I just spoke to a woman who called up and said she wants to stop feeding. She said that she is scared of the town council officer because the officer came up to her unit on seeing her and just said hello. She said that all her friends are frightened because the officer may harm them. I asked her if she was doing anything wrong. She said she was not. She said that she was very frightened though. I tried to ask what she was frightened of, but she could not say.
I spoke to this woman last week and asked her to call the town council to just introduce herself and let them know that she was the contact person if there was a problem. The officer agreed feeding was not wrong, but asked her what to do if there was a complaint. The woman immediately asked her to call me. The officer got rather annoyed. I had spent some time explaining to her that she is the resident and needs to take some initiative as this is her estate. I also told her that her frequent protests that she is going to stop feeding make it difficult for me to tell the town council that there is someone there who is going to take charge. I explained to her that I would be there to give support, but that she cannot help the cats if she is scared about everything. I told her that while it was natural to be a little wary, she had done nothing wrong and hence there was nothing to be scared of.
The woman is not elderly or illiterate. She speaks some English as well - and it is worrying that there are some people who are so frightened of anything resembling authority.