I had a fairly long talk with a woman who called this evening - someone sent me a link from one of the pet forums to say she needed help because she was helping some other people to sterilise the cats. She said that the area has tons of people feeding - but no one sterilises. When she first saw the cats, she said there were perhaps 40 cats, now there are at least 70 over 10 blocks. She is keen to start but needs to know if she can get some help. When we talked I realised this was one of the areas that another feeder had called about. She hadn't sterilised but she kept feeding and the population kept growing, but she refused to sterilise. Now with this new woman starting a programme, it looks like the cats are going to start getting sterilised!
I also spoke with another feeder - she said someone left a note threatening to poison the cats in an area she feeds in. None of the cats are sterilised. She said that she had been feeding there for years without a problem till now.
I told her that while that was illegal, and these people should definitely be stopped, because there is no excuse to poison the cats, she also needs to sterilise the cats, because the population keeps growing. She said she had too many cats to sterilise - sadly, it's the same problem again. I told her to just handle what she could then and not keep feeding if she cannot cope. The problem is, with better food and nutrition, more cats are born and there are then more cats - which means more cats for people to abuse. Also, if it's the same people living there all along, this may be a case of them getting more and more irritated - and deciding to threaten the feeder because they want her to stop. No cats have been poisoned I must emphasise - it may be a threat to scare the feeder off. This was not the first note - apparently an earlier note had been left there asking her to stop feeding which she ignored. Unfortunately this time, the feeder left a note warning the person about poisoning being a crime(which was sensible and a good idea) but also calling them names (which was not). It would have been better to explain she would sterilise and would manage the population. Aggrevating the person is not going to help the cats.