It was an ordinary Wednesday for 53-year-old private hire vehicle driver Mazlan Masuri, who was driving on the Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway (KPE) towards East Coast Parkway (ECP) around 5pm.
That is, until he saw a small, light brown object on the side of the road.
In a Facebook post, Mazlan writes: “I was driving through the tunnel when something caught my eye.”
Unsure of what it was, but worried nonetheless, Mazlan decided to circle back.
His worst fear, unfortunately, was true – the light brown object turned out to be a hurt, terrified and stranded cat.
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We can only imagine how terrified the cat was feeling – possibly struck by a car, hurt, and stranded deep within a tunnel, surrounded by hundreds of loud, fast-moving vehicles.
And it was those hundreds of loud, fast-moving vehicles that Mazlan had to work around, to get to the injured cat. “The traffic was fierce at the time, because it was peak hour, but I just went on,” he wrote.
When he got there: “I was afraid that it would run off when I approached it, but the kitty was too afraid to move – maybe due to its injuries – so I just picked it up and went back to my car.”
Mazlan also had words of praise for the gentlemen behind the Land Transport Authority’s (LTA) Expressway Monitoring Advisory System (EMAS) tow team, who quickly arrived to assist in shielding him from traffic as he rescued the cat – later identified as a one-year-old female domestic shorthair cat – and placed her in his car.
Mazlan promptly drove the injured cat to the Clementi Animal Clinic for a check-up, where she was stabilised. However, as she remained skittish, the clinic decided to keep her overnight for observation.
Speaking to The Pride, animal lover Mazlan shares: “I used to work as a trainer at the Singapore Zoological Gardens. It was there that my feelings towards animals developed, and the passion to know more about them grew stronger. Any animal lover would have done what I did.”
In his Facebook post, he took the opportunity to appeal for help in defraying the cost of the treatment at the veterinarian’s, as his income as a private hire vehicle driver was not enough for that. Almost immediately, help, in the form of monetary donations from kind netizens, came pouring in.
On Oct 25, Mazlan posted a Facebook update, where he thanked everyone for the response and support. “Donations are pouring in, and so far, a total of $682 has been collected.”
This money will go towards the bills, which have come up to almost $530 so far – although the price of further treatment has not been determined.
X-ray results show that the cat, now nicknamed Tabby, has no broken bones. “But, she still can’t stand or walk, so the vet suspects she has a damaged nerve,” he wrote.
Mazlan highlighted that Tabby will probably require rehabilitation and acupuncture treatment after she is discharged.
In a further update, Masuri shares with The Pride: “As of Oct 26, I have received $1,380 in donations from some 40 good Samaritans. But the amount needed for the kitty is inconclusive because the cat needs further therapy for the suspected damaged nerves. Sadly, she has also completely lost the use of her front left limb.
“I’m deeply touched and grateful by the amount of support coming from good Samaritans who are total strangers. These are the true heroes who restores my faith in humanity.”
We’re thankful for this double act of kindness: for someone as kind as Mazlan to turn back for Tabby, and for the many netizens, who donated money towards Tabby’s veterinary bills.
If you’re keen to donate towards Tabby’s rehabilitation costs, find out how you can here.
Mazlan adds that he is also looking for someone to foster or adopt Tabby, who is not sterilised.