… if we can help it. After all, we’re only lowly mojo-robbing cat minions.
In an ideal world, there would not be a need for cat-mojo robbers like btmao and I, and a number of people here in Singapore and elsewhere around the world. It is a lot of money, time and effort. It’s not like we get any form of support either. Our volunteerism is not recognised, and we don’t get reimbursment. Most property managements, from civil-service town councils to private condos and even hotels, are unempathetic or at best, obtuse to the cause.
And any balance achieved from mojo-robbery is very fragile – the money and effort sometimes can seem fruitless, just with the appearance of a new cat, especially a virile aggressive tom cat or worse, pregnant female. Noise from hierarchy and territorial scuffles, abandoned cats crying like lost children, and mating din can annoy residents and put all cats in the vicinity in danger of culling. And if irresponsible feeders annoy residents, or residents complain for other (sometimes unfathomable) reasons, the cats are again in danger of getting culled.
What have we got for getting into this mojo-robbing business? Stress, wallet-burn, being branded trouble-makers, seen as heretical, mad, unappreciated… the list goes on. There is also happiness, relief (and yes, a smidgeon of pride) when the cats do well and you see them looking healthy post-sterilisation, and keeping injury-free. But along with these come muddy paw-prints on white-tees, fish-breath kisses, rashes from allergic reactions to fish-breath kisses…
If this deal sounds like godhood to you, I don’t want to know what you tell dear diary.
How did this thing about gods and playing their divine roles come about?
Well, there is sometimes a misconception that people who rob pregnant cat mojo, aka allow vets to abort and sterilise kitty mummies, are “playing god”. For eg, Anonymous at 2.49pm on this entry on Dawn’s blog.
When this was followed quickly by this second blog entry, I had to let some steam off, and I did by commenting on it. We certainly don’t want the job, but like the cliche goes, sometimes the greater good matters MORE, and if it entails “playing god”, even if it’s only to anonymous eyes, so be it. In Singapore’s context, there is no option – if you have to, you’d have to. Here’s my comment on that second entry (annotations and links mine for this post only):
Dawn, I feel a rant coming on, so please bear with me.
This is a good example of why caregivers, at least those who give a damn, have to “play god” at some point in the lifetime of the TNRM program they are running.
When to sterilise is not a matter of scheduling that we can simply work around our conscience or beliefs. The logistics involved demand a mental reflexibity, and an acceptance of the wider perspective, ie allowing pregnant cats to give birth before sterilising means you will always have catching up to do. How confident are you of keepnig up with the catching-up? Kittens grow up and wander off, or they get picked up – and who’s to say these kittens will be sterilised and not contribute to the problem?
In such a situation, sterilisation is only as good as blackhole filling, you’re never able to get it done!
Well, unless you have very good resources (e.g. vets willing to sterilise at your convenience) and helping hands at your beck and call. Otherwise you will find yourself swamped and overwhelmed, usually sooner than later.
Education is also important. Care givers who are going to sterilise need to understand a bit of cat physiology and growth – waiting for the cats to go into heat is the suckiest and silliest rule of thumb to live by, unless you don’t care about population control.
My sister and I have, since we started sterilising cats 7 years ago, knowingly sent only 1 pregnant cat for sterilisation. Another got aborted on the operating table despite being very pregnant (she did not look it, and her babies have a history of not surviving). (calsifer’s note: this one is Booties)
This does not mean we derive any satisfaction from “playing god”. Far from it – we feel horrible for months.
But our very low abortion rate is only part luck we believe. It is also because we are paranoid about unsterilised cats, whether males or females, and we strive to get to them asap.
Can we simply postpone sterilisation for pregnant cats so as to leave our personal belief system unruffled? IMHO, if that’s such a big concern, don’t do TNRM – it’s like being caught between the devil and the deep blue sea, with a yawning rift right under your wobbling feet.
People like the objecting Anonymous (calsifer’s note: as mentioned, this is Anonymous at 2.49pm on this entry) in your previous entry ought to spend some time thinking about this “playing god” business before they step in and say we should think about not playing god all the time.
If sterilising a pregnant cat, for the sake of keeping the existing population stable and as safe as possible is “playing god”, then yes, ok, me is very very guilty of “play god”, sir. (I don’t keep a diary, thank Bast)
But there are “gods” and then there are “gods”. I wield my “god” power to save lives. On the other side of the chasm is the god mob that cares only to extinguish cat lives – the Club Rad – irrational cat complainant (or the residents complain for other (sometimes unfathomable) reasons mentioned earlier). Among them is the RA of cat complainant shangri-la: Tony Tan Tuan Khoon.
If I were truly a god, I would grant Messrs Tan and his ilk their wish to see all cats dead – they would be there to witness the death of every cat they’re responsible for, one by one. And to ensure they never forget, at every cat death they witness, they would experience every single fear and pain of the cat as it dies.
Yes, whoever can get that done, even if you half-do it and managed only the witness part, you’re the daddy, you’re the GAWD of my world.
Slightly off-topic addendum: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Anonymouses are funny beings, much like hit-and-runs, ie they never do stick around.