Man receives overwhelming support from public in quest to save a cat suspected of getting thrown from height

A man took it upon himself to save a cat that was allegedly thrown down from height in his residential neighborhood in Kallang. Spoiler alert: the cat is now recovering really well from the incident, and little Mimi found a new forever home with its rescuer.

It was on Aug 8 that Shafaat Zainal’s mother cried out in horror during her morning routine as a community cat feeder — a stray cat had apparently fallen (or thrown) from above and landed on a roof of a sheltered walkway. When Shafaat ran down to see what happened, he saw the injured cat with blood coming out from its nose and mouth.

He quickly drove the wounded animal to Companion Animal Surgery, a 24-hour veterinary hospital off Boon Teck Road, where it was given painkillers and a checkup. The cat’s injuries were severe — it suffered fractures to its jaw and chest. The costs of treatment cited were sky-high (over $5,000 for multiple surgeries, medication, and hospitalization), but Shafaat decided to put down a deposit there and then for the cat’s welfare.

Expressing how it was heartbreaking to know that his mother witnessed Mimi — described as a “friendly and loveable neighborhood cat” — getting hurt in front of her eyes, he made a call out on Facebook to see if anyone could help him out with the bills.

By that very same afternoon, Shafaat provided an update about the phenomenal support he received from everyone. He was overwhelmed that he received $2,370 within several hours, including over $200 dropped into a makeshift donation box he set up at The Panic Room, the barbershop where he works at in Geylang.

“MiMi is a stray and if things go well for her, my family and I will be taking her in,” he wrote, thanking everyone for their contributions.

Shafaat updated everyone about the cat’s condition the next day. The vet assured that Mimi’s health stabilized and simply needed to get surgery on its jaw. Meanwhile, the pool of funds gathered for the cat managed to hit $4,177.

A second update that day showed that Mimi was well enough to walk around to get some pats and cuddles, supremely grateful to its rescuer. Shafaat was happy to report that the cat underwent the surgery and survived, and by the end of the day, a total of $5,297 had been gathered.

“It’s been overwhelming, these past two days for me. But I’m very humbled by everyone (who’ve been) coming out to help a stranger like me, and a cat that you guys barely know,” he noted in a vlog.

In his latest update on Wednesday, Shafaat assured everyone that Mimi has since been discharged and is currently recovering at his home. The cat has even made huge progress in returning to health too, eating and drinking on its own. The cost of treatment amounted to nearly $3,500 in the end, way below the total of $6510 in donations that had been collected by then.

“With such a huge amount of balance, I am still trying to figure out what to do with it,” wrote Shafaat, thanking everyone again for the support. The excess money will be used for expenses such as food and further checkups for Mimi, he says, while those who want their money back are welcome to contact him.

“This episode of my life has been such a blessing and I thank each and every one of you that has helped me out. May God bless every single one of you!”

Speaking to Coconuts Singapore, Shafaat noted that Mimi is doing just fine at his house, though it’s still getting used to the company of his other cats. According to him, the cat is still under medication and is due for another checkup with the vet soon.

For now, Shafaat is looking into shelters and organizations that he can forward the excess donations to. As for how the cat was suspected of being thrown down, Shafaat says that he’s letting go of the matter — he was more occupied with Mimi’s condition than how it could have fallen.

“At that point in time, my mind was just on saving Mimi. I was just being positive of the situation,” he informed Coconuts Singapore. “As much as I don’t believe that cats could easily slip and fall, I choose to believe that she had a tragic fall.”


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