Wednesday, May 31, 2006

You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink

I just spoke to a woman who said that she was sponsoring money for people who are sterilising the cats. She wanted to know if someone could help to trap the cats for sterilisation - she was willing to pay. She seems like a kind woman, but she said that it seems troublesome for people to trap the cats when they're already carrying food.

I mentioned that if they trap the cats quickly, they won't need to carry the trap hopefully for too long, or at least not every time they feed. In addition they'll be carrying more and more food if they don't sterilise. As everyone knows, food isn't particularly light either.

In addition, she said that the feeders complained their cats were caught. I told her we'd be happy to help them set up a TNRM programme, but they must be willing to do more than just feed. I told her we'd be happy to show them what needs to be done but they must be involved. Otherwise, it does make it very difficult to protect the cats. She said that it was very difficult as most of them did not want to do anything additional.

Sterilisation is the first step, but management will continue for the rest of the life of the colony. Most days, that doesn't involve much more than ensuring your cats are well, but at times, you may have to mediate or speak up for the cats.

Looking at the case I mentioned a few days ago, some feeders had been given free sterilisations for the last 5 years either by CWS, AVA or later on the caregivers in the area. I believe the caregivers even provided transport. Yet the number of cats remains as large as ever because they never really went all out to sterilise and let it slide. Now they're asking for more free slots. As the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.


Blogger calsifer said...

Agreed. I don't understand why even people who 'get it' are so resistant to sterilisation, and still prefer to feed only. They can do the sums, they can understand the logic, they know the implications of leaving the cats fertile, they even know about discounted slots with CWS. So why the resistance?

I admit I was leery of embarking on TNRM too.

When we first started, I was dreading the anticipated deluge of problems, especially complaints, and illnesses. But sterilising them does make a big positive impact on complaints, and feeding the cats decent food and giving them a bit of extras every now and then, according to the weather, does help with maintaining their health.

We still get problems of course - new cats popping, abandoned cats crying in the dead of night, free-ranging pet cats making dins ... but compared to the scenario if we did not sterilise, it's really THAT much easier to manage.

Ultimately, it's still the cats who suffer when more cats are born, start staying visible and so on.

You know the movie, the Matrix? Sometimes, it seems like these people are all pre-awakened Neos. Only, they ALL chose the blue pill.

I wish it could be as simple as being Morpheus, and making sure Neo got awakened regardless of which pill he chose >=)

It would make it a lot easier, and make things move faster, don't you think?

31/5/06 8:16 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Well put as always.

31/5/06 8:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is this lady at sunsetway who told me she can help to trap cats, i think it's abt $50/cat and discount given if you have more cats. She seems to be a nice lady who loves cats and feeds the cats in that area but she told me she catches them with nets, not too sure if that is good. I tried to trap one difficult new cat at my area. Everytime he just pees at the cage and went off.

2/6/06 1:07 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Nets can be good but you need to be very good at it because it can be rather scary for the cats so you really have one good shot at it.

Do you use a trap right now?

2/6/06 4:07 PM  

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