Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Kind nature?

I got another email from this woman who is helping the woman with 200 cats out. I had been enquiring as to the welfare of the cats. The woman who wrote to me said that the cats are overcrowded and its not healthy for the cats but that the woman with the cats now has found an even larger place. To my query about whether she was still taking cats in, she confirmed that the woman was doing so because of the woman's 'kind nature'.

I said that there really wasn't anything kind about taking cats in to an unhealthy, overcrowded place. Why not just leave the cats where they are on the streets? If she moves to a larger place, then there will just be room to squeeze in even more cats - who will then share the same miserable life that the existing cats do. For one thing, if there are too many cats in the same room, disease will spread and rapidly. Of course cats anywhere can catch a disease but if you have 20 cats squeezed into one cage for example, their chances of spreading disease are much higher.

Rebecca and I are going down to meet E_Cat and Aliyah to meet a woman who is having problems with her home cats now as well.



Blogger EJ. said...

200 hundred cats? Is this a new record.

19/6/07 3:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it depends on whether the person is able to maintain the cats in good condition or not...

19/6/07 4:40 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

EJ - yes it is.

And Anonymous no, she can't according to the woman who wrote in. Frankly it would be very hard for anyone to manage that number of cats all on their own.

19/6/07 5:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whether or not she can keep them in good condition which I really doubt so.. it is people like this that gets cat owners all into trouble. And with people like this the govt will never lift the ban on cats. Why? Because they are afraid with the law relaxed there will be a boom in the number of complains of people with tons of cats in the house. For some reason, many cat owners have more than 2 cats, I have seen cases of 16 cats and above in a 4 room HDB. If well maintained okay fine and good but most of these houses stink with the smell of urine and hair flying all over. Cos the owners just cant cope.. so in the end the authorities use it as cannon fodder as to why cats are not allowed in HDB.


19/6/07 5:56 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

right CO - these cases are almost always brought up by the HDB and in RC meetings too. I pointed out in one meeting that people can hoard anything and one of the RC members said it was true and recounted how they had someone who was hoarding so much newspaper, he couldn't open the door fully to get into his flat.

19/6/07 5:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A yr ago, I was naive to provide food & a cage (the cats were packed like sardines) for cats of a hoarder. Several sick cats were sent to the vet-sick&dehyrated - they were later boarded under foster care after 5 days of hospitalisation - 2 are still in boarding, others are adopted out.
The hoarder went on to pick up more cats, later cats were spilling onto the corridor in cages. I stopped providing food as she did not keep to the agreement that she should not take in more cats.
Do not provide food, MORE cages, or money to help the hoarders pack previously healthy cats into dirty cages & calling it kindness.
You do not want to bring in the authorities despite the cruel way the cats are treated as the cats would probably be put down. 10 cats become 20 and 50 and soon 200 if there is space to pack the cats.
There are worst way than dying on the streets. Imagine standing on shit - unable to turn around - and starving, racked with diarrhoea, no drinking water for endless days.
There is no solution but you can stop more hoarding by not helping the hoarders to EXPAND their "collection". You may not agree with me, it is understandable.

19/6/07 6:34 PM  
Anonymous cat talk said...

I run into several people who keep taking cats in, refused to release kittens for adoptions and in no financial condition to take care of cats.

I pity the cats and donate milk, food and even cash. If you ignore or stop helping, the cats are the ones who suffer.

Healthy cats in a crowded 'shelter' who soon die from infectious disease and hoarders don't get what you mean.

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

Giving cash is like giving money to an addicted gambler to indulge in their addiction. Hoarders have means for more space, to pack more cats in more cages.

19/6/07 8:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hoarders will not get it.
The 2 remaining adult cats (one tabby and one ginger) are vaccinated, sterilised and healthy - for adoption to GOOD homes. They are not going to die anytime soon from infectious diseases. Email Dawn if you want to adopt them.

19/6/07 8:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cat Talk, the problem is if you give to the hoarder, MORE cats will suffer as she or he will find that they have the resources to "rescue" that one more....

End of the day, living your life in the street might be hard, but at least you are free, you can laze in the sun, walk around, smell the fresh air. Okay sometimes your luck runs out... you get caught by AVA or you get abused by some kid. But I can say it sure beats languishing in a cage, sleeping in your shit, eating junk food and waiting to die....

That is not love, that is suffering.... I rather rat on the hoarders and have the cats all taken away from them..

19/6/07 11:58 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

cat talk I understand you want to help - but the problem as some others pointed out is that with additional resources, MORE cats end up in the same situation. By providing food and cash, the person you are trying to help finds that he or she is able to in fact take in MORE cats - so more cats end up suffering. With less resources they can do less harm.

20/6/07 12:47 AM  
Anonymous cat talk said...

I helped the hoarder because the cats were without food for days, the hoarder hardly had anything to eat either. Cash was for transportation and basic survival needs, not to bring in more cats.

I also found someone amazing to adopt her 5 kittens ( all had cat flu )only 2 survive later.

Another hoarder with 120 cats has a maid that keeps bringing kittens back, FIV and felv etc. all eat and drink from same feeding bowls. Freak me out.

What do you do with mild hoarders?
I say provide help for the cats.
Ignore the hoarder, the collection gets bigger.

20/6/07 2:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cat talk it is "supporters" like you that encourage hoarders that they are doing the right thing.... you are no difference from a hoarder just that you dont physically do it. Hoarder tells u maid brings cats back?? Oh please if hoarder doesnt allow the cats to stay, maid can bring the cats back?

The point is these hoarders should not in the first place hoard... If they have no food to eat and the cats starve then sorry, they are reaping the fruits of their actions. Maybe it will wake them up to not take home anymore cats and releasing what they have. Put it this way, the cats were fine and healthy in the streets until these hoarders decided that they needed "help" and caught them and put them in cages at home. By "pitying" them and giving money, you will only encourage the hoarder who knows there is a supporter who will supply money once he or she says they are broke and no money to feed the cats.

20/6/07 9:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cat Talk, do the right thing, dont give her money but rather report on her to CWS. If not more cats will suffer.

20/6/07 9:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

take some clues from the professionals in social work. when you help, say, a very low income family with members practicing some sort of vice (gambling, drinking, glue-sniffing), you help by giving them NON-cash items such as rice and canned food. or you pay their electricity bills for them by settling the bill on their behalf. you do NOT give cash. they are UNable to handle cash money because they do NOT understand the concept yet. you do NOT expect to give them 10 pieces of $10-note and instruct them to give a piece to their child every other day. this will NEVER happen. when we want to help someone, human or cat or dog, we must make sure that the goodwill has taken place and happened for the subject we have chosen to help. back to this horrific case of one woman keeping 200 cats : she alone has inflicted cruelty to 200 cats. now there are 200 cats and one very bad case of human mental illness to help. any law in this country to apply on cat hoarders. 1 hoarder to 50 suffering cats, 2 hoarders to 100 suffering cats, 5 hoarders to 500 suffering cats caged, cramped, without food, no freedom, with their own filth, own waste, no ventilation, diseased and rotting away. just imagine how many cats are so easily be collectively abused!?! what difference is this from being in a concentration camp waiting to rot to death??!!! please advise how and what we can do for this matter here in singapore, our very own backyard : CAT HOARDERS !

20/6/07 9:36 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

cat talk - I don't think there's such a thing as a 'mild' hoarder. You're either a hoarder or you're not. Now there may be cases where someone gets in over their head and takes in too many cats. With a bit of help, they can get their place into shape and that works. The difference is that they realise there IS a problem - and they stop taking in cats.

However, if you're expecting that a hoarder will make the distinction that the money you are giving is for one thing and not another, I don't think they can.

You may feel sorry for the cats but by providing more food, and more resources (and more money), the hoarder will now be able to take in more cats because you are supplying her with more resources. You're expecting that they are thinking rationally, but as someone mentioned, it's like giving an alcoholic alcohol because they look sad - it's a disease and they cannot help themselves.

If someone keeps bringing in cats and cannot stop it is a problem - by providing them with extra resources, you are indirectly encouraging them to take in more cats. Think of it this way - they cannot stop themselves. YOU however can.

Anonymous I don't think we have the infrastructure in this country. I was talking to someone yesterday who didn't think much was known about this. In addition, without counselling, the relapse rate is almost 100% according to the hoarding website. Which means that removing one lot of cats without followup is going to be a problem.

20/6/07 10:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hoarder with 120 cats has the means to test for FIV ($40-60 for ONE snap test) and felv for so many cats? If you intend to test for fiv and felv then you got to test for each new cat coming in (provided the existing cats are all tested) - there is no point testing for one and not another. Then how about FIP test too ??

20/6/07 10:38 AM  
Anonymous cat talk said...

If you look at the mess hoarders are in, it's easy to get angry and start urging everyone to punish or start a food deprivation programme by withholding support.

Anonymous of 9.04 accused me of encouraging hoarders and also call me a hoarder needs to be less judgemental and jumpy. Hoarders are needy humans in need of medical treatment, love and understanding.

Perhaps one way is to run a private programme to rehab hoarders, my message is,
help the hoarders and their captives will be free from stress, hunger and diseases.

I will continue to render assistance to hoarders, not to hoard more cats but in my own humane ways which could be too elaborate to be fully understood here.

20/6/07 2:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous of 9.04 - you have my full support.
Cat talk - do share your elaborate plan to help hoarders with imh. A private rehabilitation programme, who is paying?
Hoarders live in fantasy land that they are being kind to cats and hoarder-supporters live in la la land thinking they are able to help hoarders.

The ones stuck in cages and suffering are the cats. Their miserable lives are real. Slogan like "captives will be free" sounds like beauty contestants talking about world peace.

20/6/07 3:22 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

cat talk - exactly we would like to help the hoarders but unless you are a trained professional, I don't see how you can. Believe me, it's not as if we haven't tried. The problem is they don't see anything wrong with what they are doing - and by giving them food, resources, etc, you're giving them the means by which to keep taking in cats. THEY can't help themselves. You can. If you have an elaborate method of sharing how to stop them taking cats in and making the cats lives better, please do share because we're seeing case after case of this and it doesn't stop.

If you know of any rehab programme, please let me know. I have been speaking to someone who is a psychologist in the last few days and he says there probably aren't any specific programmes targetted at this.

20/6/07 6:08 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

The person I spoke to did mention it's possible to get the person to go to a polyclinic and then have them recommend the hoarder to a psychiatrist so that's the cheapest way of doing so. They could be treated possibly for obsessive compulsive disorder since hoarding is relatively 'new'.

The problem is - how is one to get the hoarder to go down and continue to attend sessions with a psychiatrist?

20/6/07 7:14 PM  
Anonymous cat talk said...

Hoarders deserve better treatment. Their captives, namely the cats deserve proper nourishment. Hostility will produce hatred towards their plight.
It offers no solution.

Preventing food supplies and medical assistance is inhumane.

A rehab programme can have a modest beginning.

If CWS wishes to start one, I am willing to fund the project/workshop. It's OK if there are no experts in this field, but attending to it now will make you better equipped later. We all have to learn at some point.

20/6/07 7:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cat talk, why don't you write to IMH and offer to sponsor a rehab programme for hoarders? They have facilities and the specialists like psychiatrists. Hoarding is a mental problem concerning people.
Hoarders do not hoard just cats, they may hoard other animals or just junk.
cws is a cat welfare organisation.

20/6/07 8:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just an example, if someone has a heart problem and it is causing the patient to have breathing difficulties, weakness, difficulty in walking. Which doctor do you see? A cardiologist who specialises in heart problems. You don't send the patient to see a doctor specialising in the feet.
Likewise, a hoarder is a person with a mental problem - it is not a cat problem - though cats do suffer because of hoarders.

So cat talk, go sponsor IMH.

20/6/07 8:44 PM  
Anonymous tiger said...

If CWS is just a cat welfare organisation, why attend to all the hoarders's cases?

So IMH treats the hoarders and welfare groups watch the captives die from starvation. Is this animal welfare or some sicko with anger issue oversimplifying a complex problem.

20/6/07 10:44 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

cat talk - I don't think you can 'learn' how to treat a situation like hoarding. I don't doubt that hoarding is a mental issue, but just as I wouldn't presume to talk a suicidal person off a ledge, or try and talk someone out of anorexia, I wouldn't try and presume to counsel a hoarder either. You can do a lot of harm if you're not properly trained.

Let me ask a question - how do you intend to get a hoarder to attend the workshop? And to do it regularly? This is not a one-off situation where someone gets cured straight away after one session.

It needs compliance, regular sessions and the hoarder has to be willing to attend.

If you meant that the workshop is to train people how to help hoarders, then psychiatrists would be out of a job if it's so easy to train people to help people with mental disorders.

The person 'depriving' the cats of food and medical treatment is the hoarder. If the person did not take the cats off the street, chances are the cats would have been better off and may not have needed medical treatment.

tiger - believe me, we'd be MUCH happier not to help with hoarding cases, but cats are involved here. If hoarders are 'cured', then they wouldn't hoard - and there would be no welfare issue.

21/6/07 12:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Cat Talk.... I am Anonymous of 904.... all your talk of help and all is but in vain. Frankly in the very first place why on earth do you want to take home, stuff in a cage, cats that have been fine living in a community?? Example... I see you a Singaporean... I think hiya u so stress... okay I be nice I help u... so I bring u home and lock u in the bed... See I so nice now I feed u liquid food and tie u to the bed, you dont have to suffer outside anymore....

U get my point?? Hoarders are mentally disturbed and instead of acknowledging they are, you condone them and defend them... well think about the cats that they bring back in the name of "love" that has to die for it.. Seriously we dont ask much, we just ask one simple thing... leave the cats ALONE!!!

21/6/07 3:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

erm, i'm not cat_talk but what she/he is saying is precisely that hoarders are unable to acknowledge that they are mental. also, i don't think that cat_talk is condoning or defending them per se. let's not be harsh with one another here. -particularlyveryaffected (by cats being caged by hoarders) -

21/6/07 8:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cat hoarders are cat abusers. There is no law to protect the cats because the cats are stuffed in the toilet. Just like wife-beaters/abusers, the police will say it is a domestic issue. Wives can go to hospitals for treatment or get out of the house, cats cannot.

21/6/07 9:09 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Anonymous - you're right, hoarders do have mental issues and it's not their fault. They can't help themselves. However, by 'helping' them by providing food or resources isn't helping either the hoarder or the cats despite one's good intentions.

The hoarder cannot stop themselves - so with more resources, they can go out and pick up more cats. The cats obviously aren't helped because more cats get taken in.

Basically, a person who keeps helping could be seen to be an 'enabler'. It doesn't have to be just hoarding of course and there are people who are enablers to people who are drug addicts, or alcoholics, etc. It is in essence helping people who are taking part in behaviour which is self-destructive to themselves. Sometimes the best way to help is NOT to give in.

21/6/07 9:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is politically incorrect to say you dislike hoarders, but it is hard not to feel revulsion when you see the misery the cats are suffering due to their actions.

It makes my skin crawl. Sorry my skin is being "judgemental" here but it is a natural reaction.

Sure you cry for the cats as you have no control while the hoarder has absolute power over the cats, but you don't have to like the hoarder. Do i feel like helping the hoarders? Absolutely not, there are so many other better things to do.
Hostile no, just feeling sick.

21/6/07 1:26 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

I guess Anonymous that to find a really good solution, the hoarder needs to be treated. That's easier said then done though. The person may not feel they have a problem - so why would they want to get treatment for example?

21/6/07 1:39 PM  

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