Friday, March 30, 2007
I was exchanging emails with a caregiver this afternoon. She has been helping out with some people who would otherwise not sterilise though they feed. She mentioned that she thinks that they're being kind, but that if the cats get caught or anything happens, then the feeders think its just fate.
I just had another such conversation with another caregiver who told me the same thing happens in the estate she is helping out with. They will sterilise only if she pays for it and arranges everything - otherwise it doesn't get done.
I was thinking about the concept of the cats' fate. I'm not a philosopher or a religious scholar in any way but it occurred to me that by feeding the cats, the feeders are already meddling with fate. If the cats were really left up to fate, and have no interference, it would seem that they shouldn't even be feeding because that is interfering as much as sterilisation or mediation is!
The second caregiver told me that some of the feeders tell her that they feed so that they'll strike the lottery. I told her that if that was the case then caregivers wouldn't always be so broke and she agreed!
And they say cats aren't grateful
I had a lovely surprise yesterday - Tiger, Bats and Xylo sent me this book, though they dispatched their human, Otterman, to do the actual delivery. A big thank you to the cats (who even wrote a message on the inside cover of the book proving that opposable thumbs are highly over-rated) and to their delivery person :)
Be careful with cat traps
I was speaking with someone this morning and she told me that her management condominium had been using a cat trap. She said she suspected it might be one of our old traps because the condominium cleaners had told her that the residents had moved out and tossed the trap in the garbage. Presumably they had used it for sterilisation before. The cleaners than picked the trap up and have been using it to trap cats. She isn't sure however as the facts seemed rather vague.
We have lost a substantial number of traps when we first started loaning them out because we did it for free. We wanted to make it as easy for people trapping for sterilisation as possible. People would borrow the traps and not return them however.
It's not too bad when people leave them lying about the house. It's better of course if people are actively using them or intending to use them, but we do hope people will be careful what they do with the traps. For example, people loaning the traps out to other people should be careful that the people they loan it to, use it only for sterilisation. If it's passed from person to person, it might end up being used for a completely different purpose than what it was originally meant for.
With the refundable deposit system we find people are more responsible for the traps.
Labels: cat traps
Too difficult to send an email
Yesterday evening when I came out of this meeting, I received a phone call from one of the TC officers. It was a repeat complaint in one of the blocks about someone feeding the cat upstairs. I remember a caregiver had gone down, but I couldn't remember the details, nor did I have the caregiver's number on me. I also had my hands full.
The officer told me that the complainant was demanding the cat be removed right away. He said if we didn't do something, he would send pest control down.
I asked him if he could send me the information via email or SMS as I was out and had no access to the information and so I would not need to fumble for a pen. I told him that I would certainly call but I would like to find out what had already been done before calling the complainant.
The officer said he was already leaving for the day (though he was calling me from the office phone) and that he did not want to send me an email or an SMS. He repeated he would otherwise just send the pest control down.
I pointed out that it would take just as long to call the pest control as it would be to send me an email, but he said that it was quicker to just call pest control. Sigh.
I called Rebecca but she was unable to get hold of the caregiver. I scribbled the number down, called the complainant and found out he was quite amenable to giving us some time to look into the situation.
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Dropped by AVA and they now have a Cat Stop and Scarecrow which they have purchased to try out. I'm very hopeful that they'll like it and get more!
Also had a meeting with a young lady about communication strategies for NGOs. She's doing some research on the matter and wanted to meet up.
Also dropped by to pick up food for a foster and went by her home to drop it off.
Some news on the AGM for those of you who couldn't make it. We now have a part-timer - Rebecca whom many of you know! The workload is getting heavier and as a result, we thought having someone part time would be very helpful. I'm very glad to have her on board as she is truly committed to working for the cats and is tireless in her work!
We also have a new committee member, Corbie. Hopefully you'll be seeing more of her at exhibitions, workshops and the like as well!
We have also announced our plans to start campaigns. Someone suggested doing campaigns in religious institutions so we're actually starting to do that. We also hope to do more work within TCs and to get TCs and RCs to support education programmes within their estates. We hope to provide a number of free sterilisation slots to residents of these areas.
Meeting and Scarecrow
Food at the AGM
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
The feeder texted me back this morning. Apparently he said that there are quite a number of cats in his flat which is one problem as he has been taking in pregnant cats and other injured cats or cats taken from AVA in. He has also been taking over colonies from other people. He mentions that he and another feeder pay another woman a nominal sum every month to feed the cats but that she does a bad job and that the food is covered with ants before they can eat it. He says he suspects this is why the cats are dying. As a result, he is feeding the same cats too. I asked him why they continue to pay someone else when she is doing a bad a job. He then replied that her feeding is okay but that feeding the cats once a day is not sufficient and that they are fussy and don't want to eat her food.
I told him that in general, if cats are hungry they will eat. It sounds to me like they may be being overfed and that some of the money could be better saved.
Heading out now to pick up AGM reports for tonight.
Cats mentioned in Parliament
Here is the question about cats that came out in Parliament sent to us by NMP Siew Kum Hong :-
Question about cats in Parliament
The good news is that it does say that the AVA considers sterilisation part f the control and management strategy of community cats. It also said that the AVA is not aware of any empirical evidence to suggest that killing cats works.
I was also very happy to See that the AVA is happy to work with the community and that they have the interests of the animals at heart.
On the other hand, 10000 complaints at first glance seems like a lot. However, when you factor in that it involves ALL the HDB offices in Singapore, the AVA and 16 Town Councils along with all their different offices is really isn't. Even if it does work out to 30 complaints a day - that works out to just two complaints a day to the TCs alone and does not include other government departments. Of these, how many are repeat complaints - in the sense that they call up and complain not on the same day (and some do) but in the future? What of the people who complain to different government authorities? Is the complaint then counted once or twice (or however many times)? Also how are the complaints classified? For example, we have seen cases where other concerns got lumped under 'cat complaints' though they weren't.
Furthermore, problems of food remains aren't a cat problem - it's one of littering. I fully agree it IS a problem but how does removing the cats help? As for defecation - I am guessing the majority of those complaints are in relation to cats' upstairs.
Interestingly as well - more cats are killed (13000 a year) than there are complaints about cats.
Complaint about officer
This feeder called the police station and they advised her to come down anytime and make a police report. They also said that they would act if there was any problem.
The feeder however now says she thinks she will wait - if the man threatens to harm her or actually hit her then she will make the report. She said she is glad to know she can make the report at any time though.
In the meantime, she wants to call the TC General Manager again and also asked me to email him and ask him what action he was going to take. I suggested that she give him a little more time. She just called two hours ago (though she said the Personal Assistant may not have been able to make out what she was trying to say) and it would be good to let the GM get back into the office first as there was nothing he could do about the situation when he did not even know it had occurred.
Complaints to TC
I had a call from a feeder whom was upset because there was an altercation with one of her officers about where she should feed her cats. Unfortunately one thing led to another and she said the officer then made a threatening gesture at her. From past experience, this woman has a rather short fuse as well (as different feeders and officers have told me and which I have noticed).
She called the TC and the General Manager was not in. Now this is a serious matter and I told her to make a police report if she at fears that she may be in any sort of danger. I told her to remember to bring her handphone with her when she feeds. She sounded surprised that she ought to make a report - but that's really the very first thing you should do if you feel at all in danger or might be put in danger.
She wanted to round up some other feeders and march down to see the GM who is out. First of all the GM isn't in. His personal assistant has taken a message and said that she will get him to call the feeder back. Marching down to see him when he is not in (and bringing people who did not witness anything) to sit in his office, and asking me to email on her behalf an hour after she left her first message are not very productive and in fact may serve to annoy.
I advised her to wait for the GM to call her and to make a police report in the meantime. It's true that some complainants may bombard the TC with calls - but we don't need to do the same. Staying polite, calm and reasonable can make the point just as well.
AGM tonight at 6:30 pm at the National Library - hope to see you there if you're a member (only members can vote)!
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Another lot of cats in cages
More cats in cages
Originally uploaded by dawnkua.
Thanks to the adoption volunteer for sending this in.
This is another case of cats in cages - fortunately these cats were taken out by a volunteer and the cats rehomed last year. The volunteer sponsored their boarding till they were adopted (and one or two of them is still in boarding I believe).
Sadly, we think the woman probably went and took in more cats afterwards. This lot of cats removed was not the first lot removed from her. The TC, AVA and ourselves have spoken with her. In fact, the original cats were sterilised and returned to her by Jolanda but then she just put them outside in a cage and went and got some more after Jolanda left. That was when another volunteer got these cats out.
Flood of kittens
The adoption volunteer is drowning in kittens right now. Yesterday alone she had people wanting to post more than 20 kittens. I have also been inundated with emails from people asking for a foster. There are absolutely no fosters available now. They are all full up. All the boarding places are also full from what I understand.
The volunteer also had to explain that we don't run a pickup service - someone wrote in to say that she wanted us to come down and pick up the kittens but only between certain hours as she wasn't always at home.
The eleventh hour?
The saga of the complainant and the feeder continues. Apparently she has been told that the TC will be coming to trap the cats in the vicinity due to repeat complaints from the block. The feeder is now very worried and doesn't know what to do. She told me the complainant had also gone around with a letter asking people to complain about her.
I asked her if she had seen the MP as she had previously wanted to. She had not she said as she had been busy. Now she says she will go. She asked me again if I think the situation will get 'bigger' than it is now. I told her that I think it would be hard pressed to get any worse at this point - the cats are already going to be rounded up.
I spoke with another caregiver in the area who used to help her and says she is washing her hands off the feeder. She said the feeder does not take advice, tends to get into fights and that the situation had degenerated very badly she felt because of the way it was handled. The caregiver said that when she and another few people met to discuss the situation, the caregiver kept them waiting two hours. She said that only now when the cats are in imminent danger of being caught does she react.
Kitten on box
I spoke with the man today when I dropped by and he mentioned that he saw a number of abused cats in his travels around Singapore. I asked if he needed any help with vet fees but he said it was fine - that the cats were already all better. I asked if he had any suspects and he told me that if he had, he would have beaten them up already.
He told me he's not scared of anyone when I advised him to be careful - he said he had been in court before. He told me that when he first met me, he had been very fierce but now that he saw we weren't hurting his cat he wasn't anymore.
He also told me about a mother cat that had given birth to its fifth litter. I told him that she really should be sterilised but he told me that he's worried the cat population would die out. I pointed out that the kittens being born were being abused as he said. I asked him to please consider sterilising her. He said that the kittens were still nursing right now but he would think about it.
Labels: kitten on string
Kitten on a harness
Traps and Errands
Heading out now to do some photocopying and dropping a cat trap off.
People who read this blog are very generous - thank you! When I posted this last night, I got an email the same night from someone who offered to help out with the feeder's costs.
I am still trying to get hold of the feeder though to find out exactly what is happening. I have been unable to get him on the phone and he hasn't quite answered all my questions via SMS (possibly due to his schedule). All he has said is that the other feeders cannot be trusted because they are dirty. I have asked him twice to call me so I hope he does give me a ring.
One thing though that has to be said (and this is not in relation to the case above) is that people donating food especially should be careful. The reason being that while it is always good to help out feeders in need where possible, it should be done most importantly for the welfare of the cats. That statement may seem to be obvious - after all, what helps feeders must help cats! However this is not always the case.
For example, some people feed the cats for the sake of feeding the cats - they enjoy the act of feeding the cats. They may tell you it's time consuming, tiring, etc, but they continue to feed for its own sake. As a result, the cat population grows. Now some people perhaps don't know about sterilisation, and with awareness would definitely go about it. Others sadly, do not think it's important nor do they particularly care if the cats get caught.
In comes a generous donor who then offers to help with the food. What happens then? The feeder then expands the colony, feeding more cats, and having those cats breed even more prolifically. This leads to more cats overall, and brings it to the attention of people who complain. The end result? The cats get rounded up - and certainly more cats get rounded up then if they had not started feeding in the first place.
It doesn't mean that people don't necessarily make use of money for other things too - for example years ago, we did help a woman who had a large colony that she took into her home. The cats were very stressed out. We told her in no uncertain terms she was not to take in more cats. We counted and she had 20 unsterilised cats (there were an even greater number that were done). We offered to pay for the cats. When we had paid for 30 cats, I called her up to find out why she was still making bookings - it turned out she had decided to go bring even more cats in. We stopped funding at that point.
The last I heard there were people donating to her food and litter and that the number of cats has increased three or four times the initial number that she used to have.
Monday, March 26, 2007
Feeding large colonies
I just received an SMS from a feeder who said that he is having problems coping. He said that he had too many cats in his flat and that he had another 100 community cats that he looked after every day. He asked if we could find someone who might help him out financially. He said that there are people he's heard of who will help out when they know you're looking after community cats.
I texted back to say that I'm afraid we can't. Firstly, most of the people we know are caregivers themselves and have their own colonies. Secondly, why this person and not another?
I advised him to think about cutting down on the number of cats he feeds. He said that he would try and find someone himself. I told him that sometimes peoples' financial commitments may change and they may not be able to help as well. At the end of the day, you cannot count on someone else because no matter how good their intentions, things change. He said that it is very difficult to cut down because the cats are waiting for you every night - he's done this for many years and has never managed to cut down. I do understand that he is in a dilemma. I did ask him though why the number was so high - if he wasn't sterilising, then he really has to. If he's however expanding the area he feeds in, then it really has to stop.
Here's what I've noticed though - feeding is tiring, it's a daily affair and takes up many hours, but the surprising thing as well is that there are rarely a lack of feeders. If feeders in that area move out or are no longer there, I've noticed that someone will usually take over. Whether that person is responsible or not is a whole different matter, but it doesn't seem that difficult to find feeders - people sterilising and managing are again a whole different kettle of fish.
In some areas we've found that there are several feeders - all of them mistakenly thinking they were the only one feeding. In one case I mentioned, someone kept feeding even though she knew others were feeding, and despite the fact she said it was costing her a lot of money.
So here's the thing - feeding is necessary of course to TNRM but there is and can be a better way to do it. For example, split up the feeding with other caregivers in the area. Notice if the cats never seem very hungry - it could well be that there is someone else feeding. Don't bite off more than you can chew. Managing 100 cats well is of course ten times harder than managing 10 cats. And most importantly, sterilise and manage the colonies.
Sentosa Peacock sign
Thanks to Mezzo for sending this in. I did not know that Peacocks attack the cars because of their shiny paintwork! I like how the sign basically says that car parks cannot be protected from 'natural elements'. Perhaps we should have these signs up in other carparks!
Who is responsible?
This complainant wrote in again to say that she was displeased that we did not want to do anything about this case. I wrote back to clarify with her - it was not that we did not want to do anything but that she had now made it hard for us to do anything. She said that we had asked her to inform us in the future if she had a problem - and I said that we had, and as a first step, not after she has written to every authority in her area.
I pointed out that I cannot now tell the neighbour for example, to keep the cat in, because if the HDB comes she'll definitely get into trouble. There may have been a need to at some point speak with the authorities, but I told her it would be better if she had come to us first.
I also pointed out that the neighbour was the one who was irresponsible and we should tackle that problem. The complainant said however that the cat was one that earned dislike because it roamed out on its own legs.
I wrote back to say that I am sure that if a toddler had come and messed up the area outside her flat, that she would not be angry with the child (or at least not just the child). I am sure she would look to the parents - similarly with the cat. The cat (or the child) only goes out because the owner or the parents allow them to - they certainly don't know any better.
New house, dumped cats
I was just speaking to a long-time caregiver. She said that she had been noticing more people dumping of late.
The sad thing is that she said quite a few of these seem to be families that moved out and left the cats when they moved to their new homes. She said that a number of these cats had been sterilised by her because she was worried that they would breed. She said that she had thought they would look after the cats because they seemed to really care for them. Yet when they moved she found them all dumped - and of course this led to complaints from the TC about the increasing number of cats.
Here's a very interesting post I found off Otterman's blog about the Ernest Hemingway Museum and the Hemingway Cats. Interesting that most of the cats are polydactal.
Even more interesting is that they sterilise the vast majority of the cats but leave some breeding pairs so that the number always stays around 60 (and are the descendants of Hemingway's original cats) . This is a good case for people who ask what will happen if you sterilise till there are no more cats left - you leave just enough unsterilised so that they reproduce to replace the ones that die but not enough to overpopulate the area.
Note this is obviously a small area which is very self-contained - this does not apply to Singapore yet and probably won't be the case here for many, many years.
Feline Hip Replacement
Friday, March 23, 2007
Kittens in cage
Thanks Rebecca for the photo.
Rebecca and a caregiver went down last night to check on the rest of the cats and kittens in a cage and also because someone was interested in adopting them. A very nice young lady saw their adoption posting and felt so sorry for them, she wanted to adopt some of them. She went down and took a look at them last night.
The mother cat and her kittens are now in larger cage (and no longer in the carrier). The young woman and her husband have agreed to adopt some of the older cats and Rebecca is arranging for them to be sterilised before they go to their new home.
Labels: cats in cages
Kitten on harness
Kitten on string may have to be renamed - he's now kitten on a harness! The man took out a pair of scissors and cut off the nylon string - which made us very happy. He's on a harness which will probably be safer (though he could still get caught technically). The adoption volunteer asked the man to be sure to monitor the cat and make sure he doesn't get hurt.
The adoption volunteer and I struggled with the very active kitten for quite a few minutes making sure that the harness was on. The man was quite worried that the kitten was bitey (he was) so he left us to put the harness on.
At the end, he told us that he may be leaving Singapore in a month's time. He said that he would like to give the kitten to us as he can see we love cats.
Labels: kitten on string
Kitten chowing down
Kitten on man's lap
Whew - the AGM report is at the printers and not a minute too soon. I am sure everyone knows the frustration of having your PC and printer hang on you just as you're printing something very important!
Here's the kitten sitting on the man's lap. The adoption volunteer and I went down and offered him the harness - we knew we had made progress when he suggested we put the harness on. The last time he had said that he would put the collar on the next day because I don't think he wanted us to touch the kitten.
Labels: kitten on string
Thanks for the suggestion of the rabbit harness. The adoption volunteer and I bought one (by the way, both the collar and harness for the kitten on a string were not from Society funds) and gave it to the man who is looking after kitten on a string.
More a little later. Trying to tidy up the AGM report to send to the printers.
Labels: kitten on string
Letting cats out
Someone wrote in again about her neighbour who was still letting the cats out. However she said she had put up with it for several months and was tired of it so she wrote to everyone - town council, HDB and ourselves saying she wanted the cats to be removed. She said the situation had improved for a while before deteriorating.
I wrote back to say that we had spoken with the neighbour before and asked her to keep the cats in. However because she had complained to the TC and HDB again, there was very little we can do to help out. She wrote back to say it's ironic that we cannot help the welfare of the cats now. I told her that for example, the simplest thing to do - would be to tell her again to keep the cats in. However I can't advise her to do that now if the HDB is going to come knocking on her door and find the cats inside!
Then her neighbour wrote in to say that the TC said we did not want to be involved and that the complaint was about her community cats walking upstairs. I explained that I had told the complainant that it wasn't that we didn't want to be involved - but that because of her actions, our hands were pretty much tied now. The TC was copied on this email too. In addition, the complaint was clearly about her home cats not the community cats.
She said the officer had asked if she had home cats and when she said no, he told her that there was a complaint about her community cats then.
I asked her why she was still letting the cats out. She said she only lets them out in the morning, and sometimes when they run out and she can't stop them. She said one of her cats runs onto the ledge and she can't get it back. I told her she simply HAS to make sure they don't go out then - perhaps by screening the door up, or putting the cat in a room when she has to go out.
Now she says she thinks they may come and trap her community cats because of the complaints - and they aren't the ones loitering in the corridor or the ones even complained about.
I just came from a TNRM workshop. Unfortunately only half of the people who were able to come were able to make it in the end.
One of the estate management people seemed hostile to the idea but the good thing is that the head of the estate management now seems to think that TNRM is a good solution. I was very pleased to hear him explaining the vacuum effect to his colleague.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
How many cats in a flat?
A reporter just called about a case of a pair of siblings whom they think have more than 10 cats in a one-room flat (if I understood her correctly). They want to know CWS' stand on this case is.
A one-room flat does seem tight if this is indeed the case, but the most important thing is that owners shouldn't take in more cats than they can cope with. After all, you can have a filthy 5 room flat with NO cats and a very clean one-room flat with a few cats. Cats aren't dirty - but sometimes the people looking after them are or they cannot keep the place clean. Therein lies the problem.
If HDB allowed cats in flats, they could probably put guidelines as to how many cats are allowed. There will always be a few who keep too many I am sure, but the vast majority would have some form of guidelines to follow.
I'm going through this week's lot of reimbursements. One claim came in from a woman who had claimed before for rescue cases. She said she realised she should not have taken on so much responsibility for community cats due to her financial situation - she enclosed her ATM printout, and it had less than $20 in it. She also sent us the letter from the power supply company threatening to cut off her power.
Someone else who was also claiming filled out the claim form. Under the column "Number of Pet cats allowed to roam", she put 'All'. Sigh. Why won't people keep their pets in?
I had a call from a caregiver today. She was bringing in a FIV/FELV cat to the vet. The cat was not eating. She had brought it to the vet when it was ill before, and it got better but now it was becoming very sick again. She called for advice but I think more to just speak with someone about it.
First off, I told her that this was a very, very difficult decision and one that is different for everyone. Secondly, I suggested the best person to speak to was her vet. The vet is always the person who can give you the best expert opinion, and since you are the person who knows the cat best, the two of you are the best people to come to a decision, both from a medical point of view - and from that of the cat's temperament.
The vet had advised her to put the cat down because it might get better - but that it was a matter of time before it got worse again. According to her, the vet said the prognosis was not good.
The vet also said that they could just do the basics but the cat was likely to get ill once again. She suggested really going all out - but of course that's costly.
It's a really tough decision - the most important thing is quality of life of course. Is the cat in pain? As the caregiver mentioned, it's not fun to be proded and poked every day at the vet either to draw blood. One other thing I mentioned to her is that sometimes when it does drag on, the cat can be in a significant amount of pain by the time the decision is made to euthanise it.
One other factor of course is also cost - she has a colony of cats and this could be very draining financially.
I feel really bad for the caregiver to have to make that decision - and it's a tough one that I am sure most of you have grappled with at some point or other already. It's never easy.
Loaning out cat traps
I had an email from one of the caregivers saying that a feeder had asked her to pass a message from one of the vet clincs the feeder used. Someone from a vet clinic (one that we don't work with) wanted to borrow a cat trap.
I called and spoke with the person, and asked him if he was doing sterilisation. He told me where he was trapping the cats and I told him that I would speak with him more when I saw him in person. I was supposed to drop in on Monday but neither of us could make it.
The person SMSed me this morning and said that the client needed a cat trap by this weekend. I tried to call but was unable to get him. I SMSed back and said that we don't pass traps around like that and that we want to meet with the person borrowing the trap to ensure that they're using it for sterilisation and not killing. We also make them sign a form to promise this.
He SMSed back to say that it was okay, the client had called AVA and they were loaning her a trap but that AVA would have to remove the cats. I texted back to say that they did not have to do this - and that if they wanted to, the cats could be still taken for sterilisation.
He just texted me back to say that the client was not a 'cat lover' and that she just wanted them out of her rubbish cans!
I just texted back to say that (1) we do NOT loan traps out to people to trap and kill cats, (2) there are alternatives such as the Scarecrow and the Cat Stop and (3) I hoped the client realised that the cats would be killed.
I just managed to get him on the phone. He said that he hoped by loaning her HIS cat trap, that she might then hand the cats over to him. He said that she wasn't willing to actually give the cats to him but that he was trying to persuade her to let him have the cats after she caught them. Her only complaint seemed to be that the cats got into her rubbish bin.
I told him I didn't think this was a good alternative and that new cats would move in even if he did remove them. He said he wasn't sure about that. I asked what he planned to do with the cats and he said he was thinking of sterilising them and sending them to the SPCA. He was surprised when I said the SPCA has no space to take in cats and would properly have no choice but to put them down. I also told him that new cats would move in and he'd be constantly removing the cats without her being any happier with the situation.
I suggested he ask her to give me a call as there were many ways to keep the cats out of the rubbish bins - one way of course is to get a rubbish bin that secures properly so the cats cannot get into it.
Why slots are booked through CATSNIP
The CATSNIP voicemail volunteer had someone call and complain that it was too much trouble to book through the voice message system or email for sterilisation slots and wanted to do it directly with the vet. She said the woman, who hadn't booked slots for a while, got rather agitated and said that the vet had always lets her book direct in the past. I had spoken with her a few days ago and she seemed okay, but then she got upset while speaking with the volunteer again. Now another caregiver called Rebecca up and said that she heard it's so hard to book slots from this other caregiver that she doesn't want to sterilise and that XXX clinic lets them bring it in without booking through us.
Why do we ask volunteers to book slots through us? It's actually gives the volunteers more work to book the slots - if the clinic will let caregivers book with them directly, we're more than happy to ask caregivers to call direct (and we do). The point is that only one clinic does that right now.
The reason most clinics do not want caregivers to book directly is that it gets messy - different caregivers may ask for different things, some people may bring in their pet cats and try to get community cat rates or all the caregivers may bring in cats on the same day which means they have too many cats to sterilise at once.
The reason why we do the bookings is that we've had requests from clinics to be the ones doing the bookings. They've had different caregivers they would rather not deal with in some cases.
In some cases, people have gone in and claimed to be from CWS and the vet clinic has called up upset with us for sending in too many cats at one time. People walk in demanding their cats must be sterilised immediately. We have been told by different clinics that they no longer wish to give community cat rates because of these problems. Subsequently we had to put in more steps to ensure the clinics did not face these problems and told them to only take bookings from designated volunteers that the clinics are told about. All the clinics are given letters to that effect.
That is why we have the booking system - to ensure that everyone gets slots at the cheapest rates available.
Some people claim that they have special arrangements with the vets - that's absolutely fine, and they should call the vet directly. The problem arises when the clinic does not wish to continue with this arrangement anymore and asks them to call us for slots. Then the caregiver gets angry with us.
We cannot arrange slots for you ASAP. This may be because (1) the vet is full or (2) there are other people ahead of you in the queue. On occasion, if it's an emergency the volunteers try their best to arrange a slot as quickly as possible and I think they have done a fantastic job of it. Please do however try not to have an emergency every week.
People often say that they can't be sure they will trap the cat because it is a community cat - well that's something that is true of everyone. What I advise people to do is to book the slot first for the day you intend to trap. If you really can't trap any cats, then call the clinic and let them know as soon as you can.
Most caregivers are very considerate and have no issues with the system - and we thank you for that.
I also think the volunteers manning the email and voice message system are doing a great job and should be applauded for the hard work they're doing - thank you CATSNIP volunteers.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Poster on notice board
Photo care of Rebecca.
Just got back from the post office and also managed to finally finish the AGM report today! Just need a few more details and the auditors to sign off on the accounts and then it's off to the printers with the report.
Rebecca spotted our sterilisation brochures up on one of the TC notice boards but they were photocopied. I wrote to the officer and asked if she needed some originals and she replied in the affirmative so just sent her a pile of brochures. It's great to see people wanting to use the brochures. The area is supposed to be pretty bad and I think the officer is hoping people may read it and sterilise the cats there.
At the same time, some of the caregivers went to see their MP on Monday and I asked the RC person if they would like some brochures. She said that she would leave some at the RC for people to pick up which is great! I sent her the Sterilisation and Responsible Feeding brochures as well.
If your RC or TC notice boards would take our brochures, please let us know - we'd be happy to send some to them to ask them to put it up.
Car Problem resolved?
The caregiver met this guy a few days ago but fell sick right after and just wrote to update on the situation. She said that the complainant was very angry and that at one point, she had to physically restrain her friend who she feared might get into a fist fight with him.
The funny thing though is that it seems that the complaint may be resolved! She said that she gritted her teeth though she was really angry and tried to be nice to him. She said that he seemed to be pleased to have the attention. She said he calmed down from being very angry at the outset and in the end, they shook hands and he even smiled.
She will meet him again this weekend and pass him some car repellent. He in turn, will park at the other end of the carpark, where the cats do not congregate. He will also call her if there are any more scratches on his car.
I told her she did an excellent job.
I spoke to the owner a while ago and asked if her daughter had explained the treatment and what needed to be done. The owner said she had. I also told her that if she doesn't treat the cat, chances are not good that the cat will survive.
She said the operation was expensive (it's around $500) and I asked if they had financial problems. She said 'quite' and asked if we could pay for the operation.
I told her in general that we don't usually help out with home cats. I did say though that if finances were an issue, and they could send us their income documents we would see what we can do.
On the way home yesterday, the daughter had told me her father was a technical engineer and her mother an accountant. Of course they may indeed have other financial constraints that we are not aware of - and if that's the case, then we can try our best to help out. If it's because they don't WANT to spend the money though that' a different issue.
One of the caregivers will call and speak with the owner in a bit.
I am sure that there are people who cannot afford to bring their cat to the vet, and may really want to. On the other hand, some people may be able to afford a large screen LCD TV but not be able to 'afford' their cat's medical fees.
Also some people may truly be ignorant the cat needs the vet (the vet estimates the cat has been in this condition for two weeks), but now that they are aware of it, I hope they will do the right thing.
A cat is not a pizza delivery
There have been a number of interesting emails and stories about adopters of late. In one series of emails that the adoption volunteer showed me, there was an analogy of cat adoption as pizza delivery. I'm not sure of the background but I think that the potential adopter may have asked if the cat could be delivered to her.
The foster then got quite upset and said that cats are not pizzas to be delivered at one's whim and fancy. As I said, I don't know the background or what went before - but it could be that the potential adopter may not have understood how adoption process works. On the other hand, the foster thought the potential adopter was taking the whole adoption very lightly and wasn't serious (which was what she explained in her next email). The potential adopter then said she was serious and she knew what was expected but then made a crack about MacDonald's food delivery.
Sometimes because we're dealing with people with through email who may not be familiar with the system, misunderstandings can arise.
On the other hand, we do have people who seem to have no clue. Two people just wrote in - one asking for a newborn, the other for a cat below a month old. I asked if either had experience bottle feeding - neither of them had, nor knew that was needed and quickly revised the age limit of the kittens they wanted to adopt. There is still a misconception that the younger they are, the better they bond with you, which just isn't true.
Also some adopters think that if they write in, the cat is theirs - one woman wrote in today and said that she would like to take the cat home as soon as possible. I explained that there are several other potential adopters, which seems to surprise some people.
A foster told us that one of the potential adopters who came by had already promised the cats to his children - before he had even come down.
Others are surprised that the cats they pick are always taken - if you consistently pick the cutest little kitten on the website, then it isn't a surprise that a dozen other people are also interested. Asking for an older cat may well reward you with a faithful, loving companion - at the same time, you won't be competing with all the other people who want the same cat as you.
Cat at Vet
Here's the sick cat at the vet. She has pretty bad pyometra and the vet doesn't think it's connected to abuse. More likely it just has to do with the fact that she is unsterilised. The poor cat was dripping discharge out of her rear end.
The vet says she is very skinny and is likely to die if operated on right now. The teenage daughter who came with me to the vet (who seems like a pretty nice girl) was told to bring the cat home and fatten her up, give her antibiotics and see if she can recover. If the cat recovers, she goes for surgery - without which she will most probably die.
The vet told the girl that the cat has to be sterilised or it will reoccur.
The girl said she will go home and speak to the mother. It's a good thing that they are considering sterilisation - she said that in the past, they had too many cats when they mated, and so they dumped some. The mother had said she would sterilise this cat though when I spoke with her yesterday.
Crossing fingers that they'll send her to the vet.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
It's a waste of money
The caregiver called the woman up and spoke with her. The woman said her husband is against her sending the cat in because if the cat dies, then it'll be a waste of money.
The caregiver told her that if the cat dies, then she'll feel guilty for not doing anything, to which she agreed.
She has however agreed to let someone take the cat to the vet - and she said she'll leave cash for it - but she cannot come to the vet with the cat. She told the caregiver that if there is a problem, the vet can call her.
We'll trying to make arrangements now to bring the cat down as soon as we can.
Kitten on String Update 2
I spoke with Deirdre this morning to ask if they had any previous encounters with this man as he had said. They did not - but they sent one of their SPCA inspectors down immediately.
Apparently when the inspector asked to take the kitten, the man threatened to stab him if he did.
Labels: kitten on string
Sick Cat update 2
Kitten from the cage
Thanks to Rebecca for this photo of one of the kittens from the cats in cages case. She mentioned they are happily running around and were so glad that they are out. They have an eye infection and have lice and are looking for a permanent home. These kittens are younger and came from a different cage.
The other cats from the toilet though are apparently very frightened - they are all huddling together and trying to all squish INTO one cage at the boarding place even though they have more space for them.
Labels: cats in cages
Sick Cat update
I called to speak to the owner of this cat today and ask how the cat is doing. The woman said that when her husband came home and they spoke about it, her husband said that there was no need to bring the cat to the vet. The woman claims that the cat is well and is now walking up and down the stairs. She also said it had stopped bleeding a while ago.
I explained that the cat might have internal injuries that could not be seen, especially as the cat may have been beaten, and that I strongly advised her to take the cat to the vet. She said that she would monitor the situation and get her domestic help to force feed the cat some more. I somehow don't think she will take the cat to the vet. Rebecca, JaQ and I are just discussing what to do now about this case. I don't think it's a question of being in dire straits financially as they live in a maisonette which seemed pretty nicely furnished.
Ginger has gone home
It was such a busy day yesterday that I didn't have time to update on Ginger, the school cat. The teacher said that Ginger was welcomed back to school yesterday morning and invited us to go down. Unfortunately I did not get his SMS until afterwards.
I am glad to hear Ginger is doing well back in his territory. With so many teachers, students and the Principal looking out for him, he's a very lucky cat and will be safe on school grounds. I hope to drop by and visit one of these days!
Caregivers Meeting MP
Thanks to Yskat for sending in this photo of the caregivers waiting to see the MP. What was especially nice I thought was that the caregivers decided to turn up and give each other support. One of the older caregivers told me that she had no problems in her area - but that the other areas were facing problems and she wanted to show her support for them. This view seemed to be echoed by other caregivers too.
Meeting with the MP
The caregivers in this area went to see one of their MPs last night. From what one of the caregivers told me, it seems that the MP was very helpful and that he was very impressed by their 'passion and compassion'.
The RC officer was friendly right from the outset and told them that they did not need to wait for everyone else to have gone in first (which can happen with large groups). They were all invited into a meeting room and the MP came in shortly after to see them.
The MP also made sure to translate so that people who did not speak English could follow the proceedings, which was very good to hear! Most importantly according to the caregivers, he promised that the TC would not trap any sterilised cats!
He also spoke to them about perhaps organising parties to educate residents on cats. He had encountered people on his walkabouts who complained about cat defecation outside and in fact apparently advised one of the residents to keep their free-roaming cats in.
I believe the caregivers came out feeling much relieved. This morning, one of the caregivers already wrote into the MP to thank him.
It seems that the RC may need some of our brochures as well to pass to other RCs and the like which we'd only be too happy to pass to them.
Monday, March 19, 2007
Caregiver meeting update
Some good news - the caregivers from this area got a response from their TCs and we were copied on it. The TC clarified that they did not intend to trap any sterilised cats and that their poster was about 'stray' cats - by which they meant unsterilised cats.
I just spoke with one of the caregivers and she told me the posters saying not to feed had all come down! She said that she would be sure to thank the TC for their prompt action.
The cats in the cage were posted in yesterday's Classifieds in the Straits Times. One nice young woman wrote in today and said she would like to see them because she felt sorry for them. I just spoke with her and she'll be seeing them Friday night because the owner said that's a good time for him. I hope the owner will let her take them!
He asked if he can visit them at their new home if they are adopted - I told him that I am sure the owner will be amenable as long as it is within reasonable limits.
Update on the cats in cages
I just got back from a meeting with one of the magazines who have kindly offered us some space to put up adoption postings when they have some free space.
Now the news that I know some people have been asking about - Rebecca, the caregiver and someone helping with pet transport went down to check out the cats in the cages. The good news - they took out 9 or 10 adult cats and three kittens. These cats have been sent to the vet for a checkup and to see if they are ready for sterilisation.
The bad news (and I'm afraid there's a lot more bad news than good) - they took out the toilet cats first because they were in much worse shape than the cats in the cages. According to Rebecca and the caregiver they were wet and dirty. Several of the cats had diarrhoea. They were very frightened and were not at all used to being out of the room which was completely closed up - none of the windows were open. The two kittens also had an eye infection and had lice.
Rebecca called and we discussed whether to take all the cats out at once but these toilet cats cannot be released right away because of the condition they are in. One concern is that the man may decide not to let the rest be removed. On the other hand, Rebecca fears that given the cats' very fragile state right now, they will not be able to survive if they should be released once they recover from the surgery, not to mention they need to be treated first for their diarrhoea. As such, it looks like they toilet cats are going to have to be boarded for a few weeks before they can be fit enough to be released. The person doing the boarding cannot take so many cats at one go (nor are there enough cages or carriers and it looks like more may have to be bought). The idea was in fact to release this lot by mid-week and to get all the rest out. That may have to be postponed depending on how the toilet cats are doing.
The owner then called me this afternoon and said he had gotten ill because he was so worried about his cats. He asked again what would happen to him. Rebecca and the caregiver told me that they had explained to him that the cats would be released into colonies where the caregivers were amenable to them being placed there - and that he could be present when that happened. That somehow did not register though and so he was very worried. I told him that he would be able to see them being released but we HAD to treat them as they were ill. He told me that he was happy to hear that and felt better.
Labels: cats in cages
Kitten on string update
I went down again this afternoon to see about the kitten that was kept on the string. The collar was nowhere in sight. I asked the man looking after the cat about the collar. He said that the collar was too loose (unfortunately he did notice) and that he would not use it till the kitten was a little older.
He kept insisting that this was a very special cat - that the cat slept next to him and that it was so cute people stopped to look at it all the time.He said that after we had come by on Saturday night, several more people had stopped in to speak with him, including someone whom he claimed knew me.
I asked if he will use the collar - and he said he will, but not till the kitten is older. There was ample food and water. I also gave him a sterilisation brochure and he seemed less hostile to the idea today. He said that he will think about it again when the time is nearer. He had seemed quite against the idea when I first broached it on Saturday.
So what to do now? Call the AVA? They can advise him but even if they take the kitten away, there's nothing to stop him from taking another (in fact the reason I stopped by was that earlier in the week, I had dropped a brochure by another man in the shop that helps him out to remind him to sterilise as I seemed to see a different cat with him each time - the kitten was not on a string at the time). They might charge him possibly for neglect or cruelty though technically he does give the cat space to walk about so it might not even be that. In addition, he told us on Saturday that he has no fixed address so people can't even find him if they DID want to charge him for anything.
What else to do? Monitor the situation? Hope the kitten doesn't get strangled? Keep talking to him in the hope that he will come around gradually? He does guard the kitten quite carefully and watches it. In fact when I arrived today, he was again intently watching it.
Some times there really aren't good solutions - just less bad ones.
Labels: kitten on string
Sandtray in corridor
Here's the sandtray we saw outside the flat in the case with the two cats that may have been abused. The family insists their cats do not run far.We tried to tell them that it is best to keep the cats indoors and not let them out.
Labels: Feeding Upstairs
Kitten on string
Here is the kitten on the string again that I saw on Saturday. You can just see him under the wooden plank. You can also see the bowl of food - the kitten is also given ample water.
I went to speak with a shop owner nearby whom I believed might be able to convince the man that this was not a good idea. Unfortunately she was just as eccentric. She started telling me that the cats were stolen and that the same thing had happened to her dog which she let run out of her home, and that people should not say something is cruel, without understanding the situation.
I took out some photos to show her of cats that were dumped and told her that there are so many cats around - why would someone want to steal this man's kittens?
She took one look at the photos and asked me if I could give her the cats. I told her that it was important to get the cats sterilised.
She and the man later told me that they hoped to get friends for the cat. The woman also said she wanted to mate them so that there would be lots of kittens.
Rebecca, another volunteer and I went by to speak to the family in this case. The cat looked pretty sick, had not groomed herself as Rebecca pointed out to the woman and had no appetite according to the woman. She also said the cat had miscarried and had been bleeding though that seems to have stopped somewhat. The front right paw also seemed to be injured.
We offered to bring the cat down but she said she did have transport. She asked for the name of the vet and said she would go with her husband tonight. They had never been to a vet before and she said she would get it sterilised since she was there. We told her to call if she had any problems.
Heading out to a meeting now, so more on this cat, the cat with the collar and the cats in the toilet when I'm back.
More information on the cat on the string and the cats in the toilet and in the cage, but for now heading out to meet Rebecca.
A volunteer called - she had gone down to speak with a family about not letting their cats out in the corridor on the eighth floor (they refused). They called her a few days later to say that their cat had been abused. They said they could not afford to bring it to the vet. I told the volunteer to tell them that if finances were a problem we would try to help them. Now it appears that they don't want to bring the cat anyway because they 'don't want trouble' according to the volunteer. So we're going down to see how bad it is and whether we can do anything.
Since the man refused to give the cat up, this was the next best thing we could think of - a breakaway collar. Should the cat yank or be caught, the whole collar will snap and the cat can then run off.
He said he would use it and I'll go by to check.
Labels: kitten on string
Kitten tied with a string
On Saturday evening, I saw this kitten tied with a string outside a shop. Around its neck was what looked to be nylon string. The kitten 'belongs' to a vagrant man who happens to live there. He claims that people have been 'stealing' his cats and that he has to tie it up. He said that he got into a fight the last time with someone who tried to steal his cats. He says that he cannot keep an eye on it when he is in the toilet and so has to tie the kitten up.
The adoption volunteer asked if he would consider a cage for when he had to take toilet breaks and that the kitten be allowed to run free otherwise. She also advised him that the kitten might get strangled. He insisted that the string was safe and that someone might run off with a cage. We pointed out that someone could snip the string but he wasn't convinced.
Labels: kitten on string
Rebecca and I met with several caregivers from one of the TCs on Saturday. There has been some concern as several of the caregivers had heard that there may be a chance in policy in the TC and that sterilised cats may no longer be safe even if there are caregivers.
Several of the caregivers had already written in to their TC to ask about whether this is the case. It was interesting - two of the most outspoken people were both older people in the group. One spoke only English, the other only Mandarin but they both felt very strongly about the matter. The woman who spoke Mandarin told everyone that while she felt strongly about it, she felt that no one would listen to her because she didn't speak English, but we all assured her this was not the case. She shared how she had been sterilising the cats, keeping the area clean and even picking up after other people.
ST Forum (19-3-07)
What a lot of letters today about various animal related issues in the Straits Times Forum. Thanks Vegancat for sending them to me :-
Teen's cat-rehab effort turned 'pests' into 'pets'
Disturbing that rapist could own pet shop
In support of Cat rehabilitation Scheme
Pet Food Recall
Several people wrote in to tell me about a Pet Food recall over the weekend. Here's the link off the Channelnews Asia website that E_cat sent in. Thanks to everyone who sent this in.
You can check the Menu Food website to see which batches were affected. Most of the food isn't available in Singapore.
Starsky & Hutch
It was a busy weekend - these little sweeties were the last two of the four to go to their new adoptive homes. It was nice that the four went in pairs. The foster did a fantastic job. You can see that they've grown so much in just a few weeks!
The foster, adoption volunteer and I went down on Friday night to check out the potential adopters home. They had already been to meet with the kittens earlier as these were very popular kittens with several people viewing them. The adopters then went over to pick up the kittens on Sunday afternoon.
Thanks very much to the foster for doing a great job with them!
Friday, March 16, 2007
Heading out with the adoption volunteer and a foster now for an adoption. Workshop tomorrow morning for caregivers!
To test or not to test
I'm packing caregiver packets for tomorrow's workshop and going through the snail mail. Thanks to everyone who have sent in their renewals so promptly.
One thing that I noticed when people send in their vet reimbursements. On occasion it seems as if people test for quite a few things, some of which may not be strictly necessary. For example, caregivers have limited funds. If for example, the cat has a urinary tract infection, it's a good idea to discuss with your vet if it's necessary to test for FIV. It may not alter the way the cat is treated, so it may be better to just save your money for something else. Some vets may not know this is a community cat and this is a factor that you should bring to their attention. If you bring the cat back to your own home, you may decide that, knowing your own cats are all FIV free, that you want to test the cat for its FIV status as well. However if you have a whole colony of cats that are not tested, and you do not think that knowing the FIV status is necessary in deciding on the treatment you give to the cat after talking to the vet, then save the money.
Cats being released
I just spoke with someone who rang up as she had just claimed some cats from the AVA. She wanted to get the cats sterilised and the cats had of course been microchipped. I asked her what she intended to do now. She said that this wasn't her area - someone had rung her up and told her that the cats were being caught and she had gone down to the AVA and taken them out.
Unfortunately she doesn't live there and she has cats of her own at home and she just can't take in any more cats. I told her that while I understood the predicament, if the cats are put back out and the complaints come in again, they'll be caught - and there won't be a second chance for these cats. If there are no caregivers there willing to come forward (and this obviously is not the woman's fault as she is just trying to help some cats out), then it's going to almost impossible to protect these cats. The complaints are likely to crop up again especially if the same cats appear in the neighbourhood. Then if the cats are caught again, it's really an exercise in futility.
I told her that the best thing she can do is to try and get the TC's help to trace the feeder and hopefully that person will be willing to help out.
Not my cat
Through a caregiver, I managed to speak to the feeder at this block. It turns out that she knew the neighbour was unhappy and wasn't very surprised about the events, though she said the cat was very friendly and would never attack. The cat had come up via lift in the morning and sat with her as she did her laundry on the tenth floor and the neighbour had told her he was going to call the SPCA. Throughout the day, the neighbour came by to ask her about the cat.
Apparently the cat is unsterilised as well. She mentioned that other people in the block also feed it.
I asked if she plans to get it sterilised, and she was very worried about the cat, but she wanted another friend to do it. She said her friend said she would do it. I told her there were a number of cats in the block that were not yet done, but she claims they live in the block behind, which is not under her.
I spoke to the caregiver and she complained that these two feeders label cats into 'their cats' and 'not their cats'. They only sterilise the ones they like but will feed any that come up.
The feeder also said there was someone abusing cats in the estate, but she had no camera to take photos. I just called her back to get her address as I was going to send her a disposable one, but she said she thinks she has a camera and doesn't need the disposable.
Reporter and Cat
This is an interesting video. Here's what happens when a person who has very little experience with cats handles a cat and ignores the warning signs the cat is giving her and then is taken by surprise when the cat lashes out. This may be why people claim cats 'attack' them because they aren't good at watching the warning signs. Note in fact she mentioned the cat was having 'fun' when clearly, it wasn't.
Reporter and cat
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Just got back from a trip supposedly to the post office. I went by to meet Michelle, and just when I got there, the phone rang because the TC officer called about a cat that 'attacked' someone this morning. I managed to locate the nearest caregiver and she said she wasn't sure exactly where it is, but she would go down if I could give directions.
I was going to go down and went to my car, but then the resident said she was almost there. I gave her directions and basically served as a liasion between her and the TC officer (sitting in the carpark for half an hour). She also went down and spoke with some of the residents (which I could hear in the background).
It turns out that she found the cat sitting where it was supposed to be - the cat went up and rubbed against her. At one point, it gave her a playful nip because she was petting it. It ran upstairs and she spoke to a resident who I could clearly hear over the phone saying that it was a friendly cat. He also told her that there was another resident upstairs feeding this cat.
She spoke with a second resident as well who said that the cat was friendly. According to the caregiver who went down, the residents said that they knew whom complained - they said it was the neighbour of the woman who feeds the cats downstairs. They also said that this man had a bone to pick with her. The officer confirmed he had complained quite a few times in the past.
The area did have a number of unsterilised cats though. This caregiver said that she will go down and try and find the feeder and get her to help out with TNRM as well. The resident also said she sat and played with the cat for more than an hour and it was nothing but friendly.
Went by to pick up a Scarecrow from someone after who wanted to return it.
Cats in Cage update
Before I forget, Rebecca has made all the arrangements. These cats are going to be taken out this weekend, will be sterilised and boarded till they are fully recovered. The caregiver is going to split them into different colonies in her area once they are better. The caregiver is also kindly doing all the liaising since the owner seems to trust her - she told me she is quite baffled as she does not remember the owner's cousin whom he claims spoke so highly of her!Thank you to Rebecca and the caregiver for all their hard work.
St Martin De Porres
Thanks to Profpig for sending me this very interesting read :-
St Martin de Porres
I never realised there was a Catholic saint who was supposed to have healing powers for animals and people. What I liked especially was that he represents the ability to bring reconciliation among people and animals! We certainly need more of that around :)
Bad news - two caregivers in a Town Council received information (one from a TC officer and one from a notice on the notice board) that the TC may be starting to trap cats, even the sterilised ones. This is quite strange as the TC had been working with the resident caregivers for quite a while. It may have something to do with the change in MPs and the reshuffling of officers last year post-elections.
The caregivers want to meet up to discuss this so we're trying to organise a room now. Of course the TC will need to be spoken to after that if the caregivers wish to pursue the matter (which I am quite sure they will want to do).
Abandoned kitten died
One of the two little kittens the caregiver took in didn't make it last night. It was so little (she estimates around 3 days old) that sadly it wasn't unexpected. Another caregiver went into the area and searched the whole night for the mother cat the night before but she couldn't find it. The kittens were also in a box with a t-shirt, so they could well have been dumped.
The caregiver nursing the kittens asked why someone would dump them so young - she reasoned surely if there was a mother cat in the flat, it didn't hurt the owner to keep them a little longer before dumping them. That's absolutely true, but who knows why these people do the things they do?
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Let's see who I can dump these cats on
I just spoke with a woman who told me that a cat that she was feeding gave birth two months ago and had two kittens. She wanted the kittens taken away because she says they are running into the office premises and are defecating there. She said that if they could be trained she would let them stay.
She of course wanted us to take the cats in. She kept asking why we could not. I in turn kept repeating that we are not a shelter. She asked if I wanted to let the cats die? I asked her if she would consider sterilising the mother cat. She said it was very difficult. I told her we could loan her a cat trap but she didn't sound very convinced. I told her our work was mainly to prevent cats from being born so that this sort of thing didn't happen in the first place.
She then said she had a problem and what could she do. I suggested setting up a cat litter tray outside and making sure the cats don't go in. I suggested perhaps putting up the Scarecrow or the Cat Stop to keep them out. I suggested also fostering them till they get adopted. All of them were rejected.
She then asked if I could bring the cats to XXXX Road. I asked what was there. She said she knew someone there had a lot of cats and loved cats so she wanted me to help her bring the kittens there and dump them. After all, she reasoned, they love cats - they must want some more! I explained that this would cause problems with the neighbours.
She then decided to ask me a few more times if I could take in the cats. Of course she said she could not herself. She then hit on the bright idea that she should dump it outside one of the vets.
In the end, she decided she might try boarding.
I had another email from this woman. She made threats and skirted all the issues I brought up . She also wrote back to the caregiver and accused him of lying. She also said that my 'attitude was sickening' and said that she was going to sue me for defamation (for what I am honestly not sure). She is demanding Michelle email her phone number to her so she can call Michelle - my response for the complainant to provide another number as she is so hard to contact was also met with silence. She wants to speak with Michelle because I am not in a position, according to her, to liaise with members of the public.
I am not going to respond any further and copied it again (as the last few emails have been) to Michelle as per her request. If the correspondent, whether a feeder or complainant is rude, I don't think it should be encouraged.
I had been told by the other caregiver I know in the area that she had a tendency to be difficult, but I didn't want to exclude her if she really did need help just because she might be difficult.