Monday, June 18, 2007

Caregivers being proactive

A caregiver called me today to say that there was a feeder in another area she knew, though not personally. This other feeder had lost a sterilised cat which was trapped by the town council and sent into the AVA. She gave me the name of the feeder and I spoke with the woman directly.

It seems that the woman was away for more than a week and that the cat had been caught during this time. In fact, an SMS about the situation had been sent around and the caregivers in the area were trying to find out who was caring for the cat but no one knew of the existence of this woman.

The woman tried to get the TC to release the cat to her, but she had no luck. The TC said that she should go directly to the AVA. The AVA on the other hand were still pursuing their new policy of not releasing any cat, sterilised or not, whether it is to be returned to the street or not, without a letter (we're still waiting a response on this matter).

The woman did not know whom her officer was but she did take down the number of the woman she spoke with. I called her up and found out that there had been a complaint in the area, and as such, the cats had been rounded up. I explained that there was a woman caring for the cats there. I asked if a letter could be written. She said that the TC's policy is not to write letters for cats to be released. She said she was under the impression this was practised by other TCs. I said that as far as I know, this was the first time I had heard of a TC not writing a letter.

If the TC refuses to write a letter and the AVA refuses to release the cat without one, then we have a real problem here.

I tried to speak with the General Manager of the TC but he was out of the office so I dropped him an email as he won't be back till tomorrow.

One of the problems with this area may be that the caregivers are not really working together and have not approached the TC. I know one of the residents has asked the other caregivers to meet up with an eye to doing so, but the rest don't seem very interested. When I spoke with the woman today and explained that it might be good for her to get to know other caregivers, she said that they lived further away from her and that she only managed her area. I pointed out that it's good to know other people from other areas - for example if they had known she was the person looking after this area, someone could have informed her earlier that the cats were caught at the very least. She agreed but said she only wanted to be in charge of her block, which is fair enough.

At the end of the day it boils down to residents in the area. If the residents there are not very interested in working with the TC and with each other, then very little can be achieved. If the officers and other caregivers are not even aware that someone is there, that person cannot be contacted if there is a complaint that needs to be resolved. And of course if the complaint continues, the cats get caught. It's important to be proactive. Don't wait till there is a problem to contact your TC officer - by that time, your cat may already have been caught.

It's also helpful to be part of a support network. It helps to know there are other people out there too - and they can help you out and vice versa.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

My comment has nothing to do with this post actually.

I happened to see a car with a rather disturbing message printed on the rear windscreen today. It says "I BRAKE FOR CATS". My first impression was that the car owner is a cat frantic. My next thought was "You mean you will not brake for humans or other animals like dogs?".

I understand if the person love cats. I have nothing against that. I love my dog too. And very often my dog would try to make friends with the cats in the neighbourhood. It can be quite a funny sight. He will just get close to them and whine because they will all ignore him. He even got smacked in the face when he attempted to get near a cat the first time.

18/6/07 5:27 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

18/6/07 5:39 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

18/6/07 5:42 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Anonymous I think perhaps the person was just trying to be funny. It's like the signs that say " I love my Labrador". I'm sure the person probably likes other dogs too. Bumper stickers aren't usually meant to be serious :)

I have one that says "My mutt is smarter than your honor student" (which I must add I never put up). I don't think it's true (though my dog might be smarter than some complainants) - but I just got it because I thought it was funny at the time.

18/6/07 5:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is very important to network with people in the same TC.

When you are united, your voice will be heard.

One day, when the groups are big and strong enough, maybe we can push for a change in policy.


18/6/07 11:21 PM  
Anonymous cat talk said...

I feed stray cats between 1am to 3am on most nights...and have picked up more than twenty dead cats, all victims of roadkill.

Drivers speed at that hour.

Road kill victims usually have their heads smashed, eyes and intestines spread out. The saddest part is most of the cats almost made it to the other end, few inches from the edge.

Cats are short and small, I drive with sufficient readiness to slow down for them. It makes our world
a gateway for kindness, regardless of their size or stature.

18/6/07 11:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry out of topic but i have to add one more to this. The funniest I saw was "my ex wife is in the boot". I can hardly drive straight after that...

19/6/07 12:27 PM  
Anonymous cat talk said...

if you are having problems paying your rent with escalating rental rates now, maybe you can paste ' My landlord is in the boot '.
The red dot design, located opposite AVA can print it for you afterall they did the one on crow shooting.

19/6/07 7:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK. Wtf. If you live in landed property then...? They still want a letter? From whom?

20/6/07 7:54 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Landed property I believe is exempt as TCs don't manage them. I think the AVA kept mentioning in their letters to us that the TCs were not happy with the AVA's suggestion to have a new programme and that this somehow had to do with them not releasing the cats as well. It's not very clear. We just wrote again to ask for clarification on this.

21/6/07 12:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the caregiver can provide an address with landed property will they release the cats. I know this won't solve the root of the problem but the important thing is to get the cats out first

21/6/07 1:20 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Originally the problem was that they didn't even want to do that. Also it's problematic since this MP is apparently telling them that any cat will be caught if there is an issue - and that they should then be taken out of the estate. This could potentially be very problematic.

21/6/07 1:32 PM  

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