If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. Mark Twain

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Winner of the first Animal Communication Scholarship

Veron and Lynda at a recent event
Ms Veron Lau, 38, is the winner of the very first Animal Communication scholarship, proudly sponsored by Animal Talk Ltd. 

Veron is the Vice President (voluntary) of Cat Welfare Society. She is a Communications Manager by day and cat woman by night!

Here's what Veron says ; 

I became involved with cat welfare when I moved to my own place 7 years ago. It was never an issue where I lived previously and I came to realize that it was the dedicated work of the caregivers that had kept the cats there loved, healthy and contented.

Where I moved, the neighbourhood was overrun with cats, they were constantly fighting and caterwauling and I took in my first stray, an old toothless cat with skin problems and a rotting collar, signs that she was an abandoned cat. Then 2 kittens, then more. That was when I really started my search for sustainable solutions to the issue of strays in my neighbourhood and became fully immersed in sterilizing, rehoming cats, befriending feeders and counseling residents who let their cats out to roam or abandoned litters. 

After almost a year of compulsive trap and neuter work, the situation was turned around and that is why I am such an advocate of TNRM (Trap, Neuter, Release, Manage) as a humane solution to controlling the stray population. The Cat Welfare Society (CWS) was where I gained the information required to get started. I joined CWS in 2009 so that I can contribute back and similarly empower others to help their community cats.

After I joined CWS, I had the opportunity to mediate a case for the caregiver in my old place where the Town Council officer activated pest control to catch a sterilized cat. It made me reflect on how much I had taken for granted the work it took to keep the cats that I played with every night safe. It also reminded me of a time many many years ago when I had walked past the caregiver who was getting an earful from a resident for feeding the cats. That young and stupid me felt I needed to do something, stand up for her, but did not feel I was up to it and stood rooted to the spot. It was something that I regretted for a long time. It doesn't matter if we are not the most intelligent or eloquent, it is important to speak up when it is needed. Looks like I am making up for that missed opportunity now over and over again!

Most of us who care for animals have a deep empathy towards their suffering but it is important not to project our own emotions on them where they become an extension of our own psychological excesses. They are their own beings that need to be understood on their own terms and this I believe requires a deep sensitivity towards them. This is what I hope to develop through the programme. I had the opportunity to meet Rosina at the Asia for Animals conference and look forward to study under this amazing woman. If I could just imbibe half of her poise and awareness, it would really help my work with community cats.

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