I was speaking with a caregiver a few days ago and she was telling me that people are telling her that they can't look after the cats anymore because of the economic downturn.
I can understand that there are people cash strapped in this crisis, and I do sympathise with them, but in this case, she doesn't believe that it's necessarily the case in her situation. She believes they are just 'offloading' the cats into her care. She has already been paying for the sterilisation of their cats and for other medical treatments as they had said they couldn't afford it. They are now telling her however that they want to give up feeding too. From what I understand, at least one of them told her that it was the fault of the cats that they lost their job though she's not sure how this came about.
If it comes between feeding your family, and feeding your cats, no one can blame you if you choose to feed your family. However, sometimes the situation is one where people for various reasons decide they don't want to do it anymore - and sometimes it's because there's someone else in the area whom they think they can palm it off to.
In this particular case, the caregiver started sterilising the cats as she saw the feeders there weren't doing so. She has often had to retrieve cats caught and sent to the AVA (only to be told that the feeders don't want the cats back), and that if there's a problem with the town council, she should deal with it. The fact that this caregiver is not a resident there and cannot for example see the MP, is something the feeders choose to overlook. When she explained it to them, one of them told her that she should do what she could because he wasn't going to do anything.
It's irresponsible to start caring for a colony and then palming the work off to someone else for no good reason. There may be very valid reasons for it obviously - relocation, ill health, etc - which anyone can sympathise with. Just because there's someone else there who IS responsible and is a good caregiver however, does not mean that he or she wants more cats to care for and therefore wants to take over your colony too. If it's a chore for you to go down and take care of your own cats, then why should someone else take over? Don't start feeding - or even more importantly, caregiving, which involves TNRM - unless you can see yourself seeing it through for the next several years.