parallax background

Should you feed stray cats?

March 24, 2017
One Small Step
April 5, 2017

A seemingly innocuous question to my young friend revealed the dedication and commitment she has been showing in pursuing this unique social responsibility. Mokshada Amur is a sprightly twenty-year-old student at Manipal University, Dubai Campus, studying in third year Mass Communication undergraduate programme. Let’s hear what Mokshada has to say on this subject.

  1. What inspired you to take up feeding stray cats?

Ever since I was a little girl, I used to try to feed the stray cats around my building. I would put out some milk for them whenever I saw them around. In April 2016, I accompanied my friend to Dr. Susan Aylott’s house for an interview about her organisation AWAD (Animal Welfare Abu Dhabi). This was the first I heard of the organisation as it was founded in April 2015. Dr.Susan told us about all the work they do to help the stray cats and all other animals in need and I signed up as a volunteer immediately!

  1. How many hours do you dedicate every week?

My job as a volunteer is to refill the food and water at the feeding station I am assigned to, once a week. This hardly takes half an hour with the help of my supportive father giving me a ride to the feeding station every Saturday, sometimes more if the cats are around to play with. Purchasing the cat food also takes no time as they deliver it to my house in addition to the discount they give us for being a part of the organisation.

  1. Is it individual driven or a structured network driving this cause? Please describe what you actually do.

There are a number of feeding stations across Abu Dhabi. Each feeding station is refilled thrice a week by one volunteer within a set group of volunteers. The feeding stations is only the first step in the process. Once a station is set up, the cats are trapped and taken to the vets for a check-up and to get neutered to control the population. They are also treated if any illness is found.

  1. In Hinduism, cats are considered as a symbol of bad luck. It is also said that if a cat crosses your path, nothing good will come out of the trip. So, how did your family react when you mentioned about your passion? Were they supportive of your actions?

I’ve been pestering my parents for a pet for quite some time so they were very pleased with this alternative. As long as the cats stayed on the roads, they were happy to help out! The only costs involved are for purchasing the cat food which is also a discounted amount, so there isn’t anything that changes our routine very much.

  1. What other challenges have you encountered – irritating residents, municipality, etc.?

In terms of feeding stations, maintaining hygiene at the food stations can be a challenge sometimes as other people like to feed the cats as well but they feed them leftovers or wet cat food when they should be feeding the cats odourless biscuits or dry cat food to keep the insects away.

  1. Do you have any plans to increase the scope of this project – feed pigeons?

The organisation deals with problems involving not only stray cats but all animals in need. They have recently rescued a hurt donkey from the highway and a few monkeys that were being held captive on the outskirts of the city. They are working on becoming a certified organisation and working directly with the authorities.

  1. What is the message you wish to convey to our readers about this passion?

I want to urge everyone to do their part to help their society. It doesn’t have to involve spending tons of money or do something that is time consuming. Every little thing you do counts. In addition to volunteering for AWAD, I have also volunteered for other animal welfare organisations when they have events and fundraisers. Volunteering does not have to be a regular activity. If there is something you are interested in, you should find a way to pursue it to benefit the society.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *