Mohd Eliyas, 42, a taxi driver has attended to about 30 cases of cats that were abandoned or injured, tirelessly rescuing and rehoming them whenever possible. Mr Eliyas was one of six “cat heroes” whom the Cat Welfare Society (CWS) and Pet Lovers Foundation have identified under a new initiative to recognise the work of volunteers who have risen to the call of rescue duty. Other recipients include the anonymous pair who reported the Tampines cat abuser to the police; Ms Janet Sum, who helped to rush a cat caught in a glue trap to the veterinarian; and Ms Law Mui Eng, who saved more than 20 cats from a cat hoarder.
Yesterday, four of the six were each given a certificate and a S$100 gift pack containing cat food and a cat scratcher, among other items. CWS and Pet Lovers Foundation will continue this initiative every six months to commend individuals who have helped out in rescue cases. Speaking to TODAY, Mr Eliyas said he has carried out three separate cat rescue operations along the expressways this year. Among all the cases he has handled, the most unforgettable one involved a black and white kitten named Valentini, he said.
Mr Eliyas spotted the kitten in the middle of the road on the Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway on the eve of Valentine’s Day. However, because he had a passenger on board, he could not check on the kitten, which had scurried back into the bushes along the road divider. At around midnight that day, he began his rescue operation, walking a couple of kilometres to reach the location where he saw the cat. When he found it eventually, he noticed that its lower body was paralysed, and it was dragging itself around by crawling. Mr Eliyas brought the cat home and sent it to the vet the following morning. But during the check-up, the cat’s bladder burst and it had to be put to sleep. That incident made him more determined to continue with his rescue work, Mr Eliyas said. In separate cases at East Coast Parkway and the Pan-Island Expressway in April and May, for instance, he spent several nights engaged in rescue operations.While he sometimes tries to raise funds or find a home for the rescued cats via social media, Mr Eliyas said he is not always successful.