Thursday, July 26, 2007

Who's responsibility is a 'cat issue'?

I just spoke with a complainant for quite a while about a problem in her area. Apparently there is a cat that has come up to urinate in her corridor a few times. She pointed out which cat it is and she said she had nothing against the cats - she just wanted the problem solved basically.

The interesting thing is that the town council officer had just emailed me and said that there were problems there and they were getting complaints from two blocks in the vicinity (including the complainant's block) almost every other day. He said that cat issues were not a priority of his and that he wanted to put the resident caregiver's name on the notice board so that other residents could call the caregiver directly.

The complainant also told me this was the third time she had complained about this (and the first time I had heard about it) and that the officer had told her that firstly, they were not the ones in charge of cat issues, and that secondly she was the only one who complained in her block!
I wrote back to the officer to say that while I understood that they dealt with many issues, they cannot refuse to deal with cat issues and just outsource it to other residents. The residents who care for the cats are more than willing to help - but they're not getting paid to do it. Why their names should go on the board is beyond me unless the town council starts deciding to pay them to do the work.

It's also worrying that this is the attitude because in that case, dengue and mosquito cases should not be handled by the TCs either - after all, that's NEA's portfolio. Littering - again NEA. A bit more co-operation and working together - and a bit less of the shoving of the work to someone else - would be the best way to solve problems.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is an indication of the level of professionalism amongst some TC officers....totally zero! and the results is unnecessary killing of cats..all at expense residents' conservancy contribution. Residents should audit these TC officers and decide on their bonuses!

26/7/07 11:32 AM  
Anonymous kaori said...

Perhaps the TC officer's priority is to keep the blocks pristine clean and cat free before the MP comes for a block party..If ever there is an MP who will pose with community cats and have the picture displayed at TC office, wonder if things will change for better...oh well wishful thinking.

26/7/07 12:13 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Kaori - yes if only :)

26/7/07 12:32 PM  
Anonymous joanna said...

Ultimately I think it is the owner's responsibility - the safety of the cat(s) . . . I just had a situation at the end of May where several of my neighbors sent me a letter in the mail and with each of there signatures for me to do something about my cats coming into their yards. I verbally and briefly responded to whom I thought ws the lead on the letter . . .
We all know that you can't tell a cat what to do and they do not respect fences like a dog would do. Anyway, I didn't act quick enough to my neighbors liking and 2 weeks later I received a notice on my door from animal control giving 24 hours to contact them about the situation. I went down to there office that day and responded in writing that I was willing to build a cat pen but that I would need more time. Funny how on the notice that the hours of contact were only from 8:30am to 9:am which gave me only a 30 min. window the next morning to comply AND assuming I got the notice in time. Fortunately I did and had a good conversation with the Animal Control Officer. She offered me a weeks time to get my pen in order and even suggested an 8' X 10' chain-link dog kennel. I thought 'how cruel to put my cats in such seeing how they've had my yard and 45 neighboring yards to roam. The Animal Control Officer said this was approved as long as they had food water and shelter. I explained that I had already done some research on cat fencing and that I thought I could build my own and much larger than the almost $1000 pen I found on line.

2 days later I am calling for several of my cats . . . "Here Malcombe, Here Purty Purty Purty - Punky . . ." No sign of kitties who usually come within a few minutes. Having already running a little late for work, I put a couple of cat carriers in my car. I had decided I better go by the Humane Society on my way to work just in case. Sure enough, to my surprise AND shock, I was able to retrieve both Purty and Malcomb from an over-crowded local shelter. They were still in cat carriers there at the shelter with numerous other kitties. As we were walking through the halls of crated kitties the technician mumbled " a thousand kittens . . . " Assuming he meant that they just had a lot of kittens I inquired more specifically. The technician clarified that the shelter had received 899 kittens in the month of May alone. I was stunned and I knew of a person who had 10 kittens of their own at home who was planning to bring them in to the shelter.
As I was making arrangements to spring my little jail birds, I was shocked to find out that I had to show proof of vaccinations ANND pay $130 per cat. I inquired as to who brought them in and when - the dates. One had been brought in that morning and the other had been brought in the afternoon 2 days before. Boy was I mad when I was told that one had been trapped by a Animal Control issued trap - the other by an address of one of the neighboring houses. I immediately demanded that they get the animal control lady on the phone pronto. I was surprised that they were able to get her on the phone within less that 3 minutes when I had called several times for several days with no luck. boy was I hot mad at the Animal Control lady who had just 2 days ago agreed to give me a week to build my pen but yet she had issued traps to my neighbors anyway. No luck with any help from her either to spring my cats from the pound so my check for $270 made out to Greenville County and why not to the shelters name?? It being Saturday I was so fortunate that my vet was a phone call away to verify shot records. I completely missed work that day and on my way back to the house from the shelter and with both kitties in my car I stopped by my nieghbors house. I was furious but still respectful I explained to my neighbor and her husband the circumstances I had just encountered. They seemed puzzled as they said that the Animal Control Officer had told them that I had had plenty of time to do something about my cats and not to worry about it anymore that Animal Control would handle it. I explained how Animal Control and I had what I thought to be an agreeable converation and that I had been given a verbal ok of a week to build my pen. My neighbors being the Christian family they are just couldn't understand why the Animal Control lady would lie to them or me. After our 45 min debate on my neighbors front porch and one of my other kitties Bu running across their yard and finally coming up to me after I called her, I realized how afraid of cats my neighbor is. I was so shocked - how could she be so frightened and she went on to explain how as a child she was staying with a friend and while asleep, her friend's cat bit her big toe. I found it humerous as if you know cats, you know not to wingle your toe under the bed covers if you don't want to engage with cat play nd claws. During our chitchat I also learned from her husband that trapping was old-hat to him; he had worked one Summer as a Dog Catcher. It made me sick and to wonder ' I bet this is were al the local racoons have gone. and possibly 2 other cats that were missing and several others over a span of 30 years . . .
I do however, appreciate the letter from the neighbors as I would never have known. And I've learned that the local shelter only keeps animals 5 days before making some kind of decision on the animals fate. . . sad because most people like me are ignorant to the ins and outs of how the animal control works and the shelter.

As we were finalizing our conversation and after I had explained to my neighbors that it had cost me $270 plus the hassle of proving shot records AND missign out on a days work and also the fact that I was still missing a 3rd cat, the neighbor assured me that the scratches on both her and her husbands arms were from their rose bushes and how they thought I must think otherwise . . .I had not even noticed the scratches until she pointed them out. I thought, how terrible what my cats have gone through with these cat haters. I then demanded that they tell me how many cats had been trapped AND I asked if they had any of my cats trapped now on there property. They said no but that there was a third cat they had trapped. I told them that the 3rd cat they described was in fact my mothers cat and that I didn't see her a t the pound. They assured me that the cat had been trapped and had been taken to the pound.
You can imaging how upset I was and having to wait til the next day Sunday to go back to the pound.
Fortunately, I was able to find Punky the next day at the pound and I had with me written shot records of MY calico tortie - I couldn't put my hands on my mom's shot records so I improvised. Another check, my mom's check for $135 and I was on my way home with a drunk cat. They had drugged her - sedated her is a more nicer term the pound used.

So now, here it is almost the end of July and my cats are getting along well with each other in a dog pen. I must say that I didn't like them leaving my yard anymore than the neighbors liked them visiting their yard and that I am relieved to know where my kitties are at all times. The sad news is that it has been announced this past week that the shelter has recently had an out break of some feline and highly contagious disease and that the shelter has had to euthenize KILL 923 cats . . . hmmmmm, let's see, those poor 899 kittens from 2 months ago . . . looks like some cat haters run the shelter . . .
ironic that just 2 weeks ago it was announced that the shelter is no longer privately managed but that the Animal Control has now taken over.


I must admit that I had drawn my own rotten conclusions . . . UNTIL I spoke with my aunt who lives a state away. Her kitty of 9 years had recently passed away from chronic asthma. I had called to get the update on her kitten quest. She explained how she was so heart broken that after her cat died she and her husband had signed adoption papers on a kitten and 2 days later it was deathly ill and that they had gone to get a 2nd kitten and it was now at the vet receiving treatment. So may be there could be some truth to the outbreak. God only knows.
I have to trust that in our community, the right people are in control of the shelter and that the right thing had been done . . . you decide.

26/7/07 6:35 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

joanna - sorry to hear about your cats (and glad you got them back safely) and I have to say it is a lucky thing your neighbours spoke with you first, as you said. Here I think most people do not usually speak with their neighbours. Ultimately it is always safer (as in your case) to just keep the cats in. They're exposed to dangers. In addition in our HDB flats have a large concentration of people living in a pretty small area - and the chances of a cat urinating outside someone's home and annoying them are pretty good.

26/7/07 6:47 PM  
Anonymous joanna said...

thanks Dawn for the reply . . .
I had gotten over all this but why it is still so fresh in my mind is because of the loss of lives at the shelter this past week.

I didn't proofread what I wrote previous and lots of typos. there vs their and
I want to correct the following:
. . . seeing how they've had my yard and 5 neighboring yards to roam. (not 45)

thank you for reading - - -

26/7/07 6:51 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

I can understand joanna - that is a whole lot of cats. Poor cats.

26/7/07 6:55 PM  

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