Letter from Bali – VIII
This is the democracy edition. Some 84% wanted the dirt on the toilet issue so we’ll go there, well maybe. We’ve also got a kitten problem which you can help to resolve. So read on…
But first a cultural outing…
A few nights ago we attended our first football match here in town. In keeping with tradition these take place on full moons to overcome the lack of electricity for flood lights. A clip of the game can be watched here. There is a suspicion of handball about the goal, the action commencing from a corner kick. Viewers are encouraged not to try this at home, or at least far away from the new curtains in the living room.
Bali Animal Welfare Association is a non profit animal welfare society that operates on the island. There are a couple of others like it and collectively they fill the roll of the SPCA or RSPCA in Canada or the UK. Dogs are the issue on Bali. Dogs, not cats. No one cares about cats, it is just a matter of triage – the dog problem is immense and has serious health issues, like people dying. The dog issue also threatens the island’s image with the tourists – you just can’t seem to sell rabies. There is an Australian news report here.
How many dogs are there here? 500,000? One million? No one knows, try counting leaves on trees, and the streets are full of bitches with sagging teats.
How many dogs have been culled? 40,000 is a number kicked around, the government did use strychnine laced food which caused a storm when pets started going missing, so the short sighted euthanasia program was put on hold. It was sheer madness of course; without ongoing sterilization or a natural predator how are you going to keep your dog population to ‘acceptable’ limits over the long term? Issues of humanity and karma aside, starving marauding packs of rabid stray dogs are just bad PR.
The point I’m trying to make, though, is that under this umbrella of animal problems, who is going to give a shit about the cats? Well we do! Er… well up to a point…
You may have heard, we had a cat come visit and then, hey presto!, that one cat turned into five – strange how that works. Aren’t they cute?
Cute, but we do not want them. It’s not that they aren’t nice and all but is time for the kittens to go. We are not here forever and we can’t take them with us. If we feed them every day then the kittens (unlike mum) don’t learn to hunt. They are not ours and they have to go. We want YOU to decide, but wait, there are some things you must first know!
- There is no family we know who will take them. (Yes, we tried.)
- The BAWA people will take them but it means a small cage and a needle in one month if they aren’t adopted.
- They are a rich source of protein and mittens make fine Christmas gifts.
Now YOU have their fate in your hands, so what is it to be?
You’ve got one week to decide.
Scrubbing the toilet issue seems to be taking a bit longer than I’d planned on. Since I can’t stop arseing around with the paint package we’ll cut this short and post again in a day or two.