This is Maggie. I hesitated to post this photo, but it was the only one I had of her. It was taken the night I humanely trapped her. She looked fantastic today. She was clean, well-fed, and there was no residue in her eyes. I wish I'd thought to snap a more recent picture.
This is Mikey, Maggie's son, and the only survivor from her first litter of kittens. None from her second litter survived. These cats really needed some help.
Today I released two "feral" cats after having them spayed and neutered, treated for parasites, and vaccinated. Many people allow their cats to go outdoors and that's a personal choice, but I've never let mine to go outside, so releasing cats doesn't come easy for me. My friend, Chris, has a wonderful solution. She has a tall fence with soft netting around the top so her cats can be the backyard but not jump or climb over the fence. I think that's a fantastic idea.
I don't think Maggie is a true feral cat, but Mikey was born outside and had never been touched until a few weeks ago when I humanely trapped him. I wanted to make sure the cats had been spayed/neutered and were healing well before I released them. Maggie is friendly and I'm certain she was somebody's cat at one time. Last night, Spouse held Mikey while I removed mats from his fur and he was such a good kitty. I think he could be tamed, but I have well-socialized cats that I haven't been able to find adoptive homes for, so I couldn't justify taking on two more cats who might never be ready for adoption.
I'm sitting here wondering if Maggie and Mikey are ok, if they were fed tonight, and if they are tucked in somewhere safe from the elements and predators. One of my neighbors promised to keep food and water out at all times, but when I talked to her today, she seemed to not be listening to what I needed her to hear. I'd typed out the cats' history as I knew it, listed dates that procedures and treatments were done, and what kind of food I'd been feeding them. Those were things I would have wanted to know, but I don't think this woman cared about any of that. Thank goodness her next door neighbor, a good friend of mine, has volunteered to make sure the cats have food and water if the woman doesn't provide those things for them. They live a few streets over from us, and the cats had been used to staying in that area. I can't have them down here with my unpredictable nasty neighbor.
I'll continue to check on the Maggie and Mikey and keep praying for their safety. I feel as if I've done what I could for them. I hope it was enough.