Caring for the cat when ill
I was just speaking to a caregiver who sent in a claim for a friend. The latter claim said that the caregiver could not ward the cat for a blood test and so the friend released the cat and the cat disappeared and is presumed to be dead.
I explained that in general, when we reimburse caregivers we want to know the cat is being cared for. Honestly there isn't much point in bringing a cat to the vet, having it checked and then releasing it if you know it's very sick - or not finding out why it's sick. Nor is it very helpful if the caregiver knows it needs treatment and home care and releases it anyway.
I realise some people genuinely cannot keep the cat at home - but releasing it on the streets is not an option either. Money again is limited (and while I have whittled down the claims and written more than 35 cheques this week, there are still at least 10 claims to be processed) and as a result, it has to go to the cats that have caregivers looking after them and hence the best chance of recovery.
We once paid out a substantial amount in reimbursement to a woman who brought in a community cat that had to have a strict diet or the problem would reoccur. She let it go and the cat promptly got sick again. It's not just the money as well of course - it isn't good for the cat to keep going through treatment after treatment if it could be cured more effectively. In order to do that, the cat does need someone to help care for it.