The equilibrium in the porch and thoughts on CNRM

It has been so “equitable” and peaceful in the porch without Misty’s gangster ways!

Creamy is back to eat with Gerald.

But it won’t be for long because Misty will be released tomorrow (with the vet’s consent).

A small consolation is that when Misty had taken over Samantha and Creamy’s place in the porch, Creamy was none the worse off. He either has a home or he gets to eat from the RYABKs. You can see from the photo that he is definitely not skinny at all!

I discussed with my vet about the complainant-neighbour’s issues with me feeding cats in my porch. She said that perhaps one way would be just to get street cats neutered but do not continue feeding. Cats are street-wise and once there is no food, they will migrate elsewhere to look for food. But I said that if I don’t continue feeding them, they might end up digging rubbish bins which will incur the wrath of the neighbours and cause even more complaints. Also, I won’t be able to keep an eye on their health condition and wellbeing.

It’s a Catch-22 situation, I know. If the environment is not conducive for CNRM, then it is better not to do it. Because feeding street animals might attract more street animals to come in. But at the same time, if our CNRM-cats do their job, they will prevent other unneutered cats from coming in too. So which is going to happen? We won’t know until we try.

Meanwhile, my husband says the sooner Misty is returned to the colony the better. We saw how taking away Samantha brought Misty in. Before that, Samantha was the one chasing Misty away. They fought very ferociously too. The moment a vacuum is created, a new cat will migrate in…because there is food. My husband is worried another cat will come in to fill Misty’s slot. So am I, especially if she’s a pregnant female. How many more can I take in? No more, actually.

So, to feed or not to feed? That is indeed the question.

On this matter, I wish to share what a friend and I discussed recently.

He opined that neutering should be prioritised. In other words, neutering is more important than feeding. I don’t disagree, but on the other side of the coin, I find it hard to catch a cat for neutering unless I first feed the cat! I can see where my friend’s opinion comes from, though. He is a very experienced and seasoned animal rescuer and he has seen enough suffering on the street. In fact, he also thinks that the person who only feeds but does not neuter is more irresponsible than another who brings in a pregnant animal to be spayed.

I will not be judgmental here as every feeder/rescuer has their own thoughts about such things.

For me, if you choose not to neuter, then please ensure you can care for all the offspring. And please know that repeated pregnancies are really unhealthy and risky for the female animal and they do not go through menopause. It is a different matter if you absolutely cannot catch the cat, but if you are not willing to do it or won’t even try, then can you care for the female animal as well as all her offspring? Wouldn’t it be more financially feasible and practical to spend money on neutering and controlling the population than to end up feeding more and more offspring or worse, spending thousands on medical treatment when they fall sick? You also know that the increase through uncontrolled breeding is exponential.

I remember my street in my old neighbourhood. When we stayed there, Cow and Bunny “took care” of the entire stretch, from one alley to the other. No other cat came in for six years. The moment we left, other cats started coming in, including pet cats that were not neutered. A former neighbour lamented to me (she neutered her own cats) that the whole street was overstrewn with cats and kittens until it was beyond control. She advised neighbours to neuter their cats, but they were reluctant. I know, I’ve lived there before. They are reluctant.

Another recent example is Misty and Hiro. Misty’s spaying is already done now and she will not produce anymore kittens. Luckily Misty brought Hiro to our porch before it was too late. Hiro’s collapsed lung and severe flu treatment has definitely cost me far more than Mistry’s spaying. Even then, we still do not know if Hiro’s collapsed lung will function again or if there will be any permanent damage or disability in him for the rest of his life. Misty is also FIV+ and we do not know if she has passed this disease on to Hiro. Maybe, but maybe not. I hope not. And where are Hiro’s siblings? We know each kitten litter will have at least 3 kittens. Did they survive if Misty was already spending all her time at our porch before I caught her?

And what about Samantha’s previous litter?. Where are all the kittens? Did they even survive? Samantha is going to be spayed on Tuesday and that will stop all pregnancies from her. But now, I would have to look after Kai, Akira and Indra for life if I cannot find them good homes. How many more can I look after if I don’t get Samantha spayed, right?

So for those who do not get your street animals neutered, how do you cope with the exponentially-growing population?

Do you remember Daffodil? She was Rosie and Ginger’s mother. Daffodil was the only survivor on our street when the council came to capture all the cats (this was before I moved into this neighbourhood). There was a very kind couple who fed the cats then. After we moved in, I learnt that Daffodil had been giving birth a few times every single year for the last ten years. The feeders could not catch her or when they could, she was always pregnant. But Daffodil lost all her kittens in every litter and finally, only Rosie and Ginger survived. This is round about the time we moved in (Rosie and Ginger were just one year old then). Together with the feeders, we caught Daffodil in my house compound and I took her for spaying. Daffodil lived on with us for another seven years before passing away peacefully under our sofa when she was 17 years old. The feeder suspect that another one of Daffodil’s child might have survived too and I’ve seen this fierce male cat. I named him Benson and the last I saw him many years ago, he was practically bald with a skin problem.

So based on my own limited experience, feeding is good, feeding is kind, but please, please, please…please try your very best to catch the animals you feed and get them neutered and vaccinated. We offer our aid: myanimalcare.org/aid/. It is RM120 per cat and RM200 per dog and terms and conditions apply. Vaccination aid: myanimalcare.org/vacc/.

If you were not receptive to neutering before this, I appeal to you to please reconsider.


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2 responses to “The equilibrium in the porch and thoughts on CNRM”

    1. chankahyein

      Dear Enny,

      My thoughts are as follows:

      *Vaccinate pets/street animals who are being looked after against rabies, especially in places which are prone to any outbreak.

      This is an organisation that has helped countries fight the rabies threat: https://wvs.org.uk/news/world-rabies-day

      They came to Malaysia too, in 2015, but…(you know what happened).