Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Working pre-emptively

I've been talking to one of the feeders this morning. Her cat was caught yesterday and she has been emailing me about getting the cat out urgently last night. I explained that the first thing to do is to call the AVA and the TC. It is important to find out from the former whether the cat is there and from the latter if there have been cats caught.

The feeder was distraught, understandably so, but something almost exactly identical just happened in her estate a few days ago. The feeder kept telling me she wanted her cat back, which I understand, but if the TC won't issue a letter, and the AVA will not let the cat go without one, there isn't anything can be done by CWS. I had spoken with one of the managers, who will not budge, and the GM has not responded to my email and has not been around when I called (and I did so again this morning).

What is rather distressing as well is that one of the caregivers has been trying to organise the group and get them working with the TC for quite a while. She has been suggesting meetups to get to know each other and to then meet up with the TC on how to work together but there hasn't been much interest as a whole. She in fact, sent out an email about the cat caught two days ago, suggesting that the people in this area have to meet up and work together. Strangely enough no one replied to the email. The feeder in fact saw the email but did not respond.

It's important to work together and not keep working in isolation. If it happens to someone else in another part of your town council, it could very well happen to you. Don't wait till something happens - it's better to be pre-emptive to try and ensure your cats are not caught.

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23 Comments:

Anonymous Cat in Heaven said...

It is quite apparent that a step is taken by the authority. No officer is going to keep writing the letters for the cats to be released. It solves their problem and they don;t intend to give in to you.

AVA and Town Councils know CWS don;t have legal empowerment and it is too much money and hassle for us to do it through a lawyer.

Some Town Council may be compassionate, some are not. These type of cases is happening too often.

Can CWS think of another approach to find an amicable solution to help these group of people? No amount of calling and email will help the situation. Maybe when they are sure we can;t save the cats anymore, they will return your calls, then issue the letters, then we find out we are too late, the cats are put down days ago.

I've read letters written to forums but I don;t see any replies. Did the writing helps? Other than bring more awareness and attention, anyone can offers any answers?

It is not CWS, the caregivers or anyone from the public to give the answers that all of us want to hear. Our voices don;t belong to the powerful ones.

In most cases, we have hit the dead end.

20/6/07 11:27 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

20/6/07 11:35 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

cat in heaven - there is nothing we can do even if we hired a lawyer. What is happening is not 'illegal'.

Actually there are quite a few officers who do write letters - it's just this one TC that has suddenly come up with this policy.

I don't think this is to do with a TC being compassionate or not. I DO think this is about working with the TC. The problem is that people wait for something to happen before acting, which is my point. Act pre-emptively!

This means getting together with other caregivers and meeting with the TCs first before anything happens. You might want to see your MP.

There's only a dead end if caregivers don't work together and try and work with their MPs and their TCs. The caregivers that approached their TCs together ARE working with their TCs and generally quite successfully.

If however residents in that estate are not interested in working together, do not want to speak to the TC, and then get upset only when the cat is caught,it's too late.

20/6/07 11:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Dawn, I received a disturbing email this morning.
My friend's colleague husband is a doctor. She said her husband had seen a patient recently infected with toxoplasmosis and it had to do with handling stray cats. The parasite grew in his arm muscles and it was also present in the brain.
I emailed back to my friend that I was really upset with that email circulation. People may believe it, especially it came from a doctor.
I asked my friend if he can help to probe further. How sure is the doctor that it had to do with cats? The patient could get it by eating raw/uncooked food too.
I remembered reading the chances of getting toxo from cats is very remote unless that person is eating up the cat faeces, am i right?

20/6/07 12:22 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

20/6/07 12:35 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Anonymous - there's an article from the British Medical Journal saying that cats as a risk factor are virtually zero.

This sounds like it might be an urban legend since it is a friend's colleague's husband. How about asking directly for the good doctor's contact so we can speak with him directly?

Read this as well :-
http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dpd/parasites/toxoplasmosis/factsht_toxoplasmosis.htm

20/6/07 12:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, it's not an urban legend. The person who emailed me is a close friend. He may have mentioned my liking for cats before and she was trying to be nice to "warn" him of her husband's recent case. Thx for the link. I will try to get more info.

20/6/07 12:45 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Sorry I'm confused - the doctor is basically the husband of your friend's friend? Who sent out the email though? The doctor himself?

As you may have seen from the factsheet, someone who is immune compromised can catch toxio - and it could basically be from anything, eating uncooked pork, etc.

20/6/07 12:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry for the confusion. The one who sent out the email is my friend’s colleague. The doctor is her husband. Her husband must have shared with her on his recent toxo case. She then wrote the email to alert my friend who in turn forwarded it to me. Let’s see if my friend can help to probe further, I am so angry..

20/6/07 1:08 PM  
Anonymous apple said...

just ignore these malicious ppl.Everything they only blame e cat,it's e easy way out for em.i remembered there's one former American President who has a White hse cat,named Socks.He doesn't have that disease either.And the food that stray cats feed on are those that human beings throw away.

20/6/07 1:13 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Hi Anonymous - yes let's find out from the doctor himself what happened exactly.

When I mentioned that it sounded like an urban legend, I meant that urban legends usually start off by saying that a friend of a friend of someone heard something. Usually tracing down that person is very hard in most cases. However if the doctor can be traced in this case, it would be good to find out what happened exactly. I'm also curious if the email was just to warn you, then why has it been mass mailed to quite a few people obviously?

20/6/07 1:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If there were indeed such a case that I presumed would be rare and hence of great interest to the medical community, I, as a doctor here for many decades, have yet to see this in the Singapore Medical Journal. One can do a search on SMA

20/6/07 1:47 PM  
Anonymous cat talk said...

Is a letter of release so difficult for TC and why must AVA be so totally depended on the letter? If CWS makes an investigation and agrees to the release, than will do.

AVA is making release of cats difficult and killing easy.

20/6/07 2:11 PM  
Anonymous yskat said...

The first annoymous's information appears to have come from a "foaf" - friend of a friend (in this case her/his colleague's friend's husband) - who is usually cited as the source of information for urban legends. I agree with Dawn: we should speak to the supposed source directly before taking this further. The first annoymous, by posing a comment like that here, is effectively circulating information that might potentially be inaccurate and dangerous.

20/6/07 2:12 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

cat talk - I don't think they'll release the cat because we say so :)

In the past, AVA did not need a letter. Rest assured, we are following up on THAT angle.

20/6/07 2:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yskat, My purpose of my posting was to confirm some facts on toxo so that I can rightly refute the email. My intention was never to pass on "urban legend". As much as i like to dismiss it, I was surprised it came from a doctor and that is why i may have sounded "fanatical". Of course I agree that we should not just simply accept as said. That is also why in my first post, i have also asked my friend to help check further. Yes, some of us may have received dozens of "foaf" legend cases but i suppose we should also be prepared lest "boy who cried wolf" .. We choose what to or not to believe...
I appreciate and trust the good intention of my friend's colleague. She was just being helpful knowing i have cats and therefore shared the case with my friend. We must not criticise people who do not know, especiallly those with no cat contact. It is her husband (doctor) or maybe the patient that left me perplexed.
Dawn, sorry I may have used the wrong words, when i said email circulation, it wasn't mass email. The mail was sent just to my friend and my friend passed on to me. But then again, what if she or her doctor husband had also shared with some others as well.
To the doctor post, thanks, maybe i can also cite you

20/6/07 4:52 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Anonymous the CDC website is probably a good resource. I also have a British Medical Journal article if you'd like to see it. Drop me an email if you'd like to see it and yes please do check with the source.

20/6/07 6:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cat in Heaven may be right about the TC's motives in this case, but that doesn't mean that it had to be that way. The TC's probably get fed up with cat complaints, and working with them pre-emptively would improve their attitude if they see that caregivers are willing to help cope with complaints. There is a group of caregivers at NTU working to manage the cats on campus, and the Office of Facilities Planning and Management works very harmoniously with them. Cat complaints are now referred immediately to the caregivers group and so far, this has worked well. At first, though, the estate managers were very skeptical; but after a successful first pilot year, the caregivers were able to present detailed records of numbers sterilised, cats placed for adoption, complaints fielded and funds raised to help pay for sterilisations and cat food. Working with the estate officers won them over, and an approach to the university administration for more support met with a very positive response. Dawn is right: if the caregivers are seen as responsible people instead of as counter-complainers, the attitude of estate managements can be very much more positive.

Sorry for long blat!

Fatcat_too

20/6/07 6:57 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Thanks for sharing that fatcat - and that's an attitude I'm hearing from other caregivers too. At the beginning the relationship is rocky but then as trust is built on it gets better. As Rebecca said, and which I agree with, it's an on-going process. It's not something that the TC and caregivers will get right the first time - but if they keep working together to smoothen out mistakes it CAN work.

20/6/07 7:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is terrible..can't the caregiver say that the cat is hers? Surely they will release the cat if someone claims ownership. Why not first take the cat back and foster it if the town council won't allow them to release it back

20/6/07 7:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe you need to speak to a different AVA officer.. or go down there and talk to them if they dont want to return your calls.. time is of the essence..

20/6/07 7:50 PM  
Anonymous anti-stupidity said...

Someone from AVA said not a single case of toxo found in Singapore since the 50's. Why don't people worry about dengue, heart attacks,
cancers and VD of the brain?

20/6/07 8:07 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

She did - and now because of the 'new' AVA policy they cannot be released unless TCs will release the cats.

The caregivers went to see the MP tonight and he is saying that it is up to AVA. So everyone seems to be pushing it to the other party.

21/6/07 12:34 AM  

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