Friday, November 10, 2006

Finite resources, unlimited needs

I just spoke with a woman who called because she met someone who has been feeding cats in her area. She said the woman has a number of pregnant cats and one cat which potentially may have complications with the pregnancy. The woman does not want to pay as she said the cats aren't hers and that she just feeds them. In addition, the feeder is moving out in a month as the blocks are going to be torn down. She will not be taking care of any of the cats then.

I asked the woman who called if the feeder is in financial need. The woman wasn't sure. She said the woman is elderly, but she thinks it more likely that the woman does not want to pay. She does not think the woman will nurse the cat as well if it gets sick.

I told the woman that we would need to find out whether the woman is prepared to take on the share of the responsibility. I said if she cannot afford it, we can definitely try to help with the financial part, but what would happen afterwards? Who would be looking after these cats? And if this woman is not in financial need, then why are we helping her instead of some person?

The woman told me she wanted to sterilise the cats and I told her this was very commendable, but who will be responsible for the cats after they have been done?

Let's be very honest here. We have finite resources. If we had unlimited money, sure let's pay for everyone to sterilise and give the money to everyone, but we don't. In that case, our money can be used to help cats in areas who are being looked after by caregivers who ARE responsible for them and willing to work with the TCs. This way the cats will be 'safe' because complaints will first be handled to caregivers, who take care of the cats and the cats will not be removed.

We used to pay the full amount for sterilisation for everyone till we ran out of funds during SARS. Recently I spoke with a caregiver from one area whom we used to pay for. There was a feeder there who sterilised once in a while. We had paid for her cats to be done. At the end of paying for the sterilisations, the number of unsterilised cats was exactly the same! She ended up not sterilising promptly, not handling complaints and all that happened was that we were poorer for it. The cats weren't helped ultimately.

In addition, why are we rewarding people who DON'T want to be responsible? If anything, the money should be going to people who ARE responsible and have been sterilising - and that's where our reimbursement comes in. It makes no sense to pay more money for someone who does not want to be responsible, and less for someone who is.

9 Comments:

Blogger Guttercat said...

It's so dang sickening.

I try to convice my cousin (henceforth V, whom I'm tuitioning) to spay her bitch, citing all the relevant studies that it's best for the mutt's well-being, but the girl just keeps insisting that it's cruel & inhumane.

& the worst bit's that they're bringing home 2 males soon.

Not to mention that she's already had a Collie who died due to some pregnancy complications.

They abandoned a Persian (cat) before as well.

I sometimes doubt if we really came from the same genetic stock.

GC: So what's gonna happen to all the puppies?
V: I'll give them away to my classmates/friends lah.
GC: How would Princess feel about you giving her children away?
V: She won't feel anything what.
GC: & you say that spaying's inhumane? I'll wait for the day that you give birth, & just grab the kid to give to some random stranger.
V: ...

11/11/06 6:31 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Guttercat - you must be her favourite cousin :)

Keep trying though - one day hopefully it'll sink in. Poor dog and poor cat.

11/11/06 11:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey, im wondering whats the best option if i find a stray kitten outside my house. the kitty seems to be without a mother cat, and the kitty's really young.. i could take the kitten in, but even if i do, i don't know how to take care of it. and i already have a cat and a dog in my house.. was wondering whats the best option. thanks

12/11/06 4:48 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

The best thing to do is to make sure the kitten's mother is not around. The mother cat can wander off for hours to look for food. If you remove a kitten from it's mother and it is not weaned, it may be not survive.

Has the kitten got its eyes open?You can drop me an email as well if you have more questions.

12/11/06 6:42 PM  
Blogger Guttercat said...

That's a conundrum which has always buggered me; in most instances, hanging about for several hours awaiting the return of their mum may not be entirely feasible.

Or is it?

Not to mention that most cat lovers I know (as well as the SPCA) have a very pessimistic view toward the survival of unweaned kittens.

Thank goodness that the ones I've taken in so far consume wet food readily.

But the kitten that the SPCA told me to give up on haunts me still...

13/11/06 3:56 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Guttercat, if they've consumed food, it means they're weaned - and chances of survival are much higher. In some cases, the mother cat has already decided these kittens are ready to fend for themselves (if you let the kittens drink milk to their heart's content, they will continue doing so until they're quite old).

It's the unweaned ones that are the main problem. And yes, survival is very low. Without the colostrum in the mother's milk, they have a poor chance of survival.

It's also not a good idea to wait around for the mother cat to return. If the mother cat sees a large human around her kitten, she may be waiting for you to leave before she can go back to the kitten. It's best to go away and then come back and check later.

13/11/06 9:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey again! i managed to find the rest of the litter.. there are 3 baby kitties! so far, haven't seen the mother, but i've left them alone-anyway, i can't get to them since they're behind a locked up area. can only see them from behind a gate. it's not someone's house. dunno how to describe it, it's next to a rubbish dump, but not the dump itself. just a large area that's not accessible to public. thankfully, theres shelter there. been raining so heavily.

their eyes are open but i don't think they can "walk" properly. think their legs are still weak.

i think i'll check back on them later.

13/11/06 1:07 PM  
Blogger Guttercat said...

I know what you mean, Dawn. Wonder how effective are those kitten formulas that one could purchase though.

The ones I've picked up thus far are alone & abandoned in a box, via human hands, I suppose. They never look ready to fend for themselves, since they're around the length of my hand or less.

Only one that I took away from her 'nest' was after going back 5 hours later & seeing them in pretty much the same sorry state. I left them some food as well, but they wouldnae touch it, & there were roaches all over the place. They were crying for their mum, which was what alerted me in the first place.

Only managed to grab one (she's since been rehomed & is now a contented little kitty), but next morning when I went to check again, their mum still wasn't in evidence, even though several of them still hung about (spent an hour squatting over a drain trying to nab another one).

But what if one were to head over to the other end of our island for a little jaunt & encountered such a scenario? Frustrating to say the least.

14/11/06 4:13 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Guttercat - it is. Then i guess you have to weigh the consequences and the risks. It's also very disheartening for some people when they try everything and the kitten dies and they blame themselves.

I find the formula to work pretty well.

14/11/06 9:51 AM  

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