Monday, July 16, 2007

Never say never

I was speaking to a caregiver this afternoon who was asking why it is that caregivers and feeders are always at the losing end of things - and that cats need to be removed because of a complaint. Sadly it is true in that caregivers usually get the short end of the stick - and the reason is that caregivers have something to lose. Complainants do not.

In this case, there had been a complaint about a cat scratching a child. Fortunately it was not a bad scratch. The caregiver started out by saying that she was sure that the cat would not do it (though she was very prompt in going down to look for the cat) and that the child must have provoked the cat.

There are a few things I mentioned to her. One, never say never. It is very unlikely a cat will scratch a person, BUT there have been cases when it happened. Usually this is due to instances where the cat has felt in danger or is protecting its kittens or even another cat. Two, I told her that it is important not to blame the child. For one thing, we don't know exactly what happened. For another, parents generally don't take well to their children being blamed. Also sometimes a young child especially could have done something threatening without meaning to, and the cat may have reacted in fear.

The most important thing is to make sure to really look into it before giving an opinion on what happened. For one thing, you can see for yourself if the cat is aggressive. In this case, the cat was not aggressive to people but the caregiver herself said he was to other cats. He was also not sterilised.

When we told the mother of the child the cat would be sterilised by the caregiver, and that it wasn't seen to be an aggressive cat, she seemed to accept it.

If you have looked into the situation and it appears patently ludicrous, then it's also good that you have made an attempt to uncover what happened exactly. You can let the TC know what happened as far as you can tell. What is important is that you've taken the time to try and find out what happened - it'll give you a better idea of what occured and can save the cat's life.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last sunday night I was at my void deck when i witnessed 2 primary school kids trying to run-over the cats with their bicycles! I stood firm & stared hard at them & they decided to back-off their cruel act while the elder boy made nasty gestures at the cats. Soon their parents came along & the father commented to his devil kids in a joking manner - " So u want to be a cat murderer huh? " What an idiotic family !!

17/7/07 11:30 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Hi Anonymous, did you say anything to them?

17/7/07 11:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is such a norm to see children running after cats. I wonder what they teach in school.. Cats are never the ones who start the "fight"! Just 2 days back, i witnessed a gal chasing my cat. The cat got so frightened and jumped onto the firehose top. The gal went near and hissed the cat. To my surprise, my timid cat hissed back at her too. I quickly went near and told the gal to stop. The cat could really have clawed her face if she was any nearer. I HATE such wild kids!

17/7/07 12:43 PM  
Anonymous apple said...

it's all abt e parents,nasty parents equals nasty kids.They r a bad example to their children.

17/7/07 12:49 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Anonymous - good thing you told her to step back. Sometimes an adult telling them off may have the desired effect.

apple is right though - often if the parents are respectful to animals, the children will be too. Of course sometimes children don't know how to react and may react in a way the cat construes as aggressive - hopefully then the parents (or any other concerned adult) will set them right.

17/7/07 3:43 PM  
Anonymous mr giggles said...

Unfortunately when something happens, people almost always blame the animals, and not themselves or their ignorant children. The ones who can't speak up for themselves are easy to blame.

Anyway, ignorance is not limited to people's interaction with animals. Have you seen how people cross the roads? And walk behind reversing vehicles? And try to cross the road from in front of a bus after they have alighted from it?

With all the campaigns going on, why doesn't the govt start a campaign on "Awareness"?

The root of the problem is that Singaporeans in general have been brought up to be self-centered and ignorant of matters outside of ourselves. So much so that we even have to be reminded to be on the alert for terrorist threats!

It's amazing that people can be so unaware of things happening around them that they even disbelieve that global warming is an actual threat to our survival!

18/7/07 2:06 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

mr giggles - that's a good point. Sad but true.

18/7/07 9:24 AM  

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