Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Unsterilised cats caught

There have been a number of emails flying, and SMSes going around about some unsterilised cats in a certain part of Singapore since last week. The TC in this area works with the caregivers there. There are however several problems in this case.

Firstly, this area has been the subject of several complaints since last year. A caregiver went down to check it out, and spoke with the people in the area, several of whom were feeding cats outside their flats. The caregiver in fact spoke with a complainant who had a mother cat giving birth to several kittens outside her home on a high floor of the block at the time, and who did not want them killed, but who wanted to know what could be done to stop the kittens going up. She also asked the people there to stop feeding the cats outside their flats which obviously didn't work.

Unfortunately, and also understandably, no one else came forward to help because all of them are busy in their own areas. This entire area has no caregiver nor anyone else who can come forward, which happens. There are many areas fortunately that have very good caregivers - but there are also many areas where there is absolutely no one responsible in the area. This does not imply that there are no feeders - it does mean that there are no responsible caregivers.

Now either one or three cats were caught last week. There are some nice caregivers who are willing to take the cats in and get it sterilised. However as I said this poses certain issues. The town council is clearly going to wonder where everyone was when the complaints occurred - ie why did this caregivers not come forward earlier when there were complaints and offer to help then?

In addition, there are other unsterilised cats there AND other complaints. It still seems that no one knows anyone responsible in the area. So then what is going to happen even if these unsterilised cats are released? If no one goes down, helps to solve the problem AND sterilise the remaining unsterilised cats there, then this is going to reoccur.

Furthermore, I understand they are thinking of taking the cats out and adopting them out. While that's very kind of them, here's the thing. No one knows these cats nor whether they are adoptable. What happens if they are taken out and cannot be rehomed? Where do they go then because they will clearly be microchipped as they weren't sterilised?

While I am glad so many people are taking an interest in these cats and wanting to rescue them, it does make me wonder, why these cats in particular? As far as I know, no one knows these cats personally. Here's my question - what about all the other cats at the AVA that are caught? Why isn't there a huge outpour of emotion to try and get all of THEM out? Amongst them, there are some unclaimed sterilised cats too, which means that at some point in their lives, they did get some care - they were sterilised after all. There are also even more unsterilised cats whom no one has ever taken care of. Why aren't people asking for these cats to be released?


calsifer said...

I think it's a common human affliction.

All that outpouring of grief for Ah Meng and her granddaughter Atina, but no one's raising as much as a whimper at what the orang utans in Indonesia are threatenened with.

Same as with whale slaughter - NZ only specifically requested the Japanese whaling fleet to leave Migaloo the white Humpback alone when they announced they were going to kill 50 humpbacks this season as well. Why only Migaloo? Aren't the "normal" humpbacks just as deserving of a reprieve? What about the 50 to 70 highly endangered Fin whales, and 1,000++ little piked whales the Japanese kill year after year after year?

The beef recall that resulted from the downer cattle abuse also - I got an sms and also an email calling for a boycott of US beef. But the abuse is not unique to the slaughterhouse or at this time. It's been ongoing for so long. Mad cow has been around the block too. And so has bird flu and assorted farm animal epidermics. But people still eat beef and farm animals, and people still don't care how they're getting their meat, that factory farming is a problem and they are contributing to it.

Carmen the dog featured in that TODAY commentary is another good example. People went all out to help look for her when she got lost. But why didn't people do things that would prevent other dogs from going through what she did in the first place? Why so eager to help her, but not other dogs?

After all the protestations of affection, and the outpouring of grief and assorted emotions, life resumes, and it's as if all the browbeating and breast hammering didn't take place. And all the abuse and cruelty resumes and keeps happening, until another bout of outcry and outrage. It's like a merry-go-round that won't stop.

Why are humans like that? How can we differentiate and compartmentalise our feelings so clearly and so distinctly? I'm sure there's a scientific name for this condition.

lingcat said...

I am very touched with the efforts of the caregivers in trying to save the cat from death at AVA.

I agree with Dawn that, to solve the problem at the root, someone has to step in and run a proper TNRM programme. By claiming the cat out one-by-one from AVA is only dealing with the problem at the surface.

I also understand that most caregivers already have got their hands full. It is difficult for them to work on a new area, especially when they are not staying there.

The other alternative is to make the actual feeders/owners responsible for their cats. Which also appear to be impossible.

chinky said...

It is human to be attached to the cats that we have some connections, just as some people when they realised their loved ones were not in a crashed plane, gave thanks but forgot the people who have died who have others who will be grieving.
Hopefully as we speak out and save the cats within our estate, we will look beyond them at all the other cats who, too, need to be spoken out for.

Dawn said...

Good point Calsifer - maybe it's that somehow some cats (or whales or cows) get the publicity that the others do not and that arrests peoples' attention.

Yes lingcat - it is very kind of these caregivers to take in a cat that none of them knows or has seen before. As you said though, it's very difficult to ask more of caregivers who are already doing so much to ask them to take care of yet another area when they already have their plates full.

Of course as you said, if the feeders/owners there had been responsible in the first place, none of this might have happened at all!

chinky - I agree with you that people definitely are connected to the cats that they care for. Which is why I'm sort of surprised that so many people are concerned about these cats - because it seems that no one knows these cats. From what I understand, no caregiver or feeder has come forward.

calsifer said...

While it may not be obvious, I do agree with you both.

Perhaps my previous comment was too focused on Dawn's last paras, and the general apathy of people towards suffering and cruelty. I do not mean to demean in any way the efforts of the caregivers trying to save these cats.

But at the same time, I feel truly vexed at the consistently specimen-specific emotions people display. If only people would channel the energy from their indignation and outrage at what these specific individuals suffer or are in danger into efforts to help the species/general situation... we can all make the world that much better. Perhaps I am too fired up, due to accumulative frustrations at the passivity of those in my area (whom I've been trying to rouse to action), and the influx of all these incidences where humans are displaying care and concern for specific individual animals, despite the widespread commonality of their species' suffering.