I spoke tonight about Mediation and how to talk to your neighbours. It wasn't a huge crowd (but big enough for me not to sneak off!) and was about the size of one of our usual workshops.
People asked interesting questions afterward. One lady mentioned that she is from a very poor neighbourhood and that there are hardly any complaints about the cats because people have a lot of other things to worry about (she also mentioned incidentally that there were quite a few drug dealers, and that some of the friendlier people in her area had been arrested over the weekend - not quite what we're used to in Singapore!). Another woman mentioned getting a call from someone who wanted to help but said there were tons of cats and she had no money. She had to give food to both the people AND the cats in the area. I suggested asking her to spend a little less money on the cat food and to put aside a little each month to get the cats sterilised or the population would just keep growing.
However the more things are different, the more they are the same. Everyone agreed that if there were no complaints, then there would be no issue of the cats being removed. When I mentioned how some complainants (a small minority) will always be difficult, I saw nods around the room.
The Director of Operations from the Maryland SPCA asked if I could come by and speak with some of her staff and I said I would be happy to.