on the ground umpteen times but she refused to go far. I reckon she was really feeling helpless and didn't know what the hell was happening to her. When smoko was almost over, something interesting happened.

Steve, my supervisor spotted a cat in the dark, at a good distance and asked nobody in particular, "Is that the mother?" All of us looked and saw the cat before it attempted to flank the workshop to escape our sight. It was a white cat with black streaks, almost undoubtedly kitten's mother. 

We waited. Nothing happened.

It was drizzling slightly but Patrick the Pom grabbed kitten and took her out in the open, nearer to where the mother cat seemed to be hiding. Then he distanced himself a few good metres back and waited.  A few of us followed and stood by. Kitten began to mew furiously. It could be the rain or the dark, or maybe ... she sensed her kin near. It went on for a minute. Kitten began to wander off at the opposite direction then stopped. Seemingly hearing her mother's louder mews, she retracted and began to move towards it. From doubtful steps, she picked her her pace and turned into a run.

When she was close enough, mother cat took a few swift steps out, grabbed kitten and disappeared into the darkness. The guys cheered and went back to work. Only Jang Hoon, the yandao Korean, expressed a mock disappointment as he wanted to bring kitten back as a pet too.

Witnessing the reunion of kitty and mother cat. I felt a tinge of envy towards kitten.


  1. So... between you and Dave, you managed to minus 2 of her 9 lives, ha ha!

    Good that she survived!

  2. Thanks for sharing!

    Your adventures with kitten reminded me of another one, years ago when I was an also-fat teenager (still am, as a bewildered 'uncle').

    And no, I honestly don't do a 'me-too' with every single post/commentthat comes my way.
    Otherwise, I'll be responding at length to _every_ post and comment!
    I just have this inexplicable memory for many things which I thought I'd forgotten!

    I think it was after my A levels, before going for NS in March.
    To earn some money on a 'holiday job', I was supposed to join some men who did interior decoration, going to almost completed HDB public apartment blocks to distribute promotional books of their company services.
    Still can remember the smell of dust of barely finished flat apartments.

    Back at the office in Bukit Merah, M found a kitten.
    M was a tall, soft-spoken Chinese man of deep voice but few words, well-accented in English and awkward in Mandarin Chinese, who really showed affection for soft, furry little creatures.
    Just like you guys did, he found an abandoned kitten and eventually put it into a cardboard box poked with holes, and left it alone over nights, when everyone had to go home after work.

    Over a few days the kitten overcame its shyness, and then it started scratching at furniture with its small growing claws.
    Eventually, as I played with it, it started biting on my fingers with its tiny sprouting teeth.
    Like a stoic fool I let it finish chewing on them, so that I could prove the needling pricks were nothing.

    But my most memorable and stinky experience was with M buying back fishball noodle soup every lunchtime, in order to feed kitten with small pieces of that fish substitute.
    Then the whole office would fill with that pong for the rest of the day.

    Kitten vanished a few weeks later.
    I don't know what became of it, or its descendants if there were any.

  3. Off the topics of felines, from asingaporeanson's various posts about the workplace, I gather a few pointers:
    1. Aussies are hardworking, during their given work periods
    2. They value personal rights and freedom
    3. They also value family time and enjoy themselves outside working hours
    4. The kind of work they do is immaterial, ie. whether one is a doctor or a plumber, to the respect one gets as a contributor to the workforce

    Sounds really ideal ... but I wonder if everyone feels the same.

  4. Hi Zororoz,

    Just to add, your 4 pointers apply to Canadians too.


    1. Yay, the Canadians!!

      Haha.... it's well the opposite for Singaporeans, then...
      1. Singaporeans are hardworking most of the time, but time management sucks - there is no day, no night... but then again, nobody can work there is still a lot of skiving in between (read: websurfing, facebook, coffeebreaks, etc)
      2. Personal rights and freedom are pipe dreams
      3. They do enjoy family time - but there is little time left after work
      4. Unfortunately, there is a lot of discrimination between white collar and blue collar jobs.

    2. agree 100%, Singapore is definitely not a nice place to enjoy life.

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    4. And just like with other Anglophonic countries like Australia, New Zealand and UK, Canada is also not the place to migrate to, for similar Singaporean parents prepared to work out of love of their families.

      Unless they qualify soon, under the specific and stringent requirements of these other lands.

      Still, there's no true, lasting satisfaction in envying others who have left.
      Now is the time for those of us left behind, to continue struggling for survival in our own increasingly stranger and more hostile home land.

      It has become a place in which those we entrusted our lives and future to, have already favoured the newcomers and the young over those born just after independence, and grown up all our lives here.

  5. very well written story. it kept me reading till the end. :)

  6. It's just an interesting re-count of a simple event and as usual it attracts a backlash of intolerance. Sigh! Why does life have to be so 'fan nao'.

    1. Don't be so negative. There's no intolerance except in oneself. Be free, and embrace the opportunities out there!