A Tail Of 3 Kitties & 88.3JIA DJ Ivy, The Purr Mum

She’s a cat mum and she’s proud of it, as she should be!

By Sean Yee        7 March 2024

One of the purest forms of love in this world is one that a pet has for its human parent. 88.3JIA DJ Ivy Tan (@883ivy) knows this firsthand. No matter how hectic her professional life can get, she looks forward to a home shared with her trio of furry cat babies — Fred, Sir Meowalot and Kylie. 

A veteran in the radio scene, intrepid traveller Ivy is always on the lookout for her next big trip of self-discovery. She spent one and a half years in Spain, where she went to learn the Spanish language and immerse herself in the culture. Her interest in personal narratives and experiences lets her really connect with her guests, having interviewed entertainment A-listers like Jay Chou, Eason Chan, G-Dragon and Big Bang. At the moment, she spearheads her own 88.3JIA radio segment 午间到 (Lunch with Ivy) on weekdays from 10am to 2pm, where she also shares heartfelt tales about her pets. 

We speak to Ivy to learn about her life as a purr mum and how it came to be.

Say meow to her trio of mischief makers!

DJ Ivy of 88.3JIA with her cats
Ivy with Kylie (first from left) and Sir Meowalot (second and third from left).

Meet Ivy’s Cat Squad — Fred, Kylie, and Sir Meowalot. While each of them may have their own unique quirks and idiosyncrasies, Ivy knows that they’ll scratch her back if she scratches theirs (both literally and metaphorically!). They provide her assurance and company, and she gives them plenty of belly rubs! “You know you are their hooman when your cats snuggle up with you! It’s the best feeling in the world”, Ivy shares. 

Fred especially loves their cuddle sessions, unafraid to show his affection for the animated radio personality. This wasn’t always the case for the 8-year-old feline, however. “Fred has always been an anxious cat. When I first took him in, he only had half his fur left; he actually licked the other half of it off due to his anxiety. It’s been three years since and while his fur is growing back, there are still remnants of his darker days”, she admits. The introverted cat may be shy around strangers, but when he does open up, Fred becomes a soulmate for life.

Like his name, Sir Meowalot doesn’t shy away from making an impression. He craves an audience, and Ivy is his greatest fan. “He “sings” every night when I’m going to bed. I like to think that he is serenading me with a lullaby!”, she says. A cat who loves everything fun and playful, Sir Meowalot entertains Ivy with mischievous antics befitting his carefree and curious nature. Fun fact: he is also Fred’s best friend! 

The youngest of the trio, Kylie is the personification of the adage, do not judge a book by its cover. She may be the smallest of the trio, but she makes up for it with feistiness, and a tenderness that is incredibly endearing. “Every night, Kylie and I have this unspoken ritual where she would lay by my side as we get ready for bed. It’s our special moment together, where it’s just the two of us enjoying each other’s company”, she shares. 

Intertwining destinies

Fred (left) with Sir Meowalot getting into their mums luggage.

Ivy never anticipated sharing her home with a cat, let alone three of them. She grew up in a home that was bustling with animals of all kinds, but never cats. “My childhood home was like a zoo! We had 3 dogs, 2 parrots, a family of fishes and a terrapin”, she reveals. It almost seemed like destiny when a cat rescuer, Laura, sought her out unexpectedly. “She asked if I could foster one of her cats. Back then, I agreed to a temporary arrangement spanning only a month”, she unveils. 

This cat turned out to be Sir Meowalot. Abandoned by his previous owner at the shelter, he was simply left in the lurch after his abrupt displacement. There was no other recourse for him and he was to be put down. 

Just an hour before his point of no return, someone from the shelter decided to give Sir Meowalot one last shot. His benefactor called up Laura to see if anything could be done for the cat. 

“Laura tried her very best to rehome him, even paying out of her own pocket to house him in a temporary shelter. Sir Meowalot moved from one foster home to another”, she shares. Ivy took him in for a month, before having to put him up at a pet hotel as she had to be away for two weeks. “When they came to pick him up, he was screaming and crying. It was heartbreaking. He must have thought that he was being abandoned again. It was hard not to tear up, watching him being carried away from my arms”, she explains. Ivy knew then that she couldn’t leave Sir Meowalot to his fate. 

Kylie (bottom) and Fred (top) chilling at home.

Fred and Kylie were also introduced to Ivy by Laura. The three loveable cats are now thriving under Ivy’s care, with a community of her close friends who love them as much as she does. 

“The fur kids thankfully have a godma who adores them so much! She’s always willing to come over to take care of them when I’m away. I also have my vet on speed dial and WhatsApp just in case!”, she shares.  

Fostering a cat isn’t a walk in the park, but it sure is rewarding!

Sir Meowalot (left) and Fred plotting to take over the world.

Ivy has always been a committed advocate of ‘adopt, don’t shop’. For anyone considering adopting a pet of their own, she has this bit of insight to share, “The first few months will be tough, and you might feel like giving up. Don’t. Hang in there. The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is worth every ounce of sweat and tears”. And for Ivy, this pot of gold translates into the simplest but sweetest acts of reciprocal love, from Fred and Kylie snuggling up with her at night to Sir Meowalot’s daily lullabies. 

She is doing her very best to feed her feline family with nutritious food despite their insistence on less healthy alternatives. “I tried everything for my cats, buying everything that is organic and nutritious, but they just love their dried biscuits!”, she laments.

Have any pet care tips to share? Make sure to share them on DJ Ivy’s radio show《午间到》on 88.3JIA , which she hosts on weekdays from 10am to 2pm. In addition to her commentaries on everyday slices of life, she also promises humorous stories about her cats! 

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