Recently, I contacted a few organizations about a feral cat that has been living under my friend Sandy's house. The cat was in need of medical attention and Sandy wasn't in a situation where she could fund it at the time. So I sent out some emails explaining the situation....Sandy wasn't looking to get rid of the cat, she didn't mind the cat at all. She was unable to touch him, he didn't seem very tame but she didn't mind him being there and she was ok with feeding him. The problem was that the cat had an eye issue and it's fur was all matted and he generally just looked miserable despite being fed. Sandy doesn't have a lot of experience with feral cats so she of course turned to me since I have worked with the TNR (trap and return) programs for many years. The only problem is that Sandy lives in the Sacramento Valley and I live in the Sierra Foothills. It's not as far as it sounds but far enough that I just can’t jump in my car and be at her house in a few minutes, it's about a 45 minute drive. Sandy had never trapped a cat before so she wasn't really up for that part of it, I knew we would need help. Let me back track by saying that Sandy had just recently moved into that house and this cat and another were already there. At that time we believed that the cats were left by prior tenants.
So anyway, I put all of this info in the emails I sent out asking for some help in trapping the cat and getting its medical needs met. I and hoped for the best. Well, the next day a lovely lady from one of the organizations got back to me and she was going to try and help. This person was very kind, very understanding and really wanted to help. She said that she would have to send out a message across the board that a trapper was needed and then we would go from there. Well she found us a trapper all right. LOL She told me that the trapper lady would call and she did.
What happened next really just pisses me off and I wish I could go back and handle it so many other ways than how I handled it, but I can't so here I rant...
This had to be the rudest woman on the face of the planet; she kicked the conversation off with a straight lecture. She would not allow me to answer with anything but a yes or a no, every time I would try to explain anything she cut me off and start lecturing again. She was explaining to me how Sandy needed to trap this cat, giving me the run down on how it is done. I tried a few times to tell her that I knew how to trap the cat and that I even have my own trap cage. The cage part got her attention and she seemed a bit confused as to why I would have one but wouldn't stop talking down her nose at me long enough to find out why. She then asked me if the cat was starving and I told her no, that Sandy would never allow this cat to starve and that she feeds him everyday. This woman then goes into attack mode telling me that Sandy cannot feed the cat because the cat needs to be hungry so we can trap it. Really? That wasn't her question. She then proceeds to tell me how Sandy needs to do the "responsible thing". What? At this point I am very irritated with this woman. I tell her that a neuter may not be necessary because....and she cuts me off. She tells me that Sandy is being very irresponsible. I really tried to explain to this lady that the cat appears to have already been neutered or is just too old to be interested in the opposite sex because after observing his behavior for quite some time, he is not on the prowl, nor is he aggressive towards other male cats and the other male cats are not aggressive towards him either. I wanted to explain to her that I could be wrong about this, that his illness could also be the reason he is so passive but she would not allow me to say anything.
After ending this completely bizarre conversation, Sandy and I decided to not take this cat to her. Instead we treated the cat with antibiotics that I always have on hand for emergencies. The cat is doing wonderful and looks better than ever. And come to find out, he was abandoned years ago but not intentionally, his owner died and he is neutered.
I am not going to give any names of any organization here because one bad apple does not spoil the bunch. On a whole these organizations do more good than they ever do bad. I have total appreciation for all animal rescue groups and I will continue to turn to them when I need help with my own rescue efforts.
The message that I have now is for the lady I spoke to on the phone that night....
My friend Sandy is the kindest, most caring individual I have ever met. When she moved into that house and those cats were there, she never blinked an eye, she just started buying more cat food. Most people would have "gotten rid" of them, Sandy didn't do that. She noticed one of them was sick and she called me for help. I think her actions were completely responsible considering the fact that it wasn't her cat to begin with. She has since medicated this little guy, cut mats from his hair and has become this animals savior....He is now thriving and she is keeping him. There was another cat on her property, a little girl cat. sandy has taken her in and she is now spayed and up to date with her shots and she is also keeping her. Responsible? Absolutely.
Here is a tip for ya, if someone is calling a rescue group for help, that IS being responsible. I know you work with animals everyday but I really think you need to work on those people skills because if you continue to treat people like pieces of doo doo you will only alienate them and they won't want to call again and this is just not in the best interest of the cats you claim to want to help. Not everyone is "cat lady", I don't care how many you have encountered.
I called for help and I got you, obviously we have a common interest, we want to help these cats that need our help so badly. We are in this together lady; we are on the same side.
Ok, I am done now, rant over.
It's not usually this difficult to help, this rude lady I talked to recently is the first I have ever dealt with and I have been doing this a long time, many years. The most important thing that you can do is not look away. They need our help.
So this post is not just about me ranting, here are some links to the best feral resources I have encountered over the years and some other animal related links that I have found to be truly wonderful and informative.
Alley Cat Allies: The Cats' Leading Advocate
Tabby's Place (Inspirational)
Sierra Animal Wellness Center
Feral Cat Coalition
Humane Trapping Instructions
adoptions, cats, Feral Cat, help, ibjennyjenny, Jennifer Moore, rant, rescue, rescue groups, Resources, stray, trap and return, veterinary
To the Feral Cat Trapper Know it AllWednesday, June 20, 2012
Posted by Jennifer Moore at 2:19:00 PM