Monday, February 27, 2006

Cats wandering

I just spoke to two different caregivers on opposite sides of the island. One had a complaint because there were problems with the town council coming down to trap her cats. I spoke to the officer who is quite a nice man, but is obviously quite hassled by complaints. He mentioned that while he sent down pest control, it was mostly for show, and that he usually told the volunteers beforehand (which is true). He said the problem wasn't that the community cats, but the home pets. He said quite a few people in those blocks had cats and let their cats wander and that the resulting number made it look very large.

I confirmed this with the volunteer and she said that they fed these home pets as well, so it did look like a lot at feeding time. She said the home cats were not being fed adequately, so they came to eat with her lot of community cats. This artificially inflates the number. The officer himself said the community cats alone were not a problem, but if you add the home cats, it became quite an issue.

We have flyered the blocks in the area, but obviously this did not work with a lot of the owners. I have asked the caregiver to please pinpoint the families, and we'll go down and speak with them.

One of the cats was caught by a resident and sent in - apparently it was a pet cat and now the volunteer has contacted the family whose cat it is. She is not very confident that they will go and redeem their cat.

Another caregiver mentioned that there was a family in her estate who let their cats out to wander at night. This also led to complaints in the area. She also needs help with mediation.

Obviously this is not the fault of the cats. Cats are not more prone to wandering than any animal - if you open the door, just about any other animal would walk out too. The onus is on the owner to take responsibility and keep the animal in.

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