Tuesday, February 16, 2010

There isn't any BAD news...

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. :)

The Suspense... arg! THE SUSPENSE

I know that the owners are visiting the apartment complex today, and that the question of the cats will come up. I do not know when this conversation will happen, whether I'll get to be involved, what the answer will be, or when I'll hear anything.

The waiting and uncertainty are driving me mad!

So, as an antidote, have some pictures, never before posted here. (I was saving them for the posts about individual cats, but when I do those, I'll just have to get more pictures is all.)

Below: Athos, Walsingham, Mr Mistofolees and Cyrano

Monday, February 15, 2010

No News is... No News

UPDATE: I stopped by the office again to drop off my packet of information (a new letter explaining the situation, the 2008 letter, some information on ferals and TNR, and my new spreadsheet showing that we have had a 10% decrease in the local colony) and was told again that they think it'd be a good idea if I spoke with the district manager, and that they'd probably be giving me a call. I'd very much like the chance to advocate for these cats in person, so keep your fingers crossed for me tomorrow.

As soon as I could (2:30pm) I went to the apartment office and asked about the note I'd gotten regarding the cats and not feeding them and "working to reduce the stray cat population." The first person I asked (the woman who adopted Dolce) didn't know anything. She asked the assistant manager who didn't know anything but suggested talking to the person who had typed up the notices. I asked her (she's very nice and has been helpful in the past) and between her and the manager-manager, we discovered that this is an edict from the company who owns the apartment complex. This is not the same company who used to own the complex, but, in fact, a new one as of this past summer.

So basically, no one here knows anything. But apparently the district manager is coming by tomorrow and they're going to give her the paperwork I had just created, so then maybe we'll learn something? They promised to call me when the manager is there, but I don't actually see that happening. Instead, I'm going to create a bigger packet of information on TNR and the agreement I'd had with the last company and drop it off in the morning. Then, assuming I don't hear anything all day, I'll stop by in the evening to find out more.

I guess the reason I feel that I'm having the same argument I had 2 years ago is because I am...

Again, I'll update just as soon as I learn anything.

(Pictures from top: Agatha out in the grass, Walsingham in a bush, Bessie-the-Tomcat with laser eyes, Barnaby from the second floor landing, at dusk.)