Furbulous Celebrity Meow series: Priscelia Chan and her furry bundle of joy

“We hoped she’d be our twinkling joy, that’s why we called her Twinkle”

Photos: Priscelia Chan
Graphics: Wong Ming Yui

Christmas holds special significance for different groups of people: some see it as a time for praise and worship, while others see it as a time for celebrations with family and friends (for the kids it’s all about the presents under the tree #truestory). For celebrity couple Priscelia Chan and Alan Tern, it’s a special time of the year for them to celebrate their adopted pet cat Twinkle’s presence in their lives.

To Priscelia, Twinkle is like the brightest star shining atop a Christmas tree who fuels their lives with laughter and warmth.

In our final installment of the Furbulous Celebrity Meow series (read past stories on Lin Peifen, Nat Ho and Felicia Chin), we speak to Priscelia to find out about her story – one she calls a “pure coincidence”, with her irreplaceable twinkling joy.

The actress has always been drawn to cats for unknown reasons (Priscelia thinks it’s because she grew up seeing a cat painting at her grandfather’s house), but never had the urge to commit to becoming a pet owner until one fine day, two years ago, when she received a call about an abandoned cat from a vet friend.

“My friend told me she kept thinking of me when she was tending to this cat and said the cat is quite gentle and special - and she’s not too fierce too,” Priscelia recalled, “She sent me a picture of the cat, I took a look at it and immediately called a cab and rushed down to her clinic.”

While this may sound religious, Priscelia shared that she felt a strong calling to adopt Twinkle and bring her home - which she eventually did - after spending some time with it at the clinic.

Alan had some apprehensions about adopting Twinkle because he knows pets will die and that Priscelia would grow attached to the cat, “He asked me: ‘You sure about this?’ I don’t know why but I just found the courage to go with the flow,” she quipped.

“I made a prayer and felt this sense of peace and joy and told my friend I’d adopt her. We adopted her two weeks before Christmas, which is why I said Twinkle is a present from God.”

True enough, Twinkle brought joy into the couple’s lives. Although they don’t have a child of their own yet, Priscelia said having a pet at home is the same for couples who have children as it gives them “a common topic to talk about” which is “healthy” for a relationship as well.

For them, Twinkle is like the baby of the family whom they spoil with cat treats, new DIY or store-bought toys and decorative collars. While Alan tends to put together interesting makeshift toys made out of recycled boxes or t-shirts, Priscelia shared that she has picked up a few cute collar accessories for their cat – including a patriotic #SG50 collar to celebrate the nation’s birthday this year, which Twinkle wore during the Golden Jubilee celebrations.

Twinkle in her pearl and SG50 decorative collars

Once, the actress ordered a slightly expensive collar fashioned out of pearls for Twinkle to wear during Chinese New Year, but Alan deemed it too heavy for the cat. The “protective daddy” observed that it obstructed Twinkle’s movement as she did not jump as much as she did before.

“The moment we took off the collar, Twinkle started to jump around. What he said was really true and I was amazed by his keen observation,” Priscelia said.

That’s not all. We learned of Alan’s paternal protectiveness over Twinkle as Priscelia recounted how her husband once got angry with her for bringing home a bunch of lilies intended for a flower arrangement, “I was told it’s not the kind that are poisonous to cats but Alan said to me: ‘It’s still lilies’.”

After a “minute of silence”, Alan eventually decided they’d place the arrangement in the guestroom because Twinkle is not allowed in it. With a twinge of regret in her voice, Priscelia explained, “I felt guilty for choosing them but somehow at that point in time, I was so excited and felt I needed to match the flowers in my arrangement. Now I make sure I choose flowers that are not poisonous to her.”

Another thing the actress has wised up about since becoming a cat owner? Knowing her own limits and when enough is enough – a mentality that applies to her both as a person and an actress. “You learn that you cannot please everyone… it’s like a cat trait,” said Priscelia.

Who’s the bigger diva at home – Priscelia or Twinkle? And why does Twinkle meow non-stop whenever Alan sings at home? Read on to find out more!

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