Okay. So, after a nailbiting day during which I heard nothing, I decided to show them all how determined I am and went to sit in the apartment office so that I could be convenient whenever the owners were ready to talk to me.
Well, instead, the manager spoke with me-- as far as I can tell in the grand hierarchy of the apartment complex, she is the highest local person since the new company took over in the summer. She told me that it's the management company, not the new owners, who put out the "stop feeding the cats" directive. And that she gave them my information (which I had put together yesterday), and they weren't interested in dealing with it just now. However, as soon as they tell her something, she'll tell me.
Sound just like February 2008? It should because it's precisely what happened then, too. I did, however, forthrightly tell the manager that I will be continuing to feed the cats until I hear more. She agreed that I should do what I need to do.
Honestly, I think the company saw a lot of cats and went, vermin! What shall we do?! And thought, hey, if we don't feed them, maybe they'll go away. (Admittedly, one of the women in the office told me she tried calling every shelter in the area to come get them. I could have told them no one would come get them-- actually, I did tell them that in 2008. So they did try to take action.) But as my dad pointed out when I was filling him in on all this, it's not like there are marauding gangs of cats wearing black leather clothes and eye patches just roaming the complex in search of small children to eat. I don't think that the company considers this a pressing matter, but still, better to be proactive on our part.
So, in concrete terms, what does this mean for Project-Cat?
Honestly, not much. It means that we're in a holding pattern as far as TNRing the rest of the cats goes. I had started to think that maybe I could trap/etc. during Spring Break, when I'm not teachign, but that's in mid-March, so fundraising would have had to start now. I'm not comfortable doing that 'til we know more. So that's on hold. (But hey, if you were planning on donating, feel free to keep an eye on that money and send it later...)
As far as everything else-- well, I'll keep feeding, I'll keep tracking, and I'll keep posting. And, I'll keep in touch with the office to find out if they've heard anything. I don't want to be a nuisance (although I suspect many already think I am) but I also don't want to be forgotten. I'll also be continuing to speak with advocates of various sorts to see what other advice might be out there for convincing people to keep these cats safe.
No need for any action on your parts yet, other than to keep following along. I'll keep carting my camera around, and tracking the cats. You keep reading and letting other people know they should read, too. :)