Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Keeping your word to TCs

With all the rush of the last few days, I forgot to mention that the GM of the town council with the rude Property Manager called to say that he would meet us tomorrow. I spoke with the feeders in the area. One of them did not want to meet the town council the last time when the caregiver and I went to meet them last, so the town council had no idea she was in charge there.

At the same time, she mentioned she had sterilised less than half the cats she is looking after, though she has been feeding them for two years. She mentioned that it was too tiring to carry a cat trap down among other things. They trapped one of her unsterilised cats last week and she got angry understandably, but I told her there was much more she could do.

The thing is this - the town council cannot contact you or work with you if they don't know whom you are! You may be doing the best job in terms of sterilisations, but there may still be complaints, and the town council may not know whom to contact.

They also need to know that you are able to help with mediations and sterilisations.

Some people get complacent and think that since their area is now 'registered', they can stop sterilising. Just as you want your TC officer to keep their word, you have to keep yours. Make sure you sterilise all the cats there. This was one problem we spotted in some areas - the volunteers decided their cats were safe as the TC didn't come and trap and so they just stopped sterilising the cats.

The main component in ANY relationship is trust - and the same has to work with the TC and you. If the TC for some reason goes back on their word, then you can show that you kept your end of the bargain, and there's no reason they should have done that.

13 Comments:

Anonymous bc said...

I wonder if this is in my estate? Have heard about a rude, and eager cat-cull property officer.

PS: are you aware there's a double-post for this entry?

15/2/06 1:19 PM  
Anonymous bc said...

btw, "At the same time, she mentioned she had sterilised less than half the cats she is looking after, though she has been feeding them for two years. She mentioned that it was too tiring to carry a cat trap down among other things. They trapped one of her unsterilised cats last week and she got angry understandably, but I told her there was much more she could do."

No matter how it's diced, there's no adequate defence for complacency. After all, it takes two hands to clap, like you say, Dawn. If the town council is willing to work with us, we should never abuse or neglect the trust that we hold up our end of the bargain.

Being one of the mass-transport users, I can empathise with this feeder about how tiring it is to fetch the cat trap/carrier from home to the feeding grounds, especially after a tiring day at work. Worst is when the cat decides to play you out and MIA on THAT day you've decided to take away his/her mojo.

Plus, it is not easy to hail cabs sometimes. At times, it seems as if there's a collective taxi boycott against people lugging cats!

I hate it too to get curious stares, and the cat-victim makes it worse by calling piteously, at his loudest possible.

Murphy seemed hell-bent to make sure his Law applies too. I think he has a misguided soft-spot especially for the kitties.

Sometimes you feel murderous rage just at the way the damn cat seemed to have conspired with the world to thwart your good intentions.

But it's no excuse to rest before all the members of your soup-kitchen are all fixed.

The improvement in their disposition, their overall health, these should be enough to convince anyone of the virtues of sterilisation. Plus the fact that they no longer get ugly fighting scars and go missing for long periods of time, only to return looking seedy and silly after a long absence.

Most importantly, the 'insurance' against town council action, is surely worth the effort and money spent!

Complacency really has no place in the dictionary of stray care-giver.

I think it's very important to remember it.

15/2/06 1:49 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Bc - no it's not your estate.

Well put BC. I know people like you and many others put in a LOT of time and effort, and it's really tiring. The good news is : it will get better! Eventually, you'll sterilise only when say newcomers enter (when the older ones die), and so you won't have to constantly be out there every night trapping which many of you are doing. Hats off to all of you.

15/2/06 3:48 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

And Oops I didn't - thanks BC!

15/2/06 3:49 PM  
Anonymous bc said...

Our lots are quite stable now... except for the complaint-prone area. Somehow, people like to dump cats there - thankfully, it's not reached crisis levels *touch wood*. Just over the past two days, we've seen one new cat on each day, in the same location. We're dreading tonight... hopefully it's stopping at two.

Both were obviously dumped, but whether as pets or relocated from other community cat population is a question, though it seemed like the Monday girl, Sana, is street-smart. The Tuesday kitty, Satchi (probably girl), has a tipped-ear but is rooted to the spot and has the tail tucked firmly between the legs, so seems like an abandoned pet. We can't bring Satchi home of course, but will check up on her if she stays around.

Here's the intriguing thing: there seems to a person or persons in the area, sterilising cats, but the strange thing is, the cats this person/persons fix are not originally from the area. Over the past 6 months, including these two, we've got 5 such cats already. They are all females, which I'm sure is a coincidence or not. Out of the three that appeared earlier, only 1, Sally, is staying put.

There's 3 additional cats abandoned as pets over the same period. One, we named Abby, was an advanced kidney patient and died 9 days after we picked her up. The second, Sara, is a beautiful, young, light brown patch girl with blue eyes whom we sterilised. It her two months to settle down and before she appeared routinely enough for us to arrange her appt. Benny, since MIA, was a large healthy striped tabby we didn't manage to befriend before he disappeared. Hopefully, someone nice will pick him up and get him done, where ever he settles down.

There's a marked difference in behaviour between these abandoned pets and the tip-earred cats that pop up - the tip-ears seem to be street-smart on the whole.

So we're wondering if there's a fairy god-sterilisation-mother on the loose, who likes to relocate his/her handiwork to our area.

So far, we're clueless!

It's not a totally bad a problem to have - since the newbies are sterilised, but displacement is a real worry, and given the complaint-happy nature of the human lot in the area, it may start to get hairy if this goes on!

15/2/06 4:59 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

BC - yes it is going to cause a problem if it goes on like you said. Also if this person is dumping cats, relocation rarely works as you said - the cats are likely to bee driven away and disappear.

Will town council allow you to put up signs do you think?

15/2/06 5:24 PM  
Blogger vegancat said...

It is true what Dawn said. I remember when Carol and I started at this part of the estate a year and a half ago, we could "peng san" ("faint") but we just focused on the task at hand and not worry too much about how far more to go. Now we "enjoyed" the fruit of our labour when we have to look very hard for a cat that is not tip-ear.

15/2/06 6:53 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Vegancat and Carol do a great job! It's good to hear that it's working out!

15/2/06 7:20 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Vegancat and Carol do a great job! It's good to hear that it's working out!

15/2/06 7:21 PM  
Anonymous bc said...

Dawn,
Putting up signs in that area may not be a good idea. Experience tells us that it draws attention to the fact that cats exist, and given the complaint-happy residents, it may have the adverse effect of these people noticing and complaining about the resident cats instead... catch-22.

Vegancat,
I can certainly see the difference that sterilisation makes myself, which is why I don't understand why any carer would not want to sterilise every cat!

In fact, during PR sessions while feeding, I often ask interested passers-by if they noticed that unlike other places where cats are not sterilised, it's always the same bunch of tip-eared cats they see in our feeding grounds, and that they're healthy and sleek, again unlike unsterilised cats in other areas. Then I proceed to explain why, and even ask them if they have cats or friends who have cats to sterilise.

16/2/06 8:15 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

BC - the sign could be about abandonment of these cats, not about abandonment of cats in your colony per se.

16/2/06 10:13 AM  
Anonymous bc said...

Dawn,
I'm not so sure about it - anything that brings attention to the cats seem to work against them. =(

But we'll see what we can do.

16/2/06 1:24 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

BC - it is your area and you would know what's best in that situation obviously. I'm sure you'll do a good job no matter what you decide!

16/2/06 5:38 PM  

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