Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I have a fear of cats

I received a phone call from a caregiver just now saying that her Town Council officer (who the caregiver says is a nice woman) was getting emails from a complainant about how she was afraid of cats. The complainant wanted the cats removed from the area as a result. The complainant suggested having the cats put in a compound and that since it was an HDB estate, there should not be cats 'allowed'.

I think there's a misconception that cats are 'allowed' into the estate, as if caregivers were bringing them in and the TC is letting them do so. The fact of the matter is this - cats are part of the community and the environment. By working together, caregivers and TCs are in fact controlling the population and making sure there is less inconvenience for others.

While it is true that some people have a phobia of cats, and while I am also certain that the caregiver in this case will try and minimise the complainant's fear (by for example, feeding at a different time perhaps), town councils cannot be catering to every single phobia. There are so many different kinds of phobias for one thing. What if I'm scared of water? Or heights? Or spiders?

At the end of the day, it's about being reasonable. If you as a caregiver went to your town council and said you wanted to bring 50 cats into your block, the town council would probably laugh at you and tell you there was no way they would facilitate you doing that. Then why is it that a request that there be NO cats at all have to be entertained? Both could be argued to be equally excessive. So why it is that one is dealt with while the other one would be very likely to be dismissed out of hand?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is only one problem, now with the new ruling by TC for No strays. We are on the losing end, as we are already on the wrong side of the law. Community cats are just living on a thin thread and on the whim of TCs. The moment that TCs change their mind, anyone who complains they have a phobia of cats will be lodging a valid complain that will be acted upon. And of course TC will never allow us to bring cats in as in the first place our cats are deem unlawful.

15/5/07 11:13 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Hi Anonymous - a few things. I'm not even sure this is 'new' nor is it a ruling, it's a policy that the TCs decided upon. No one is on the wrong side of the law as there is no law involved here. A policy is more along the lines of what a group decides upon.

I think the point we're making is that cats are already in the environment. I don't think people SHOULD be bringing cats into the estate - it's about managing the ones there, so TC won't have to 'allow' cats to be brought in. Good caregivers won't do that anyway.

15/5/07 11:25 PM  
Blogger VeganCatsg said...

I think TC's should seriously engaging CWS to "educate" its officers on how to handle feedback on cats, such as such unreasonable request to remove cats on the basis of one's fear. This not only make for a more effective management but reduce the stress on the officers with appropriate empowerment. I wonder how many officers yield such phobic requests and engage pest controllers to round up the cats to be killed, in most areas where there are no volunteer-caregivers. And all this at the expense of other residents who are in the blind on how their contribution to the TC is spent.

16/5/07 9:00 AM  
Anonymous imp said...

i don't understand how one can 'not allow' cats (or lizards or mozzies or dust or litter) in one's estate.

goodness. it's just bullying the weak.

16/5/07 10:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are so right Imp.
The person who is scared of cats shd seek medical treatment as she has a problem. A permanent solution is to help her get over her fears
If i have a fear for certain people in my neighbourhood - every neighbourhood has its fair share of "characters", could i ask for them to be removed? I would probably be advised to remove myself to "private" house or IMH.
Why are the rights of residents not made equal?

16/5/07 11:30 AM  
Anonymous fin said...

it's just so crazy about this "policy". where are the cats going to be allowed then? maybe move them all to the istana?? I hope the govt know the hardwork we are putting in to manage our area and trying so hard to work with the TCs. Its so exasperating that end of day, all our hard work might just go down the drain...

16/5/07 12:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we should be positive about complains. With Complains we can do preventive actions, without complains we will be doing remedial actions. Which would you prefer?

16/5/07 5:25 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Anonymous here's the thing - if there's a remedial action that CAN be taken, I think caregivers are more than happy to deal with it. Also, I think it would be nice if the complainants went directly to the caregivers rather than go to a third party first and really work together.

However in a case like this, how do you remedy it? Remove the cats? Try and make the woman get over her phobia? Both won't work (though the second might actually be more plausible than the first).

16/5/07 5:54 PM  
Anonymous preventive said...

Example of preventive is what's happening in "flowchart"
Example of remedial is what's happening in "i want compensation for cats killed"

The idea of having a Flowchart is fantastic!

19/5/07 11:26 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

preventive, the idea was really from the TC - and you're right, it's a very good idea.

19/5/07 3:58 PM  

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