Don't overstretch yourself
One of the vets called today to ask if we could help trace a feeder who owes them a few thousand dollars, I believe.
The feeder had been running into debt for the last few years. Quite a few other volunteers have also spoken to her and told her that she cannot keep this up. While she is kind hearted, the problem is that she cannot say no. It is to her credit that she wants to help the cats - but there is a limit to what any one person can do.
What's happened now is that she owes the vet so much money that she cannot go back to the vet. Her income is not nearly enough to cover her expenditure. She owes the credit card companies money. One of our ex-committee members and I had spoken to her about working to pay back her credit card debt in the past, but that didn't work out as she is unable to say no when she sees a cat in need.
I just SMSed her but got no reply.
The point of all this is really as a reminder that as much as we want to help every cat out there, we simply can't. No one person or organisation has the resources in terms of money, time and effort to help every single cat out there. If we harness our abilities as a society as a whole, we'll be able to someday get a handle on the problem. Until then, sometimes you have to realise that you can only do so much. I've seen caregivers and feeders losing weight, getting sick and getting into debt because they cannot stop. I've also seen their cats losing hair, getting sick and stressed, and even dying, because of too many cats and inadequate medical care.
Do what you can - and realise that everyone has limits. It doesn't do you - or the cats - any good if you're overstretched.