In March we got a daddy cat from a family of cats in south Seattle. Now, a cat family is not like a human family. They don’t hang out together on the back lawn come evening. They did live in a colony and the care taker was fairly sure this fellow was the father of one or more litters.
We had to hold him for a couple days before the clinic so I set him up in the garage. I always watch cats to see how they respond to me. Some cats we trap are socialized to people. This guy didn’t run away from me like other cats but neither did he seem even halfway happy to see me. He had bad diarrhea, which can be due to the stress of being captured.
On clinic day they called to say that he was very ill. The clinic notes are below. He had several broken teeth, scars from previous fighting, muscle wasting, and other problems which suggested an underlying disease.
The clinic suggested euthanasia for humane reasons. They thought if released outside he would die soon and it would be uncomfortable, even brutal. I consulted with Deb, but there is little we can do in these cases so we told the clinic to euthanatize him. I cleaned his cage well. A week later I got back his medial record with the vet’s notes. That, and my memory were all that were left of his life.
Many feral cats suffer uncomfortable deaths. Many animals suffer uncomfortable deaths. Many people suffer uncomfortable deaths. It is one of our sufferings. We work to help feral cats because we have an affinity for cats, but we also see how limited our help can be. Once a month our temple makes prayers for the deceased and Marie and I go whenever we are in town.