TC scared of feeders?
The person who wrote in to complain this morning wrote back to give more details. He said that he was quite sure the woman must know me because she knows my name. I wrote back to say that in certain circles I am fairly well known so I wouldn't be surprised. I told him I also checked our membership database and the list of caregivers in the area and she's not listed. I also told me (in response to his suggestion) that there was no way I could stop people from claiming they were from CWS.
The complainant claims that the cats are mating in the middle of the night and that the woman he wrote in about has cats which she lets run in and out of her flat. In addition, there is food left all over the void deck and is not cleared up.
He also told me that he went to the TC and that the TC according to him, claimed that they had several members of a "Cat Lovers Society" meet with them and that since then they were scared of this Society. When a problem came in with the cats, according to him, the officer said that the problem was deemed void as long as they said they were from the "Cat Lovers Society".
I pointed out to him that CWS and Cat Lovers Society are not quite the same. In addition, no problem is declared 'void' just because someone is from CWS - we work with the TC to solve the problem together obviously. I told him that just yesterday we had been dealing with a problem from another precinct and a volunteer had gone down to check out the area. I asked him to please give me the name of this officer so I can speak with him about this.
Unfortunately this is not the first time that we've heard of TCs telling people that they cannot do anything because they are scared of the caregivers in the area. On the other hand, often we hear of caregivers being told that the TC is scared of the complainants and cannot do anything! Clearly neither approach is going to work because whether or not they are 'scared', something has to be done and in a logical manner. I think it's a shame if TCs react because the complainant is belligerent and aggressive and that I think such complainants, whether they be complainants or caregivers, should be ignored. Basic courtesy should be respected.
I want to clarify this with the TC because if they are giving out wrong information, or giving out a wrong impression then I want to have a word with them on this. It is irresponsible to pass out information that seems to suggest that they are being terrorised by feeders (unless that is of course truly happening, in which case I would want to know about it as well and perhaps speak with the feeders then).
At the same time, if the feeder is acting in an irresponsible manner, then she should not expect to get the Society to back her up. This doesn't mean people don't make mistakes, or even that people don't lose their tempers or react in a less than satisfactory manner when they are upset (and you'd be surprised how far an apology can go in these cases). However, it also doesn't mean that the Society will back every feeder up just because they happen to look after cats. If someone is littering all over the place, or feeding the cats upstairs for example outside their house, and they will not listen to reason, then I see no reason to help them out.
I get calls from people who seem to repeatedly get into trouble - one woman has had four different altercations with people while feeding, and all of them in different estates. She tends to call me whenever she gets into a spot. Now I am happy to help if I can - but I am also starting to wonder whether she is doing something wrong since so many different people in different areas seem to get angry with her (in addition another feeder called to complain about her the other day). She readily hands out my number and the Society's name whenever she has a problem.
One other woman called me to ask me to bail her out of prison because she got into a fight with her friend. She said that the Society (or I) should bail her out or her cats would not eat that night (she was to be released the next day). None of her other friends wanted to help.
Another person was upset because she had adopted her cats out to someone who wasn't a good adopter in her view and she wanted the cats back. I offered to go with her and speak with the person but she said she did not want to tip the person off. She said that she wanted me to go back, distract the family and steal the cat with her. She told me that she couldn't ask her friends whom she had fostered the cat with because she didn't want to get them into trouble - but clearly she had no problems getting me or the Society into trouble. I said no of course.