Caregivers as educators
I spoke to a feeder today. The Anonymous Donor is helping to pay for the feeder but even so we're running into some problems.
The Town council wrote and said they are having complaints every day in the area. First the feeder said there was no increase, then he mentioned that there was an increase, but those weren't 'his' cats.
He also said people complain for no reason and that they're not being fair. He said the cats are not going up to defecate and that people should know that. As I said to him, how will people know this? They don't have cats or dogs, and they won't be able to tell. They see cat defecation on their doorstep and they see cats downstairs. Their reaction is that it must be the cats downstairs.
The feeder said that it wasn't the cats fault - which it isn't but I said we needed to solve the problem to save the cats. The feeder said that he tells people that the cats aren't from downstairs, and they should just go look for the cat defecating themselves.
I told him if we can help, why don't we? At the end of the day, we can sit around and feel vindicated that they are killing the wrong cats - but the cats are dying. I told him that we need to try and find out which cats they are and try and stop the problem. For example, I suggested he can use our flyers or go door to door. He said he had never done it before. I told him there was no time to start like the present.
Is it fair the cats are being blamed? Of course not. But if we say that it's not fair and not do anything as a result, they are going to get caught. Often people honestly believe that the cats are the culprits - so we need to explain why they're not and try and solve the problem. Plus if the number of cats keeps increasing because they are not sterilised (and he complained the other feeders are not doing their job), there WILL be increasing complaints.
If the problem can be solved, then it's a win-win for all parties. Town councils need to be educated that trapping will not help (as just happened today when it turns out the same complainant is complaining about the SAME problem again) but so do the residents. And caregivers are the only ones to do it.