My Experience as a Volunteer BGC Cat Feeder

My Experience as a Volunteer BGC Cat Feeder

I'm gonna miss these munchkins! Updated on 12/7/2020: This cat over here sitting on my lap named Bangs is currently missing ๐Ÿ˜” If anyone finds Bangs somewhere in BGC/Makati area, please contact Zari, thank you!

After having a beef with Shangri-La and Alveo Land's property management few years ago, the community cats of  BGC now continue to thrive under the Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Release Program of CARA Welfare Philippines.

CARA also initiated a BGC volunteer feeding program too. I've just joined last September 2019 but quit now mainly for safety reasons because this current pandemic is crazy! Confirmed cases haven't plateaued yet, and just kept on rising! I need to prioritize, not just my health and safety, but also my parents (since both of them are senior citizens already). I'm gonna be married soon too (hopefully after this lockdown is over-- it's been delayed for a long time already lol) and will be a little more busy than usual.

Anyway, if you wanna see what it's like to feed these lovely BGC cats, here's a short video:

Since I'm getting a few DMs and also being asked in person about this volunteer feeding program, I've decided to create a video and blog post about it, and also compiled all the questions below.

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Frequently Asked Questions:

If I join, do I have to feed ALL those BGC cats?

No. Once you sign up for the volunteer feeder, you will be assigned to one of these areas. Each area has different stations or territories (because cats are highly territorial, they tend to stay and eat in their chosen territory).

How often should I feed the BGC cats?

Cats are generally being fed by the volunteers twice a day (8-10 a.m. for morning session, and 4-6 p.m for the afternoon session), 7 days a week (alternate dry and wet food). But you can choose whichever session and day suits your schedule, as long as you can commit to it every week. 

Me I chose Monday a.m. because aside from that being a tricky time for most people (hence, definitely less people volunteering for that time slot), it's one of my downtime sched during trading because I often wait for London open (3 p.m. PH time) first, and less issue to commit with unlike other days when I need to work on my other small businesses as well as attend to family matters.

Do I need to become a CARA volunteer first to become a BGC volunteer feeder?

No, they are separate volunteer programs. You can join both though, or just choose either one of them (if you're busy like me). 

Are there any required number of hours to become a volunteer feeder?

Unlike with the regular CARA volunteer program where you'll be required at least 20 hours per quarter, on top of the meetings you need to attend, joining the BGC volunteer feeder program only takes a minimum of roughly 1-2 hours per week (depends on how many cats you're feeding in the assigned area, how long you want to bond with them and stay after they finish eating, and how quickly you wash the bowls).

St. Louis - one of the 4 Mighty Cats of Din Tai Fung

Am I gonna get paid if I join as volunteer feeder?

Monetary-wise, no. This is purely voluntary. You won't get paid in goods either like free food for your own pet cat because we barely have enough to feed the community cats. Their portions are budgeted each feeding session and we also need to track their food levels so we know if they're running out soon and ask help, either from a CARA employee to replenish the food or we donate them ourselves.

"Where are you taking this, hooman?? This is my favorite!"

You will be "paid" with:
  • good karma (especially if you believe and do law of attraction stuff)
  • better health (I actually joined so I can take a regular walk outside as well as let my eyes rest and prevent myself from being constantly glued to the screen)
  • and fun time with cats in general especially if you love cats (I prefer spending my free time with cats, aside from my S.O., family and online gamer friends).
Cat lady in the making, lol.

You also get interesting cat photos and videos (those BGC cats have different personalities!), and meet other fellow cat lovers too! 

I'm maarte and don't wanna wash their bowls. can I feed the cat without using those bowls?

No, those bowls should be used to prevent scattering cat food around and angering the cleaners (enough that some of them even kick the cats like what happened to Milktea before she disappeared ๐Ÿ˜ฟ).

The wash area-- it isn't that bad.

Either you can ask or pay some assistant to help do it for you, or you can also bring some gloves and your own sponge.

I'm not maarte but won't judge those who are. I have a box full of rubber gloves if anyone needs a pair.

I'm just too busy and live or work far away from BGC, but still wanna help. How can I help?

You can help cats in general (not just BGC cats) through the following:
  • Taking care of your own cat (and other type of pet) if you have one.
  • Buy some merch! Check out the ones here from CARA and PAWS.
  • Consider adopting a cat. You may contact Cats of BGCCARAPAWS or any other animal welfare group you prefer and personally trust.
  • Sponsor or foster a pet.
  • Donate to CARAPAWS or any other chosen animal welfare group you trust.

Can I leave my cat there to be taken cared of? It's too makulit / we prefer having dogs / our landlord doesn't allow it and threatens to send it to the pound.

NO! Aside from limited manpower to take care of them (that's why more volunteer feeders are needed), it's actually against the law-- section 7 of RA 10631 (Amendments to the RA 8485 Animal Welfare Act) states:
"SEC. 7. It shall be unlawful for any person who has custody of an animal to abandon the animal.
If any person being the owner or having charge or control of any animal shall without reasonable cause or excuse abandon it, whether permanently or not, without providing for the care of that animal, such act shall constitute maltreatment under Section 9.
If the animal is left in circumstances likely to cause the animal any unnecessary suffering, or if this abandonment results in the death of the animal, the person liable shall suffer the maximum penalty.
Abandonment means the relinquishment of all right, title, claim, or possession of the animal with the intention of not reclaiming it or resuming its ownership or possession."

Nothing in Section 6 of RA 8485 says that you can abandon your pet out of kakulitan or plain whim.

And here's the penalty if you get caught doing so:
"SEC. 9 (PENALTIES). Any person who subjects any animal to cruelty, maltreatment or neglect shall, upon conviction by final judgment, be punished by imprisonment and/ or fine, as indicated in the following graduated scale: “(1) Imprisonment of one (1) year and six (6) months and one (1) day to two (2) years and/or a fine not exceeding One hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00) if the animal subjected to cruelty, maltreatment or neglect dies;
(2) Imprisonment of one (1) year and one (1) day to one (1) year and six (6) months and/or a fine not exceeding Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00) if the animal subjected to cruelty, maltreatment or neglect survives but is severely injured with loss of its natural faculty to survive on its own and needing human intervention to sustain its life; and
(3) Imprisonment of six (6) months to one (1) year and/or a fine not exceeding Thirty thousand pesos (P30,000.00) for subjecting any animal to cruelty, maltreatment or neglect but without causing its death or incapacitating it to survive on its own.
If the violation is committed by a juridical person, the officer responsible thereof shall serve the imprisonment. If the violation is committed by an alien, he or she shall be immediately deported after the service of sentence without any further proceeding.
The foregoing penalties shall also apply for any other violation of this Act, depending upon the effect or result of the act or omission as defined in the immediately preceding sections.
However, regardless of the resulting condition to the animal/s, the penalty of two (2) years and one (1) day to three (3) years and/or a fine not exceeding Two hundred fifty thousand pesos (P250,000.00) shall be imposed if the offense is committed by any of the following: (1) a syndicate; (2) an offender who makes business out of cruelty to an animal; (3) a public officer or employee; or (4) where at least three (3) animals are involved.
In any of the foregoing situations, the offender shall suffer subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency and the inability to pay the fine.”

Honestly, I'm one of those people who complained why CARA didn't press charges against Shangri-la back then Updated on 12/7/2020: They actually did after all but now I'm furious why case was dismissed and at the same time scared as to how our legal system works which seems to protect foreigners and corporations more (well, what's new).

Anyway, moving on...

Why are you taking care and "wasting" time and money on PusPins (pusang pinoy)? You should invest time and money on cats with breed.

*sigh* While I don't go around with #adoptdontshop and actually have nothing against those who prefer pure-bred cats (and dogs), and make a business out of breeding them (it's their money anyway), I'm impartial to cats and treat them equally --whether with breed or mixed moggies or PusPins.  

My cat, GarfielDio, is offended by this question

Also thanks to these local feline friends, we don't have mice and rats scurrying around in BGC-- or at least I haven't seen any (yet) especially the bigger ones, aka gapusang daga (rats as big as cats, eek!) during late night to early dawn. I guess the same is true in Greenfield since I see a lot of cats there too and haven't encountered any rats (& cockroach!) infestation in our home office there. 

If ever there are some that I just didn't see, at least they are controlled unlike say, the ones in Manila where I used to rent back when I was still reviewing for a board exam.

I'm aware of what it takes and I'm in. How do I become a volunteer feeder for BGC Cats?

With this current pandemic going on, I don't really advise anyone to join now -- unless you're already living in BGC + very healthy and very OC when it comes to hygiene + not living with or nearby high-risk people (i.e. babies and senior citizens).

If you have decided to join, you can do so by clicking unicorn cat below and signing up in the form provided by CARA on the window opened.

My Experience as a Volunteer BGC Cat Feeder |

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