Letting TCs know there are caregivers in the estate
I had an email from an officer asking us to let him know how many cats in the estate are taken care of by CWS. He said that we are to remove all the cats on a certain date at a certain time because cats found in the area will be removed. I wrote back to check if he meant sterilised cats too would be taken but have not gotten a reply.
I have noticed that there is a tendency among some TC officers to assume the cats 'belong' to CWS or are somehow part of our portfolio. I am beginning to think this leads to a situation whereby when there is a problem, they feel that these cats should be referred to us to be removed as it's part of our job to do so. It's almost as if we are another authority that they can refer situations to - ie litter to NEA, housing issues to HDB, etc.
What doesn't come across then is the fact that these cats are part of the community and the environment and are being managed by the TC's own residents. This is made worse when the caregivers either have not contacted the TC or do not wish to do so. A feeder contacted me today and said that some other feeders had called her and wanted her to call the TC because some of their cats were missing. She then asked me if I could call. I asked why they were not contacting the TC and she said they did not know how to do so.
I told her I would be happy to speak with them and give them information on how to contact the TC but that they need to speak with their TC directly. If not, there's a sense that the cats don't really 'belong' to the community and aren't really looked after by residents - after all in these cases, the residents never call the TC. This gives the impression to some TCs that the only people who care are CWS, who seem to be the only ones calling. And we're not even residents there and not part of their constituency!
This clearly isn't the case - we KNOW there are a lot of people who care for the cats and look after them and that's why it's important for all these people to speak to their TCs and let them know that they are out there.