Feral cat feeders cannot let their cats down by stopping

NEWS AND OPINION: Sometimes, kind people who feed feral cats start doing it accidentally. Perhaps they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. This is how Pauline Tribe and Rose Magic of Durban, South Africa started. Pauline said something which brings home one of the underlying problems (if that is a fair description) of feeding feral cats. You can't stop because once you start the cats rely on you for feeding them and you cannot let them down at that point. If you start you have to continue because you take responsibility and the cats rely on you. It is as if you become their owner (guardian).

Pauline and Rose. Photo: iol.co.za

It is a self-imposed situation born out of an emotional connection with the cats and a desire to help because some people cannot walk by and ignore vulnerable animals. And they cannot stop for the same emotional reasons.

This is a good thing because it provides a constant source of motivation and there's no doubt this is needed because both Pauline and Rose get up at 2:30 AM every morning and have done so for the last 10 years to feed the cats! The total number of cats fluctuate but it is more than 70. They finish feeding by 7:30 AM and then go to work. It is quite amazing when you think about it. They both work and spend half the night feeding cats.

They also take in some cats and care for them at home. These cats are sick or injured in some way. After they've done that they prepare the food and water for the next morning. They get to bed by about 10 PM, said Pauline.

They first started when they were walking down the promenade on the beachfront and saw four or five cats crying for food. They popped into the local supermarket and got them some biscuits. They ate them up eagerly and so they decided to carry on feeding them. She said that "we were in the wrong place at the wrong time". She's joking but there is a hint of an admission in that statement that this pair of kind ladies started a long journey of caring for unwanted animals which is a burden to them in one respect. There can be no doubt about that. They have to do it because, as mentioned, they can't stop on an emotional level. But there's no doubt that on occasions they must feel that they wish that they could stop.

There are other issues. What do the other residents think about what they're doing? I think they are fantastic and long may they go on doing it but there are some people who strongly dislike the feeding of feral cats for various reasons. They may dislike the people who feed feral cats and therefore Pauline and Rose may have some enemies. So despite their kindness and decency they may have acquired people who dislike them. That is hardly a reward their efforts.

Source of news: iol.co.za. These are my thoughts.

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