Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I have a right to complain

I just spoke to a very belligerent person who was upset about the cats in his area. The officer called me to say that he had complained there were always cats around. The officer went down to inspect the area and told me there were no cats there.

He said he was upset because there were cats in the area. He also said he had been calling government departments that were pushing him from place to place and he was fed up. He just wants to know which agency will remove the cats.

I asked what the problem is exactly. He said that the cats sleep on his car and urinate outside his door. He said they have scratched his car cover and this is the second one he had to buy. I offered to buy him a car cover and before I could finish he asked about the cat urinating outside his door. He said the car cover wasn't the point - it was cheap and he could buy a new one. So it seems he does not want the car sleeping on the car cover!

I explained that TNRM was a better way of managing the population through sterilisation. He admitted he did not know anything about cats. I explained the vacuum effect and he kept insisting he did not believe me. I told him there was no need to take my word for it, he could look it up and verify it independently, to which he replied he did not want to look anything up, he just wanted an agency to get rid of his problem.

He said that he did not believe in sterilisation to control population because just as they may be able to cut the birth rate of Singaporeans down, foreigners would come in. I explained that cats AREN'T people.

He wanted to know if we had seen the vacuum effect at work in Singapore, and I told him that of course we had. He said that he however had not seen it happen and he wanted a 'scientific experiment' to see if the cats when removed would come back in. I asked if hypothetically we removed the cats, then if new cats moved in, would he stop complaining, to which he replied, it was his right to complain whenever he wanted to.

I asked what the point of removing the cats would be in that case to prove the situation to him. He then said even if we removed the cats, human beings could sneak new cats in and he would not be able to tell as he cannot tell them apart.

He started complaining about cats in the area and said they were animals. He said if they were not at his block and even if they were territorial, they would move to another block. I explained that yes, he was right, they were territorial, and then again he said he did not believe me.

I told him that no one expected him to be an expert on cats, but that he had certain misconceptions.

He complained I was belitting him and said he wanted to know if the government supports sterilisation. I said they did. He said in that case, I'm right and he's wrong and there's nothing to say.

I explained this is not a matter of right or wrong but trying to solve the problem which we want to do. He said he did not want to talk to me, and that he would not complain anymore since no agency was going to help him.


Blogger CatDonna & Cats said...

Goodness Dawn. You seem to be meeting with a lot of rather unreasonable people lately.

Despite the clear annoyance that illogical complaints present, however, what really worries me is if the complainant decides he's not going to complain anymore - and instead he's going to take matters into his own hands.

One can only hope that any of this man's attempts at "addressing" the situation himself will be just as logical and effective as his complaints.

15/11/06 6:58 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Yes that crossed my mind too. The caregiver is thinking of letting him calm down and maybe approaching him then as she goes by.

15/11/06 7:37 PM  
Blogger Hai~Ren said...


I have a profound respect for how you have to face such unreasonable people so often.

If he's so against cats sleeping on his car cover, then he might as well ask the TC to chop down the trees at the carpark, since leaves, birdshit and dead insects might drop down and land on his car cover. -_-

C'mon, it's just cats. Can't we live and let live?

16/11/06 12:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

People worship objects like cars,
houses and find faults with weaker beings. They are unhappy people. They even try to rearrange clouds and make cats redundant. Such a person is a serial cat killer.

16/11/06 3:15 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

You're right - they're unhappy people if a small thing like this can upset them. The cat is asking for a bit of warmth - clearly it can't be scratching the car because there's a car cover. And he begrudges it of even that.

16/11/06 6:14 AM  
Anonymous Binxy* said...

I must applaud you, Dawn and the society itself for taking such professionalism and pride in your work. Everyday I read about your encounters with these people and feel such sorrow for civilisation! There is much dignity in your work and if there is anything we can do as individuals, it is to try to make things better as calm and collected human beings.

16/11/06 8:42 AM  
Blogger koratmao said...

I agree with anonymous,I know someone ilogical like that, at the time of mediation/ explaning, nothing will go into their head and very true...people like this who thinks they are the only one who is right is an extremely unhappy person. Just listen to him and let time pass, it's more likely he'l come to HIS OWN senses. Arguments can only build up his defensiveness...but to play safe, he might turn into cat-killer, do BLACKLIST him and watch out...even cats at other areas...beware

16/11/06 10:10 AM  
Blogger vegancat said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

16/11/06 10:40 AM  
Blogger vegancat said...

It is really ironic how our wealth creates such suffering from attachment to inanimate objects like cars. Last evening, a friend called me to tell me that a man had trapped a cat because of "messing" in his garden. It was in Serangoon Gdn.
It is sad that they are being "punished" for existing and yet has no right to exist.
Is it any wonder that mental illnesses are on the rise and our suicide rates are always "bullish"?
I think it is time we do some "soul searching". We can start by asking ourselves why are we treating cats so badly!

16/11/06 10:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dis guy is so uptight for the wrong reasons. Nothing in the environment pleases him. He needs a hell of a body massage, man!

16/11/06 10:51 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Are you volunteering Anonymous ? ;)

Yes it is sad - and it's sad that we have so little tolerance for anything other than ourselves.

16/11/06 11:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paw prints on cars r cute. We drive a classy expensive car n my dear hubby, when discovered the prints, pointed to me n kids n we cooed. He asked my son if he wants to lift the prints to find out which cat did it. Too much CSI! He said it's shameful when cars r scratched by human who is supposed to hv brains but r jealous n down-right wicked to scratch ppls cars. We hv a horrid scratch along the pax door. What to do? We know cats don't need to carry keys...

16/11/06 11:22 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

We wish all car owners were like you and your husband :)

16/11/06 11:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It shows what some people would accept if there has been Govt support. However, anything not openly supported by the Govt is open for complaints. Care-givers will have to 'lobby' for Govt support for managed colonies of sterilised cats in the neighbourhood. If that could be done, perhaps complaints would go down.

16/11/06 5:51 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Anonymous that's what struck me as well. Under the SCRS, people would complain there were too many cats. The minute you said that the AVA guidelines suggested 5 to 10 cats a block, they'd then agree that was fine!

16/11/06 9:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, I just read this. I'm made speechless by this man. I think he's whining more than complaining. He should learn to grow up and understand that the world does not revolve around him. Does he expect others to jump and react just because he "thinks" he has a problem?


17/11/06 12:13 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Marilyn, I think the answer to that is Yep!

17/11/06 12:14 AM  
Anonymous fatcat said...

The man's problem is not cats; it's something else; a lousy job, a dysfunctional marriage, or whatever. My hat's off to you for dealing with such people. The caregiver's idea of approaching him later may be very helpful; keeping him in view lest he inflict his frustrations on the community cats would be helped by caregiver contact too.

Judith (fatcat)

19/11/06 9:49 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Yes let's hope so!

19/11/06 10:38 PM  

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