Friday, July 21, 2006

Don't wait for a crisis

I spoke with a young woman whom I first met a few years ago because she was having trouble with a neighbour who was upset that the community cats were running into his yard. She had taken over feeding from another neighbour and had not been there long. When the problem started, she approached us for help and started sterilising. I understand sometimes you may not have a good idea of how to start, or the idea of sterilisation may not occur right at the beginning. This is understandable.

The situation got so bad between her and the neighbours that she moved out and found another place, taking the community cats with her. In this new area she moved to, there were more community cats that were already there. Another resident started sterilising the cats on her end of the street and helped this feeder as well to make a start on her end.

This other resident moved out a while ago, and she had repeatedly told the feeder to make sure to sterilise the cats.

I received a call from the feeder this morning. Another neighbour trapped 5 kittens this morning and still has the trap with her so more cats are likely to be trapped. I asked what had happened with the sterilisation, as I thought she was sterilising the cats. She said she had not had the time to sterilise but now there was someone who hated cats trapping. Now she needs to do it urgently.

Please - don't wait till there is a crisis till you start sterilising and managing. Your relations with your neighbours will sour, you will get very stressed, and most importantly, at least some of your cats are going to get caught.

For most complainants, they are not usually going to ask for a trap till the situation gets quite bad at which point they will start to trap. When they find that it's easy to trap, they may decide to keep doing it.

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