The boy who was caught on CCTV throwing a black cat off the 22nd floor in Boon Lay said he did it because his family did not care for him.
At least five cats in the area fell from height in two years
47-year-old resident Cai Mei Mei (name in hanyupinyin) told Lianhe Zaobao that the cat, whom residents affectionately named Panther, was at least 15 years old.
"I am very sad. In the past two years, at least five cats have fallen from height in this area. But we were unable to confirm if the previous incidents were accidents or if someone intentionally threw them off the building."
Cai said she confronted the boy, who initially denied throwing the cat, but later confessed when she questioned him again while filming him.
According to her, the boy said he did it because he "did not receive love and care from his family".
The Zaobao reporter located the boy's unit near the scene of the crime.
His father answered the door. He said the authorities are investigating the matter and declined to comment.
Boy described as quiet and always smiling
Zaobao also spoke to a 10-year-old boy who lives in the same block as the boy in the video.
He said they are of the same age and they would play occasionally hide-and-seek with the other children in the neighbourhood.
He described the boy as quite quiet and always smiling.
Aarthi Sankar, executive director of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), said the society has visited the boy's home and is working closely with the authorities to counsel the boy.
"Cases of child cruelty to animals are relatively rare and this incident proves that it is important to raise awareness about caring for animals," he said.
Li Feng Ling, a senior counsellor at TOUCH Community Services, said that the boy may have acted in such a way to vent his emotions or to attract the attention of his family.
"What these children need is more guidance from adults. Parents should have more conversations with their children to understand how to make them feel loved," Li said.
Memorial for Panther
TikTok user @ummycaty shared photos of a makeshift memorial that has been set up at Block 186 Boon Lay Avenue for Panther.
A bouquet of flowers rests next to what appears to be the community cat's cardboard bed and water dish.
On the railings above are printed photos of Panther and a note, presumably written by one of Panther's caregivers.
@ummycaty Rest in peace Panther, we loved you… #fyp #sgviral #fypシ #viralvideo #catsoftiktok #cat #kucing #viraltiktok #budakdegil #dangerboy #boonlay ♬ Sad Music - Max-Music
The note reads:
"By now, everyone would have heard of the tragedy that has befallen our community cat, the black cat Panther. Panther has been in our care and dearly loved for more than ten years. His caretakers would like to tell everyone that unfortunately Panther has succumbed to his injuries and passed away.
Panther was taken against his will and thrown off the 22nd floor to his death. The perpetrator was a cruel and heartless 10 year old boy, old enough to know better. We want justice for Panther who lost his life so tragically and meaninglessly. We appeal to everyone to have compassion for our community animals. Even if you don't like them, please do not hurt them.
May Panther Rest In Peace."
Police have spoken to the boy
The Animal & Veterinary Service (AVS), which is under the National Parks Board (NParks), are currently investigating the case.The Singapore Police Force has confirmed that a report was lodged.
Cat Welfare Society (CWS) board member Rifdi Rafiuddin told The Straits Times the police have spoken to the boy in the video.
At the time of writing, more than 30,000 people have signed a petition to seek justice for the beloved cat.
Top images by @ummycaty/TikTok and Janet CashCash Chin/FB.