This is my article published this week in the Euro Weekly News. What does ‘kindness with responsibility’ mean?
There is definitely a much bigger problem with large colonies of cats in Mojacar than here in Almerimar where I live. I am convinced that this has a lot to do with the bigger English population, actually for 2 reasons. Firstly I know from conversations with PAWs cats, that a lot of cats have been abandoned by English people returning home, which has added to the stray population. Fortunately most of these are neutered cats.
The second and biggest contributor to the feral cat populations is the fact that English people, much more than Spanish, feed these animals. Of course I understand why and accept that it is done out of kindness, but I also think this needs to be coupled with more responsibility, and 3 years ago I would have included myself here, before I learnt so much more.
I have written about this recently, so apologise to anyone who already knows my thoughts on this subject. I strongly believe that anyone who is kind enough to feed stray animals, must take responsibility for ensuring the active females in particular, are neutered, AND that any sick animals in the population are given proper veterinary care before it is too late. This doesn’t mean that I expect people to do all this without help.
PAWs cats and myself are only a small team of people so we cannot help with everything, but with support, we will help as many cats as possible. There are however a number of things that in an ideal world we shouldn’t have to deal with.
We shouldn’t have to deal too late with animals whom people have known were sick for months; we shouldn’t have to help litters of kittens from tame females, when the people who were feeding the mothers knew they were pregnant; we shouldn’t first hear about kittens when they are 5-6 months old.
I strongly believe that anyone who feeds stray cats, particularly tame ones, needs to take a responsible approach. Kindness and food is just not enough. Please ask for advice and assistance early before problems escalate, and please be willing to be part of the solution.