Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Tossing Cats at markets

I have my second email in the last two days about people tossing cats at markets. The first one was from a woman who picked up a cat. She was considering getting it sterilised after feeding for it for a while. Then she decided that it was too much trouble. Next stop? The market.

Another woman wrote in today. She has been writing in since early this year about the cat (now cats in the plural) in her area. She says that she feels bad that they're hungry so she has been feeding them. We advised her to sterilise, and she agreed, but there was always some reason that she could not sterilise. She was supposed to pick up traps from two different volunteers at different times but kept saying she could not do so. Now the one cat she started to feed has multiplied into eight, especially since the mother cat had 4 kittens yesterday. She says her neighbours are annoyed, so she is going to stop feeding, toss Dettol in the area to keep them away, and bring the kittens in two weeks, to you guessed it, the MARKET!

People love to throw cats at markets. Where there's food, they reason, the cats won't starve. Cats though when tossed there, and used to be being fed, will go up and beg for food from people, which means, they're probably going to get rounded up.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can I suggest something? There are a lot of people in various neighbourhoods who, at some point or other, need assistance with the care of community cats.

On the other hand, there are also a good number of people, also in various neighbourhoods, who may like to help but may not know how, or who may not know that help is needed at their doorstep.

Would it be possible for the CWS to run a service to match potential volunteers with those in need? It can be done in, say, a bulletin board type style, on their website. This would tie in with the training that CWS gives on TNRM, etc in that people who wish to help but are inexperienced can approach CWS for training.

I can imagine a thousand reasons springing into your mind as you read this, Dawn, on why it is unfeasible or plain (or plain stupid :))or you may already have something like that going, but I just thought I would give my two cents' worth. I feel terrible when I read abt all these problems and it's always the cats who suffer at the end.

29/8/06 12:06 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Hi Anonymous - we do already do this. We have a database of volunteers we know and we match people in the same area together.

The problem with this is that most caregivers are still busy trapping their OWN cats. They are more than happy to teach newcomers what to do - but what quite a few people expect is that someone will come and trap all their cats FOR them. If it's the former who need some help to learn the ropes, there have been quite a few successful pairings already.

I just spoke to a woman yesterday and offered to tie her up with a more experienced caregiver. She asked if the woman is going to come and trap all the cats for her. I explained the caregiver cannot as she is still trapping in her own neighbourhood.

The woman said to me, then what's the point in talking to her if she doesn't come and do it for me?

We also tried to start a group to just do trapping last year under Jolanda. Something like 6 people signed up. No one ever showed. After a few attempts, Jolanda gave up.

We've also tried to recruit people for trapping - the response for trapping and fostering are the most dismal. Trapping even more so than fostering. At one volunteer session I remember, a grand total of zero people signed up for help with trapping.

We also let anyone know that if they can get a few people together we'll come down to THEIR neighbourhood and show them how to trap and run a management programme. All we ask for is a room so we don't end up standing in a void deck and get arrested for illegal assembly! :)

29/8/06 12:18 PM  
Anonymous yskat said...

Dawn: you are right. There are feeders who want to get their cats sterilised, but do not want to get involved at all in the process. Some time ago, I got a call from such a feeder, who was referred to me by the owner of pet supplies shop. She wanted me to book the slots, do the trapping, pay for the transport and vet fees. In addition to 'not having money' to get the cats sterilised, she also did not want to help with the trapping because she thought trapped cats look 'very pitiful'. I told her that there were other more dedicated caregivers who needed my help.

29/8/06 12:55 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

29/8/06 2:30 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Yskat - I think the thing is most people are happy to help as you said, but the other party has to do something, whether it be pay for it, or offer to do transport or anything.

The caregiver in Jurong sterilised the cats for the people there - mind you, she doesn't feed because she knows there are plenty of people feeding. Now that these cats are going missing, the people coming forward are mostly NOT their feeders, who don't seem to care according to the caregiver. When their cats get caught, they don't care either. It makes the caregiver very upset because she cannot understand how someone can have a 5 year relationship with the cat and then not care that it's being killed.

29/8/06 2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When feeders feed the cats, they have done the kind deeds & hopefully credited with merit pts. If cats get caught, it is fated.
It is nothing personal lah.

29/8/06 3:53 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Anonymous - here's another interpretation :

Scenario 1 :-feeder sterilises AND feeds, cats are all well taken care of. Plenty of merit in that.

Scenario 2 :- cats are not fed. They spend time hunting for food, they're more wary, they reproduce less and bring less attention to themselves.

Scenario 3 :- Feeder feeds, doesn't sterilise. Population grows and probably OVER breeds because now they have an ample supply of food, whereas they didn't before. People now notice the cats because (1) they're friendlier and waiting for food (2) because of the sheer number of cats because of the feeding. Cats get caught. They die.

It may not be anything personal, but the end result is the cats are killed. The feeding is indirectly causing the cats to be killed - so how is there merit? There is such a thing as tempting fate.

29/8/06 3:58 PM  
Blogger calsifer said...

I agree totally with your explanations. There is NO MERIT CREDIT in just feeding for merit... only a great big MERIT OVERDRAFT, if not a serious DEBIT.

I do believe this point about merit is the uderlying problem with many pure feeders, at least where Chinese are concerned, though I have heard similar sentiments from feeders/passers-by of other creeds.

Us Chinese (at least the Taoist/Buddhists and all the permutations in between) have a thing about merit, and many feel to give food is a merit, just as animal liberation is a merit.

I've commented in a previous entry about how I feel that much of the problems in the world today would not be if only people actually THINK through an opinion/idea to consequence.

Yup, operative word - CONSEQUENCE.

E.G. many people who are out to feed for merit chooses a cop-out and refuse to think through the result of the impact of sterilisation (I am speaking from experience, our own favourite is the Impervious MidNight Feeder feeds for merit and chooses to be offended to have CONSEQUENCE laid out for her rather than acknowledge her merit sucking mentality of irresponsible feeding). This is DESPITE the innumerable REAL-LIFE examples you have cited throughout your blog. True, no one starts off knowing anything that matters. But at least the info out there, and people who are able to read/write/think/surf the web have info at the fingertips - no excuse, ignorance is not an acceptable plea. Feeders who refuse to acknowledge CONSEQUENCE, even though it is really foolhardy not to, are setting themselves up for a shock when the final reckoning comes. Because by purely feeding, they are earning serious DEMERIT points - and by then it's too late to plead for a re-trial!

E. G. We know the problems caused by the practice of animal liberation. But visibility is being provided on the suffering inflicted on animals before/during/after the liberation only during the past two Vesak days... considering the harm done to perform the supposing merit-earning act of animal liberation, where is the merit-earning point in the way it is being done?

In conclusion, I'd like to refute Anonymous' claim: "When feeders feed the cats, they have done the kind deeds & hopefully credited with merit pts. If cats get caught, it is fated.
It is nothing personal lah. "

This type of kindness is superficial, a debit is more likely, It may be fated if the cats are caught, but feeders could have minimise that fatedness by being RESPONSIBLE AND STERILISE! It is personal because the feeders have created a situation with their personal actions.

Even then, the MERIT deficiency is not irreversible for these merit-chasing feeders. If they will allow themselves to see, understand and acknowledge the consequences, and TAKE THE MERITORIOUS ROUTE, and STERILISE, they may actually be able to earn some real Merit Credit to fight off the Merit Debit of pure feeding and pinning any resulting cat deaths on fate.

So feeders who only feed and expect merit credit, wake up already and hear the cries of cats being culled!

29/8/06 4:42 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Well said Calsifer.

29/8/06 5:39 PM  

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