Friday, January 25, 2008

I only take care of feeding

I was just copied on an email which a woman sent to CWS and a whole list of people. It seems that she feeds the cats in an area (where from what I can tell she doesn't live in). She said one of the neighbours had come out and scolded her. She said she had dropped a flyer which she printed from CWS' website to show that feeding was not illegal. She wanted CWS to help her out. One of the caregivers wrote back to say that as long as she was cleaning up, there was no issue.

However as I read the email I realised that she mentioned that there were several cats including kittens. I wrote to ask her if she was sterilising the cats. She said that she was not and that she wanted someone from CWS to do it as she was scared to see the cats trapped and sterilised and she wanted to take care of the 'feeding'. There is no one else in the area except her as far as I know.

I wrote back to say that if she continues to feed without sterilising the cats, the population will grow. This will lead to more cats and hence more complaints - and it is likely that neighbours will start trapping the cats when the population grows. I asked her to please consider sterilising.

Imagine this - someone comes into your estate. You don't know anything about cats but you do know that since she arrived there are far more cats than there used to be including kittens. It's not a surprise that they might get annoyed.

She just wrote back to say that she wanted everyone to pretend that she had never written at all.

It still surprises me that some people feed without thinking of the consequences. Yes I know some people are poor - but there are resources to help those people, including CWS having programmes to help those in financial need. If they keep feeding without sterilising though, the population will grow, especially if the cats are being fed well. This means more cats are likely to be born - and to survive into adulthood. And this will mean more complaints - which means at the end of the day MORE cats are likely to get trapped and killed.


Anonymous said...

I can sympathise with the neighbour who scolded her. Feeding should always be in conjunction with sterilisation & management in reducing the number of cats in a humane way.

The satisfaction of feeding (to the feeder) should be viewed in relation to the dissatisfaction that she is causing others.
It is akin to the neighbour who sends her multiple children to play outside other flats along the corridor so she would have a quiet day.

If she does not want to sterilise the cats. Then it is about HER feeding that is causing a problem to the neighbours. It is a human problem - it is not a cat problem.

Chinky said...

I carry along cws flyers on responsible feeding and sterilisation. In the course of my work that brings me to many estates, I would leave the flyers under bowls of water that were obviously meant for cats. Hopefully this will help ignorant feeders to start sterilising.

Dawn said...

Good idea Chinky! I have done that too - the bowls are a sure sign that someone is feeding and they will have to come back and hopefully see the flyers.

Anonymous said...

I came to know an acquaintance who claims to love cats but she'll feed the community cats, even in her home but will not sterilise them. She had let them breed, let the mother cat bring kittens to her home where she'd kept them, feed them and after some time, release them. Apparently, she'd done this for more than one pregnancy, i.e. let the different broods of kittens stay in her home, and after some time, released them.

I was flabbergasted that an intelligent young lady would not realise the importance of feeding AND sterilising and tried to explain to her the consequences, the dangers and risks posed to these cats and kittens in our cat-unfriendly society. Yet all I got from her was a rather condescending "Oh, that abortion debate again" kind of attitude. She believes in "free life" and that the cats should be allowed to decide for themselves (to quote her).

I tried to explain to her several times but none of it can get through to her. Meanwhile, I've just discovered that she's been breeding hamsters in her home and sometimes, her hamsters go missing within her home and the mother hamster ate up all the latest batch of babies. She's had at least "3 generations" of hamsters.

She does not see all these as a consequence of her action, and I wonder if there's any way to shake her out of her complacency without making me throw up blood first...?

Dawn said...

Anonymous - I'm sorry to hear that and I don't know if any of this will convince her. First of all, if she truly wants to let them live free - then why is she interfering? By letting them come into her home, feed them, etc, she is already interfering. You can't take one thing (the feeding) and divorce it from the consequences (more kittens unless you sterilise).

Secondly, what abortion debate? If she sterilises the cats before they get pregnant then there's no need to abort.

Right now what she is doing is basically encouraging breeding by not sterilising.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Dawn. I have told her all that - that she's already interfering by feeding the cats (perhaps to the cats' detriment) and she's encouraging breeding. I've also told her the dangers of releasing kittens that are used to living in a home, etc. but she would hear none of it.

She would counter with - what makes you so sure the cats will suffer, or be abused, etc. She said we are wrong to think that we are being kind to sterilise the cats, basically the underlying premise of TNRM is all wrong, according to her logic and reasoning.


Dawn said...

You know I think that may be the big difference between what she is doing and what people doing TNRM are - we don't sterilise to 'be kind'. We do it because it saves cats' lives. How do we know that the cats will be caught and trapped? Because probability shows that they have a high chance of getting killed when there are too many of them - people complain and they die. I am sure this young woman will then blame the 'unkind' complainants rather than herself.

Not to mention that sterilisation is better for the cats' health and makes them live longer.