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Condo residents band together to fight cat haters

Niligaw. Tinapon sa river.

Cats went missing. Some humans reportedly took them, then brought them to undisclosed places.

They also learned about other ways to “dispose” of the stray cats they were feeding from posts of cat haters  in social media. The cat haters talked about about hanging the cats, poisoning them, or throwing them elsewhere.

To keep the cats  safe, four women banded together to fight the cat haters.

One of the feeding stations for cats of Manila Rivercity Residences.  
Porsha Rhia Lai,  Brenda Francisco Basas,  Kai Talavera and Hannah Mandi formed the group Cats of Manila Rivercity Residences ( Cats of MRR), together with other residents. They feed stray cats, have injured or sick cats treated by vets, and have them spayed or neutered so the number or cats  in their community will not multiply.

Cat rehabilitation and adoption

It was very cold that night of November 14.  A raspy meow was heard coming from one of the community cages beside a tower inside the condo  premises.

A palm-sized dirty white kitten with swollen ears and bloated tummy was in pain, trying to find comfort and warmth beside the cages.

'Mama cat' Porsha who started the spay /neuter of MRR cats with two  cats for spaying.
Porsha contained the severely emaciated kitten, cleaned him, and gave him food and water. The next day, the kitten was brought to the clinic. He weighed only 0.8 kllograms. The vet diagnosed him to have scabies, a skin problem that can be passed to humans. He was injected with Ivomec every week for four weeks  to deworm him.  

They named him Yuri. He was only eight months old.

He gained weight (now 2 kilograms) after only a month as he is fed good food. His hair turned out to be a beautiful, shiny white coat  after four weeks of  regular cleaning.

Their efforts paid off as Yuri was adopted by MRR resident Clar Sumile Sanson.

Shanley Arcilla and her family adopted Puma, the cat  who is loved by MRR security guards.   Puma  used to accompany the guards, especially  those on  night shift. Her family also adopted community kitten Chocnut.
“Yuri is now a happy kitty living in a home with toys to play, an area to freely run and climb, and a family to call his own,” said Porsha.

Tamtam, like Yuri,  is a stray cat in the MRR premises.

Recently, he was seen with blood on his face while he was in his favorite spot where he sleeps after feeding.

Hannah, who checks the cats at noon time, approached him and saw his face was swollen and he had open wounds.  Tamtam was contained in the community cage and his wounds were cleaned.  When he did not eat for 24 hours, the volunteers brought him to the Santa Ana Animal Health Clinic.

“The attending vet said the such wounds and swelling were not from the usual cat fight. Most probably, Tamtam's face was hit by a hard object.” Porsha said.

Ivy, the kitten found abandoned after Typhoon Rolly hit the country, was adopted by Jay Pangdan. Branda Basas of Cats of MRR assisted.
This is so saddening and infuriating at the same time as Tamtam is not an aggressive cat. “He has a very laid back personality. His daily routine includes sleeping, eating and some vocalization exercises before he sleeps again. Tamtam is a sweet cat and shows his appreciation by rolling on the ground while purring,” Porsha said.

After almost a week of confinement, Tamtam returned to MRR.

“No more swollen face and the wounds are healed. While Tamtam has already recovered and back on his daily routine, the investigation of the incident is still in progress,” Porsha said.

Working with the board of directors

Yuri and Tamtam are just two of about 70 cats  who are always  in danger of being hurt by cat haters in the area.

Another community cat, Blackie, was adopted by  Sean Carlo Betco.  Hannah Mandi  of Cats of MRR assisted. 
The Cats of MRR  sought the assistance of the board of directors  (BOD) of MRR. to protect  the poor, homeless cats, and because they believe that preventing unwanted kitten births will help decrease the  number of cats who will be  hurt.  

“Thankfully they were supportive as they recognize that cats are part of the community ecosystem, “ Porsha said.

Brenda and Kai brought up the idea to write the BOD to seek help for their project to help the cats.

“We convinced the board of directors (BOD) of the advantage of TNVR. Since there was an issue about cats being thrown out, and yet new cats would come in, they were convinced that neutering and spaying cats are the real solution, “ Brenda said.

Yuri with adopter Clar Sumile Sanson.
After a talk with Rochelle Nisay of the BOD, the board decided that the cats in MRR will no longer be considered as stray cats but  will be treated as MRR community cats. Cats of MRR, meanwhile, will be responsible for the feeding, cleaning of feeding areas, and enforcement of rules from the BOD.

The BOD also donated cages for the project. These were put in areas where residents feed  the stray cats.

“By promoting awareness, transparency, TNVR, with support from  the Admin, Housekeeping and Security, more residents have stepped up and have shown care for the MRR Cats as part of our community,”  Brenda said.  

Successful TNVR 

After only four months,  26 of about 70 cats in the community  have been spayed or neutered.

Tamtam on the day he was found with blood on his face.
Tamtam after treatment.
They have also had six adult cats (George, Kitkit, Nana, Puma, Mickey, Uling) and five kittens (Ivy, Chocnut, Nuggets, Blackie, Yuri) adopted.

Initially, Porsha, Brenda, Kai and Hannah paid for the spaying and neutering of  cats.

“From our own savings. But lately, we've been receiving donations and sponsorships from other residents. Hopefully, in the future, we can have fundraising activities to defray costs for spay/neuter, food and medical bills,” Porsha said.

At least two cats are brought to the clinic for spaying or neutering weekly.

Feeding The cats are fed twice a day. 

Some of the  estimated 70  cats of MRR during  feeding.
Hannah said they feed  morning and evening "since most of the volunteers work in the office. For those working at home, they feed the young weaning kittens and rehabilitated cats at noon as well. There are designated feeding areas to consolidate the cats. These feeding areas are cleaned at least once a day.” 

“Our condo admin donated to us initial supplies such as cages, litterbox, food bowls to establish designated feeding areas. Volunteers also take rounds to check the feeding areas and the cats. Our Housekeeping and Security are a  big help to look after the cats. They even play with them.,” Porsha said.

Brenda said the feeding areas were chosen in such a way that  residents near the cats can feed them and to make sure that feeding areas are cleaned to avoid complaints from other residents. 

Fighting cat haters

Brenda and Hannah said they filed a complaint against those who posted in social media about poisoning, hanging or  throwing out cats  from the premises before the barangay.

Fortunately, barangay 880 officials are also cat lovers and  cat parents  who said they will never tolerate abuse and maltreatment of cats.

“These  (cat hate statements in social media) make us feel so mad but whenever we feel so angry, we just focus on the cats and caring for them, “ Brenda said.

While there are haters, Brenda said there are more supporters of their work to help the cats. This support helps keep the cats safe and thus, they are very thankful to these residents, she said.

Topics: cats , Cats of Manila Rivercity Residences , Cats of MRR
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