There are many stray cats in Al Quoz 1, Dubai.
They eat out of the garbage bins - as no one closes the covers - and get free meals which people leave out for them. All of this encourages them to breed and multiply and many are in poor health.
On the three streets it takes me to walk to the mall nearby, I counted 13 cats in one morning alone. This situation has gotten out of control.
I moved to the area about six weeks ago and have at least nine cats that jump over my wall and use my garden as their toilet. The stench is unbearable, not to mention unsightly, and my garden is a total mess. Also, the meowing, fighting, and mating is a nightly orchestra and getting to be too much.
I would like to request a few things from the municipality.
Firstly, please relocate these cats as they are taking over the neighbourhood and making it a less than desirable place to live.
Secondly, encourage people to close the covers on the garbage bins as they represent free food for the animals. The cats feed from the bins, pulling out bits of food and scattering them all over the street.
Flies are another problem as the bins are buzzing with them. Putting up a sign asking people to close the covers or designing a new bin which forces the cover closed - like those designed in parks where there are bears - would help.
Next, enforce the by-law against feeding animals. There is such a law, but no one seems to follow it.
I am particularly putting this responsibility on the residents of the area. If the Municipality can do its part, shouldn’t we do ours? Take some pride in your neighbourhood.
Please close the bins to keep out animals and prevent flies. Put your garbage in the bin, not beside it and do not leave food out. Be a responsible pet owner or don’t have pets, and call the Municipality for assistance instead of leaving it to others and hoping the problem will disappear.
So far, it has only disappeared into my yard, but tomorrow it might be yours.
The reader is based in Dubai.
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