Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Sterilising - more flexible than feeding

I spoke to a caregiver this afternoon. She mentioned that she has already sterilised all the cats in her area, but that she would like to do more in terms of sterilisation. She said she does not have the time to feed every day, and that in addition, so many people are already feeding in the areas around her but not sterilising. She said she would like to let them do the feeding, but that her role would be to sterilise.

She does bring up a good point too, which is that while feeding has to be done every day (or almost every day), sterilisation does give you a bit more flexibility. You can decide when is more convenient for you to trap and send the cats in. In addition, she is absolutely right - there are always people feeding, but not all those people are sterilising. I do know of a handful of people (and I do mean a HANDFUL :)) but I hope more people like this woman come forward.


Blogger calsifer said...

Kudos to this lady for wanting to expand her sterilisation efforts!

I guess she has contact with the feeders? More power to her!

Frankly, I had thought, initially, that it might be possible to parcel out some of the feeding too, and free up time and resource to try and neuter more... but SIGH.

We do have feeders around the vicinity, but drats, they're all ghost/casual feeders, of the irresponsible ilk. We only see the mess they leave behind, not the culprits. And the ones that we do manage to catch in the act? We try to talk to them. But what happens is that we feel like adults catching kids with their hands in the proverbial cookie jar. They get steamingly defensive about their feeding.

And the after effects are nothing sort of amazing: these people pretend they never saw you, never hear you talk in their face about responsible feeding, never hear you talk about sterilisation, and how they're jeopardazing the cats' safety, not being kind by plopping food anywhere they please etc.

You know, it's like they got neuralised!

Strangely, they seem to remember enough to time their feeding so that they don't ever meet us again!

It's enough to make saints pop veins, so needless to say, it leaves us very very peeved.

Its gotten so that I believe that, when we get to the end of the road, btmao and me are gonna be very short on brain and blood cell count =P

Anyway, that's our peeve, but again, kudos to this lady =D

30/8/06 9:19 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Poor ladies! Actually I'm not sure that she does know all the feeders there - she might just sterilise anyway and hope that helps somewhat.

You're absolutely right though that even if the area has a whole colony of sterilised cats, the presence of ghost feeders can really spoil the work of responsible caregivers like yourself and Btmao. Hang in there!

30/8/06 10:29 PM  
Blogger calsifer said...

So far, we're lucky. There's a cleaner in the area who goes around cleaning up for these feeders - we've met her and she always tell us to leave it, she can clean up. Sometimes, I wonder if she spoilt them by telling them she'll clean up.

But they don't think about what if she goes elsewhere, or if she got tired with cleaning up after their mess. She's not the only cleaner either, and the other cleaners may not share her equanimity.

Anyway, I have a t-shirt that says, "IF you can't convince them, confuse them."

When dealing with these ghost/casual irresponsible feeders, I've developed a mantra along the same lines, "IF you can't convince them, confusticate (confuse AND intimidate) them."

Doesn't work all that well, esp when pitted against icorrigibles, but at least it rattles them a bit. I figure, why let them rest easy - give them a little taste of what it's like to fret and worry - $500 littering fines, corrective works orders, TC visits... Who knows, they might accidentally deploy some brain cells and form an original thought or two that helps them SEE the situation.

31/8/06 9:13 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

This is one of those moments when a truly Singaporean institution - the fine - could be very well used.

31/8/06 9:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a suggestion: print sterilisation 'vouchers' for sale to the general public. This voucher pays to get 2 males or one female cat sterilised.
These vouchers (actually slots for sterilisation, no actual paper is needed) would be given to needy care-givers who writes in to apply for the free sterilisation.
When the sterilisation is done, the donor gets a card that his/her donation has been utilised on such a such a date and one meow =^..^= or two meows thank him/her.

31/8/06 3:34 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Anonymous that's a very nice idea, and one we'll certainly consider but administratively I'm not sure if it's possible right now. We do already have some people writing in and offering to sponsor some slots, which we try to pass on to needy caregivers.

I'm not sure how the new charity rules would work on this basis though. How for example would we decide whom was 'neediest'? Bank statements checked? Anyone would qualify? First come, first served? Would there be income requirements? We had one woman who tried to donate to all the caregivers in the area, and I can tell you it's giving me nightmares right now, because everyone wants that bit of money and they all don't work together.

One other option is to get people to just approach caregivers whom they see in their own neighbourhoods and arrange through us to book the slots. They can then pay the vet direct and that would make things very easy for all involved.

31/8/06 3:45 PM  

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