Monday, November 05, 2007

Whose cats are they?

I was speaking to a feeder who called me several times today. She tends to be rather combative (and some other feeders have complained about her) and I have to admit my heart sunk a little when I saw her number on my phone.

What happened is that her town council apparently has hired new cleaning contractors and today, someone from the company (she doesn't know whom because she didn't ask) told her that she should stop feeding because the cats are making a mess. According to her, he said he would trap the cats in her area. She told him off and proceeded to call the officer, and then tried to call me.

Unfortunately the officer wasn't in, nor was the General Manager. She did manage to get an HDB officer who told her this was not his jurisdiction. She then decided to get everyone to fax the Town council to complain and to find out whom this person was. She called to ask me to fax as well.

I told her that I thought she should give her officer a chance to get back to her. From what I remember her telling me he's generally been quite helpful. At the same time, he might have been genuinely busy. I suggested that we wait and see what happened first.

She complained that there was no point calling me as I wouldn't help. She said the volunteers had asked her to give me a call and so she was calling. I told her and repeated it again that we would be happy to help if there was a problem but that if she is caring for the cats there, she has to be the one who makes the initial approach. They are after all her cats and she and the others are the residents in the area. CWS is always happy to step in if there is a need but if the officers and residents can work it out amicably amongst themselves, then that's the best way to go. Too often, we hear that CWS is calling but that we represent a small minority of 'cat lovers'. It does not give credence to the fact that there are plenty of people who DO care for the cats if the only people they hear from is CWS time and again.

She hung up on me though and was pretty disgruntled but said that she would call if there is a problem.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

why is the new cleaning company so mean? The TC must brief cleaners not to trap or harm cats in any way.

5/11/07 11:29 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

I don't know - and to be honest I'm not even sure whom this person is within the cleaning company,or even if he IS from the company as the feeder didn't ask.

6/11/07 12:27 AM  
Anonymous mr giggles said...

hi Dawn,
thanks for always being so patient. Please don't let ungrateful or rude people dampen your day. You have been the best Mediator CWS can ask for.

You're right about asking the feeder to call her TC officer. Often, the cleaning contractors don't realise there's an agreement between cat feeders and their TC officers. And unfortunately if you encounter one that dislikes cats and deem them to be pests, he will certainly take his initiative to do some "pest control" unless otherwise told by the TC officers.

And ultimately, when people quarrel and don't try to resolve matters, the cats are the worse off for it.

7/11/07 12:19 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Yes I think the thing people fail to realise is that the best thing they can do is to try and maintain a good relationship with the TC/cleaners/etc. And to do that, it has to be a personal relationship. It's human nature - are you more likely to be friendly/helpful to someone you have a personal working relationship with or someone you don't know?

7/11/07 2:33 AM  

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