From Teddy Lovers to Teddy Superfans: the People Behind @RafflesTeddy

Reading Time: 5 minutes

By Mirella Ang (22A01C) and Tay Yu Ning (23S06E)

“Teddy, stop moving!” exclaimed Yee Shao Hua (23S02A), as he attempted to get Teddy to stand still. “We usually have the opposite problem. Usually he doesn’t move at all.”

Shao Hua is one of the three people responsible for running the @rafflesteddy account on Instagram. Along with former students Rachel Lim (21S06J) and Xe Anong (21S06B), he takes photos of Teddy and uploads them onto the account. Having accumulated over 3000 followers over a span of 3 years, it is quite clear that their account (and by extension Teddy) is very popular amongst both present and former students.

A photo of Shao Hua taking a photo of Teddy.

HOW IT ALL STARTED

The account was started by Rachel in March 2020, barely three months after she joined the school. 

Rachel really loves cats and was immediately drawn to Teddy when she first saw him in school. “I took many, many pictures of him almost every day, and I wanted to share these pictures of Teddy with everyone,” she said. 

She reached out to @rjcteddy, a now-defunct Instagram page that posted pictures of Teddy, wanting to join as a contributor. When she didn’t get a reply, she decided to set up her own Teddy Instagram fanpage. 

She recruited her friend, Xe, who had experience running a school meme account, as her co-admin. “I am very fond of Teddy, so of course I wanted to be a part of this,” commented Xe. 

Rachel and Xe posing with their favourite tabby cat. (Credit: @rafflesteddy)

The two began cataloguing Teddy’s daily life, with their very first post going live on March 7, 2020. The account initially did not receive a lot of attention, but it gradually grew in popularity throughout 2020, and eventually became a household name known to most RI students.

It’s really heartwarming to see how the account has grown into a platform where people could express their love for our chonky boi Teddy.

Rachel Lim (21S06J)

RUNNING THE @RAFFLESTEDDY ACCOUNT

Rachel and Xe soon settled into the motion of uploading one post per day to the Instagram account. 

While they did not assign any official roles, the duo naturally gravitated to duties more in line with their talents. Rachel was better at remembering to post daily, so she often acted as the “main admin” of the accounts: crafting daily posts and stories, responding to DMs and comments, and designing graphics for special posts such as information about Teddy’s visit to the vet. 

As the owner of another Rafflesian Instagram account @elitistfoolscap, it was only natural for Xe to be in charge of special events and collaborations. To raise funds for Teddy to see the vet, he created the custom Teddy foolscap paper and helped promote it. He also “hauled” Teddy to the vet, which reportedly took over 2 hours because of Teddy’s stubbornness! 

Teddy’s foolscap pad! Available for PDF download at https://teddyfoolscap.carrd.co

Rachel and Xe had many fond memories taking care of Teddy. However, they knew that they would be unable to continue running the account after their graduation. Hence, towards the end of 2021, they began thinking about passing the account down to a junior.

The junior they chose to take over the account was Shao Hua. Having known both Rachel and Xe beforehand, Shao Hua asked if he could help with the account once they’ve graduated and they agreed. Shao Hua had already started helping Rachel and Xe while he was in RI (Y1-4), having collected and delivered orders for Teddy merchandise to the RI Y1-4 students.

When asked why he wanted to participate in running the account, Shao Hua commented: “Honestly, who doesn’t love Teddy? Of course I wouldn’t turn down any opportunity to keep the account going!”

As a passionate member of Raffles Photographic Society, Shao Hua often uses his camera to take picturesque shots of Teddy.

A picture Shao Hua took of Teddy with his camera.

Although Shao Hua regularly heads down to The Crib to take photos of Teddy, he also accepts submissions from other members of the school. 

These days there is a constant flow of submissions coming in from both students and staff alike, so I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for the submissions and fanart and do keep them coming in! 

Yee Shao Hua (23S02A)

FURIENDS 

While the Teddy admins all knew each other before the account was even started, taking care of Teddy has certainly added an extra dimension to their friendship. 

Rachel and Xe have always been close — they were in the same CCA back in secondary school. They wanted to continue being friends even as they came to RI and had less opportunities to see each other. Taking care of Teddy helped maintain their friendship despite their hectic schedules in JC life. “Visiting Teddy together and collaborating with each other’s accounts helped us stay close even though we were in different CCAs and classes in JC,” Rachel said. 

The pair first met Shao Hua through a school Discord server, and were able to befriend him through their shared love for Teddy.

“Our enjoyment of King Teddy has bonded us even though we are batches apart,” commented Xe. 

The admins with Teddy.

As for their relationship with Teddy himself, it seems as though he has gotten very used to the trio’s presences. When Rachel visited the Crib, Teddy would run up to her and “bunt” her legs. She even managed to teach Teddy tricks! 

“I was able to get Teddy to carry out tricks such as pawshake and high-five!”, she said. 

Xe misses Teddy a lot since graduating. “I hope to one day get to pat his fluffy belly once more.”

Over the years of running the account, the trio have built many memories with the King of the Crib. One of their favourite memories was running the collaboration with the @elitistfoolsap account. For Rachel, some of her other favourite memories included building Teddy a mini-shelter and our recent April Fools’ prank. 

However, not everything was, as Rachel put it, “smooth-sailing”. Their concern for Teddy’s health sometimes overshadowed their excitement of running the account. 

“It’s not easy trying to get him to lose weight since he’s a community cat”, Xe said. 

Rachel concurred. To make matters worse, Teddy also has an aversion to visiting the vet. “In 2021, he was screaming inside the carrier during the car ride to the vet, and this year, he broke out of the carrier in the Crib!” 

To monitor his weight, the group tries to weigh Teddy every once in a while. This is Shao Hua trying to coerce Teddy to go into the basket so they can weigh him.

From the admins’ adventures as students to Rachel and Xe’s returns as alumni, it’s clear that these three have gone above and beyond in running this Instagram account. They have put in so many hours taking care of the school stray, and their empathy for a stray is admirable.

And as always, the three would like to remind everyone: 

In light of Teddy’s health, please DO NOT feed him. He is already being fed regularly.

422170cookie-checkFrom Teddy Lovers to Teddy Superfans: the People Behind @RafflesTeddy

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