I got a call today from someone who said that a mother cat had given birth to a bunch of kittens near the statue of the Buddha in their school. The person who called had called a temple and asked them to remove the cats the last time, which they did. However the temple encouraged him to speak with me today and to discuss the possibility of a TNRM programme.
The person I spoke to was concerned about whether the cats might cause a fright to the teachers who are frightened of the cats and the students with asthma. I pointed out that there will always be cats there - the important thing is managing them. At this point, they are unmanaged and more cats will come in. That's far worse than sterilising and managing the cats.
He kept saying that they could not allow cats in their school compound but I explained several times that one cannot stop cats from coming in. He mentioned being vigilant and preventing the cats from coming in during the day but that they can't do anything at night. He also mentioned that no one was feeding them. I pointed out that the cats have taken this area over as their territory. Therefore, they would definitely have some cats there. The question is how best to manage the issue - and that is by sterilising and managing the cats. I also told him that in addition to controlling the population, it can be a very good way to teach the students compassion and responsibility.
He was also worried about whom would handle this if they signed up. I explained that while it's called a TNRM programme, it's up to each individual area to tailor it for themselves and see what works - there's no specific guidelines they must follow.
As they were a Buddhist school, he did seem reluctant to have them sent away to be killed, so I hope that will be one more factor that may influence them to try the programme.